Where to find the best street food when travelling

Posted on 30 January 2020

If you’re a foodie and love to travel to discover new flavours, dishes and experience unique food cultures, then you’ll know a thing or two about street food culture.

Bustling street food markets with aromas wafting through from every side offer meals and snacks ready-to-eat and prepared in front of you. Besides affordability, these food markets give you a variety of food options and the chance to sample more than one type of dish.

Also read: 5 travel destinations for vegan South Africans

street food market

Image: Unsplash

New-York-based travel tour booking site, My Late Deals, compiled an index of the top 30 street-food destinations around the world, based on sanitation, affordability, the number of vendors available and activities, experiences and tours available.

Asian cities dominate the list, with Hong Kong coming out on top, with Thai and Vietnamese capitals Bangkok and second and Ho Chi Minh coming in second and third place respectively.

Durban, rated 27th on the index, is emerging as top street-food destination in the world. Senegal’s Dakar (30) and Marrakech (25) in Morocco were the only other African cities to feature.

For yummy bites and loads of culture, head to these top street-food cities:

Mexico City, #9

Not only is the food a pleasure to eat, but the colourful ingredients, the abundance of tacos, variety of meats and mariscos (seafood and shellfish), are a delight to photograph too.

Palermo, #16


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The Sicilian capital of Palermo serves up some familiar and also unusual Italian flair in the way of arancini deep-fried rice balls, an ice-cream sandwich (gelato con brioche) or if you’re looking to try something really different, stigghiola Siciliana – a goat intestines meat skewer. Popular Palermo markets are Borgo Vecchio, Capo Street, Mercato Ballarò and La Vucciria.

New Orleans, #19


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#neworleanscrawfish #neworleansstreetfood #ladieswholunch #seafoodboil #seafood #spicyneworleans #njaysart #crawfish #neworleansbaby

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You can expect a melting pot of flavours in the jazzy ‘Big Easy’. The foods sold on the streets and in the market tell a story of the city’s inhabitants who come from French, African, Spanish, Native American, Sicilian and Irish backgrounds. Try the rice fritters, beignets, hearty gumbo stews or the iconic New Orleans sarmie – a Muffuletta Sandwich.

Cartagena, #21

Colombia’s colourful Cartagena de Indias offers ceviche, bollos buns (a type of tamale wrapped in banana or plantain leaves) and arepa flatbreads.

Taipei, #24


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We have now arrived at our 3rd “long” term destination : Taipei in Taiwan. Only here since yesterday, I can tell you that already like this city ! A little bit more chilly than Bangkok with 15°C less, I’m enjoying my time walking in the different streets and alleys. To our greatest joy, with the strong Chinese influence, you can find dumplings at every turn, you simply have to follow the smell of them cooking. I feel that I’ll have amazing time discovering all the food choices around here, I understand why foodies are in love with Taipei ! 🥟 🥟 🥟 🥟 🥟 🥟 🥟 🥟 🥟 🥟 🥟 🥟 🥟 🥟 🥟 #taipeitravel #taipeifood #streetfood #taipeistreetfood #taipeifoodie #taipei #taipeieats #taipeigram #dumplings #chinesefood #onthetable #eatfamous #mtlfood #travelforfood #foodtravel #travelfoodie #discoverunder10k #nomadedigital #digitalnomad #foodlover #foodblog #foodblogger #foodblogging #taiwanfood #taiwantravel #eatonthego #foodgasm #dumpling #porkdumplings #saltpoivre

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If you’re feeling adventurous, try Chodofu or ‘stinky tofu’, a strong-smelling fermented tofu popular in China and Taiwanese night markets. Tie dan or iron eggs is another unusual-looking dish at first, as the eggs are black. The iron eggs are simply cooked multiple times and served with mixed spices. End off your visit with some aiyu jelly made from the gel of fig seeds.


Honolulu, #22


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Honolulu Eats #honolulu #goodeats #streetfood #honolulustreetfood #paellatogo #tentaclesonastick

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For some Hawaii-style island flavours , head to Honolulu to sample refreshing shaved ice, poke bowls and sweet island treats such as coco puff pastries.

Sydney, #8

Sydney,  Australia, is also a melting pot of different global cultures and its street food culture reflects that. Taste flavours ranging from Asian fusion to Italian.


Kingston, #29

Jamaica’s capital is a foodie travel hub for vegans, where you can enjoy a host of fresh and delicious vegetable dishes. Meat-eaters, don’t fret: there’s plenty of opportunities to try the spicy jerk flavours and sample fresh seafood too.

Tel Aviv, #7


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Expect a mouthwatering combination of Middle-Eastern flavours and Mediterranean ingredients. Make sure you try a sabich, an Israeli sandwich similar to a pita that’s filled with hard-boiled eggs, fresh salads, veggies like brinjals and dressed with tahini.


Mumbai, #5

In bustling Mumbai, you’ll be spoilt for choice and well-catered for when it comes to vegetarian dishes. Eat your fill of curries, pani puri (chickpea and potato crispy crepes) and grab a dosa flatbread made from a fermented batter. Don’t forget to wash it all down with a delicious, spicy chai (tea).

Berlin, #13


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When in the capital, you should definitely try some German wurst. A must-try meal is definitely a doner kebab, influenced bythe country’s Turkish communities, consisting of a shawarma or wrap filled with rotisserie meat and fresh salads. Find a nearby biergarten to wash it all down.

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