Sometimes, picking your next holiday is harder than planning it. If you are in such a quandary – here’s a way out. Choose the place with the food that makes your tongue tingle the most! Whether a place has abundant natural beauty and opulent monuments or not, every place has its unique cuisine. Imagine going to UK and missing out on the fish and chips or holidaying in Italy without getting your hands on the best homemade pasta or gelato or pizza ( you get the idea).
And fret not, if you are not a fine-diner because we too believe that street eats are best reflection of the local culture in any place and are often the tastiest amalgamation of what the cuisine has to offer. We are on a mission to spot the best street foods of the world. They are so good you will actually want to plan a trip to try them.
What: Bánh Mì
Why: Basically means bread, Bánh mì has become synonymous with a mouthwatering sandwich. Thank the French for bringing the bread and the Vietnamese for the Asian twist. The best of west and east a typical Bánh mì consists of a baguette stuffed with meat (perhaps grilled pork, meatballs, or cold cuts), cucumber slices, sprigs of cilantro, pickled carrots and daikon, liver pâté, and a swipe of mayonnaise. Although popular in many Asian restaurants world over it is best eaten on the streets of Saigon.
What: Tacos Al Pastor
Why: Curb your craving for tender meat, crunchy tortillas and hot spices in Mexico with tacos al pastor. When Lebanese people migrated to Mexico they brought with them the tradition of spit-roasting meats, typically lamb. The present day tacos use pork marinated in dried chiles, spices, and pineapple sliced off the spit like shawarma and served on small tortillas with onions, cilantro, and, in some cases, a tiny bit of pineapple. And of course, hot salsa.
Why: Popular in North Africa and Turkey, the Tagine is in fact an earthen pot. Aptly named, this dish consists of a slow cooked Berber stew, nurtures for hours over hot coals. While there are many variations, it basically consists of meat (lamb, chicken, or beef), vegetables, and lots of herbs and spices; fruit and nuts are also used commonly owing to the Persian liking. Typically served with couscous or bread, the flavourful stews are everywhere in Morocco. But best eaten from street stalls with the locals.
Why: They love their sausages and the choripán is just a simple expression of their passionate love. A grilled beef-and-pork sausage, split down the middle and placed on crusty bread, then topped with garlicky chimichurri sauce, is sounds like any regular sausage sandwich. The fervour of a gripping football match But when you eat it along with enthusiastic sports lovers at a football game, you will realise the sheer joy and love for a choripán. A popular street snack it is commonly served as an appetizer during the preparation of an asado.
Why: A trip to Paris without indulging in the good ole crêpes is nearly unimaginable. As if in a painting, the crêpe is a beloved feature of any Parisian street scene. Savoury or sweet, crêpes are served for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Buckwheat or plain flour, they are filled with almost everything right from ham and cheese, vegetables, eggs, fruit preserves, custards, to the chocolicious Nutella. Walk down any street or head to the boulevard Montparnasse in Paris, for your crêperie fix while you are there.
What: Egg Waffle
Where: Hong Kong
Why: Crunchy, sugar coated bubble sheets in a paper packet can be commonly spotted on the streets of Hong Kong. Egg waffles (gai daan jai in Cantonese) first appeared on the streets of Hong Kong in the 1950s, and they’ve been a popular snack ever since. Their unique look is produced by cooking an eggy batter between two metal plates of semi-spherical cells over an open flame or electrical heater. Best eaten hot off the griddle, and usually enjoyed plain, though you can find spots that will add fruit or chocolate. Go to the stall with a huge crowd to find green tea egg waffle in Tsim Tsha Tsui.
Why: Street foods are often unhealthy. But that’t the point, isn’t it? Cheap, fast and good they satisfy those random hunger pangs. Chunky fries smothered in cheese curds and gravy– the Poutine tastes as delicious as it sounds. You’ll find poutine all across diners and roadside eateries in Canada, but it’s best in its home, French-speaking Québec.
Why: Indonesia has tons of street food because if there is one thing they take seriously, it is food. But the meatball soup aka Bakso goes beyond just a street snack. Served with a simple chicken broth, the meatballs are a generous portion. Topped with noodles, fried onions, spices, chilli and ketchup this makes for a perfect breakfast, lunch or dinner. Some vendors will also add that extra egg for you and cold iced tea.
Why: Lebanese or Middle Eastern, the origins of falafel are debated. Nevertheless, it plays an important role in Israeli cuisine and is widely considered to be the national dish. The word falafel refers to deep-fried balls made from chickpeas, though it can also mean a sandwich containing the fritters. Falafels are served with salad, pickled vegetables, hot sauce, spices, and tahini sauce in a nicely baked pita bread. A popular snack all over the world, Falafel and Hummus that you get on the streets of Tel Aviv are a must-try.
Hungry for more? Watch out for further additions to the Bragpacker Food Series