THE WORLD’S BEST STREET FOOD IN 29 AMAZING CITIES

Where do you find the world’s best street food? Wherever people love to eat that’s where. Some cities satisfy a foodies cravings better than others.  Here are 29 cities where food is taken very seriously as reported by travelers that love to experience a city through its food.

Best street food in Asia

INDORE, INDIA

Indore, situated on the breezy Malwa Plateau, boasts of phenomenally rich food culture mainly because it’s been a melting pot of different cultures for centuries. The apex of this cultural mix is seen at the Sarafa Bazaar, India’s biggest and only Night Food Street.  By day the market is actually a centuries old jewelry market. But at 8pm it turns into a glorious night market going till 2AM.

Food vendors begin converging to Sarafa bazaar around 8 PM bringing with them the rich food heritage of central India.  The menu represents every Indian food genre. You name it and certainly you’ll find it. Many menu selections have been invented by the vendors; Bhutte (Corn) Ka kiss, Garadu (Yam root) Chaat, King Size Jalebi fondly known as Jaleba, Basundi, Milk based Shikanji, Alu (Potato) Pattis and many more. Some items have achieved iconic status like Sabudana Ki Khichdi and Dahi Wada which are now must try food items.

Anyone who has ever been to Indore will definitely agree that Indore is the street food capital of India and worthy of holding the title of the world’s best street food.

gulab jamun is world's best street food

Indore, in central India is a foodie’s paradise

Himanshu blogs at Everything Candid

*****

TAIWAN

Taiwan is the land of the night market and wants to be the center of the world’s best street food. What that means for travelers is cheap, delicious street food always within reach! You better go hungry to the Taiwanese Night Markets because you are going to want to try everything. Must try foods include green onion pancakes (flaky and chewy), barbecued corn (sweet and spicy), fish ball soup, fried quail eggs and, fried squid (think calamari, but loaded with onion and garlic). Taiwan is also home to some of the best fruit in the world, and they love to mix fruit juice and milk. Try the watermelon juice, papaya milk, and of course, bubble milk tea. My personal favorite is the lemon aiyu drink, which is sweetened lemon juice mixed with herb jelly.

This list doesn’t even scratch the surface of the delicious and unusual foods you will see at even the smallest Taiwanese night market (chicken feet, duck heads, and pig bladder.) If you want to be adventurous without too much gross factor, try the stinky tofu! Stinky tofu is legendary in Taiwan, and you will definitely be sure when you come across a street vendor selling it. It’s got a very distinct odor, but the taste itself actually isn’t that bad. Don’t leave Taiwan without trying it. Isn’t the whole point of going there to have an adventure? This is it.

world's best street food in Taiwan

Taipei’s night markets are legendary

Credit: Cody Biggers

*****

BALI, INDONESIA

If you love street food, you absolutely must visit Bali. The food is generally very clean and safe because the demand for it is high and vendors sell a large volume of it. You can taste it everywhere in random kitchen carts on wheels, which they set up as the sun sets or in Warungs which are small Indonesian traditional restaurants or so-called tiny shops. You will be served amazing traditional Indonesian food in a very simple setting.

Most of Warungs are made of wood along the road and have a couple of plastic chairs and a table to accommodate you. Most of the dishes in these places are cooked according to a unique traditional recipe and it’s not unusual for people to travel across the island just to eat a dish that a specific warung is famous for. My personal favorites are traditional chicken sticks with sweet / nuts sauce, fried rice “Nasi Goreng” or “Bakso” soup which you can get from the guy who drives with little “kitchen” on the bike. Just wave at him, find a spot to sit (can be just on the street) and enjoy some of the world’s best street food.

