Any savvy traveler knows you don’t have to sacrifice fantastic cuisine when exploring a new country. Many places are known worldwide for their street food. Countless people confess to returning to specific countries to sample the local cuisine again! Recently, there was an online discussion that argued for their vote on what countries have the world’s best street food. I’ve only been to a handful of these spots, but I do agree that they deserve a spot on this list! Did your favorite street food make the list?
Any conversation revolving around street food begins and ends with Thai cuisine. After all, there’s a reason why cities like Bangkok are called “the world’s kitchen” – the flavors, ingredients, and care put into each dish are second to none! Dishes like fried pork and rice porridge stand out as local favorites that frequently blow away the taste buds of millions of travelers annually. Thailand is special as you can get high-quality, super-cheap street food that is incredible.
While India isn’t necessarily a place where novice travelers would go to eat great food, experienced adventurers know the truth: India is home to some of the best street food on the planet. “I’ve traveled all over the world, and there’s no doubt in my mind that India is amazing in regards to street food,” confessed one adventurous eater. “Their street food culture is huge, as massive as the country itself. There are so many different kinds of food on markets, and everywhere it’s different.”
Personally endorsed by the legendary chef and foodie Anthony Bourdain, Vietnamese street food is quickly becoming the de facto “favorite” cuisine in Asia. Most dishes are made from recipes passed down from generation to generation, ensuring that locals and travelers can enjoy at-home flavors and spices whenever the mood strikes. There’s nothing like a Vietnamese grandmother’s pho recipe.
The best street food has two essential parts: fresh ingredients and heaping spoonfuls of cultural influences. “Turkey, specifically Istanbul, stands out to me,” reveals one man. “There is not even a close second. Fresh quality ingredients and a melting pot of cultures over the past centuries have defined Turkish cuisine in a way that nowhere else can compare.”
For any foodie looking to enjoy delicious street food without breaking the bank, countless people recommend traveling to southern Italy – Sicily, to be precise. I can attest that all your favorite foods are available in Sicily for significantly less than you’d expect to pay, which shocked me when I visited in 2022. Handmade paninis are a Sicilian specialty and can often be found for only a few dollars.
6. South Korea
Sometimes street food draws out such excitement from travelers that you can’t help but respect the enthusiasm. “South Korea should be at the top of everyone’s list!” exclaims one man. “Not only did the preparation and food handling seem cleaner than some other countries, but the food was SO GOOD. Give me all the hotteok, egg bread, dipped waffles, and rice cake skewers!” Well, that seals it. We all need to book a flight to South Korea as soon as possible.
Street food in Singapore is different from other countries, as vendors are frequently grouped in open-air markets called hawker centers. Don’t worry; although this setup may resemble American food courts, the quality is unmatched. Many street food vendors in hawker centers have received Michelin stars. You can’t find that kind of quality in American malls.
8. Trinidad and Tobago
Caribbean locals believe the islands of Trinidad and Tobago are home to incredibly underrated street food. As it turns out, you don’t need to travel to Southeast Asia to experience delicious cuisine! “Trinidad and Tobago’s street food is as good as you’ll get anywhere,” reports one woman. “It’s an incredible blend of South Asian and Caribbean flavors, and you can’t get it anywhere else.” I’m salivating at the rice dishes already!
In the eyes of many, Mexico tops the list of any street food-centric locale for one reason: the tacos served by street vendors are delicious. Facts are facts; many travelers admit there are no better tacos worldwide. Whether you find yourself in bigger cities like Mexico City or smaller seaside Mexican towns, you’re always only a few blocks away from fantastic street food.
Many travelers agree that Malaysia needs to get more credit for its stellar street food scene. The key to this specific cuisine is a melting pot of cultures featured prominently in dishes – Malaysian food is influenced by an eclectic mix of local, Chinese, and Indian flavors that translate into unforgettable culinary experiences!