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The Most Delicious Street Foods Around The World

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May 24, 2017 / International / By
ETG - Food For Thought

Forget about fine dining, forget about restaurants and join us in the most delicious and authentic food experience around the world with these 36 street foods that will make your taste buds and stomach very happy. From savory food to sweet treats, the streets of the world have a lot to offer to those who dare to leave the fancy lifestyle behind and experience the local food in the most genuine way – cooked by locals with respect for traditions and local ingredients.

Bagels & Everything Else

Where?

New York

New York is the city where the street food scene is so varied that it is hard to pick a favorite but if you want to try something that all New Yorkers love for breakfast, stop at a street cart and order a bagel and coffee.

Besides bagels and other pastries for breakfast, New York’s street stalls will provide you with a variety of lunch, dinner and snack options. From lobster rolls, falafel and shawarma to mac and cheese, hamburgers and sandwiches, the city is a paradise for those who want to indulge in delicious street foods from all over the world without travelling everywhere.

Durum

Image source: LenZ (Own work) via Wikimedia Commons

Where?

Istanbul, Turkey

Durum means roll in English and it is the Turkish version of a wrap made with flatbreads and filled with the typical doner kebab ingredients, such as spicy meat (usually lamb, but you can also find chicken durum or beef durum) mixed with tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers and onions and topped with a hot sauce or a yogurt based sauce. You can find a variation of the durum, named shawarma, in almost all European countries, especially in the Eastern Europe, but nothing beats Durum! The rolled wrap is perfect in combination with the spicy meat and fresh veggies.

Ceviche

Where?

Peru

Many people consider Ceviche Peru’s national dish and the popularity of the dish is growing internationally every year. If you are a fan of fresh, raw food dishes, you will love it too. Marinated in lime or lemon juice and seasoned with salt and chili, ceviche is amazing with sweet potatoes or sweet corn as side dishes.

Crepes

Where?

Paris, France

When most people think of French cuisine, they think about fine dining, delicious pastries from Parisian cafes and cheese served with French wine. People rarely think of Paris as a place to enjoy street food and they are probably right. However, the crepes you can buy on the streets of Paris are absolutely incredible. From savory crepes with ham, cheese and eggs to sweet varieties, such as Nutella, custard or fruit crepes, Paris knows how to treat its tourists with amazing crepes. The boulevard Montparnasse is the place where you can find numerous stands that sell these sweet or savory treats at affordable prices.

Hainanese Chicken Rice

Image source: RM Bulseco via Wikimedia Commons

Where?

Singapore

Singapore’s Chinatown has numerous food stalls where you can find Hainanese chicken rice. This simple, classic dish originated in Hainan and was brought to Singapore by Chinese immigrants. The Hainanese chicken has a layer of chicken fat underneath the skin that is similar in texture with jelly. The whole chicken is boiled in a stock then plunged into very cold water. This change in temperature creates the surprising texture of Hainanese chicken. Hainanese chicken is served with aromatic rice and it is usually accompanied by soy sauce or chilli sauce.

Roujiamo

Image source: Gary Soup via Flickr

Where?

Xi’an, Chiana

Roujiamo is one of the oldest meat sandwich in the world and its traditional version includes spicy pork, cilantro and peppers served in a flatbread. The pork used in roujiamo is so tender that it melts in your mouth and if you are a fan of heavily spiced meat, think cumin in particular, you will more than likely love roujiamo.

Xiaolongbao

Image source: Eason Lai via Wikimedia Commons

Where?

Shanghai, Chiana

Xiaolongbao can be easily found if you visit Shanghai’s food stalls but also in various restaurants in the city. Xiaolongbao is a dumpling soup usually served in steaming bamboo baskets. The dumplings in the soup are traditionally filled with pork but you can also find xiaolongbao with minced crab meat. For the vegetarians in town, some restaurants prepare xiaolongbao with dumplings filled with veggies.

Red Red

Image source: benketaro via Wikimedia Commons

Where?

Ghana

The traditional Ghanaian dish can be found everywhere in Ghana and if you like spicy food, you will love it! Red Red is made with black beans, onions, tomato paste, palm oil and, of course, spices. The best way to enjoy Red Red is alongside deep fried plantains. Plantains or cooking bananas contain more starch than regular bananas and also less sugar, therefore they are usually cooked and served as side dishes instead of dessert.

Jerk Chicken

Image source: Naotake Murayama via Flickr

Where?

