Street food from around the world

Bratislave street scene Bratislava street scene

What’s that famous quote about “never look a gift horse in the mouth”?  In any event, I found a wonderful gift in my inbox this morning.  A very generous person had collected videos on street food from around the world, and had shared this compilation.  I only checked out a few but I was very impressed, and wanted to share this culinary knowledge.  A word of warning – do not watch on an empty stomach, you will get hungry. Each video averages about 10 minutes.  These videos convey what I try to write on this blog; that connection between food and the culture of a country.

Turkey legs and corn on the cob

Turkey legs and corn on the cob

As I previously mentioned, I think street or fast food can go a long way to providing a multi-sensory cultural experience that accurately captures the current culture of the country, region, or city in question.  Every time I bite into a conchita pilbil taco, I am transported back to Merida, Mexico, or a gelato reminds me of my meanderings in Italy, or a bit of cheese, lovingly applied to a good baguette reminds me of Paris, well you get the idea.

Street food provides an immediate connection to where ever you are.  If you were to ask me what to eat in San Francisco, its the sourdough bread, the burritos, or the dim sum that defines the place not the restaurants.  People have an easier time reaching consensus deciding the food that defines the place and not who makes it.


Street Food Zanzibar (Tanzania)

Street Food Zanzibar, part 2

Street Food Cairo (Egypt), part 1

Street Food Cairo, part 2

Street Food Nairobi (Kenya) p1

Street Food Nairobi, part 2

Street Food Mumbai (India), p1

Street Food Mumbai, part 2

Street Food Jerusalem, part 1

Street Food Jerusalem, part 2

Street Food Fez (Morocco), p1

Street  Food Fez, part 2


Street Food Palermo (Sicily)

Street Food Palermo, part 2

Street Food San Sebastian (Basque Spain)

Street Food San Sebastian, part 2

Street Food, London’s Multicultural Brick Lane

Street Food, London’s Brick Lane, part 2 


Chinatown in Singapore

Chinatown in Singapore

Street Food Beijing p1

Street Food Beijing p2

Street Food Osaka (Japan)

Street Food Osaka, p2

Street Food Penang (Malaysia)

Street Food Penang, p2

Latin America

Street Food Lima (Peru)

Street Food Lima, p2


Food market in Kowloon

Food market in Kowloon

Street Food Kingston (Jamaica)

Street Food Kingston, part 2

North America

Street Food New York City

Street Food New York City, p2

Street Food Montreal (Canada)

Street Food Montreal, p2

Middle East

Street Food of Tehran (Iran)

Any food stories you’re willing to share?

For me a wonderful experience while traveling is grabbing some of the local grub, and finding a park or someplace to sit down and watch the passerby and digging in to whatever I had purchased.  I remember sitting in a lovely park in Dijon, France with my husband and “oohing” and “ahhing” over some incredible cheese, and perfect strangers came to us to inquire about our food, and wished us “bon appetite”.  So either we were making too much noise, or good food really does bring people together.  I prefer to think the later.

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19 comments for “Street food from around the world

  1. June 17, 2009 at 4:19 PM

    I eat what looks good, and I’m willing to try local delicacies when I travel. Food does bring people together. ^^

  2. June 17, 2009 at 5:08 PM

    Nothing beat street food. In a way that how a lot of regional cuisines came about.

  3. June 17, 2009 at 5:46 PM

    Not that this is at all exotic, but I can never get enough of the crepes made on the corner stands in France. Somehow, a simple, fresh-off-the-griddle crepe filled with simply sugar and a squirt of lemon juice never tastes as good anywhere else.

  4. June 17, 2009 at 6:02 PM

    street food is the best food. nothing fancy, just straightforward, local grub. love it.

  5. June 17, 2009 at 8:19 PM

    I loved croissants in France and also I remember some of the best street food I’ve seen was at Barbados such as fishcakes.

  6. June 17, 2009 at 8:45 PM

    My most favorite street foods experience was in the Philippines – bibingka baked in a clay pot in front of me, freshly boiled sweet corn, and a box of ‘espasol’ from a passing vendor. Street food is about simplicity and value – I hope the gourmet food trucks so popular right now will remember their provenance!

  7. June 18, 2009 at 6:59 AM

    Impressive collection of videos! I just watched Montreal Part 1 and Part 2 because I’ve always want to go there. Part 1 featured a local obsession that I will be writing about soon, can you guess what it is? And Part 2 featured Dragon’s Beard Candy, which I just did for WFW!

    I have too many food experiences to pick a favorite, but one that sticks out in my mind is having an ice cream ‘sandwich’ on the streets of Singapore. Literally a slab of hard ice cream between 2 pieces of white bread (slightly sweeter and swirled with color, but very much like Wonder bread). Only $1 from a street cart and it was pretty good!

