March 29, 2024 | Jamie Hayes

The Best Street Foods From Around The World - Part 1


Food On The Street

It's a proven fact that food tastes better on the street—and these are the best street foods from around the world.

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Acarajé - Brazil

A dish with West African origins, acarajé is made of peeled cowpeas packed into a ball and deep fried, often stuffed with a savory shrimp paste.

Acarajé food.Stephanie, Flickr

Aloo chaat - Northern India

Potatoes fried in oil with a blend of spices and chutney. Simple and delicious.

Aaloo chaat - street foodPankaj Kaushal, Flickr

Anticucho -  Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador

Also called chuzos or carne en pailito, anticuchos are a cheap, popular street food in countries around the Andes mountains. Picture shish-kebabs, Quechua style.

Anticuchos for lunch - Latin ChefKirk K, Flickr

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Arancini - Sicily

You're in Sicily, sitting by the water, and enjoying a cappuccino and arancini, a breaded, deep-friend ball of rice stuffed with ragu and mozzarella. Not bad, if you ask me.

Arancini - Street Foodstu_spivack, Flickr

Arepa - Venezuela, Colombia

Arepas are made of special soaked, ground maize kernels and can be grilled, friend, baked, boiled, or steamed and stuffed with whatever you want: butter, cheese, meat, avocado, vegetables—or how about all of them together!

Arepa - street foodAndreadlserrano, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons

Asinan - Indonesia

Pickles, Indonesian style - from the Indonesian word for "salty," you can have a savoury vegetable asinan or a sweet fruit asinan, take your pick, but they're all soaked in a salty brine.

Asinan - street foodGunawan Kartapranata, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons

Bagel - Poland, New York City

Originating in Jewish communities in Poland, the classic boiled-then-baked golden rings eventually became an iconic street food in New York City—and then pretty much everywhere else. They're that good.

Bagels with seeds in a paper baglittlenySTOCK, Shutterstock

Bakso - Indonesia

An Indonesian meatball soup, the balls are usually made of finely ground beef and tapioca flour, but you can substitute other meats. The soup is so popular, you can get it everywhere from street vendors to gourmet restaurants.

Bakso - street food.closari, Flickr

Banana Cue - Philippines

Deep fry a banana. Coat it in brown sugar. Serve it on a skewer. You've made a banana cue—but I doubt it's as good as what you'd get on the streets in the Philippines.

Banana Cue On Bamboo SkewersFBenjr123, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

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Bánh Canh - Vietnam

"Bánh" means "dough" and "canh" means "soup". In this case, the dough is the tapioca dough in bánh canh's thick noodles. The soup is...pretty much whatever you want! Usually fish, pork, or shrimp.

Bánh Canh - street foodJaulaDeArdilla, Flickr

Bánh Hỏi - Vietnam

Bánh hỏi looks like a woven bundle of rice noodles. It's made by forcing cooked rice flour through a cylinder with lots of tiny holes in the bottom, creating a dense mat of rice noodles, which are then steamed. 

It's usually served cold with scallions or garlic chives.

Bánh Hỏi - street foodNgô Trung, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons

Baozi - China, Southeast/East Asia

Sometimes called bao, these simple flour, water, and yeast buns are steamed, not baked or boiled, giving them their iconic fluffy texture. Stuff one of these buns with pretty much anything and I bet it'll taste good.

Baozi - street foodDrew Bates, Flickr

Batagor - Indonesia

Batagor isn't an Indonesian word—it's an abbreviation of three Indonesian words: bakso tahu goreng. That means "friend tofu and meatballs". That pretty much covers it! The meat is usually fish, and they're usually served with peanut sauce.

Batagor - street foodIgnatiaadela, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

Batata Vada - Maharashtra, India

A vegetarian fast food made of mashed spiced potatoes shaped into a patty, coated in chickpea flour, deep-friend and served with chutney. I could eat a million of them.

Batata Vada - street foodAmit Karpe, Flickr

Beondegi - South Korea

You'd assume people only eat boiled/steamed silkworm larvae because it's a 1,000-year-old Korean tradition. Nope. People mostly started eating beondegi in the 60s. Haven't tried it, so I can't knock it!

