Foods & Recipes

Satisfy Your Cravings: 10 Must-Try Street Food Dishes from Around the World

Are you a foodie always on the lookout for new and exciting culinary experiences? Then you must try street food! Street food is an excellent way to explore the local cuisine of a place and get a taste of the culture. From the spicy and flavorful Thai curries to the sweet and savory crepes of France, every country has its unique street food delicacies. In this article, we have compiled a list of 10 must-try street food dishes from around the world that will surely satisfy your cravings.

Why try street food?

Street food is not just about cheap eats; it’s a whole culinary experience that lets you interact with locals and get a glimpse into their way of life. Street food is often cooked right in front of you, using fresh ingredients, and bursting with flavors. You get to see the process and the ingredients used, which makes it a more authentic and memorable experience.

Moreover, street food is an excellent way to explore the local cuisine of a place. It’s a reflection of the history, culture, and traditions of the place. Every region has its unique street food delicacies that are passed down from generations. Trying street food is like taking a bite out of the local culture.

10 Must-Try Street Food Dishes from Around the World

1. Pad Thai – Thailand

Pad Thai - Thailand

Pad Thai is a quintessential Thai street food dish that needs no introduction. This stir-fried noodle dish is made with rice noodles, vegetables, peanuts, and a tangy sauce made with tamarind, fish sauce, and palm sugar. It’s a perfect balance of sweet, sour, and savory flavors that will leave you wanting more.

2. Pani puri – India

Pani puri is a popular street food snack in India that consists of a hollow, crispy puri filled with spiced mashed potatoes, chickpeas, and tamarind chutney. It’s then dunked into a tangy and spicy mint-coriander water before being popped into your mouth. It’s a burst of flavors and textures that will awaken your taste buds.

3. Bánh mì – Vietnam

Bánh mì - Vietnam

Bánh mì is a Vietnamese sandwich that has gained immense popularity worldwide. It’s made with a crusty baguette filled with pickled carrots and daikon, cilantro, jalapeños, and a protein of your choice, such as grilled pork, chicken, or tofu. The combination of flavors and textures in a bánh mì is what makes it so special.

4. Tacos al pastor – Mexico

Tacos al pastor is a Mexican street food dish that is a must-try for all taco lovers. It’s made with marinated pork that is cooked on a spit and sliced thinly, then served on a corn tortilla with pineapple, onion, and cilantro. The flavors of the tender pork, juicy pineapple, and spicy salsa make for a delicious taco experience.

5. Jollof rice – West Africa

Jollof rice - West Africa

Jollof rice is a staple street food dish in West Africa, particularly in Nigeria and Ghana. It’s a one-pot rice dish that is cooked with tomato sauce, onions, and a blend of spices such as cumin, ginger, and curry powder. It’s often served with grilled chicken or fish and is the perfect comfort food.

6. Falafel – Middle East

Falafel is a Middle Eastern street food dish that has become popular worldwide. It’s made with ground chickpeas, herbs, and spices shaped into balls and deep-fried until crispy. It’s often served in a pita bread with salad and tahini sauce. Falafel is a delicious and healthy vegetarian option.

7. Arepas – Colombia

Arepas - Colombia

Arepas are a popular street food dish in Colombia made with cornmeal dough, shaped into patties, and grilled or fried until crispy. They are then filled with cheese, meat, or avocado, and served with a spicy salsa. Arepas are a perfect snack or breakfast food.

8. Crepes – France

Crepes are a quintessential French street food dish that can be sweet or savory. The thin, delicate pancakes can be filled with Nutella and banana or ham and cheese, depending on your preference. They are often sold from street vendors in Paris and are a must-try for anyone visiting the city.

9. Currywurst – Germany

Currywurst - Germany

Currywurst is a popular street food dish in Germany that consists of grilled pork sausage cut into slices, then smothered in a curry ketchup sauce. It’s often served with fries or bread and is a perfect snack after a night out.

10. Churros – Spain

Churros are a sweet street food dish that originated in Spain and is now enjoyed worldwide. They are made by deep-frying dough, which is then coated in sugar and cinnamon. They are often served with a hot chocolate dipping sauce and are a perfect dessert.

History and origin of each dish

Every street food dish has a rich history and origin story that is worth exploring. For instance, Pad Thai was introduced in Thailand by the Chinese traders during World War II. Jollof rice originated in West Africa and is a popular dish during celebrations and events. Bánh mì has its roots in French colonialism in Vietnam, where the baguette was introduced. Knowing the history and origin of each dish adds an extra layer of appreciation to the experience.