Jamaica

Jerk chicken is quite a popular culinary export of Jamaica, but if you want to experience the real deal, you have to visit the island and taste the original dish. Anyone can make the sauce (jerk) but not anyone can properly cook the meat like Jamaicans do. The smoky flavor of Jerk chicken is the result of a thorough process. The sauce which contains allspice berries, peppers, ginger, scallions and oil is also delicious but, let’s say, easier to replicate.

Churros

Where?

Madrid, Spain

Churros are an extremely popular snack in Madrid and if you want to indulge in delicious Churros at any hour of the day or the night, you should visit Chocolatería San Ginés. This famous café, opened in 1984, serves Churros 24 hours per day, every day of the week. There are various ways you can enjoy Churros, you can eat them plain, dipped in thick chocolate or rolled in cinnamon sugar. We cannot decide between the chocolate dipped ones and the cinnamon churros, both are extremely yummy!

Philly Cheesesteak

Where?

Philadelphia, USA

The famous Philly cheesesteak is sandwich made in a long, crusty roll filled with thin slices of beefsteak, topped with melted cheese, fried onions, sweet or hot peppers, mushrooms and, sometimes, ketchup.

Created by Pat Olivieri in 1930, Philly cheesesteak is Philadelphia’s staple and something you shouldn’t say no to if you find yourself in the city.

Penang Assam laksa

Image source: Michael J. Lowe via Wikimedia Commons

Where?

Penang, Malaysia

The street-food scene in Malaysia is a paradise for those who love to eat ethnic Malaysian food at affordable prices.

Penang Assam Iaksa is a sour fish curry considered addictive by most of the tourists who tried it. Assam means tamarind in Malay and, as you can imagine, Penang Assam Iaksa has a generous amount. Other ingredients that make Penang Assam Iaksa so flavorful are polygonum leaf, aromatic ginger flower and a spoonful of heh ko sauce (dark prawn paste) or belacan (shrimp paste).

Pork Satay

Where?

Bangkok

You cannot visit Bangkok without trying pork satay, you simply cannot! Despite the fact that satay can be found everywhere throughout Southeast Asia nowadays and it originated in Indonesia, the pork satay in Bangkok is so good it became famous worldwide thus most tourists think it is a Thai dish. After being marinated in coconut milk and various spices, the slices of meat are skewered and grilled. Traditionally, pork satay is served with peanut sauce and achat salad, a tangy pickle salad.

Bhel Puri

Image source: stu_spivack (originally posted to Flickr as bhelpuri) via Wikimedia Commons

Where?

Mumbai, India

Mumbai is the place where you have to try bhel puri, a savory snack made out of puffed rice, vegetables drizzled in tamarind sauce and fried rice vermicelli noodles. The food stalls you can find while visiting the Juhu and Girguam beach serve a variety of bhel puri that can include other ingredients, such as pomegranate seeds, potato, onions and peanuts.

Tacos Al Pastor

Image source: William Neuheisel (Flickr: Tacos al Pastor) via Wikimedia Commons

Where?

Mexico City, Mexico

Tacos al pastor is a great mix of Lebanese and Mexican culinary traditions. In Lebanon, the roasting meat is usually lamb but the Mexican people replace it with pork marinated in dried chili and pineapple and serve it in tortillas with hot salsa, lime juice, onions and cilantro.

Egg Waffle

Image source: Saskia Bosch van Rosenthal via Flickr

Where?

Honk Kong, China

The popular egg waffles of Hong Kong appeared in 1950 and they’ve been a loved snack ever since. Traditionally, the egg waffles are served plain, immediately after they are removed from the heat however, some vendors serve them with fruit or chocolate. The batter can also have different flavors, such as ginger, green tea or chocolate.

Gimbap

Where?

Seoul, South Korea

Gimbap, also known as Korean sushi, is a dish made from cooked rice and various fillings, such as crab sticks, carrot, beef and egg rolled in gim. In Seoul you will be able to find stalls and shops throughout the city that sell different types of gimbap.

Tajine

Where?

Marrakech, Morocco

The traditional Berber stew, tajine, is cooked for hours in order to obtain the best flavors. Tajine usually contains meat, vegetables, spices, herbs and also fruits and nuts. There are numerous variations of the tajine, you can find it with beef, chicken or lamb, but also without meat. This hearty stew is typically served with bread or couscous and it makes a great dinner.

Belgian Waffles

Where?

Brussels, Belgium

Belgian waffles are for the streets of Brussels what crepes are for the streets of Paris, a delicious sweet treat that can be found at street stalls while exploring the city and that can be served with countless toppings. We don’t think we have to tell you how to enjoy these Belgian treats, but we highly recommend the chocolate ones! Belgian waffles with Belgian chocolate, in Belgium? What can be better than that?

