Iconic Street Food Around the World

I love eating street food. It’s cheap, readily available, and gives you an excellent idea of the national cuisine. There is so much amazing street food available around the world. It’s hard to go wrong! I’ve put together a list of the best, most popular, and most delicious street food you can find in all corners of the globe. So get ready to salivate as you travel the world on a plate!

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North/Central America

Hot Dog/Corn Dog – USA

This classic American sausage is usually served on a bun with a choice of ketchup, mustard, relish, and/or onion toppings. A corn dog is a hot dog coated in cornmeal batter and deep fried.

Poutine – Canada

Perhaps the most well-known Canadian dish, you can find these french fries (chips) and cheese curds smothered in gravy in restaurants as well as on the street.

Tacos – Mexico

Ubiquitous in Mexico and the US, these corn tortilla shells can be filled with a variety of spicy meat or fish, cheese, and veggies.

Jerk Chicken – Jamaica

Spicy, sweet, & smoky, Jamaica’s staple dish is cooked over charcoal with special spices. “Jerk” means to poke the meat with a sharp object to get the most flavor out of it.

Tamale – Mesoamerica

A corn/maize dough combined with various other ingredients and spices, steamed in a corn husk wrapper (which you don’t eat), this tasty street snack basically comes in its own compostable packaging.

South America

Ceviche – Peru

No cooking required for this snack of raw fish marinated in citrus and chili. This is Peru’s national dish, which they celebrate with its own holiday every year.

Arepas – Colombia & Venezuela

Maise dough patties, these may be fried, baked, steamed, grilled, boiled, and are served with a wide variety of flavors, from plantains to avocado, cheese, and meat.

Choripan – Throughout the Region

A grilled sausage split open on some crusty bread and topped with chimichurri sauce, you can find these all over South America.

Espetinho – Brazil

Composed of a variety of meats and/or non-melting cheese, these are grilled on a skewer and served with hot sauce and farinha flour.


Crepe – France

This classic thin pancake is folded or rolled up with a variety of sweet or savory fillings.

Fish & Chips – UK & Ireland

Just like it sounds, this classic British fare is fried, breaded white fish with chips (french fries). It’s often served with vinegar and/or lemon and wrapped in newspaper or greaseproof paper.

Churros – Spain

Popular in many countries around the world, especially Spain, churros are long thin donuts, usually with a sugary cinnamon coating.

Gelato – Italy

Ice cream made cream, milk, and sugar (with very little or no eggs) this is often fruit flavored and is creamier, richer, and denser than most traditional ice cream.

Bratwurst – Germany

Though the spices vary by region, this staple sausage is typically made with pork and veal.

Imqaret – Malta

A popular treat on the Mediterranean island is this sweet pastry filled with dates and flavored with aniseed and bay leaves.

Obwarzanek Krakowski – Poland

Bread braided into a ring, boiled, and sprinkled with poppy and sesame seeds, this popular food has its city of origin (Krakow) right in its name.

Middle East

Falafels – Israel (and throughout the region)

These deep-fried chickpea cakes can be served on their own or in a pita with veggies and creamy sauce.

Baklava – Turkey

Layers of paper-thin filo dough and pistachios smothered in sticky honey syrup, you might want to brush your teeth after sampling this delicious treat.

Shawarma – throughout the region

Similar to gyros, meat is slow-cooked on a rotisserie spit and shaved into a wrap/pita with fresh veggies and hummus or tahini.


Bubble Tea – Taiwan

Cold tea, usually with milk and the fruit-flavored syrup of your choice, this fun drink is served with an extra wide straw to suck up the chewy tapioca “bubbles” in the bottom.

Bao Buns – China

These thick, steamed dumpling-like buns are stuffed with meat and/or veggies.

Ramen – Japan

While the make-it-yourself version is college-student diet staple, fresh street ramen (consisting of broth with long, thin wheat noodles, veggies, and usually meat or fish) is much better. Hard-boiled eggs, soy sauce, and miso are also common ingredients.

Bahn Mi – Vietnam

With a French twist left over from colonial days, these are small baguettes filled with various meats, veggies, and sauce.

Batata Vada – India

There is so much great street food in India, but these babies are scrumptious little balls of mashed potato covered with chickpea flour, deep fried, and served with chutney.

BungeoPpang – Korea

These thin, waffle-like pastries take on the misleading shape of a fish and are filled with sweet red bean paste.


Sfenj – Morocco

Similar to a donut, this is a sticky, deep-fried dough covered in sugar.

Tajine – North Africa

This spicy stew of meat and veg is named for the earthenware pot it’s cooked in. Fruits and nuts are also common ingredients.

Bunny Chow – South Africa

With Indian influence, this is a thick, hollowed-out piece of bread filled with curry.

Forodhani – Zanzibar

Also known as “Zanzibar Pizza”, this consists of veggies, eggs, and mayo (and sometimes meat) wrapped in a thin dough and fried.

Akara – Nigeria

These deep-fried bean cakes are usually made from brown beans, plus onions and spices.

Kachi Keri – Kenya

This fresh street snack is basically raw mango (picked early so it’s crunchy) seasoned with salt, lime,and chili.


Hokkien Mee – Singapore

These stir-fried rice and egg noodles usually come with egg, pork, shrimp, squid, bean sprouts, soy sauce, and a lime chili sauce

Halo-Halo – Philippines

Basically, this is shaved ice and evaporated milk, to which you can add all kinds of wild additional ingredients from beans, sweet potatoes, and rice to plantains, coconut, jackfruit, and tapioca.

Asinan – Indonesia

A healthier choice, this dish is a mix of pickled fruits or veggies.

Meat Pie – Australia & New Zealand

A small, hand pie filled with mincemeat and gravy, these often also include onions, mushrooms, and/or cheese.

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  • The Benefits of Eating Off the Tourist Track

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