The search for good street food is practically an ongoing practice for any foodie. An ideal streetside eating choice is something that doesn’t cause a lot of mess as you move from one place to another. Honestly, nothing beats the simple pleasure of sweet potato served freshly roasted and steaming in a paper bag!
Streetside eating is hardwired into the DNA of every city and its people. To help narrow the choices for the discerningly budget-conscious of us all, here are 10 cities that are basically heaven for cheap street food:
Bangkok has forever been a siren call for travellers far and wide. It would be a sin to have a list of cities for cheap street food and not have Bangkok on it! Jump into the street food scene headfirst at Yaowarat - an oasis for cheap street food, it is where only the best and respected of Thai street food masters operate. Located at the heart of Bangkok’s Chinatown, get a bowl of sugared birds nest soup at 200 baht at Xing Li. Have it warm or cold and enjoy the taste of bliss!
The delicacies found at Singaporean hawker stalls are not limited to just their famous, and rightfully so, Chilli Crabs. As a melting pot of cultures, even the pickiest of eaters will find their choice amongst the multitude of cuisine available around the city. Have a plate of the Michelin star winning Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice or wolf down a bowl of Ice Kacang after a day out under the sun. The possibilities are endless in this city!
Much against popular belief, Australian cuisine isn’t limited to what you can slap on the ‘barbie’. Food is part of Melbourne’s soul and should be a must-visit for any foodie worth their salt! When in Melbourne, give the American Doughnut Kitchen a visit. Parked at Queen Victoria Market, their soft and chewy doughnuts bagged up fresh from the fryer at only 6 for AUD 6.
Kraków may not be on the must-go places for foodies and Polish food may not exactly hold a candle to French or Italian cuisines, but give it a shot and have your mind blown with the inventive blends of textures and tastes! Case in point, give Oscypek - a firm sheep’s cheese that may be an acquired taste - a try. Find a stall in any street market and have them grilled, served with a luscious, crimson cranberry sauce. You can thank us later. *wink
Berlin is one of the most fascinating places you will ever visit and this is reflected in their street food. Berliners experiment with tastes and textures, making for an ever-evolving food scene. For a quintessential taste of the city, take a trip down to Curry 36 in the Kruezberg district of the city. Have their Currywurst - pork sausages grilled and sliced before being smothered in sauce - in Berlin.
Hong Kongers are deeply passionate about their city and their food. Spend a little time there and it wouldn’t be hard to see why! With street food culture very much part of the everyday epicurean philosophy, eat like a local and head on over to Tai Cheong Bakery on Lyndhurst Terrace for a lusciously creamy Egg Tart.
No visit to Paris is complete without having the quintessential crêpe experience. If you can only have it once, have it at maestro Yves Camdebore’s L’Avant Comptoir. Look for the open window and watch the man himself prepare your meal himself, and have it to go. With sweet and savoury options to choose from, the recommendation is that you order yours with real chocolate sauce (none of that Nutella nonsense), paired with seasonal fresh fruits!
Hopping on the highly efficient bullet train from Tokyo for two and a half hours will get you to Osaka, the epicentre of the Kansai region style of cooking. You can’t visit Osaka without coming to Dotonbori where food masters have been cooking and serving their fares for generations. Otako, meaning ‘big octopus’, has been a local favourite for their octopus balls (Takoyaki). And as their name suggests, you get a bang for your buck here - their octopus pieces are big!
With a reputation for being a gastronomic destination, Taipei will have you spoiled for street food choices. But you cannot be in Taipei and not have Taro Balls from Grandma Li’s Taro Balls at Jishan Old Street. A ubiquitous dessert in Taiwanese cuisine, it is a colourful delight made of fresh taro, peeled and steamed, mixed with potato starch, sliced into smaller pieces, and served in a variety of flavours like Green Tea and Sesame.
Vancouver’s thriving street food scene is best found on the menus of their food trucks that you can find dotted all over the city. Check out Vij’s Railway Express, a mobile version of the popular Vij restaurant, where they serve dishes like butter chicken schnitzel and combine it with a delectable drinks selection. With their mixing of the flavours of East and West, it is a must-visit when you are in this city.
Food is very much part of any travel experience. With increasing numbers of shoe-string budget travellers, the street scene is booming. What are your earliest street food experiences? Food encounters are deeply personal but that doesn’t mean you should have to enjoy it alone. Try having your food adventures with someone who will be able to appreciate it as much as you will.
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