Street food is a great way to experience a country’s culture. Pushcarts, sidewalks, and more – even in cities that are well-known for fine dining, some of the best meals are found on the streets. There are not a lot of things that can rival the experience of savoring the local, delicious street food items. From quick snacks to on-the-go feasts, here are the best cities in the world for street food:
The capital city of Thailand is considered the unofficial street food capital of the world and for good reason. Bangkok’s streets and back alleys are teaming with street food vendors who get by with a mobile grill and a plastic table top, which is about all they need. From curries in a plastic bag to stir-fried noodles to sweet treats like mango sticky rice, street food is an important part of everyday life in this city.
Japan is well-known for its restaurants and hotels but it also has a great street food scene. In fact, the flavor and taste of Tokyo’s street food have their own unique charm that cannot be compared to any of the big restaurants or hotels. Tokyo is filled with amazing street chefs who cook tasty street food and make the city one of the best street food cities in the world.
Street food in Honolulu is influenced by many different cultures of Hawaii. As a coastal city, freshly caught seafood is no doubt the star of the show in the street food scene of Honolulu. Apart from this, the combination of outside innovation and influences means that even unusual ingredients like Spam can be made into a tasty quick snack. Honolulu is well-known for the food trucks that can be seen on every street serving creatively delicious and aromatic food.
New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans has a thriving street food scene. The food here is known to bring together many styles. From its Creole and Cajun people, to the French and Caribbean touches, blended with its strong influx of Thai and Vietnamese immigrants, New Orleans has a rich cultural cuisine. There’s that Creole and Cajun feel to the local street food dishes, but also an undeniable French influence. Po’ boys, beignets, red beans and rice, and gumbo recipes are the staples here.
Food stalls and pushcarts are a common sight throughout the streets of Istanbul. Food in general in Turkey is very extraordinary, full of fresh vegetables, meat, and whopping big flavor. Istanbul is dotted with lean-to eateries and street-side markets, serving fresh fish, pickled veg, grilled corn, and more. Simit, a combination of a bagel and pretzel, is the most popular Turkish street food.
Morocco has an excellent street food scene and cities like Marrakech have long been one of the top foodie destinations. As the air is rich with the aroma of flavorful meats and spices, you can visit the Jemaa el-Fna Square to truly enjoy the variety of street foods that this city has to offer. Every night, the square comes alive with vendors serving up lots of Moroccan delicacies from skewered meats to sheep heads to harira, and more.
The street food around the world may differ in texture, taste, and flavor, but the overall experience it offers is the same everywhere and it cannot be replicated in luxurious restaurants and hotels.
Photos by: Lisheng Chang, Min An, Yoav Aziz, Jess Loiterton, Rodnae productions, Valeria Boltneva, Faruk Tokluoğlu