Best cities to chow down on street food

Street food is the best. It’s cheap, authentic, and local.

Sure, you have to be a bit careful you don’t end up with a mad case of Delhi belly (actually, you should be a lot careful about that one…), but seriously, street eats tick so, so many travel boxes.

Budget-friendly? Check!

Tasty, tasty, tasty? Check!

Endless array of options? Check!

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Quick and easy? Check!

Makes for a great Instagram moment? Check!

Meet the locals? Double check!

Authentic cultural immersion? Done and done.

Now cast that list aside and get thee to one of these epic street food cities! You won’t be sorry.

Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur street food crab
Flickr: PrettyKateMachine

KL has this fantastic mix of Chinese, Indian, and Malay foods, so naturally, its street food packs a pretty delicious (and unique) punch. You might recognise gulab jamun from India, but then be pulled away by cendol, a dessert drink that screams Southeast Asia. It’s a mixture, and we. just. love. it.

RELATED: A foodie guide to Kuala Lumpur’s Chinatown


New York street food truck
Flickr: Jeffrey Zeldman

But of course. Of course NYC makes the list. You could have a field day with all the street eats in NYC (just keep walking), but the coolest thing about it all is just how multicultural it is (kinda like the city’s population…hmmmmm…). You can probably scout out a food truck from all corners of the world, and NYC gets major food thumbs up for that.


Berlin curry wurst
Flickr: Ang

The currywurst! The kebaps! The currywurst! The kebaps! Seriously, Berlin’s street food scene is dominated by these two things, which really isn’t problematic, since they’re just so damn good. Legendary outposts Curry 36 and Mustafa’s Gemuse Kebap are on the same block of Mehringdamm, so it’s worth a visit just to watch the lineups merge into each other (the food’s also stellar).

RELATED: Is there more to German food than bratwurst?

India street food

Yeah, you definitely want to be careful here, but please don’t skip out on Delhi’s street food scene out of fear! Just follow the locals (it’s more fun that way anyway) and you should be just fine. From samosas and paneertikka to kulfi-falooda and momooooooos (yeah, we kind of love them), you really will gain a new obsession with street food after an adventure in Delhi.

Pssst: If you’re wary of going on your own, our local guide can walk you through Delhi’s street food scene and give you confidence in sampling treats especially picked out for you!


Instanbul street food
Flickr: Jeremy Brooks

If you just spend your days wandering the streets of Istanbul eating Turkish Delight, we really wouldn’t judge you. There are definitely more tasty bits to get your paws on (freshly roasted chestnuts, come on!), and the fragrant markets will tempt you forever, so just give in and indulge, why don’t you?

Siem Reap

Cambodia street food
Flickr: arileu

Siem Reap is a winner when it comes to street food. Know why? Much like Kuala Lumpur, the cuisine here (Khmer) is a historic mix of cultures, with influences and techniques in the style and flavour of Thailand, Vietnam, China, and France. The seasonal fruits here are outstanding (see – you can eat healthy!), but you can also catch your fair share of unique skewers, like fried tarantulas (goes great with beer!) and fried crickets (tastes like potato chips!).


Beijing street food
Flickr: adamclyde

Naturally. Hit up the night markets and keep an open mind. You’ll definitely find some oddities (at least to Western palates), but there are also some delightful familiarities to be found (pork buns, pork buns, pork buns). Roasted, spiced lamb on a stick are perfect when you’re out for a long night, and sesame seed cakes will set you up right for dessert. Just be a little wary of all those eggs…you definitely don’t want a rotten one of those!


Hanoi street food and beer
Flickr: Greg Willis

The granddaddy of street food, Hanoi is king when it comes to eating in the street with locals. We’re huge fans of street stalls that do something so well, that’s all they sell, like Bun Rieu Cua (crab and tomato noodle soup). Our other faves include Quan Sam Cay Si and Chicken Street (seriously). Grab a stool and dig in.

RELATED: Discover food tours around the world 

Originally posted on Urban Adventures.

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