world's best street food Bakso soup in Bali

Bakso soup, delicious and satisfying

Viktor Vincej blogs at Traveling Lifestyle

*****

CHIANG MAI, THAILAND

I think many who have tried it would agree that Chiang Mai, Thailand has got to be on the top of the list when it comes to world’s best street food. It’s almost impossible to have bad food whether you are at one of the massive night markets or just the regular ole stand-alone stall on the corner of your guesthouse ‘Soi’. The street food in this city is typically made with fresh ingredients bought at the market earlier in the day and usually prepared when you order it, so it’s bound to be full of flavor! The key is to stop by a stall where you see a lot of people (especially local Thais) and you can’t go wrong. While Pad Thai and Pork Satay are well known foods to order at Thai street stalls, we recommend trying fried pork with garlic and pepper (Moo Todd Kratiem Phrik) or a spicy basil and chicken (Pad Krapow Gai). These two dishes were our favorite at the North Gate Food stalls. A huge variety of meals, including seafood or vegetarian dishes can be found there! The food is not only tasty, but super economical. You can experience fantastic food with quality ingredients even on a budget!

word's best street food in Changmai, Thailand

Classic garlic and pepper supreme

Taiss Nowrouzi blogs at Together To Wherever

*****

AHMEDABAD, INDIA

After Taj Mahal, the second world wonder India has is undeniably its street food. Ahmedabad, the capital city of Gujarat, also offers a wide variety of the world’s best street food. If you are here, you must check-in at Municipal Market, famously known as MM. This market is a buzzing food square offering culinary masterpieces coming from the perfect fusion of traditional Gujarati kitchens with modern day frills.

Gujarati’s love processed cheese affordably available as Amul cheese and embellish almost all their delicacies with layers of this cheese. Go ultra-spicy with the showstopper, the Swastik Ragda Patties stall. This dish is a two part preparation, ragda and patties served together with some mint and tamarind chutney (Sauce). The peas are mashed and fried with onions, spices and tomatoes to make a curry which is the ragda and the patties are made from boiled mashed potatoes. Once your eyes start watering with the spice level of ragda, calm your senses with some thick shakes, slushes or softies from Cheers Ice cream Parlour.

world's best street food ragda patties

Ragda Patties burst with flavor

Mokshta Chauhan (Ms) blogs at Miss with Migratory Wings

*****

PENANG, MALAYSIA

Malaysia is one of the great street food destinations with its melting pot of Malay, Chinese and Indian cuisines on offer at street markets and hawker stands around the country. This is a country that is so serious about food that many people visit different cities just to eat. And top of the list has to be the island of Penang, located off the coast north of Kuala Lumpur.

As you might expect from an island, the seafood here is first rate. While Char Koay Teow, a stir-fried noodle dish with a rich and garlicky sauce, may be served elsewhere with just slices of chicken, here in Penang you should expect that it’s served with prawns and topped with small and flavoursome cockles. You also can’t miss out on Penang Assam Laksa. Laksas are generally a coconut mild-based soup famous throughout Malaysia. But here in Penang, instead it’s a fish broth-based soup, turned sour with copious amounts of tamarind or “assam”, which gives the soup it’s name.

If you still have room for dessert, don’t miss out on trying Ice Kacang or Cendol, or, if you can get past the smell, try durian, either fresh, in ice cream or with coffee.

Photo copyright: Pandora Voon, used under Creative Commons license

world's best street food

Penang Assam Laksa is unique

Shandos Cleaver blogs at Travelnuity

*****

BANGKOK, THAILAND

Bangkok was the first Asian city I visited, and the first city where I tried Southeast Asian street food. It remains one of my favourite cities for street food for several reasons, not least for the sheer variety. This is one city that could grab the title as the world’s best street food.

Almost every corner of the city has something delicious going on, and you can visit a different street food hub every single night of your trip. There’s Chinatown, Victory Monument, Ratchawat Market, Bang Khun Non, and countless other places dotted throughout the city. Each has its own vibe, and its own set of hawkers selling different delicious dishes.

Bangkok is a fantastic place to try some of Thailand’s most popular dishes including Tom Yum Goong, Tom Kha Gai, Geang Keow Wan Gai, and Massaman Gai, as well as regional dishes like Sai Ooah, Gaeng Hanglay, and Gaeng Om. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also seek out some very unusual dishes that are only for the brave-hearted like Balut (fertalised duck egg), Goong Ten (dancing shrimp), and Malang Tod (fried insects).

