One of the worst advice anyone could give a fellow traveler is to completely avoid street food while traveling. Street food is one of the best insights travelers could get into the national culinary, and better yet it can help you save a pretty penny.
Although we suggest a good dose of common sense when choosing your next palatal adventure, it is not such a hard task to do. Opt for popular stalls, where you can see locals lining up to get their grub, and no, they are not immune to bacteria, as some traveling germophobes may try to convince you otherwise.
When visiting the cold and beautiful St. Petersburg make sure to stop by one of the many Pirozhki stalls in the city. This dish consists of a crispy pastry filled with delicious minced meat, mushrooms, cabbage, pig in a blanket or potatoes for its savory versions, as well as sweeter options such as cherries and cranberries. These can be purchased in several food stalls around the city, as well as a famous food joint named Stolle. Prices may vary, but usually around 160 rubles for a small, 230 for the medium and a large will cost you 310. A whole pie (1 kilogram) will be for about 560 Rubles. Near Nevsky location you can also get bite-sized pies for about 50-70 Rubles.
A famous country for its diverse and high quality food joints, Israel also takes pride in its delicious street food options. From the delicious Bourekas, a savory pastry usually filled with spinach, cheese, potatoes or mushrooms, to the best Hummus in the world. It is also possible to get a tasty Shawarma or Schnitzel in many different stalls around the city, and they are all tested and approved by the high standard locals. While food in the country is not necessarily cheap, you can get some of the options aforementioned for as little as NIS 15.
The country is also obsessed with its street food, which can really differ from one region to the other. While visiting the northeastern part of the country make sure to taste a Acarajé (deep fried ball filled with a wonderful dried shrimp stew called Vatapá), which is the pride of its home state of Bahia. While in the Southeast make sure to eat some Pastel (a giant deep-fried dumpling) with some sugarcane juice to wash it down. Some other options include Pamonha ( Tamales made with real corn), or Shrimps on a stick, which can be purchased in a nearby beach.
The Netherlands is also a street food haven, specially for tourists that can never say no to some deep fried goodness. From the seasonal Olliebollen ( deep fried dough with apple, currant or raisins with some refined sugar to top it off) to the national favorites Kroketten, Haring, Stroopwafels ( a delicious pie with a tasty light crust, filled with Limburgse vlaai) and Bitterballen ( breadcrumb coating and filled with a gooey mixture of chopped beef, beef broth, flour, butter, herbs and spices). Let’s not forget about the Patat ( Belgium fries with different condiments) which can be found in every corner of the country. These can be purchased in various street stalls as well as the Febo snackbars around the country.
From some delicious Currywurst (a wurst, or a sausage, sliced up and slathered with ketchup flavored with curry powder) to the very popular Soft Pretzels, Germany offers tourists a varied street food menu. A typical option is the surprisingly German invention, Döner kebap sandwich. For about US$4 to US$5, you can get what is ideally a freshly baked pita bread, filled with sliced spit-roasted meat (around these parts, most commonly turkey), topped with an abundance of lettuce, tomato, onions, cabbage, chili flakes, and garlic-yogurt sauce. The variations are infinite—any combination of ingredients is possible, making it popular among picky eaters and children.
From the nationally delicious Crepes to Middle Eastern cuisine, France really knows how to feed you on the go. Although the quest for quality options may require a bit of research, freshly made crepes of all different flavors can be found virtually everywhere in bigger cities like Paris, Marseilles or Lyon. Another option that may not sound very french, but it is exceptionally tasty in the country is the Falafel. In Paris, a string of always-teeming restaurants, on Rue des Rosiers in the traditional Jewish quarter of the Marais district, have become extremely popular among tourists, and for good reason: soft, thick pita bread is filled with perfectly crisp chickpea balls, and complemented with a variety of freshly cut vegetables, tahini, hummus and hot sauce.
Sweden offers a dream menu for pescatarians and seafood lovers. The street food selection include Strömming (Baltic herring), fried or pickled on hard bread with mashed potatoes, Cured salmon, whitefish roe and zinc laden and slippery Belon oysters from the West Coast of Sweden. For carnivores, while visiting the country you can indulge in some reindeer heart and moose salami, or stick to more conservative options such as gourmet hot dogs.
Japan has one of the tastiest dishes in the world, being from its eccentric combinations to a varied option of street food, it certainly could not be out of our list. From deliciously crisp roasted sweet potatoes to fresh Yakisoba, your carb reload is pretty much in every corner of bigger cities like Tokio, Yokohama and Osaka. Also do not forget to eat the sushi in some of the local stalls, but make sure to cue behind the most crowded ones.
Italy and good food are almost synonyms to anyone who know a thing or two about the country, and with street food it is no different. The options are endless, from salami, sausages and cold cuts served with various kinds of bread like the popular piadini and crescioni wraps that are sold in supermarkets all over Italy, to the best gelatos in the world. Palermo styled deep-pan pizza with tomato and onion sauce called Sfincione is a delicious option for a quick pit stop. And pani ca’ meusa – a burger bun stuffed with chopped veal’s lung and spleen. Finding delicious street food is one of the easiest tasks in the country, but make sure to avoid very touristic areas.
With hundreds of hawker stands in the country, and with very strict quality regulations, Singapore makes the top of our list of the world’s best street food. From the best Hokkien mee (fried noodles cooked in Hokkien Fujian style), to some delicious Hainanese-style satays ( pork meat in sate sauce), Xiao Long Bao (steamed soup with dumplings), the options are endless for foodies visiting the country.
What has been the best street food you have tasted? Let us know in the comments below.