There are many ways to get to know a city – its history, culture, architecture, etc. But the most intimate way to know any city is its cuisine. And there’s no better way to explore a city’s cuisine than the street food that it offers. The scents and smells of street food on city streets are an iconic feature of any global city. Such cities have their street food enshrined in pop culture and travel shows. These destinations are also must-visit places for food vloggers making a name for themselves on Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram. In today’s article, we will be looking at some of the best cities for street food across the world. So, let’s dig in!
When the word street food comes to mind, India is one of the first nations that pop up in our heads. And in India, there is no location more revered for its street food than Mumbai, the city of dreams. Located in the state of Maharashtra, most of Mumbai’s street food is Maharashtrian in origin, with Vada Pav being the most popular of these dishes. However, the street food is not limited to Maharashtrian cuisine, as items from many other parts of India can be found on the streets of Mumbai. These include the panipuri, sandwiches, pav bhaji, and dosas. Overall, Mumbai’s vibrant and diverse street food scene makes it one of the best cities for street food in the world.
Another global city that is famous for its lively street food scene is Bangkok. Being the capital of Thailand, a nation famous for its iconic flavors, Bangkok has so much to offer when it comes to street food. The most popular items found on the streets of Bangkok are Tom Yum, a hot and sour shrimp soup, and Pad Thai, a stir-fried Thai noodles. Other popular items include Grilled Prawn/Squid, Thai Chicken Rice, Coconut Ice Cream, and the Rolled Ice Cream. Most of these items are renowned worldwide and recreated in many fancy restaurants across the world. But there is no version of these items that are more genuine than the ones that you will find in the streets of Bangkok. The distinct aroma of the food found in the streets of Bangkok will linger in your mind for days after you leave the city.
The city of Shanghai, famously known as the ‘Pearl of the Orient’, is one of the world’s wealthiest cities. Life here is filled with all the glitz and glamour that you would come to expect from such a city, and there’s no shortage of options when it comes to fine dining. But the city is still in strong touch with its roots, through its fantastic Chinese street food scene. Some iconic items found on the streets of Shanghai are Xie Ke Huang (Crab shell pie), Chinese-style fried chicken, Xiaolongbao (dumpling soup). If you’re looking for desserts, there’s Mung Bean Pie, and Tang Gao, a donut-like item. And for those of you who are brave, there’s the stinky tofu! All in all, Shanghai’s street food scene and its status as a hub of culture makes it one of the best cities for street food in the world.
Being the gateway between the east and the west, Istanbul is one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world. Located right in the middle of Europe and Asia, the transcontinental city is home to a robust street food scene that is famous all over the world. Most of us have seen videos of Turkish Ice Cream Men putting on a show while serving Dondurma (Turkish Ice Cream). But street food in Istanbul isn’t limited to Dondurma. There’s Cay (Tea) and Kahvesi (Coffee), Turkish Kebab, as well as Simit, which is a type of Turkish Bagel. The city also has numerous options when it comes to breakfast, including Menemen, which is a Turkish scrambled egg. In the end, the robust street food scene in Istanbul makes it one of the best cities for street food in the world.
New York City, United States
There is no city in the world more famous than the Big Apple. New York City is a melting pot of culture. Here, people from all over the world and from different walks of life come together. And nowhere is that more evident than on the streets of New York, where you will find carts serving everything starting from Indian Dosas to Chinese Cuisine. Then there are the American classics such as Hot Dogs and Roasted Nuts. The Hot Dog has become the symbol of New York, mostly as a result of it being featured in numerous movies and TV shows. Another food item that is synonymous with the city is the New York Bagel. There is no better way to start the morning! Altogether, the unparalleled diversity of the city makes it one of the best cities for street food.
In conclusion, the cities with the most unique, flavorsome, and diverse cuisine end up being the best cities for street food around the world. The street food found in these places are all social media and pop culture icons, being liked and shared all over the internet. If there’s any destination that you think we missed out on, please let us know in the comments.