One of the joys of traveling is eating. There is no better way to learn about a new culture than through their food. While going out restaurants in a foreign country can sometimes be a rip-off , eating street food is usually the best way to find authentic and affordable food while traveling, not to mention the tastiest! Here is some must try street food from around the world.
Thailand is famous for its street food. From curries to the infamous phad thai, Thai food is world renown for its bold flavors. One of the most popular Thai dishes is Som Tum, a spicy, sweet, and sour green papaya salad. Made using shredded green papaya as the base this savory salad combines the papaya with whole roasted peanuts, sour tamarind sauce, dried shrimp, tomatoes, fish sauce, and of course chili peppers. When made right (as it almost is on the streets of Thailand) Som tum is the perfect mix of sweet,savory, sour and spicy combined with the textural delights of snappy papaya and crunchy peanuts. While a good som tum is always made to order so it can be as spicy as you’d like, we recommend getting a least two chilies in it, you are in Thailand; live a little!
India is one of our favorite places to travel and is a primarily vegetarian country and you will definitely see this reflected in their street food. One of the best street snacks in India is Jhall Muri. In some ways a distant cousin to the Thailand’s som tum, the jhall muri combines puff riced (think homemade Rice Cripies,) peanuts, tamarind, tomatoes, cilantro and other spices to give a tasty light snack that is heavy on flavor. This veggie street snack is a must try street food when in India and goes perfect with an ice cold Indian beer on a hot Delhi day.
While definitely not vegetarian, kokoretsi is a must try street food for the adventurous eater. Found at street side carts in Turkey and Greece; Kokoretsi is the offal (nasty bits) and intestines of either a goat or sheep woven together around a pole and roasted above an open flame. It is usually heavily seasoned with chili peppers, tomatoes, and served in a fresh baked roll. While this treat is not for the faint of heart it is definitely a great way to dive head first into the local food culture and you likely make some new friends as they see a foreigner trying such an intimidating local dish.
Next time you are traveling outside the country consider stepping out of your hotel or approved restaurant and heading onto the streets. You will be delighted at the variety of foods you can try for very little investment. You may even want to look for a local market as in many places this will be your best bet to try a variety of dishes in one location and if possible bring a friend because sharing is caring, plus this means you can try even more must try street food delicacies.