Delicious street food is something available around the globe, though much of it is unique to the places where its served. Here are 10 incredible street foods to try on your upcoming travels.
Tacos al Pastor in Mexico
Tacos al pastor are unique in that their creation can be credited to the Lebanese who emigrated to Mexico years ago. With them came the tradition of roasting meats on a spit. The meat is then sliced off the spit and served on tortillas with onions, cilantro and sometimes a bit of pineapple. You can find them all over Mexico City, but El Tizoncito is one of the most famous taquerias in town, and also lays claim to creating tacos al pastor.
Choripan in Buenos Aires, Argentina
Empanadas aren't the only street food vying for stomach space in Argentina. Choripan is a simple invention of chorizo (chori) and bread (pan). You may find chimichurri or salsa criolla (a vinegar, onion and pepper mixture) on top. It’s messy, as the chorizo soaks into the bread, but it’s absolutely delicious and worth the messy hands.
Meat Pies in Belize
Belize is often skipped over in food roundups, which is quite a shame as the country boasts some delicious eats, especially when it comes to street food. Get up early and try a meat pie for breakfast when you’re traveling in Belize. The best ones tend to sell out early, with local favorites including Dario’s in Belize City and my go-to, Boogie’s Belly on Ambergris Caye. Delicious meat and spices are cooked in a small flaky pie dough — how can you go wrong? Add some local Marie Sharp’s habanero sauce on top and it’s a match made in heaven.
Currywurst in Berlin, Germany
You can get currywurst all over Germany, but why not head to its birthplace, where you can even visit a currywurst museum? Invented in 1959, this street snack is incredibly popular, with some stalls seeing long lines during peak times. Currywurst is German sausage that's usually cut up into bite-size pieces served with curry powder mixed into ketchup.
Bánh Mi in Vietnam
The bánh mi is almost synonymous with Vietnamese street food. Sometimes called a Vietnamese hoagie, it’s a mixture of East meets West. A good bánh mi combines a crusty baguette filled with different meat, cucumber, pickled carrots, daikon, cilantro and a bit of mayonnaise. While you can get a bánh mi all over the United States, there is nothing quite like having one from a street vendor in Vietnam.
Takoyaki in Osaka, Japan
These ball-shaped Japanese snacks originated in Osaka, but they can be found all over Japan. Small pieces of tender octopus are mixed in a batter that is then cooked in a special molded pan. Other ingredients include pickled ginger and green onion. They are served piping hot with a special takoyaki sauce, bonito flakes and dried seaweed on top.
Hainanese Chicken in Singapore
Hainanese chicken, or chicken rice, can be found all over Singapore and has even made it onto the menu of Singapore Airlines. It’s a simple dish of poached chicken and seasoned rice with garnishes and chili sauce on top. The key to a good Hainanese chicken is the “oily” rice, which is made using the chicken stock with ginger, garlic and pandan leaves.
Hujiao Bing (Black Pepper Buns) in Taipei, Taiwan
Like Singapore, Taiwan is renowned for its street food culture. While stinky tofu and other night market eats tend to get the most publicity, seek out the hujiao bing, or black pepper bun. One of the most popular spots is at Raohe Night Market, where the queue can be 45 minutes or longer on a weekend night.
The bun’s meat is marinated with a lot of black or white pepper powder and other spices. It’s then baked in a large clay oven where the buns are stacked vertically along the sides of the cylindrical oven. The dough is crunchy, and the piping-hot meat is extra juicy, so be careful when you bite into one.
Frites in Belgium
Belgian frites are iconic street food in Belgium, where they are often served in a cone-shaped wrapper with a bit of sauce and eaten with small forks. Choose from a variety of sauces, but one of the most popular options is mayonnaise. You can get delicious frites all over Belgium, but Brussels is home to some of the best frites shops, including the famous Maison Antoine.
Gelato in Italy
No list of the best street foods is complete without a sweet finale. Gelato is an undeniable part of Italian culture and something you can find no matter where you travel. For a unique food-centric experience, head to Bologna to try gelato from Carpigiani’s Gelato University where you can visit a Gelato museum and try freshly made gelato in the university’s public shop.