Ask any traveling foodie about memorable times on the road, and you’re bound to be regaled with stories of the delicious (and sometimes unusual) street foods they’ve encountered along the way. In many countries, street foods are the ultimate option for quick, inexpensive, and flavorful meals, and according to some studies, account for up to 40% of the food spending in poorer countries. We’ve rounded up some of the most popular street foods around the world; don’t let their looks fool you, these are mouth-watering dishes you just gotta taste!
Grilled, fried, barbecued, or stewed, pigs’ ears are a favorite street food in the Philippines and China, but also in unexpected places like Germany and Italy as well. Consisting of mostly cartilage and skin, aficionados describe the fried version as slightly crunchy and then melt-in-your-mouth good.
Flickr photo by Ron Dollete
Germany is famous for its wurst: flavorful spiced pork sausages that are available in an amazing variety since each region has its own version. Currywurst is made from chopped wurst covered with liberal dose of curry-ketchup and generally served with bread and pomme frites. Lore has it that the dish originated in Berlin but some conspiracy theorists suggest it really originated in Hamburg and there is even a film about this!
Flickr photo by punctuated
A common street food in South America, arepas are round breads made with corn flour or meal. Depending on where you buy them, you will found them served hot spread with melted butter, stuffed with cheese, filled with chorizo, or cut in half and turned into a sandwich.
Photo by William Neuheisel
Banh mi shows up on every list of the top street foods in the world and that’s with good reason. These little Vietnamese sandwiches start with a fresh french-style baguette and are filled with anything from succulent pork belly, sausage, grilled chicken, or fried eggs, topped with shredded daikon, pickled carrots, cucumber slices, cilantro, and chili sauce.
Pane di Trippa
Eating like a local in Italy means grabbing a pane di trippa from the local Trippaio. These popular sandwiches, made with tripe that has been boiled until it’s melt-in-your-mouth tender, are even better when dipped in the broth left over from boiling the tripe, so be sure to go “bagnato” when asked.
Flickr photo by Tavallai
Matjes or Maatjesharing, also known as soused herring, is a favorite street food in Holland. These young herrings are soaked in brine and eaten whole, alone or smothered with raw diced onions. The key to eating them like a native is holding them over your head by the tail and taking a big bite.
Flickr photo by Matt Mangum
Best described as a puffed round pastry stuffed with a tender morsel of octopus, takoyaki is a street food found throughout Japan. The pastry dough is prepared from a light, low-gluten cake flour and the pastries are grilled over a fire, which gives them a crusty outer layer and a more doughey inside. Take a bite and you’ll taste the slightly chewy octopus inside – this contrast in textures is one of the reasons people who enjoy takoyaki find them so addictive for snacking.
Flickr photo by Tab2_dawa
Kathi (Kati) Rolls
Kathi rolls are a popular wrap stuffed with grilled meat and/or veggies found in most regions of India but originating in Kolkatta, India. The meat is marinated in a spices, grilled, tossed with onions and chilis, and then rolled in a fried paratha.
Flickr photo by amanderson2
What are your favorite street foods? Where do you think are the best destinations for street food?