Langos

Where?

Budapest, Hungary

This deep fried flatbread is savory snack eaten fresh and warm topped with cheese, sour cream or garlic/garlic butter. The best langos in Budapest can be found at the Great Market Hall, a place where tourists and locals can find numerous local products.

Choripan

Image source: Rosa Virginia Colmenares via Flickr

Where?

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Choripan is a popular sandwich in Argentina but also other countries in South America including Brazil, Uruguay, Chile, Venezuela, Bolivia and Peru. For the best choripan we advise you to visit the street stalls in Buenos Aires. This popular sandwich is made with grilled chorizo, a beef and pork sausage, topped with chimichurri sauce and served in a crusty baguette.

Bakso

Image source: Christian Losari (Bakso Daging Sapi) via Wikimedia Commons

Where?

Jakarta, Indonesia

The street food scene in Indonesia is not complete without Bakso. You can eat this meatball soup everywhere in Indonesia at restaurants or in the street, but the street carts in Jakarta are the best place to taste Bakso for the first time. Besides the meatballs made of ground beef and cooked in clear broth, the soup contains noodles, shallots and eggs.

Pupusas

Image source: JMRAFFi via Wikimedia Commons

Where?

El Salvador

Pupusa is a traditional Salvadoran dish that consists of a thick corn tortilla filled with red beans, cheese and salty pork rinds. Pupusa is usually served with curtido, a Salvadoran spicy coleslaw salad.

Pupusas are sold all over El Salvador and they are a staple of the food street stalls.

Empanadas & Arepas

Where?

Bogota, Colombia

Empanadas

Empanadas are a popular snack in Colombia and they can be found everywhere in Bogota. You can enjoy Colombian empanadas at a restaurant but also on the streets of Bogota, especially during Ciclovia Street Festival. If you do not plan to visit Bogota during the street festival, you should add La Candelaria neighborhood on your itinerary since the place is known for the numerous food stalls that sell empanadas.

Empanada is a pastry stuffed with beef or pork that are also popular in Spain and in other countries in Latin America however, the Colombian empanadas are truly a treat you cannot refuse, especially if you are in Bogota. In Bogota, empanadas are served alongside aji (a Colombian sauce) and lime wedges.

Arepas

Another popular street food in Colombia is arepas, round corn cakes baked or grilled and stuffed or topped with cheese. These delicious savory treats make a popular breakfast in Bogota but they can also make a quick lunch or dinner if they are split to make delicious sandwiches.

Espetinho

Where?

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Espetinhos are sold all over Rio de Janeiro but in other Brazilian cities as well. Espetinho means little skewer in Portuguese and in Rio you will find a variety of espeninhos you can choose from – beef and chicken are the most common and popular ones, but you can find these skewers made with sausages, fish, shrimp hot dogs and even queijo coalho, a firm Brazilian cheese that doesn’t melt on the grill. Espetinho is usually spiced with hot sauce and sprinkled with farinha, a crunchy flour Brazilians love to enjoy on their meat.

Gelato

Where?

Italy

Gelato is the famous Italian ice-cream you cannot say no to if you visit Italy. This soft and less fatty ice-cream comes in a variety of flavors and it is sold everywhere in Italy, in restaurants, in cafes but also at street stalls. The most popular and loved flavors of gelato are pistachio and stracciatella. When taking an evening walk in Italy, you have to enjoy a gelato while wandering on the streets. If you visit Rome, you will find gelato carts everywhere but you have to pay attention to the price since Rome is a city full of tourists all year round and the vendors tend to have a much higher price than vendors in other cities.

Poutine

Image source: (WT-shared) Jpatokal at wts wikivoyage  via Wikimedia Commons

Where?

Quebec, Canada

The Eastern province of Canada, Quebec, is the place where Poutine was born. This filling street food consists of French fries smothered in cheese curds and topped with salty brown gravy.

Poutine can be found in other parts of Canada and also in some places in northern USA, but, as we always say, it is best to try the original, so if you find yourself anywhere in Quebec, make sure you order poutine from the roadside eateries you will find in the province.

Currywurst & Pretzels

Where?

Berlin, Germany

Currywurst

Currywurst is a popular staple of German cuisine even though it has not been around for long like other traditional German foods. Currywurst is most popular on the streets of Berlin and Hamburg even though it is also consumed in other parts of the country. The hearty pork sausage is firstly steamed then fried, seasoned with curry ketchup and typically served with French fries and/or bread.

