Food is a huge cultural experience! By eating street food not only are you eating REAL local food, you are interacting with local people and even have the opportunity to watch the food being prepared. It’s a great way to completely immerse yourself and ‘get a taste’ of the culture.
Street food is what the locals eat and it’s normally the best food in town – far better than the overpriced, “tourist” food they sell in the hotel restaurants and popular tourist hotspots. Not only will street food be the cheaper, but you’ll be supporting the locals and businesses too.
So whether you’re on a budget, wanting a cultural experience or just want good food – eating street food is a must in any country!
After much debate, here is a list of some of our favorite street food from around the world.
Burek (or “Borek”)
This savory delight is a popular pastry found throughout Eastern Europe. Burek makes the perfect lunch or snack option for the hungry traveler. The fillings vary, however the most popular include spinach and feta, or mincemeat and onions. Burek can be cooked as a pastry pie and served as a slice, or rolled into a stuffed cigar or spiral shape.
Iranian Falafal Sandwich
Falafal is minced chickpea or fava bean balls that are fried then served hot. Iranian falafel is unique as the balls are slow fried, instead of deep-fried. This means less oil and a better tasting falafel ball. Falafal sandwiches are falafel balls, served with salad, pickles and sauce in a hot dog roll or pita bread. These lunchtime meals are cheap, delicious, very filling and found at street vendors throughout Iran.
Thai Street Food
There is no denying it. Thailand is the king of street food. This makes it impossible to narrow it down to just one dish. Pad Thai, Beef noodle soup and Khao gang (curry rice) are just a few of our favorite dishes.
Not only does Thailand have a fantastic selection of savory foods, they also serve up some scrumptious sweets. Our favorites include: Sticky rice and mango, coconut ice cream and grilled coconut pancakes (Khanom Ba Bin).
Empanadas are stuffed, fried or baked pastries. They are popular throughout Latin America and Spain. Our favorite are the baked empanadas from Argentina. Argentinean empanadas are made from wheat flour, and filled with variations of beef drippings spiced with cumin and paprika, onion, olives, cheese, raisins, ham and boiled egg. There are also tasty desert empanadas that contain spiced, minced fruit.
Sabich is pita bread stuffed with fried eggplant, hard-boiled eggs, hummus, tahini and salad. Sometimes it’s served with amba (a yummy yellow sauce containing pickled mangoes, fenugreek, and turmeric), or with pickles, parsley, and onions seasoned with purple sumac. Traditionaly this is a breakfast meal, however it also makes a great lunch or light dinner option.
More specifically, Northern Colombian arepas are the best! Arepas is a type of flat, levered bread. In the northern part of Colombia the bread is stuffed with various different fillings, then deep-fried and served hot. Arepas is commonly served as part of breakfast, however it also makes a great snack or light lunch.
American Breakfast burrito
Forget American hot dogs, nachos and burgers. America’s street food scene is booming Since the recession hit in 2008, food trucks have been popping up all over the US and Canada. Some popular trucks even have their own following and fans page.
The breakfast burrito has to be at the top of the American street food pecking order. This fusion beast originated in New Mexico, USA, and is a mouth watering combination of the Mexican burrito and western breakfast items. Common breakfast burritos include, scrambled eggs, potatoes, cheese and bacon, wrapped in a flour tortilla.
Looking for something sweet? Our favorite sweet street food has to be the Belgian waffle. You haven’t had true waffles, until you’ve had Belgian waffles. Served hot with whipped cream and fresh strawberries, Belgian waffles are definitely a little slice of heaven.
What’s your favourite street food?
Is it on the list? With so many delicious street foods out there, it’s been a challenge narrowing it down to just a few favorites. But don’t let that limit yourself – if you see some amazing street food, try it and let us know!