Food is a large part of why we travel and rightly so. With so many destinations having food that complements the other sights on show, taking a culinary adventure has become the norm. Italy and Germany are two of the best candidates for this, but there are so many other ports of call that could rival these two. While some street food may seem unappetising, unhealthy and (in extreme cases) outright dangerous, choosing the right vendor can open a world of new delights, authentic cuisine and most importantly a cheap meal.
So here are a few destinations to try when seeking the best street snacks around the world.
Originally, you may seek Bangkok for its opulent palaces or its coveted title of the “Land of a Thousands Smiles”, and you wouldn’t be wrong to. But whilst hopping from highlight to highlight, you might want to head into the city to catch a hearty meal.
As the second country to receive a Michelin Star for its acclaimed street vendors (following close behind Singapore), most meals around here are a bargain. Som tam (papaya salad), khao pad (fried rice) and pad Thai (noodles with shrimp) are a few dishes that you can choose from while roaming the streets of Thailand.
Taking us across the globe to the islands of Hawaii, Honolulu has recently gained traction for more than just its beaches and talented dancers. Drawing influence from neighbouring countries around Latin America and Asia, this secluded island has found itself ranked highly amongst renowned street food experts.
Although it should also be acknowledged for its array of tuna and octopus dishes, it’s Honolulu’s sweet treats that keep guests coming back year on year. Rainbow shaved ice creams, malasadas and coco puffs (not the cereal) are at the vibrant centre of the country’s mouth-watering banquet.
Unsurprisingly, Asia has landed on this list again. This time with a city that has more Michelin-starred restaurants than any other city in the world. And before you start making assumptions that Japanese dishes only feature sushi, there are plenty of other meals to ignite your passion for this bustling metropolis.
The highly praised Miso Soup is a perfect option when looking to quench your thirst and is still a contender for a hearty meal too. Flavoursome treats such as the omelette-based tamogoyaki are the ideal road snack, whilst sweet treats including dumplings called dangos and moulded biscuits by the name of ningyo-yaki can give you that perfect night time boost.
As a famous saying in Louisiana goes, the gas stations here serve better food than some of the country’s finest restaurants. While this may not be true in all cases, there is no argument that New Orleans boasts food to die for. Diving into the Deep South will have you quickly met with an array of comfort foods, including all-time favourites red beans and rice with a helping of andouille sausage and a heavily battered slice of French bread for dipping.
Finally, who can resist some of the world’s best gumbo? Whether you prefer the authentic shrimp or modern meatballs, you will be able to dine in the birthplace of this beloved meal.
Along with the surge in overall popularity as a tourist destination, everyone who has travelled to Turkey can agree that their street food is among the best. Combining authentic dishes or sweet treats and making them into a brand new creation is what Turkey does best. As the most recognisable pastry that you can find from any vendor, the simit is a fusion between a Polish bagel and German Pretzel, conveying the best of both regions.
If planning to stay out into the night, you might find a new favourite type of pizza. Lahmacun is to rival that of Italy’s most significant creation and, although the base is very similar, the toppings of your lahmacun can be as outrageous as you like. Lastly, Turkish ice cream is a must, especially with pistachios.
We would be silly to talk about food without including Mexico. Famed for its large tacos that have now become staples all across the world, Mexico City is the centre of all things food-related when entering any chilli-filled season. If you are planning a trip to Mexico, be prepared for big meals and lots of them. Much like their neighbours, Mexican’s love their cuisine and will never be shy to tell you about it.
One of many choices include tlacoyos. Larger than their aforementioned counterpart and made purely of masa, they can be mixed and matched depending on what you prefer. Mexico has now cemented itself as a must-see destination for foodies who want to try indigenous dishes found nowhere else.