Pretzels

German pretzels are another street food staple you can enjoy in Germany, particularly in Berlin. These pretzels have a distinct flavor, a perfect golden crust and a soft a chewy inside and they make a great quick snack for those who love to get lost on the streets of Berlin while discovering the city.

Bubble Tea

Image source: (WT-shared) Jpatokal at wts wikivoyage via Wikimedia Commons

Where?

Taiwan

Ok, we know bubble tea is not food but if you visit Taiwan, you have to try it there! It doesn’t matter if you tried bubble tea before, the bubble tea you will buy in Taiwan from street vendors is different and better than the bubble tea you will find in other parts of the world. Nowadays, bubble tea goes beyond the classic milky tea flavor and can be found with fruity flavors, mainly mango or passion fruit. The bubbles are addictive even though they may seem strange at the beginning if you never had bubble tea before.

Hot Dogs

Image source: Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur

Where?

Reykjavik, Iceland

If you thought we are going to talk about the famous hot dogs of the USA, think again! Not that we don’t love USA’s hot dogs, we do, but the ones you will find in Reykjavik are kind of special. Traditionally, hot dogs are served with mustard and ketchup, but in Iceland hot dogs are served with more than these two toppings! Icelanders love remoulade on their hot dogs alongside the two classic toppings and they also love to add fresh white onions and/or crispy fried onions. Another interesting fact about Icelandic hot dogs is that they are mostly made of lamb. The taste is different but delicious nonetheless.

You will find numerous restaurants where you can try traditional dishes, but if you visit Reykjavik, you have to stop at Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur and order the Iceland style hot dogs we talked about! Oh, we did not mention that Bill Clinton really loves these hot dogs, did we?

Pierogi

Where?

Krakow, Poland

Pierogi are the Central and Eastern European version of filled dumplings however, the ones you will find at the street stalls of Krakow are the best ones. Krakow is also the city that has a festival dedicated to pierogi so you can imagine that the people of Krakow and Poland really love their dumplings. The pierogi are usually made with a simple dough filled with meat, cheese or potatoes that are boiled first and fried in butter afterwards.  

Uzbek Palov

Where?

Uzbekistan

Also known as pilaf, Uzbek palov is a dish in which the rice is cooked in a broth seasoned with various spices that also contains meat and veggies, usually onions and carrots. Uzbek palov can also contain raisins and chickpeas and it is served on a large plate so you can share it with your friends or family. Since Uzbek Palov is the national dish of Uzbekistan, you will be able to find it everywhere in the country in restaurants, in rural areas or sold by street vendors.

Halo-Halo

Image source: dbgg1979 via Flickr

Where?

Philippines

In English, halo-halo is mix-mix and this is exactly what this sundae is. The main ingredients of halo-halo are evaporated milk and shaved ice. Besides these two ingredients, halo-halo can contain literally everything. You can find halo-halo with garbanzo beans, sugar palm fruit, boiled kidney beans, tapioca, caramelized plantains, crushed rice, sweet potatoes and numerous other fruits. It seems too much for a single dessert, but somehow halo-halo is great for Philippines’ hot days when you need something cold but also sweet to keep you going.

Bunny Chow

Image source: EricEnfermero via Wikimedia Commons

Where?

Durban, South Africa

Before you panic and skip this section, we have to mention that bunny chow doesn’t contain rabbit meat! Now that you calmed down, we can tell you a little bit about this dish. Originated in India, bunny chow ended up being a very popular street food snack in Durban and it consists of a half loaf of bread (with the inside scooped out) filled with various types of thick curries. Mutton and chicken are the most common meats you can find in the spicy curry, but beef and pork curies are also an option in Durban.

Fish & Chips

Where?

England

England without fish and chips is not England so you have to try this dish that is as popular in restaurants as it is on the streets. The fish is usually white fish that is battered then fried and the fries are crispy and perfect. You can enjoy this traditional dish with tartare sauce or lemon juice on top.

Lobster Rolls

Where?

East Coast of the United States

Lobster rolls are a very popular street food on the East Coast of the USA. The simple but delicious sandwich is made with fresh lobster soaked in butter, topped or mixed with mayonnaise and served on a steamed hot dog bun or a similar roll. Besides this classic version of lobster roll, you will find street vendors that serve a different, more modern and spicy variation that includes lettuce, celery, cayenne pepper and lemon juice.

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Price Guide:$ (What's this?) N/A = home cooked meal,etc
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$$$ = fine dining,etc

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