Then there’s dessert: khao niew ma muang or mango sticky rice, which has to be one of the best desserts in the word.

world's best street food in Bangkok

Fresh mango treats, yummy

James blogs at Worldwide Shopping  Guide

*****

COLOMBO, SRI LANKA

My first trip to Sri Lanka was a budget one, so street food was not only a way to experience the country’s cuisine, but essential for my survival. During the first half a year on the island, my breakfast, lunch, and dinner all came from small shops by the road where you can find anything from rice and curry to snacks. Snacks, or as Sri Lankans call them, short eats, are particularly popular. You’ll find every pastry imaginable in a roadside shop: from buns and patties to rolls and cutlets with fillings like chicken, fish, vegetables and egg. One pastry will set you back 50-100 rupees (30 – 60 cents), which makes it easy to go overboard. Most of the snacks are deep fried, so pace yourself if you care about your waistline.

My favorite street food, though, is not a snack, but a heavy dish full of carbs and fats called kottu. When you walk the streets of Colombo it’s easy to find where kottu is being made by the sound of cooking. Kottu is made of godhamba roti (similar to large thin crepes). Roti is cut into small pieces and then mixed with meats, vegetables and spices on a grill. The cook uses two blades to chop all the ingredients and mix them together right on the grill. The sound of blades hitting the grill is what makes kottu so recognizable. If you are looking for a particularly sinful experience, ask the cook to add cheese!

world's best street food in Sri Lanka

Mouthwatering pillawoos in Sri Lanka.

Yulia Dyukova blogs at The Foodie Miles

*****

TOKYO, JAPAN

One doesn’t usually think of Tokyo as a place to indulge in street food, but it should be. Tokyo is made up of unique neighborhoods, or districts, and each of these small areas have their own special events, museums, and yes, street food. Walking around the busy and somewhat touristy district of Akasuka, there is an entire area devoted to food. We were there one crisp January day, and the cold did not stop anyone from indulging in tasty treats that are most often found in festivals. We ate tempura, takoyaki (octopus balls), yakisoba, and then topped it off with colorful sweet bananas for dessert. Our entire meal cost each of us less than $10. What a cheap way to enjoy some delicious Japanese foods, so next time you visit Tokyo pull up a plastic stool and dig in.

world's best street food in Tokyo

Delicious creations in Tokyo

Corinne and Jim blog at Reflections En Route

*****

SAIGON, VIETNAM

Saigon is the street food capital of Vietnam and a strong contender for the title of the world’s best street food.  Every alleyway, street corner and market is lined with soup stalls and sandwich carts. Pork is grilled on sidewalk barbecue grills, and vendors on bicycle are sell dried jelly fish and other snacks.

Vietnamese cuisine lends itself perfectly to casual eating on the go. The most famous dishes are probably Vietnam’s soups, which seem to often combine a hundred different ingredients all brought together into one perfect layered taste. Pho Bo Kho is one of the heartiest and filling soups Saigon has on offer, with large chunks of slow simmered beef in a dark broth with carrots and onions. It’s usually served with the diner’s choice of rice noodles or a crispy baguette on the side.

For those in a rush – Saigon is a bustling city where everything is constantly moving – Banh Mi sandwiches layered with things like grilled pork, paté, crispy pork skin and lots of herbs and pickled vegetables make a perfect on the go snack.

District 1 is probably the most popular area for travelers to discover street food, but it can be found all over Saigon.

world's best street food in Saigon

Saigon pho is the best pho by phar

Edwina Dendler blogs at the Traveling German

*****

BEIJING, CHINA

On aspect of Beijing’s street food can be shocking for a first-time Western visitor. On the menu? …scorpions, pig penis, big fat water bugs and centipedes to mention just a few common delicacies. Here is a country where everything is maximized in the name of food; fish scales, rodents, amphibians, insects. The speculation is that a country that suffered so many devastating famines over the years has trained its pallet to consume anything that is even remotely edible. There is truth to that. Insects are loaded with protein. The reason Westerners don’t eat them is because of cultural perceptions that designate the insects as “gross.” Humans can adapt to anything.

