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The Best Street Food I Ever Ate

The Best Street Food I Ever Ate

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We always say that there’s no better way to explore a place than by sampling its food, and in particular, the street food popular with the locals. While we have our go-to favorites, we thought we’d ask the experts about their favorite street foods. 

Which experts, do you ask? Other travel nuts like us, in the blogger community, of course! Below are the responses from travel bloggers when we asked them “What is the best street food you ever ate?” We’re excited to try (almost) all of these.

Tacos Al Pastor (Mexico)

El Fagon Al Pastor Taco

Delicious Al Pastor Taco

Sean and Jen from Venturists:

We dream about tacos al Pastor, when we’re not in Mexico. Layers upon layers of marinated pork are skewered and roasted on a vertical spit in full view of the street.

The cook spins the skewer to find the perfect spot to slice off small chunks of sweet, juicy, crispy pork. He drops this directly onto the corn tortillas held in his hand, and then, with a flourish of the knife, flicks a small piece of roasted pineapple onto the taco.

To complete the perfect taco, it is topped with onions, cilantro, and salsa. We’ll eat a single taco each in just a couple of bites, and then start looking for more!

Trdelnik (Czech Republic)

Best Street Food: Trdelnik

Trdelnik

Inta from Curious Cat Expat:

When visiting Prague for their Christmas Market, I was introduced to the Trdelnik. The Trdelnik is an Eastern European pastry – a soft pastry dough covered in cinnamon sugar and served warm. (The closest thing I’d relate it to is a donut.)

I’m not sure which part is better, watching the baker prepare the Trdelnik or eating them. OK, let’s be real…. eating these luscious, melt-in-your-mouth cylindrical treats is better, but the preparation is pretty entertaining too. You take one bite and it just melts in your mouth!

The preparation: pastry dough is wrapped around a thick rod, placed over hot coals rotating until baked, and finished with a dusting of cinnamon sugar. During seasonal events you can find stands in the main squares preparing these luscious delights, though year-round they can be found in little bake shops of Prague ….. just follow your nose, and you’ll find them….the smell is intoxicating!

Salep (Turkey)

Salep vendor at Sultanahment Square, Istanbul, Turkey

Salep vendor at Sultanahment Square, Istanbul, Turkey

Ana from Ana Travels:

What do you need after spending the morning walking around Istanbul on a cold winter’s day? A hot, satisfying, nourishing drink: salep. The first time I drank Salep I was hooked forever. We walked from the Grand Bazaar to Sultanahmet Square and visited Hagia Sophia and the Basilica Cistern. It was cold, I was tired and, I’ll admit it, cranky.

I spotted a salep vendor in the middle of Sultanahmet Square on our way to the Blue Mosque and decided to give it a try. Salep is made with flour from the tubers of a type of wild orchid, milk, sugar, rose water, and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

It is a dense drink and retains heat for a long time, which I learned when I burned my tongue. When you drink salep, you can feel the warmth irradiating from your stomach to the rest of your body. It is sweet but not sickly and cinnamon.

I detected a slight floral aftertaste. Salep became my beverage of choice when out and about. I got it from street vendors and cafes as well. Salep is the perfect drink to nourish your body after nourishing your mind with the history and culture of Turkey.

Souvlaki (Greece)

Greek Souvlaki

The perfect handheld street food: Greek Souvlaki

Chrysoula from Travel Passionate:

My favorite street food is “Greek souvlaki”. The best I have ever eaten so far is in downtown Athens in a souvlaki shop or souvlatzidiko as we call it named Kostas.  It is situated near Syntagma Square at 5 Pentelis Street.  

The shop has operated since 1950 in the same spot. They serve souvlaki which is pieces of pork, yogurt, tomato, onions, and parsley all wrapped up in pita bread.  You can understand how tasty it is by the line outside the small shop. So if you ever come to Greece don’t forget to try Greek souvlaki at Kostas!

Tlayudas (Mexico)

Tlayuda

Tlayuda – Oaxacan Pizza

Claudia from My Adventures Across The World:

Typical of Oaxaca and known as “Oaxacan Pizza”, they are huge corn tortillas, spread with refried beans, guacamole or avocado, and cheese, and topped with meat (usually grilled pork chops). I

enjoyed them at Cenaduria de Lupita, known in town as Tlayudas de San Jacinto, where I took my boyfriend Justin who had just arrived in town and who had to admit that yes, they are delicious.

