A Global Guide to Street Food That You Simply Can’t Miss
Sampling local street food, whether in Thailand, Peru, or even downtown New York, has almost become a rite of passage for many savvy travelers. There is hardly a backpacker in the world who would dare to return home without a story about how good the chicken tikka rolls were in Mumbai, or how they suffered some digestive tract related illness thanks to the dodgy kebabs from a street vendor in Istanbul.
To help you prepare for your upcoming travels, and more importantly, the stories you’d better not come back without, here’s a quick compilation of some of the best street eats from different corners of the globe.
Mexico is famous for its delicious tacos and fajitas, but the tamale, one of its best street foods, is often overlooked. Tamales are made in a dough wrap and use either pork or chicken with plenty of tasty extras like salsa, chilies, and cheese.
Despite the healthy food regulations that Canada has recently begun imposing on its street vendors, there is still one street food that’s worth trying. Poutine can be as simple as French fries and cheese covered with gravy, or it may incorporate more elaborate ingredients like lamb, caviar, or even truffles.
Arepas con queso
This treat can be found on the streets of Colombia and makes the perfect snack for any cheese lover. Arepas con queso are little flat breads baked with cornmeal and lots of cheese and butter.
This tasty little savory Brazilian treat is made out of deep fried balls of black-eyed peas that are cut open, after being fried in palm oil, and filled with spicy shrimp and onions.
Vietnam has so many mouth-watering street foods that you may find it hard to choose, but Pho bo, or beef noodle soup, is definitely one to try. It’s a wonderfully flavorful soup that combines strips of beef, bean sprouts, mint, basil, and noodles in a hot broth. If you want to mix it up a bit there is also Pho ga, which is quite similar, but with chicken rather than beef.
If you’re in China and haven’t yet found the courage to try things like scorpions on sticks or fertilized duck eggs, then Bāozi is a nice compromise. It can be described as a kind of steamed bun stuffed with meat, usually pork, but you can find them with many different types of fillings.
The name says it all, and this Ghanaian delight is hot, very hot. It is a mixture of black beans, fried plantains, onions, chilies, red palm oil, and sometimes goat or even snails. The onions and chilies are fried and mixed with the beans, after which the plantains are deep fried as an accompaniment.
Despite its rather odd name, the bunny chow has become popular in South Africa, primarily in Durban where it originated. This rather unsophisticated snack is made by hollowing out the center of half a loaf of white bread and filling it with curry.
These little miniature pancakes slathered in butter and laced with powdered sugar are extremely popular in the Netherlands, and you won’t have trouble finding a “poffertjeskraam” in most Dutch cities.
Best eaten in Berlin, currywurst is the ultimate pork sausage, chopped up and served in a spicy curry or chili sauce, with a side of fries or heavy German bread.
This dish can be a bit heavy on the stomach, but if you’re looking for something filling, then prebanac is an excellent choice. It’s basically just baked beans, but great added flavors from ingredients like dill, tomatoes, paprika, sautéed onions and garlic, make it surprisingly palatable.
If you find yourself wandering the streets of Romania wondering what to eat, try the popular Romanian skinless sausages made with lamb, pork, or beef along with hot red pepper and garlic for a quick bite.