Beyond the unusual selections, Beijing has some of the best street snacks. The city offers up its own version of dumplings made with pork, scallions and special seasonings. But the secret ingredient is in the special sauce.

World's best street food in Beijing

Scorpions and starfish and bugs, oh, my!

Talek Nantes blogs at Travels with Talek

*****

ISTANBUL, TURKEY

Mornings in Istanbul begin with a hot tea and freshly baked Simit (sesame rings). Imagine walking down the busy streets of this Turkish metropolis, zig-zagging yourself through the vast number of cute simit wagons that, day by day, roll down the alleys of Istanbul in order to find their designated spot. Doesn’t that sound appealing? And then imagine yourself walking closer to the Bosporus, where ferries cruise along, up and down the river. You’ll hop on, get another tea and simply watch this bustling city begin the day. Istanbul is a true mecca for food lovers. Whether it’s the pastries they sell in the streets, Balik ekmek, which is freshly grilled fish in a bun, gözleme, filled dough pastries with spinach, feta cheese or lamb for example, or whether it’s a pressed orange juice – you’ll never run out of street food options when spending a holiday in Istanbul. Make sure to get strong coffee once in a while and don’t forget to snack on lahmacun (thin dough topped with a minced meat-onion-red pepper mix) or get yourself some fresh midye dolma (mussels mixed with spicy rice and served with a squeeze of lemon juice). Don’t worry, Istanbul’s street food will definitely not leave you hungry.

World's best street food Istanbul

Is this what they mean by “Turkish Delights!”

Clemens Sehi blogs at Travellers Archive

*****

MANILA, PHILIPPINES

The Philippines is certainly a strong contender for the best street foods out there. On every corner of Manila Filipino street food will always be included the menu of the day. One favourite of most Filipinos and probably the most popular one is the Balut (or Balot, a developing embryo usually of a duck) is boiled and eaten from its shell. Another choice is Isaw (my personal favourite), a grilled intestine of chicken, dipped into a bowl of savoury vinegar sauce. Another delight is the Betamax or grilled chicken blood.

There also are fruits in this street food category such as the Banana Que, a banana on a stick fried together with brown sugar. Turon, a banana wrapped in a lumpia wrapper with caramelized sugar. Camote Que, similar to Banana Que but using sweet potatoes. And Binatog, made of steamed white cork kernels with milk and shredded coconut is sure to delight.

World's best street food in Mamila

Roasted goodness on a stick

Jerny Destacamento blogs at The Jerny

*****

CHENGDU, CHINA

When it comes to street food, Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province, is in a class by itself. It is a city with an eating obsession. Chengdu is reported to have the highest density of restaurants of any city in the world. As if that’s not enough, the food spills out into the streets creating some of the most interesting and delicious street food experiences around. The variety is stunning. Street markets are everywhere overflowing with fruit and pastries. There are towers of steamed buns, noodles and the famous dumplings unique to Chengdu. Unusual samplings also abound; rabbit heads, snake skewers, pig jowls… the selections are endless.

Sichuan style cuisine developed in the early Qing Dynasty. During that time, many immigrates came to Sichuan. The different food cultures from he various groups came together and formed modern Sichuan cuisine. Combining the Hunan and Canton cooking methods, Sichuan cuisine has gradually become one of the top cuisines in China today. It is for good reason that UNESCO designated Chengdu the first City of Gastronomy in Asia in 2010. And that’s even with world-class competitors like Tokyo, Hong Kong and Singapore!

Ask a Chinese where to find the best street food in China and he will probably answer, Chengdu! Some would argue it has the world’s best street food.

World's best street food in Chengdu

Great selection in the capital of Chinese street food

Talek Nantes blogs at Travels with Talek

 

Now lets discover the world’s best street food outside Asia. Cities and their offerings that have made an impact recently include Cologne street food, street food in London and, of course, the best street food in iconic New York City.

Other perennial favorites include street food in New Orleans street food. Tasty offerings in up and coming cities with a great foodie scene include Portland, Oregon and Reykjevic, the capital of Iceland.