How to find the best street food vendors

find the best street food vendors

Finding the best street food vendors can be a daunting task, but it’s worth the effort. One way is to ask locals for recommendations. They know the best spots and can guide you to the most authentic and delicious food. Another way is to look for crowded stalls. If a stall has a long line, it’s a good sign that the food is fresh and tasty. Lastly, use your senses. Look for vendors who are cooking food fresh to order, and follow your nose to the delicious aroma of the food.

Safety precautions when eating street food

While street food is delicious, it’s essential to take some safety precautions to avoid falling sick. Always eat from stalls that are clean and hygienic. Avoid food that has been sitting out for too long, as it can cause food poisoning. Also, stick to cooked food rather than raw food, as it’s less likely to carry bacteria. Lastly, carry hand sanitizer and wet wipes to clean your hands before and after eating.

Tips for ordering street food

Tips for ordering

Ordering street food can be intimidating, especially if you don’t speak the local language. But it’s essential to be confident and open-minded. Point to the food you want, or use a translation app to communicate with the vendor. Be specific about how spicy you want the food and any dietary restrictions you may have. Also, carry small change as vendors may not always have change for large bills.

Vegan and vegetarian options for street food

Street food is not just for meat-eaters; there are plenty of vegan and vegetarian options available. Falafel, arepas, and crepes are excellent vegetarian options. Pani puri can be made with chickpeas instead of potatoes, and tacos can be filled with grilled vegetables instead of meat. Make sure to communicate your dietary restrictions to the vendor, and they will be happy to accommodate your needs.

Street food festivals around the world

Street food festivals

Street food festivals are a great way to explore different cuisines and try new dishes. From the Night Market in Taipei to the Street Food Festival in London, there are plenty of festivals around the world that celebrate street food. These festivals offer a chance to meet local vendors, learn about the culture, and enjoy some delicious food.

Frequently Asked Questions About

What is street food?

Street food refers to food that is prepared, cooked, and sold in public places such as streets, markets, and parks. Street food dishes are often quick and affordable, making them popular among locals and tourists alike.

What are some popular street food dishes from around the world?

There are numerous street food dishes from different cultures around the world. Some examples include tacos from Mexico, kebabs from the Middle East, banh mi from Vietnam, samosas from India, hot dogs from the United States, crepes from France, and sushi from Japan.

Are street food dishes safe to eat?

Street food safety can vary depending on the location and hygiene practices of the food vendor. It’s important to be cautious and choose vendors that appear clean and follow proper food handling and cooking practices. Opt for freshly cooked food that is served hot. Avoid consuming raw or undercooked food, and make sure that the food is prepared in a clean environment.

How do I know if a street food vendor is reputable?

Look for street food vendors that have a large customer base, as this can be an indicator of their popularity and quality. Observe the food preparation process and make sure the vendor follows basic hygiene practices, such as wearing gloves and using clean utensils. Check for reviews or recommendations from locals or online sources.

What are some popular street food dishes for vegetarians or vegans?

There are plenty of vegetarian and vegan street food options available. Examples include vegetable spring rolls from Vietnam, falafel from the Middle East, dosa from India, tofu skewers from Japan, and veggie burgers from the United States. However, it’s always best to ask the vendor about the ingredients to ensure they meet your dietary preferences.

How do I order street food in a foreign country if I don’t speak the language?

Ordering street food in a foreign country can be challenging if you don’t speak the language. However, you can use gestures, pointing, or showing pictures on your phone to communicate with the vendor. Learning a few basic food-related words or phrases in the local language can also be helpful, such as “hello,” “thank you,” “vegetarian,” or “spicy.”

Can I customize street food dishes to my liking?

Many street food vendors are open to customizations, such as adjusting the spice level, adding or omitting certain ingredients, or changing the condiments. However, it’s always best to ask the vendor politely and be mindful of their cultural practices and preferences.

Can I eat street food if I have dietary restrictions or allergies?

If you have dietary restrictions or allergies, it’s important to communicate them clearly to the street food vendor. Ask about the ingredients used in the dish and cross-check if they are safe for you to consume. However, be aware that cross-contamination may occur in street food environments, so there is always a risk of allergen exposure.

How much do street food dishes typically cost?

The cost of street food dishes can vary greatly depending on the location, type of cuisine, and portion size. In some places, street food can be very affordable, while in others, it may be relatively expensive. It’s best to have some local currency on hand and be prepared to pay in cash, as some street food vendors may not accept credit cards.

Can I eat street food every day?

While street food can be delicious and convenient, it’s not always advisable to eat it every day, especially in unfamiliar locations. Street food may not always meet the same hygiene standards as established restaurants, and consuming it regularly could increase the risk of foodborne illnesses.


Street food is more than just food; it’s a whole experience that lets you immerse yourself in the culture of a place. Trying street food is a must-do for any foodie, and the 10 dishes listed in this article are a great place to start. Remember to take some safety precautions, be open-minded, and enjoy the culinary adventure.