Tlayudas are usually served with sliced radish, and cooked, sliced green peppers and they are big, filling, and tasty, you must eat them with your hands!

Durian (Thailand)

Durian

Margherita from The Crowded Planet:

I grew up listening to my father’s tales about durian. He lived in Singapore during his childhood and fondly remembered the custardy-sweet (but foul-smelling) king of fruits.

The first time I tried durian was in Penang. A friend was driving me around and surprised me by saying that Penang was the world’s durian capital, and asked me if I wanted to have a taste of two different varieties. He took me to a street stall, where dozens of durians were piled – some whole and some in pieces. He then proceeded to select two – one large and pointy, the other smaller and rounded.

I fell in love with durian after the first bite. I was living my dad’s memories vicariously through the fruit. I tried the first durian, the large and pointy one. It was sweet and creamy, the smelly aftertaste only making it more delicious.

I remember my father’s tales of monkeys running through frangipane trees in his garden. Then, I had the second one, which was slightly bitter and had pink-colored flesh. I felt as if I was with my father, wandering around the newborn city of Singapore.

I ended up having durian every day during my Penang stay.

Whole Deep Fried Squid

Whole Deep Fried Squid

hole Deep Fried Squid

Victoria from The Freedom Travellers:

The best street food I’ve ever eaten has to be in Taipei. The night markets are full of delicious and interesting finger food to sample.

I can’t say the local delicacy of stinky tofu was my favorite…that one is an acquired taste. For me, it had to be the deep-fried crispy squid. Whole squid, deep fried in a light and crispy batter with a little added spice…so good!

Zapiekanka (Poland)

Zapiekanka

Zapiekanka

Joí£o from Travelholic Nomad:

Zapiekanka – it’s one of the most popular Polish street foods, and one of the tastiest!

Most zapiekanka sandwiches are made with French bread (baguette), sauteed mushrooms, and cheese. You can also add meat, ham, or vegetables. Ketchup is used almost all the time on top, and trust me, it does make a difference!

I ate this too many times when I was in Poland, from Kraków to Zakopane, and there wasn’t once where I could say I had a bad zapiekanka. It is crunchy, but at the same time melts in your mouth because of the cheese, it’s just hard to explain how awesomely tasty it is. You’ll just have to head to Poland and try it out for yourself

Hoettuck (South Korea)

WanderlustExplorers_Hoettuck

Hoettuck

Jen & Kiki from Wanderlust Explorers:

A hoettuck is a delicious, hot pancake filled with brown sugar and nuts, that when cooked becomes a delicious, lava-hot treat. They tend to fold the hoettuck in half and put it into a paper cup so that they can manage to hold it.

They sell for about $1 USD and can be found all over Seoul, but we found them typically near the Myeongdong area, close to Namsan Park. A perfect cool-weather dessert snack.

The Pie Lady (Mexico)

Puerto Vallarta Pie Lady

Best Street Food in Puerto Vallarta: Puerto Vallarta Pie Lady

Carole from Travels with Carole and Berkeley and Beyond:

Arrival in Yelapa, near Puerto Vallarta in Mexico, is by small boat.  After wading ashore, visitors grab a chair in the sand and order up beer and snacks from beach shacks . . . and wait for the arrival of the Pie Lady.

 She carries the day’s selection atop her head.  If you’re lucky, it will be your favorite, but most likely will be yummy coconut cream.  Any way you look at it, a mouthful of pie is quite a treat to be enjoying on a beach in paradise.  

But don’t come here on Sunday.  That is the Pie Lady’s day to rest.

Rellenitos de platano (Guatemala)

Deep Fried Rellenitos

Deep Fried Rellenitos

Ben & Jazzy from Road Affair:

There is something about this Guatemalan snack that is irresistible. I mean mouth-watering, jaw-dropping, eye-popping-out-of-socket good.  Rellenitos de platano is a deep-fried Guatemalan street dessert made from mashed sweet plantains filled with a sweet black bean sauce.