Best street food cities outside Asia

BOROUGH MARKET, LONDON, UK

The most popular food market in London. It is definitely a must go when in London if you are looking for the best street food. Located near the London Bridge Station, there are many varieties of food from fresh produce to ready-to-eat meals.

One of the recommended stalls which we fell in love with is Richard Haward Oysters. They are 7th generation oystermen. It was our first try at oysters, as we do not usually eat oysters back in Singapore. This was recommended by our friends. They are located in Borough Market, facing the street. It will be difficult to miss.

Choose from the mid to big size oyster, the big ones can grow as big as your palm! They will shuck the raw oysters in front of you, place on the plates and serve immediately. At the sides, there are condiments and lemon slices to go along.

Our first time having oysters and definitely recommended to try this out if you are at Borough Market.

Oyster price starts from £0.90 each to £2.20 each, closed on Sunday and Monday.

best street food

Stay calm and eat oysters sayeth London’s Borough market

Donovan blogs at Travel Voila

*****

DRESDEN, GERMANY

The city of Dresden was part of the former East Germany and the street food is similar to that found in nearby Berlin. Some of the food on offer includes Bratwurst, Doner Kebabs and Quarkballchen for those with a sweet tooth. Currywurst, however, reigns supreme when it comes to the best street food here.

There are a number of hole-in-the-wall places serving the saucy sausage combination and at every festival and event in the city, you will find a food truck selling currywurst. Currywurst is a grilled bratwurst served with a slightly sweet curry sauce; at some shops, you even get to choose how spicy you want it from kindergartener mild to knock your lederhosen off spicy. If you want to eat like a local, this is what to choose.

world's best street food

A blend of Asia and Europe come together Dresden

Kaylie Lewell blogs at Happiness Travels Here

*****

REYKJAVIK, ICELAND

There is a little hot dog stand near the harbor of Reykjavik, the pretty and friendly capital of Iceland. The name of the hot dog stand is Baejarins Betsu Pylsur, which translates into “the best hot dogs in the world.” Bill Clinton, a former U.S. president, and fast food aficionado sampled a hot dog there and is said to have loved it. As if that were not sufficient validation, Anthony Bourdain, the foodie celebrity, visited the stand and declared the hot dog “delicious.” That did it! Since that endorsement, there has been a line stretching out in front of the stand almost continuously. It is said that the secret ingredient that makes the hot dog so mouthwateringly delicious is a bit of ground lamb added to the recipe.

Reykjavik is more than just mere hot dogs, albeit amazing ones. The city is rapidly gaining a reputation as a foodie destination and a place to get the best street food.

 

best street food

Are these the world’s best hot dogs?

Talek Nantes blogs at Travels with Talek

*****

HELSINKI, FINLAND

Could this be the ultimate best street food experience in Europe? So far, I cannot think of many competitors.

Restaurant day was invented in Finland and the idea came about because many people were frustrated with the bureaucracy of the restaurant industry. Now, on special days, everyone can open his own restaurant. After initial success in Finland, Restaurant Days became popular worldwide. According to visitfinland, there are 88,000 individuals selling in 22,000 pop-up-restaurants globally.

In Helsinki, four times a year, people go out to the streets, put up their tents, cook and sell food. You can try dishes from all over the world. You cannot recognize the streets, which are normally half-empty.

While most of the restaurants are on the central walking street- Esplanadi, there are other ones scattered around the city.

world's best street food in Helsinki

Restaurant week in Helsinki is a foodies dream

Alexander Popkov blogs at Engineer on Tour

*****

COLOGNE, GERMANY

When people think of Germany and the best street food, the first thing that comes to mind is probably sausages. But the street food scene in the exciting city of Cologne is so much more diverse than that. The international nature of the city is reflected in the best street food scene that can be found every Thursday evening on the Rudolfplatz at Meet and Eat or in the monthly Street Food Festival at the Helios.

