Norman, a great friend, foodie, and photographer from the Philippines, says, “you know the soul of a country by eating its street food.” Having eaten the street foods in every country I’ve visited, I have to admit he’s right. From stationary carts in Hong Kong, push carts in Lima, small trailers in Mexico City, and literal holes in the walls in Durban, I’ve learned more about a country and its people and had some of the best meals of my life. And never was I cheated out of the sit-down-and-enjoy experience, because there was always a stoop, bench, curb, or large flower pot nearby to park myself and think about nothing but the bites.
One of the highlights for me was this one person that was selling chocolate. Just chocolate. It was so straight and to the point that I just had to check it out. He mentioned how it was as natural as it could get, and how in that form chocolate can be healthy. I tried it and I quite enjoyed it. It tasted different than what I was expecting, but in a good way.
This list is for those whose, like mine, palate is as adventurous as their passport and those who, like me, love to save money and still have the time of their life!
My recommendation is google nothing; no images, descriptions, nothing. Arrive and do your best to pronounce the name and surely someone will point you toward the dish!
1. Bangkok, Thailand.
Foods To Try: Boat Noodles + Kluay Tod + Som Tam + Khao Kha Moo + Moo Ping + Guay Teow + Massaman Gai + Mango Sticky Rice (My absolute favorite)
2. Istanbul, Turkey.
Foods To Try: Kokorec + Islak Burger + Gozleme + Boza (a drink)
3. Durban, South Africa.
Foods To Try: Bunny Chow + Grilled Prawns + Roti + Boerewors + Biltong
4. Marrakech, Morocco.
Food To Try: Sheep Head + Harira + B’Stilla + Snails + Ma’qooda + Sheep Heart + Chebakia + Orange Juice (the best in all the world!) + Tangine
5. Hong Kong.
Food To Try: Stinky Tofu + Curry Fish Balls + Grilled Squid Tentacles + Roasted Chestnuts + Egg Waffles + Sui Mai + Stewed Organs In A Pot
6. Mumbai, India.
Food To Try: Vada Pav + Bhelpuri + Sev Puri + Pav Bhaji + Chai (Of Course) + Pani Puri + Mumbai Sandwich
7. Lima, Peru.
Food To Try: Guinea Pig + Papa Rellena + Picarones + Arroz Con Leche (mmmm!) + Cow Heart + Baby Goat Mollejas + Ceviche
8. Manila, Philippines.
Food To Try: Kwek Kwek + Helmets & Adidas + Fish Balls + Palabok + Sotanghon + Taho + Halo-Halo + Balut (MUST!) + One Day Old Fried Chicken + Papanga Frogs
9. Any City, Mexico.
Food To Try: Tamales + Grilled Corn + Tortas + Horchata (best drink ever) + Tacos!!!
Warning: You won’t be able to eat tacos in your non-mexico hometown every again. Unless you’re in Cali.
10. Salvador de Bahia, Brazil.
Food To Try: Picanha + Pastel De Queijo + Kibe + Bacalhau + Feijoada + Acaraje With Vatapa + Cassava Chips + Ceviche
Happy Eating. Happy Travels!