15 Cities with the Best Street Food in the World
Team Out of Town Hub (www.outoftownblog.com) – When traveling abroad, people usually get excited about two things: tourist spots and food. For people who travel by taste, the food’s definitely the make or break of a particular country. Those with money to spend may prefer to dine in fancy diners, buffets, or award-winning restaurants, but street food is the way to go for budget travelers and adventurous foodies. It’s oftentimes the best place to try authentic dishes too!
Planning to travel soon? Let this list guide you in finding the best street foods in the world!
Frequent flyers would know that Osaka is one of the best street food destinations there is in Asia. Be it their sushi, ramen, soba, curry, or even convenience store snacks — they never fail to offer anything less than stellar when it comes to food. In Tokyo, plenty of street food will entice you and your palate due to the variety of flavors you’ll want to try.
Must try: okonomiyaki and yakitori. Okonomiyaki is a Japanese pancake made with noodles, seafood or pork, egg, and cabbage. It’s savory and slightly sweet when drizzled with a special sauce and finished with nori flakes on top. It’s best eaten fresh off the stove to ensure the flavors are tightly packed. Meanwhile, yakitori is a Japanese version of skewers, often paired with liquor. Yakitori is often made of grilled pork or chicken over charcoal.
The colorful city of Marrakesh is made vibrant not only by its picturesque views but also because of its food. When traveling to Marrakesh, one shouldn’t miss trying out their roadside food and eating like a local. Locals almost always recommend trying out hidden dining spots on tours, where you’ll find unique dishes you haven’t tried before.
Must try: sfenj and harira. Sfenj is Morocco’s version of doughnuts. This doughnut is crispy on the outside and chewy inside that is sticky and unsweetened. You can add a jam or pair it with a fried egg if you want. Harira is a must-try Moroccan food that you’ll also find along the streets. It’s a soup made with chickpeas, lentils, and tomatoes. It’s usually eaten during Ramadan, but it’s a staple dish you’ll find all year round.
Fine dining in France is always a good idea, but casual dining along the streets of Paris might just be a better idea. When in the city of love, a favorite destination of all travelers worldwide, you should try and taste the delicacies made by their very own Parisian chefs. Gourmet tours are available, so take advantage of that the next time you visit Paris!
Must-try: baguettes and croissants. These no-fuss pastries are made of simple ingredients, but the moment you taste them, you’d surely want more. Baguette, a classic Parisian pastry, is made only with flour, salt, yeast, and water, but it magically turns into a buttery, crusty on the outside, chewy on the inside kind of bread. Another pastry you shouldn’t miss while in Paris is a croissant, a flaky, airy kind of bread that can be eaten with or without a creamy filling.
Indians love street food, which says a lot about their country’s food culture. Almost everything in Indian cuisine is flavorsome and delicious, making you curious about how their street food tastes. The best thing about it? It’s inexpensive, yet the quality is superb.
Must try: vada pav and kebabs. Vada pav is the street food that most vegetarians love. It’s a potato sandwich made with coconut and spicy chutneys that fit into a bun. It’s a very filling snack, perfect for those who like spicy food. Kebabs have always been a favorite Indian dish, but if you’re in Mumbai, you must try an authentic one, a juicy, meaty, skewered meat spiced with heavenly flavors!
Seoul, South Korea
Apart from KPop, there’s just so much to love about Korean culture–one of them is their street food. You may have seen it on mukbangs, but there’s nothing better than when you try it on the ground–when it’s freshly cooked and you take that first bite. Myeongdong in Seoul is popularly known for being a street food hub come nighttime when people who have just finished shopping find something to eat.
Must try: tteokbokki and odeng. Tteokbokki is a stir-fried rice cake cut in small, bitesize pieces and smothered in spicy chili sauce. It’s chewy and tasty, perfect for those who love spicy food. Another must-try is odeng, which is literally fishcakes in a skewer. It’s usually served in fishcake broth, which makes it more delicious.
Singapore’s best known for its hawker centers. These are food courts with various food stalls offering various authentic Singaporean dishes. To tell you how good it is, it’s where you can find the cheapest Michelin-starred meal! The food scene in Singapore is just worth traveling for, and with good reason.
Must try: Chicken rice and laksa. Though it looks like a regular chicken dish, once you taste the renowned Hainanese chicken rice, you’d surely want another serving of it. Aside from the main star that is Hainan chicken, you’d love how the rice is just as tasty as it is usually cooked with chicken stock. Make it more flavorful with three sauces: chili sauce, ginger sauce, and sweet black soy sauce, and you’ll want the dish for your every meal. Another must-try is laksa, a spicy-coconut-based noodle soup usually topped with shrimp, fish cake, and other spices that add more flavor.
For sure, tacos would be on your list when trying out Mexican street food, but to tell you honestly, there’s so much more than that. Don’t miss your chance to try their not-so-familiar street food that might actually surprise you with its flavor-packed goodness!
Must try: tlayudas and memelas. Tlayudas is like a pizza, traditionally made with tortilla, meats, cheese, and lettuce, and are folded like a quesadilla. Memelas are made with a thick tortilla with pork lard, refried beans, cheese, potatoes, and chorizo. This corn-based snack is truly a must-try in Oaxaca.