With a vibrant Turkish community, doner is a must try street food in Cologne and nothing like an English high street on a Saturday night. Being a country famous for its meat there is always an amazing selection of burgers (Buns and Sons are a huge favourite), steak sandwiches (Die Foodpiraten) and of course Bratwurst (Wurst Case Scenario).

There’s great food from all over the world. You name a country and you can probably get their local dishes somewhere in Cologne. My favourites are the Vietnamese Sandwiches from Banh Mi Brothers, Cornish Pasties from the Tasty Pasty Company and Falafels from Dinkelmann’s. Fans of desserts should really check out the deep fried stuff from Die Kleine Munchkin. The only problem I have it that there’s so much good street food it’s impossible to choose.

Best street food in Cologne

Wurst case scenario, it’ll still be delicious

John Franklin blogs at From Real People

*****

PEMBROKESHIRE, WALES

In Wales, go to the right places and there are mobile feasts to be had. Wales excels at quality produce, lamb, beef, lobster, shellfish and characteristic Welsh specialties such as seaweed (we call it lava) caul (soup) Welsh cakes and bara brith (tea cake).

A favourite street food feast of ours can be found right on the beach in Pembrokeshire. A now-famous food van serves up fresh Welsh lobster along with quality burgers and bacon dressed with lava enriched ” black butter.” The owner of the van collects lava from the beach daily. A must-eat in south Wales.

best street food in Wales

One of the most underrated foodie spots.

Alyson Long blogs at World Travel Family

*****

KAMPALA, UGANDA

Uganda is a lot more than some gorillas in a forest. The capital city Kampala has a great street food scene as it’s the only way locals eat out. Restaurants in Africa are reserved for the rich, expats, and non-profit workers. So, the vast majority of locals are served up food street side. The national street dish of choice is called a “Rolex.” It’s an omelette with any mixture of ingredients, the most popular potatoes, rolled in a chapati with chili sauce.

It’s cheap, filling and delicious. You can also find staple foods such as grilled maize, BBQ chicken, Mandazi, and Sumbusas (samosas). Then you always have Muchomo, grilled meat on a stick typically goat, beef, or pork. It can found everywhere in Africa but goes by different names.

Best street food in Kampala

Innovative and delicious street food

Natasha & Cameron blog at The World Pursuit

*****

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA, USA

New Orleans, Louisiana is hands down one of the best foodie spots in the Southeast USA! The Cajun, French, and Creole blend of flavors allow for decadent cuisine to be created. Some of our favorites include King Cake, Gumbo, and Beignets.

Originally, king cakes were a simple ring of dough with little decoration. Today, the ring is braided and baked before the “baby Jesus” is inserted. The “lucky” person who receives the slice of cake with the baby must buy the cake next year. King cakes can come stuffed with cream cheese or jams but I prefer a simple cinnamon one decorated in green, yellow, and purple colors of Mardi Gras!

Gumbo is my FAVORITE “soup”. The roux, or base, is a mix of fat and flour. Onion, celery and bell pepper are added and simmered. Lastly, the meats are added by seasons. Seafood is readily available in summer. Fall brings home venison or alligator meat, winter uses smoked Andouille sausage, and Spring is anything, but of course all veggie during Lent.

Lastly, beignets are a square piece of dough, fried and covered with powdered sugar. They are served in orders of three. These are the main reason we visit NOLA…so addicting!

There you have it! New Orleans is where you find the best street food in the Southeast USA!

best street food in NOLA

Land of jazz and great food. Let the good times roll in NOLA

Maegan White blogs at The Wanderlust Dietitian

*****

DALLAS, TEXAS

Dallas Food Trucks: A Taste of Americana
Food Trucks are a tradition dating back to the 1800s with roots to the chuckwagon. There is no better place to experience this beloved piece of Americana than in Dallas where there are nearly 200 food trucks dishing out delicious and diverse culinary delights on any given day.

What makes Dallas food trucks unique is the diversity of the city itself. People from around the globe call Dallas home, bringing with them their favorite recipes handed down from generations before. One of my favorite places to enjoy food truck flair is Klyde Warren Park next to the Dallas Museum of Art. The park hosts a variety of food trucks that range from wood-fired pizza, Greek specialties, authentic Peruvian meals, Maine lobster delicacies, flavorful vegan desserts and homemade Texas BBQ.

