Street food is the true fuel of the people, and there’s no better way to get to know a country’s cuisine than by hitting up a food stall and digging into a home-style meal. With a combination of advice from experienced travelers and research on cultural food traditions, we’ve put together a picture of the 12 best street food in the world.
Place: Rome, Italy
One of Italy’s best street foods, Suppli are often over shadowed by their Sicilian brothers, arancini, which are similar, but usually made with peas, giving Suppli the prize in your heart. They are the perfect hand food, great for an afternoon snack or as an antipasto.
2. Al Pastor
Place: Mexico City,Mexico
Al pastor is a dish developed in Central Mexico, likely as a result of the adoption of the shawarma spit-grilled meat brought by Lebanese immigrants to Mexico. Being derived from shawarma, it is also similar to the Turkish doner kebab and the Greek gyros. Whereas shawarma is usually lamb-based (thus the “shepherd style” name), gyros and tacos al pastor in Mexico are made from pork.
3. Pork Satay
This Thai pork satay recipe is easy to make and the satay can either be oven-broiled or grilled on your barbecue. Pork satay is a popular street food in Thailand, where it is eaten as both a snack as well as a main course dish. Serve with my easy real peanut satay sauce which can be whipped up in just minutes. A great party dish, this satay recipe is simple to put together.
Place: Buenos Aires,Argentina
Choripan, the word is another portmanteau, this time of Morcilla, a Spanish/Latin type of blood sausage, and of course pan for bread. It appears to be a legit variant, though Argentina seems to have a penchant for sticking pan on the end of anything to indicate sandwich–Choripán, Morcipán, Bondipan, Vaciopan, etc. I’ve had limited exposure to blood sausages but the ones I’ve had have not been my favorite–I like white pudding better than black, and the Korean blood sausages I tried contained tiny noodles that gave them an impression of worminess.
The word crepe is French for pancake and is derived from the Latin crispus meaning “curled”. Crepes originated in Brittany (fr. Breton), in the northwest region of France, which lies between the English Channel to the north and the Bay of Biscay to the south. Crepes were originally called galettes, meaning flat cakes. The French pronunciation of both words is with a short e, as in bed.
If a sandwich is only as good as its bread, then any durum discussion is all about the lavaş, the Turkish tortilla that’s used to make it. Durumzade’s thin ovular lavaş, rubbed with a mix of red pepper and spices, is far from the stiff, uniform discs found at many other durum joints. Like a good thin pizza crust, Durumzade’s lavaş is filled with textural variations, bubbles, crispy edges and moist, chewy pockets. Stacked and hidden away, it incubates in a drawer below the charcoal grill.
7. Banh Mi
Place: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Vietnamese baguette sandwiches, called Banh Mi, have attracted a loyal fan base like never before. Like a musical band with rock star status, these sandwiches have an almost cult-like following of epicurean devotees. The uniqueness of these sandwiches not only lies within the french influenced baguette, but it’s also the flavor packed, savory Viet fillings that what makes the marriage of the two main ingredients a true love affair.
Place: Rio de Janeiro,Brazil
Espetinho is a Portuguese word which means “little skewer” and is the word that Brazilians use to describe what is known in English as a kebab. Espetinho vendors seem to have an extra-sensory ability to spot the time and location where they’re likely to find trade. When one sees a few espetinho vendors setting up their grills on a street corner, or at the edge of a public square, you can be sure that in short order the space will be filled with a hungry crowd and the smell of grilling espetinhos will perfume the air with the smell of grilled meat.
9. Hokkien Prawn Mee
Place: Singapore,southern Malaysia
Also known as Hokkien mee (noodles), this stir-fried noodle dish is steeped in aromatic stock made of pork bones and prawn heads.This lip-smacking noodle dish – comprising yellow noodles and thick ‘bee hoon’ (vermicelli) – has juicy prawns, squid, pork belly strips, egg and crunchy fried pork lard (optional) that makes everything taste extra good. It is served with sambal chilli and a squeeze of lime juice for that added zing.As its name suggests, Hokkien Prawn Mee is a dish created by Hokkiens. But its origins are a little uncertain.
10. Jerk Chicken
Place: Jamaica, Caribbean island
Jerk Chicken is believed to have been conceived when the Maroons introduced African meat cooking techniques to Jamaica which were combined with native Jamaican ingredients and seasonings used by the Arawak. The method of smoking meat for a long period of time served two practical purposes, keeping insects away from the raw meat and preserving it for longer once it has been cooked. This process also introduces a strong smoky flavour to the meat.
Place: Berlin, Germany
Currywurst is as German as pizza is Italian, hot dogs are American, and fish and chips British. This month, the dish was immortalized in the new Deutsches Currywurst Museum in Berlin, a sausage shrine dedicated to all things currywurst, including sausage sofas, a curry “spice chamber” and a movie montague of all-time currywurst cameos. The museum opened commemorating the dish’s 60th birthday.
12. Egg Waffles
Place: Hong Kong, southeastern China.
Hong Kong Egg Waffles (sometimes referred to as egg puffs, eggettes or bubble waffles) is a popular street dish. The sweet, waffle-like batter is cooked in a special mold. The end result is a waffle with crisp edges and soft oval “eggs” or “bubbles” which can be easily broken off for snacking.