We experienced our first foodgasm with this snack. After that, we ate this bad boy three times a day, every day for one month. It’s safe to say we were in love. A rellenito can cost between 2.50 to 5 quetzals (~$0.30 to $0.65 USD). So not only is it deliciously good, it is also super cheap. Just the way we like it.

Jianbing (China)

Street Food: jianbing

Jianbing

Laura from Savored Journeys:

Jianbing is one of China’s favorite snacks and once you get your hands on one of these giant savory crepes, you’ll understand why. Traditionally served as a breakfast snack, Jianbing is now being served up by expert street vendors throughout China at all times of the day and night.

I was lucky to try one of these delicious crepes from a street vendor in Beijing. Imagine a traditional fried crepe – spread thin and fried to a perfect golden crisp on a griddle with an egg inside. The crepe gets brushed with hot chili sauce and soy sauce, topped with scallions, cilantro, and crispy wontons, folded over a few times, and served piping hot.

I guarantee it’s some of the best street food you’ll ever eat.

BBQ Enoki Mushrooms Wrapped in Bacon (Thailand)

bbq'd mushroom BKK

Bq’d mushroom

Megsy & Tommo from Travel Freedom Podcast and Five Dollar Traveller:

While roaming the streets of Bangkok’s Chinatown on a weekend, it may be hard to choose only one street food option. Deciding to explore down a small side street, we spotted a couple of guys barbecuing these babies and we knew we couldn’t resist.

As the bacon cooks, all of the flavor is soaked up by the enoki mushrooms giving you the perfect taste of bacon and mushroom awesome. Mmmm, bacon! It’s the perfect mix of flavor and texture.

Liege Waffle (Belgium)

Belgium: waffle

Belgium: waffle

Sim from Travel Hacks:

This is me right before munching on a Liege waffle in Brussels. I’ve had a lot of waffles outside Belgium but I never thought there would be much of a difference… But boy, it’s a completely new level!

The waffle itself was warm, smelled heavenly, crisp on the outside with crystallized sugar on top, and when you bit in… soft and mellow and just like the love for food should taste!

Balut (Philippines)

Balut

Balut

Mate from Chasing the Donkey:

It’s this balut!  Balut is a duck embryo that has been boiled and is sold on the streets of the Philippines.

I tried this when I was with my Philippino friends many years ago, and have eaten it a few times since.  To embrace the balut experience, you need to follow it up with a local beer.

Inspired? Pin it for later…

 

Best Street Food

Have you tried any of these street foods? Do you know a street food that can’t be missed, that wasn’t here? Please leave a comment!

And, if you want to discover more great international food, check out a food tour or a cooking class:

Matt Hilton

Monday 13th of July 2015

Read this just before heading out to lunch! I fear that nothing I can muster up in this lunch break will come close to the delights you have assembled here! Brilliant post!

Jennifer (Dr. J)

Saturday 11th of July 2015

I love Trdelnik! They have these at the Christmas markets in Poland too.

I also recommend Takoyaki - fresh octopus balls made by hand (or rather spun around with just a toothpick) on the streets of Osaka, Japan...

http://www.sidewalksafari.com/2015/02/20-japanese-food-experiences.html

Sean

Saturday 11th of July 2015

Ok, we'll need to put fresh octopus balls on our "second edition" street food post! Sounds delicious.

Ashley

Sunday 28th of June 2015

Well now I am hungry! And glad I found this post because today I was at a Turkish restaurant and saw some men drinking Salep and was so intrigued by it! I wish I had been able to try it. Next time we are in turkey :) I have to say I just love street food and I agree that souvlaki is one of my favorites! Can't wait to eat street food everywhere :)

Sanjana @ Green Global Travel

Monday 8th of June 2015

Wow! These look absolutely amazing! I'd love to try street food from everywhere. Thanks for sharing!

Carissa @ Start Wandering

Monday 25th of May 2015

I am salivated looking at this list!!! Maybe not so much with the duck embryo, but everything else YUM! And having just left Poland, I am so glad Zapiekanka made it on this list, it is the most simplest but delicious street food! And you have fun saying the name too.

Sean

Monday 25th of May 2015

Yes, the Zapiekanka looks so good! We're looking forward to trying it ourselves (And, agreed, not so much on the duck embryo)