I love chowing down on Easy Slider’s Baby Bella sliders. Made from grown portabella, they layer it with a thick slice of warm mozzarella and fresh tomato drizzled with a tangy pesto sauce. Then they sandwich it between a mini-bun with a cherry tomato on top. It is a good thing they come in pairs, because you can’t eat just one.

Best street food in Dallas, Texas

Baby Bella sliders. Even the name sounds cool.

Donna Long blogs at Empty Nestopia

*****

PORTLAND, OREGON

Better known for its craft breweries, Portland, Oregon is also a street food paradise: more than 500 food carts offer a wide variety of world cuisines and fusions from downtown to the city’s farthest reaches, including the airport. Most carts are organized into pods, vacant lots that host a number of carts with amenities like bathrooms, picnic tables, even fireplaces. Several pods have become centers of neighborhood life, with an atmosphere of a town square.

It’s impossible to pick the best food cart in Portland aka Cartopia. First, they come and go like comets. The Moroccan cart we named as the most underrated food cart in Portland disappeared a few months later. Some food carts get so popular they turn into brick-and-mortar restaurants, some of which have become culinary destinations themselves, e.g. Guero or Lardo. The variety of food is huge: we’d wager you can find food from 100 countries (the only Mauritian food cart in the US is in downtown).

Portland Mercado, the Latin American cuisine pod in SE Portland, boasts many fantastic carts. QueBolá Chef Jose Perez’s ropa vieja and Cubano sandwich changed our minds about Cuban food. Best paired with tepache from the nearby Barrio bar. Here is a city that can really claim to have the best street food.

Best street food in Portland, Oregon

Portland is becoming a center of food truck gastronomy

Peter Korchnak blogs at Where Is Your Toothbrush?

*****

NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK

This multi-cultural city is a hub of immigration and provider of best street food. It is the gateway to the U.S. The place where immigrants pause, for a few days or a few generations, before moving on and assimilating into the rich fabric of the country. As such, you are likely to find the most varied street food imaginable; Colombian arepas, Thai satay, Indian dosas, Middle Eastern shawarma, Italian sausages…you name it, it is found in the multi-ethnic neighborhoods of the city the never sleeps and the city with the world’s best street food.

Despite this wealth of delicious choice, the general consensus is that the humble hot dog, itself a German immigrant, is the iconic street food of New York City. The best place to grab a New York City hot dog is from the street vendors that occupy strategic corners around the city’s tourist attractions. Complement the dog with sauerkraut, onions or mustard and be an honorary New Yorker, if only for a few bites.

best street food in New York City

Become an honorary New Yorker with hot dog bite

Talek Nantes blogs at Travels with Talek

*****

SAN IGNACIO, BELIZE

Quite possibly the second most unforgettably melt-in-your-mouth amazing street food I’ve ever had in 16 countries is a San Ignacio fry jack. The aroma drew me from two streets over. Heavily spiced beans and rice are mixed with diced peppers and onions and ruthlessly stuffed into a ball of dough kneaded over a clay fire. The crispy shell gets drenched in pickled cabbage and cotija, eaten like a pocket sandwich.

We arrived at the market with one goal – to find homemade tortillas. We left with bellies full and arms loaded with ripe papayas, spiced frijoles and candied coconut wrapped in wax paper. The tight stalls of San Ignacio’s open-air market spill out onto cobblestone streets, each with its own crowd of street vendors and farmers. You’re just as likely to find a “traditional” food cart here as you are a clay pot heaped with coals, over which marinated pork is sizzling for a taco.

