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The 8 best street-food dishes around the world

By Camille Veillard, on

There's no better way to discover a new destination than through food. Whether you prefer to stroll through local markets or stop at roadside restaurants, we've picked just a few must-try local specialties from around the world.
A man grilling skewers in MalaysiaA man grilling skewers in MalaysiaA man grilling skewers in MalaysiaA man grilling skewers in Malaysia

Pho in Vietnam, kebabs in Istanbul, quesadillas in Mexico... It's time to set off on a gourmet journey. Street food, typically small dishes that can be enjoyed on the go or in the street, are inexorably part of every country's cultural landscape.

Embark on a voyage of street-food discovery in Thailand

Street food in ThailandStreet food in ThailandStreet food in ThailandStreet food in Thailand

In Thailand, you could eat a different street-food dish every day of your trip. Everywhere you look, in the markets and by the roadside, you'll find wonderful pad Thai, spicy som tam (green papaya salad), steaming skewers, and juicy fruit salads. We can't pick just one dish here: you'll have to try them all.

Savor authentic kebabs in Turkey

Kebabs in TurkeyKebabs in TurkeyKebabs in TurkeyKebabs in Turkey

The döner kebab was born in the streets of Turkey—and the recipe is deceptively simple. Slices of meat (perhaps beef, mutton, or chicken) are marinated in a mixture of spices, olive oil, and milk before being roasted on a spit.


When it's cooked, the meat is cut into thin strips and served on pide (Turkish-style pita bread) or in a dürüm garnished with salad, tomatoes, onions.

Pause for pho in Vietnam

Pho being cooked in VietnamPho being cooked in VietnamPho being cooked in VietnamPho being cooked in Vietnam

At almost all hours of the day and night, on almost every corner in Vietnam, you'll see people sitting with steaming bowls of pho. This fragrant and nourishing soup is a Vietnamese staple. Garnished with Thai basil, beansprouts and onions, the beef and rice noodle broth has a subtle harmony of flavors.

Go in search of the perfect quesadilla in Mexico

Quesadilla being made in MexicoQuesadilla being made in MexicoQuesadilla being made in MexicoQuesadilla being made in Mexico

Alongside tacos, quesadillas are one of Mexico's quintessential street foods. You'll find versions made with both wheat and corn tortillas, which are topped with various combinations of local cheeses, meats, beans, tomatoes, and spices before being grilled.


Different regions have different specialties, many different to what you might have tried back home. Look for huitlacoche (a corn fungus) and flor de calabaza (squash blossoms).

Find out why currywurst is a German classic

The currywurst is just as worthy of international recognition as Germany's many styles of beer. Imagine a New York hot dog revisited German-style without the bun: a sausage is cut into pieces, covered with ketchup and curry sauces, and served with fries. Ready to sample one? Berlin is the undisputed currywurst capital.

Get your dumpling fix in China

Bao in ChinaBao in ChinaBao in ChinaBao in China

China is rightly famous for its steamed dumplings, although even we can't claim to have tried every single variant yet. The only way to find your personal favorite is to try as many as possible. Start, perhaps, with fluffy Cantonese-style char siu bao (filled with roast pork), soup-filled xiao long bao (tricky to eat), and half-moon-shaped jiaozi (served both steamed and fried).

Learn the art of falafel in Israel

Falafel, street food in IsraelFalafel, street food in IsraelFalafel, street food in IsraelFalafel, street food in Israel

Falafel might be a specialty across much of the Middle East, but Israel can lay claim to serving some of the best. You'll see falafel on many restaurant menus—the deep-fried chickpea balls stuffed into pita bread, topped with raw vegetables, and slathered in yogurt, tahini, or hummus—but the freshest, zingiest ingredients are often found at unpretentious street stalls. This is where you should go in search of the best.

Fill up on arepas in Colombia

Arepas in ColombiaArepas in ColombiaArepas in ColombiaArepas in Colombia

Filling, versatile, and served from breakfast to dinner, arepas are at the center of many satisfying street-food meals in Colombia. Somewhere between a cornmeal cake and a pancake, they're filled or topped with many different ingredients: egg, cheese, avocado, plantain... You'll find regional variants everywhere from Bogotá to Cartagena.

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