Wandering city streets and exploring the local scene are all part of the adventure when you travel to a new place. But to really take in what the destination has to offer, one of the most memorable experiences is to taste the delicacies prepared right on the sidewalk by street vendors. Join us on a street food adventure to savor the special flavors and unique dishes from food stalls around the world.
1. Exploring the Wonders of Street Food
Street food is an important part of many cultures, including cities large and small. Touring the streets of the world gives food lovers the opportunity to experience all sorts of exotic flavors, textures, and smells. For those with a fearless heart and a taste for adventure, here are just a few of the wonders of street food.
Dim Sum is a Cantonese phrase that translates to “touch the heart,” a fitting description of these delicious bite-sized morsels. From Har Gow (shrimp dumplings) and Char Siu Bao (barbeque pork buns) to Cheung Fan (rice noodle rolls), each Dim Sum dish is designed to tantalize the taste buds. Eaten at dim sum restaurants and street carts, Dim Sum is the perfect combination of sweet, sour, and savory.
If you find yourself in Osaka, don’t miss out on the chance to experience genuine takoyaki. These delightful octopus balls are made with a wheat-based batter, fried to a crisp in a special pan, and topped with a variety of sauces and seasonings. Takoyaki is an affordable, nourishing, and immensely satisfying street snack that will make you want to come back for more.
Yet another wonderfully delicious street snack is the empanada. These savory pastries are said to have originated in Spain, but have been adopted in countries all over Latin America. Filled with an array of meats, vegetables, and cheeses, the flavor and texture of empanadas vary greatly depending on the country from which they hail.
For a taste of Germany, look no farther than the classic street dish called currywurst. Made with steamed or grilled pork sausage, the dish is smothered in a flavor-packed curry sauce that is sure to tantalize taste buds. While currywurst is savory and spicy, the subtle sweetness of the sauce keeps the dish from becoming overwhelming.
No street food tour would be complete without churros. This famous snack is made with a choux-style pastry dough and served with a sprinkling of cinnamon and sugar. But if you really want to experience authenticity, look for vendors who top their churros with dulce de leche or hot chocolate sauce.
Exploring the street food of the world is an adventure like no other. Whether it’s the intricate Dim Sum of Hong Kong, delectable takoyaki of Osaka, traditional empanadas of South America, or the classic currywurst of Germany, there are countless unique and exciting dishes to discover.
2. A Taste of Local Delicacies from Food Stalls
Dickens Square in Glasgow is a great place to go if you’re looking for all kinds of delicious street food. From flavoursome international dishes to traditional Scottish delicacies, you can find it all here. Here’s a guide to local delicacies worth trying:
Haggis is a dish with a unique, earthy flavour that you’ll be hard-pressed to find anywhere else. Prepared with a blend of sheep’s offal, onions, oats, and spices, haggis is cooked inside a sausage casing and served sliced up with comforting mashed potatoes. It’s a local Glasgow favourite that you definitely mustn’t miss!
Fish and Chips
One of the city’s most beloved dishes is fish and chips – mostly made with haddock, this delicious combination of crispy fish, French fries and tartar sauce is a classic go-to when you’re looking for a hearty meal. Many of the food stalls at Dickens Square offer delicious, fresh and reasonably priced fish and chips, so make sure you try some.
If you prefer vegetarian and vegan options, there are plenty of choices around the square too. Sweet potato fries, veggie samosas, and falafel come highly recommended. But don’t leave without trying some proper Scottish-style vegan tattie scone!
- Baked with a dash of whisky, sticky toffee pudding is a must-taste Scottish dessert!
- The deep-fried Mars Bars are a real crowd-pleaser and a must-try for sweet tooths.
For those who have a serious sweet tooth, the stalls inside Dickens Square have you covered. From traditional Scottish treats such as tablet and shortbread to deep-fried Mars Bars, you can find it all here. So, save some room and don’t leave before having a few bites of these sweet local delicacies.