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
A trip to Saigon is never unforgettable, thanks to its vast and colorful food culture. Cravings are surely satisfied when traveling in Vietnam, where you can enjoy many flavorful street foods you might have never tried before. In Ho Chi Minh, you can also find street food tours that’ll take you to the best places to taste authentic Vietnamese street food!
Must try: banh mi and pho. Banh mi is a sandwich made of roast pork, pork or chicken pate, pickled carrots, cucumber, cilantro, green onion, chili, mayo, and baguette. It seems pretty easy to make, but the flavors differ with the kind of meat used. Pho is a staple noodle dish in Vietnam made of beef bones, onions, ginger, star anise, pho broth, spices, and fresh herbs– a perfect dish for a rainy day.
You’ll never run out of options to score some street food at any time of the day in Istanbul. Eateries usually have a few street foods on their menu that you can eat with your hands, perfect for a snack if you’re on the go. Turkish street food has always been a favorite among travelers, and we know exactly why.
Must try: doner kebab and dondurma. There are different types of kebab, but doner kebab is your must-try in Turkey. They have chicken, lamb, or beef meat mixed with various spices that add a kick to its flavor, wrapped in flatbread that is topped with fresh tomato slices, lettuce, and onion, and drizzled with special sauce. Meanwhile, dondurma is Turkey’s version of ice cream, usually made with goat’s milk. It’s stretchy, a unique but flavorful answer to the ordinary ice cream we see in stores.
Exotic is the name of the game in Manila’s street food scene. Not only is it odd and cheap, but street food in Manila is also as good as it can get when it comes to taste. You’ll find street food anywhere in the neighborhood, and it’s best eaten from the afternoon till midnight.
Must try: isaw and halo-halo. Isaw is pork or chicken intestine grilled over charcoal. Though it may seem strange, isaw is a local favorite, and other ihaw-ihaw, such as pork barbecue, chicken feet, or grilled pork blood. It’s smothered with barbecue sauce and best dipped in spicy vinegar. Meanwhile, halo-halo is a shaved ice dessert made with sweet beans, fruits, condensed milk, Leche flan, and jellies, best eaten during the scorching summer heat.
Night markets are very popular in Taiwan. That being said, you can’t go to night markets without ever trying their famed street foods. There’s just so much to choose from, so foodies will surely enjoy the selection of food there in Taipei. Not to mention, they’ve got a few odd yet delicious ones!
Must try: chicken cutlet and stinky tofu. When we say chicken cutlet, it’s not the typical cutlet you see everywhere–did you know they have XXL versions of it in Taipei? It’s huge, crispy, and yummy that’ll satisfy your tummy. Don’t be weird out by the name–stinky tofu–is one of the tastiest things you’ll try in Taiwan. This fermented tofu may be eaten fried, steamed, or stewed.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Aside from shopping, there are so many things to do in Dubai–and one of them is going for a gastronomic adventure. If you’re the type to avoid high-end restaurants, you’ll love Dubai for its street food too!
Must try: falafel and cheese vada pav. You can’t miss falafel when in the Emirates. Try falafel, a crispy fritter made with chickpeas, beans, herbs, and spices, which makes for a flavorful snack drizzled with a sauce that creates that tasty bite. Cheese lovers would drool over once they get a taste of cheese vada pav, a savory dish made of potatoes, cheese, herbs, and spices, and best enjoyed with green chutney.
When in Rome, do as the Romans do, which means you’ve gotta eat street food a la local. In Rome, you’ll find several street food spots, suitable for those who are always on the go and would like some snacks you can easily munch on!
Must try: suppli and pizza al trancio. Asking for a local favorite would lead you to a suppli answer: a fried rice ball with meat sauce coated in breadcrumbs oozing with mozzarella on the inside. Of course, pizza would be on the must-tries, cut into triangles or squares, and cooked in a woodfire oven.
Australia has a knack for food, and it can be seen with many bars, restaurants, cafes, and street food hubs in every town. If fine dining isn’t your cup of tea, Sydney‘s street food scene might interest you. Authentic street food is your go-to destination to fill up those hungry stomachs.
Must try: barbecue and pigs in a blanket. Barbecues are a favorite in Australia, especially if they’re high-quality and juicy meat smoked to perfection. It’s also a popular summer food best paired with liquor. This cutely named pigs and blanket is literally pork sausage wrapped in pastry. Dip it into their flavorsome sauces, then you’ll have a hearty appetizer to love.
Malaysians immensely enjoy their hawkers. Who wouldn’t? With a feast of flavors like that, you’d want to spend your trip most of the time in these food markets! Penang isn’t called the Food Paradise of Asia for nothing–they’re always one of the top street food cities in the world!
Must try: nasi lemak and oyster omelet. Nasi lemak is coconut rice with anchovies, peanuts, tomato, spices, and eggs. They’re a favorite meal not just because it’s delicious but because the fragrance and creaminess of the coconut and pandan add to its deliciousness. On the other hand, Oyster omelets are fried eggs and oysters that are crispy on the outside and chewy inside, a simple snack that bursts with flavors.
Have you tried any of the street foods mentioned on the list? What was your favorite? Share it with us in the comment section below!
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