Beondegi - plated, topAlpha, Flickr

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Bhelpuri - India

An iconic "beach snack" of Mumbai, India, bhelpuri is made of crunchy puffed rice, veggies, and a tangy tamarind sauce.

Indian Snack- Bhel PuriP. L. Tandon, Flickr

Bibingka - Philippines

If you want to make bibingka at home, you're going to need a terra cotta bowl and banana leaves, so you'd better head to the grocery store. 

A rice dough is poured in the leaf-lined pot, then covered and left to cook, making spongy, savoury cake served especially around Christmas.

Bibingka street food.Blueriver123, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

Bramborák - Czechia

After drinking your fill of Pilsner Urquell in Prague, stumble out into the streets and order a bramborák - Czechia's finest fried potato pancakes.

Bramborák - street foodBenreis, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

Bratwurst - Germany

Though hot dogs have taken over street food carts everywhere, there can only be one original, and it's a Bratwurst ordered on the street in Germany.

Smoked Bratwurst - street foodChoo Yut Shing, Flcikr

Breakfast Burrito - United States

Invented in Santa Fe, New Mexico, the breakfast burrito—eggs, friend potatoes, and cheese wrapped in a flour tortilla—may not have a history, but take one bite and tell me that matters.

Breakfast Burrito - street foodstu_spivack, Flickr

Bubur Ayam - Indonesia

An Indonesian congee porridge made of rice and shredded chicken, it's served with cakwee (fried dough), sambal hot sauce, soy sauce, spices, and more. If you're ever having a bad morning and you can order some—do it.

A Bubur Ayam (chicken rice congee) - street food.Gunawan Kartapranata, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons

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Bun Kabab - Pakistan

An iconic food in Karachi but found all over Pakistan, bun kebabs, or anday wala burgers, are savoury sandwiches with a fried spicy meat patty called "shami kabab" with chutney and spices.

Beef Burger on a PlateDasha, Pexels

Bunny Chow - South Africa

It's not just a fun name! Bunny chow, or just bunny, is curry served in a hollowed-out loaf of white bread. So it's...exactly what it looks like.

Bunny Chow - street foodRobert Rutherford, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

Carrozza - Campania, Italy

A grilled cheese jacked up a notch from Campania, Italy. Picture a grilled cheese...that's deep friend. Genius.

Mozzarella in carrozza - street food.chefpercaso, Flickr

Cendol - Malaysia

The rice flour jelly noodles in cendol might look like little green slugs—but that color just comes from pandan, a Southeast Asian plant with fragrant, bright green leaves.

Mix those with coconut milk, palm sugar syrup, and some sweet fruit? You've got one heckuva street food right there.

Cendol Durian - street foodYuvaqueen, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

Ceviche - Peru

Japan doesn't have a monopoly on raw fish! Ceviche, which is fish or shellfish cured in citrus juice and seasoned, is the national dish of Peru, but it's found all over South and Central America.

Ceviche - street food in LimaChristian Haugen, Flickr

Chai Tow Kway - China, Singapore, Southeast Asia

They call chai tow kway "carrot cake" in Singapore—but that's just because it sounds kinda like "carrot cake". 

There's no carrots in it at all—just stir-friend radish cake cubes. 

Chai Tow Kway - street food.Choo Yut Shing, Flickr

Chicharrón - Spain, Latin and South America

Chicharrón are very easy to explain: They're deep fried pork rinds. As for what they're like? You've got to taste them to really understand that.

Chicharrón - street foodJames, Flickr

Chiko Roll - Australia

Australian Frank McEnroe's Chinese spring roll-inspired "Chicken Rolls" first hit the market in 1951. It's a good thing they changed the name to Chiko Roll, because there's no chicken in them.

A Chiko roll is similar to a traditional chinese spring roll of cabbage, carrot, barley, etc., but their thick coating was specially designed to survive on the go eating—even at raucous Australian football matches!

Chickenrolls on a plate.Chandravathanaa, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

Chimichanga - Southwestern United States

Another Southwest classic, the chimichanga is a simple one: it's a deep fried burrito. You can play with it from there, but if that's your starting point? It's hard to go wrong.

Cheese chimichanga - street foodScorpions and Centaurs, Flickr


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