3. Sampling the Riches of Street Cuisine
Exploring the rich street cuisine of any nation is an incredible way to immerse oneself in local culture and flavors. From the chaotic streets of Bangkok to the traditional food stalls of Seoul, there are so many dishes to tantalize the senses. Here are a few you absolutely must sample:
- Takoyaki – Japan’s Most Popular Street Food
It wouldn’t be right to talk about street cuisine without mentioning Takoyaki, a popular snack from Japan. This savory treat is made from flour, eggs, and octopus pieces then deep fried in specially shaped pans for that spherical shape. It is finished with a selection of toppings such as bonito flakes, green onion, and pickled ginger. Takoyaki is an absolute must-try!
- Taco al Pastor – Mexican Flavorful Sensation
Taco al Pastor is one of the most iconic snacks you’ll find on the streets of Mexico. It consists of marinated pork cooked on a vertical rotisserie then served with a selection of fresh and pickled vegetables as well as coriander, a special sausage, chili, and lime. Delicious!
- Bunny Chow – A Foodie Favorite From South Africa
Originating in Durban, South Africa, Bunny Chow is a hugely popular dish consisting of curry in a hollowed-out loaf of bread. It is thought the dish was invented by the Indian-descended population of Durban to keep their hands away from the hot curry. Bunny Chow is both tasty and fun to eat.
- Papusas – El Salvador’s Most Popular Street Food
Papusas are a popular street food found in El Salvador and consist of a thick corn tortilla stuffed with cheese, pork, and a variety of vegetables. It’s then served with a selection of sides and a delicious tomato and cabbage mixture.
- Tangyuan – China’s Sweet Street Delight
Tangyuan, a popular street food in China, makes for a perfect dessert. It consists of two soft, glutinous rice balls filled with ground sesame, peanut butter, and syrup, then dropped into boiling water. Tangyuan is the ultimate sweet treat.
The street cuisine of each nation is unique and tantalizing. Take the time to savor every flavor and revel in the experience. From Indonesian sate to Venezuelan arepas, you are sure to find food that will delight your tastebuds. Bon Appetit!
4. Hunting Down Street Food Gems
From fragrant soups to freshly made noodles, street food is a delicious way to explore local cuisine. With the right guidance, anyone can become an expert on this deliciously affordable culinary experience. Whether you’re a lifelong foodie, or just looking to get a better understanding of the local culture, here are a few tips for :
- Get To Know the Vendors: Street food vendors are the unsung heroes of local cuisine. Spend the time to meet the vendors, observe what they are doing and get to know what attracts customers to that particular stand. They’re usually great sources of information about the area, the ingredients, and the popular dishes.
- Explore the Neighborhoods: Don’t be afraid to wander away from the city center. Often, you’ll find the best and most authentic street food in the neighborhoods. Look for street corners bustling with people that have long lines of people waiting to get their grub.
- Question Everything: Do your research and don’t be afraid to ask for the ingredients and the cooking methods of a dish. We’re all about trying something new, but it’s important to make sure that it’s healthy and something that your stomach can handle.
- Check Out the Reviews: These days, the Internet has made it easier to track down popular recommendations. Look up local blogs and check out Yelp and other food review websites to get a better idea of the most popular vendors.
- Go with a Local: As they say, “the best way to discover a place is to go with someone who already knows it”. If you have a local in tow, they’ll be able to recommend the best spots. Better yet, they will be able to guide you away from tourist traps that offer lackluster food!
At the end of the day, street food isn’t just about the food. Street vendors offer a unique chance to connect with the locals of a destination, and try some of their favorite dishes. Whether you’re just curious or looking for an adventure, keep these tips in mind to help you find the best street food tastes!
With a full stomach and a heart full of appreciation for a unique culinary adventure, our street food journey has come to an end. One thing is for sure: we won’t be forgetting the amazing flavors, textures, and sights that local street vendors have to offer anytime soon.