  8. June 18, 2009 at 8:25 AM

    I love snacking on the street food in any place I visit. It’s simple, fun, easily accessible and it gives you an authentic taste of a culture.

    I remember being in Brazil and getting all kinds of tasty things like coxinha- looks like a chicken drumstick, but it’s actually minced chicked and spices enclosed in a wheat flour batter, then deep fried. I also loved getting all the delicious fruit- the beautiful mangos and pineapples!

  9. admin
    June 18, 2009 at 8:50 AM

    Kenny – I think HK has some of the street food and I agree with you trying local foods is best.

    Jenn – agreed!

    Carolyn – may not be exotic but it sure is good.

    KMS – so with you.

    Natasha – both of your examples sound delish!

    TN – love the immediate connection with food cooked to order, does not get better. Not sure if the gourmet trucks get the connection, to me they seem to be a fad, let’s see where they are in a few years.

    Phyllis – glad you liked the videos, I’ve been having so much fun watching them. I was hoping for a Dublin one for our upcoming trips. Maybe we’ll have to do one. How cool was that on Montreal, and your connection. I had not gotten to those yet, but I love Montreal. I worked for company who’s HQ is there and I got to go frequently to check it out.

    Lisa – your snack examples sound divine!

  10. June 18, 2009 at 4:20 PM

    So fun. We’d love to take a trek around the world, eating our way through each city. There’s a new resto in Los Angeles called Street. Sue Feniger based the dishes on all of the different street foods she’s had in her life around the world. It’s a really interesting concept with a lot of really interesting dishes. Check it out! (We totally don’t work for them or anything…this is just an honest story that seemed to go with your post. 🙂 )

  11. June 19, 2009 at 9:13 AM

    It’s funny, I had the same thought as The Duo Dishes! The restaurant STREET here in LA! I have tasted some of their tidbits at various tasting events but have not been yet. Your post inspires me to do just that. Though I suspect it will not be nearly as fabulous as your examples of the real thing! GREG

  12. admin
    June 19, 2009 at 4:19 PM

    Duo and Greg – Street sounds fantastic, what a brilliant idea. It reminds me of a restaurant that used to be in Adams Morgan in Washington, DC that every year focused on a cuisine from different parts of the world.

  13. June 20, 2009 at 7:23 PM

    I’ve bookmarked this post to savor sloooowly, one video at a time. Thanks so much for posting them.

    The best street foods are be found in Bangkok. Of course, I’m totally biased. Haha. But seriously, street food scenes in countries in warmer climate are much more lively than those in colder parts of the world. People go out and stay out more. They also eat more seasonal foods prepared fresh. In Bangkok, food hawkers work around the clock, because people eat around the clock. Our family’s favorite rice congree stall only sells between 9:00 pm to 4: am.

  14. June 20, 2009 at 11:23 PM

    What a fun post! Street food is one of the most interesting things about traveling. I had an interesting experience with street food in Pisa, Italy on my honeymoon. My husband decided he was too hungry to wait and grabbed a sandwich at a stand near the tower of Pisa. The problem was that the sandwich looked like it had been there in the heat for a week, and the lady dropped it on the ground, picked it up with her bare hands, and gave it to him. He ate it. He got sick. Enough said. Every other experience has been great though!

  15. admin
    June 21, 2009 at 6:49 AM

    Leela – I thought they were great, what a gift – and the more I dig into them, the more fun I’ve had. Enjoy and savor!

    Rachael – yikes, your husband has my sympathies, what a terrible thing to happen while traveling. Hope that experience did not completely scare him off street food, as I’d hate to think of all the good stuff he’d miss.

  16. June 21, 2009 at 3:23 PM

    Street food is a great part of a culture, so I think noone should skip it during a travel. In Turkey, even each city has a different street food and culture, so I love travelling inside our country.

  17. June 22, 2009 at 5:52 AM

    Thx for posting these – I’ve got a trip planned for San Sebastian in August so very much looking forward to some Basque street food.

    I’ve got to find some images/clips on street food in Korea for you. At night lots of areas pitch tents and sell all sorts of street food – the smells are intoxicating and you can’t walk by and not partake in the deliciousness.

  18. June 22, 2009 at 6:49 AM

    I love to try local food & food speial for this region, land or state!

    I love this sort of posting: we learn a lot! Very interesting!

  19. May 2, 2010 at 5:34 PM

    Hi, perhaps this post may be off topic but anyhow, I’ve been surfing around your blog and it seems really cool. It is obvious that you know the subject and you are fervent about it. Thanks
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