This colorful rainforest town of San Ignacio is Belize’s very own melting pot, a thorough mixing of Spanish, German, Chinese, Mayan and Mennonite cultures. Such a rich migration history means travelers will find some of the most delicious and unexpected street food around.

best street food in San Ignacio, Belize

Who knew San Ignacio, Belize was a foodie city

Amy McFarland blogs at The Gypsy Mamas

*****

MERIDA, YUCATAN, MEXICO

Mexico is known for its world-famous cuisine, but did you know that the Yucatan region has its own distinct culinary history and some of the world’s best street food options. The capital city of Merida is where you will find some of the best street food, from salbutes (puffed deep-fried tortilla) stuffed with chicken, turkey or a local favourite, cochinita which is a traditional Mayan slow-roasted pork, papadzules and of course freshly made tortas. Our all-time favorite is ‘panuchos de lechon’. Panuchos are similar to salbutes but the tortilla is stuffed with refried black beans and the filling lechon is roasted suckling pig. The crispy skin of the pork and crunch of the fried panuchos make the perfect mouthful. It’s a messy meal…but worth it every time!

Merida also has it’s fair share of al pastor tacos where the meat is cooked on a trompos similar to those you’d see in kebab or shawarma shops, however here the meat is marinated with guajillo chiles and achiote, topped off with some pineapple for a bit of sweetness. You will never forget your first mouthful of these delicious tacos.

best street food in Merida

Merida in the Yucatan peninsula has its own take on tacos

Meagen Collins blogs at Food, Fun, Travel

*****

JERUSALEM, ISRAEL

There is one place in Israel where you can taste every possible spice in the world and let yourself be wrapped in the smells and colours of the Middle East: Mahane Yehuda – or the shuk, meaning the market. It is the place that wakes up with the city itself, the tasty beating heart of a place where history hardly lets you sleep. From huge chunks of halvas to breads soaked in olive oil and the special spice za’atar – a blend of dried thyme, marjoram, toasted sesame seeds, salt, oregano, and sumac – to dried and fresh fruits, it’s all there! Add to this small restaurants offering traditional hummus dishes and various types of meat or puff pastry and you’ve got a wonderful culinary experience. Jerusalem has been one of the world’s best street food cities for centuries.

best street food in Israel

Awesome variety and awesome taste

Ilana D. Weissz blogs at Ilana Travels.

*****

MARRAKECH, MORROCO

Some visitors to Marrakech find Moroccan restaurant food can be mediocre. The reason being Moroccans don’t go out to eat Moroccan food – they eat it at home. Instead, they choose to eat small bites on the streets. Even though it can seem intimidating, this is one of the best ways to try Moroccan food if you can’t get an invite to someone’s home.

Most street food is served in the evenings. You can head to Jemma el Fna the famous square known for its food stands, smoky grills, really good food and where the main streets of the souk’s small shops sell all sorts of foods. Slow cooked mechoui (a lamb dish), tangia – lamb cooked in a clay pot for hours, msemmen – a type of flaky bread served savory or sweet, and sfinge – a puffy fried doughnut are just a few of the most common street foods. Don’t be afraid to wander the streets and see where the Moroccans go, then get in there and try it!

best street food in Marrakech

Moroccan street food is a delightful experience

Amanda Ponzio Mouttaki blogs at Marocmama

Get your fill of great street food with these guides and recipes from around the world.

What are some of the world’s best street food cities?  Let us know in the comments.

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10 Comments

  1. These are all so mouth-watering!!! So many places with great street food. Those who don’t try it really miss out!

  2. I love the street food in Saigon, definitely one of my favourite cities to travel to eat. Beijing for me is less impressive, the bugs are more for tourists than locals. But the best city for street food has got to be Hong Kong. We have everything from Egg waffles, sweet tofu pudding and pineapple buns to exotic options like pig intestines and fried squid. If you are interested, we have a full list on our blog

  3. I completely agree with Chiang Mai in Thailand. I never had a bad meal in all of Thailand to be honest!! I also loved the street food in Vietnam although there were lots of snacks I tried that I never knew the name of.

    I have not been to India (yet) but the food just looks and sounds delicious and I have a feeling will take number one spot for street food…

    1. Yes, Thailand is one of the best for street food, but you kind of expect it there. Places that surprised me with their street food are Taipei and several cities in Japan. The food there was amazing. Thanks for commenting.

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