Street Foods Around the World

Posted on December 7, 2011 by

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!

Pig Ears

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

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 (Maatjesharing)

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?

About Shauntelle Hamlett

Shauntelle is the editorial assistant of She's a freelance writer, DIY-er, mom, wife, thinker, and foodie who has a bucket list of world wide locations where she dreams of experiencing the perfect meal. You can find her personal views about a little of everything on her blog

23 Responses to “Street Foods Around the World”

  1. Abhijit December 8, 2011 12:08 am #

    Ooooh, yumm! All of these sound delicious! :)

  2. Brian December 8, 2011 2:14 am #

    Pulpo gallego on the streets of Bilbao

  3. B. Maurits December 8, 2011 4:03 am #

    Maatjesharing is not Scandinavian but Dutch. You correctly showed the Dutch red-white-blue flag on it.

  4. Sam Kynman-Cole December 9, 2011 4:29 am #

    mmm, although got to admit some look more appealing than others. I didn't know Takoyaki was a popular street food, I've only ever eaten it while dining in Japanese restaurants – one of my favourite dishes.

  5. Aussie on the Road December 10, 2011 1:26 pm #

    I haven't tried any of the above but *damn* do most of them look good.

  6. Emily in Chile December 11, 2011 1:58 am #

    Yum! I've had Takoyaki in Sao Paulo, but I'm waiting for the day I get to eat bahn mi in Vietnam.

  7. Jen January 5, 2012 2:55 pm #

    Taiwan has some AMAZING street food. Hit the night markets, too. So good.

    • Nellie Huang January 7, 2012 5:53 pm #

      Oh yes I’ve heard! I still haven’t been to Taiwan, would love to go to Shilin night market for some yummy oyster omelette!

    • Nellie December 5, 2012 5:52 am #

      So true, we still havent been to Taiwan but Ive heard plenty of good stuff about Shilin market in Taipei!

  8. erick January 6, 2012 4:49 am #

    If u know where to find it, Indonesia and Thailand have amazing street food. Wide variety and flavor. Must try.

  9. Layne January 9, 2012 4:36 pm #

    Great list! I also like choripan (sausage sandwiches) and empanadas in Buenos Aires – and doener kebab in Berlin.

    • Nellie December 5, 2012 5:52 am #

      Woo yum, yes I was recently in Argentina and ate empanadas everyday – I was hooked!

  10. wu1503 April 19, 2012 9:39 pm #

    Bánh mì

    • Nellie December 5, 2012 5:52 am #

      Thanks for the correction!

  11. Average Traveller May 10, 2012 1:15 am #

    Three of my favorites and the rest look like future favorites!

    • Nellie May 10, 2012 1:51 am #

      Which are the three that you like? Street foods are definitely my favorite things to try when traveling – especially love Southeast Asia for its street food!

      • Average Traveller May 10, 2012 12:52 pm #

        Bahn Mi, Takoyaki, and Pane di Trippa (aka Lampredotto) are my faves. I'll have to start planning future trips around the other 5!

  12. livgaunt October 15, 2012 12:28 am #

    Hmmmm I like the sound of takoyaki!

  13. KIMURA December 5, 2012 12:52 am #

    Dear all friend, the BANH MI is written as it is shown here, not BAHN MI and the picture shows other food not BANH MI, it look like BANH CANH CUA.

    • Nellie December 5, 2012 5:49 am #

      Thanks Kimura for pointing out our mistake! I've corrected our spelling error. The picture indeed shows locals eating noodles instead of banh mi but I havent got any photo of banh mi so chose this instead.

  14. Rosalina Popowski January 21, 2013 7:24 pm #

    Life’s road is full of bumps and curves. Know your rights when you hit a rough spot

  15. Food Fan April 21, 2013 9:33 am #

    Does it deals with PVC floor, PVC Doors, PVC Windows and other PVC types of products? I am interested mainly in PVC construction and PVC Ceiling works. I also have an interest on every aspects of interior designs as well.


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    […] find yourself buying shampoo in carry-on sizes, and your digestive system has become immune to street food, it’s highly possible that you’ve been bitten by the travel bug. For those who have caught it, […]

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