Eight of the best street food spots around the world

The allure of street food is universal. All travellers have the desire to sample delicious and affordable food packed with authentic flavours. From the bustling streets of Bangkok to the charming alleys of Mexico City, here are eight of the best street food spots around the world.

Bangkok, Thailand – Pad Thai in Thip Samai

Bangkok is a street food mecca known for its diverse and delicious offerings. Mouthwatering scents of grilled meats, stir-fried dishes and aromatic spices meet you the moment you step onto its chaotic and colourful streets. 

Thailand’s street food scene is legendary, and no visit is complete without indulging in the iconic Pad Thai at Thip Samai. Located in the heart of Bangkok’s bustling Old Town, this unassuming spot has been perfecting the art of Pad Thai since 1966. Fresh rice noodles stir-fried to perfection, succulent shrimp, crispy tofu, and an exquisite balance of sweet, sour and spicy flavours make this dish a culinary masterpiece.

Marrakech, Morocco – Jemaa el-Fnaa Square

Marrakech boasts a fantastic street food scene. Jemaa el-Fnaa Square, in particular, transforms into a food lover’s paradise as the sun sets. 

At dusk, many food stalls pop up serving Moroccan delights, including lamb tagines, fluffy couscous and tender kebabs, all infused with the flavours of saffron, cumin and cinnamon. After dinner, try the irresistible almond-stuffed dates and sip on mint tea for the perfect Moroccan culinary experience.

Mexico City, Mexico – Tacos at El Vilsito

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No street food list would be complete without Mexican tacos, and El Vilsito in Mexico City is the place to indulge. Tucked away in a lively neighbourhood, this taqueria is famous for its al pastor tacos. Marinated pork spins on a vertical spit, it’s then sliced thin and nestled in soft corn tortillas. Fresh coriander, onions and a squeeze of lime all top it off for the perfect flavour in each bite.

Beyond tacos, Mexico City’s street food offers a treasure trove of culinary delights, from spicy tamales to elote (grilled corn) slathered in mayonnaise and chilli powder.

Istanbul, Turkey – Galata Bridge area

Istanbul’s bustling street markets offer an array of tempting street foods, but none is as iconic as the fish sandwich from the Galata Bridge area. Grilled mackerel, seasoned to perfection, is served with lettuce, onion and a grilled hot pepper or two on a crusty roll with a squeeze of lemon. 

Restaurants under the bridge also serve a variety of dishes including fresh fish caught daily. For those with a sweet tooth, there are plenty of stalls offering baklava, Turkish delight and syrup-soaked pastries in the area.

Hanoi, Vietnam – pho and more in the Old Quarter

In the bustling Old Quarter, you’ll find pho, Vietnam’s beloved noodle soup. Whether you prefer chicken or beef, each bowl is a harmonious blend of rice noodles, fragrant herbs and savoury broth. Sit down on a tiny plastic stool, slurp your pho and soak in the local atmosphere.

You’ll also find street food stalls selling bun cha. This smoky, succulent dish is made from slow-cooked pork in a flavoursome broth. It comes with a portion of fried spring rolls, rice noodles and a basket of herbs and leaves. Add them to the broth with a healthy dose of chilli if you dare!

Buenos Aires, Argentina – Empanadas at El Sanjuanino

Avenida Corrientes, in the heart of Buenos Aires, is a vibrant and bustling theatre district that pulses with energy. Hidden within its streets is El Sanjuanino, a gem serving some of Argentina’s finest empanadas. These golden, flaky pastries are filled with a variety of ingredients, from savoury beef to sweet caramelised onions and cheese. Pair your empanadas with a glass of Malbec wine for an authentic Argentine experience. 

Seoul, South Korea – Gwangjang Market

South Korea’s street food scene is top notch, and Gwangjang Market in Seoul is a hotspot for food enthusiasts. The market’s ambience is exciting, with vendors passionately crafting each dish before your eyes. 

Tteokbokki, spicy rice cakes swimming in a fiery red chilli sauce, is a street food favourite here, offering a perfect balance of chewy and spicy. You can also enjoy crispy tempura, savoury bindaetteok (mung bean pancakes) and freshly made mandu (dumplings).

Athens, Greece – Souvlaki at Kostas

No visit to Athens is complete without sampling the iconic Greek souvlaki. Kostas, a humble street vendor in the heart of the city, is renowned for his mouthwatering souvlaki wraps. Tender grilled meats are wrapped in warm pita bread and topped with fresh tomatoes, onions and a dollop of homemade tomato sauce. Enjoy your souvlaki as you stroll through the charming streets of Monastiraki square, taking in the rich history and culture.

What’s the best street food you’ve ever had? Where were you? Let us know in the comments section below.

Also read: Experts reveal the worst food you can eat while flying

Ellie Baxter
Ellie Baxter
Writer and editor with interests in travel, health, wellbeing and food. Has knowledge of marketing psychology, social media management and is a keen observer and commentator on issues facing older Australians.
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