We’re in the middle of a street food revolution. Ready to eat food and drink prepared and sold on the street is becoming increasingly popular. In fact, according to latest figures an estimated 2.5 billion of us worldwide are swapping restaurant for roadside every day.
And that’s great news for the growing number of street food vendors worldwide (there are 20,000 of them in Bangkok alone), who can offer innovative, seasonal and often sensational cuisine to compete with some of the finest traditional sit-down eateries.
Suddenly feeling peckish? Read on for our mouth-watering guide to some of the very best cities for street food from around the globe.
There’s been a big surge in London’s street food scene with more and more boroughs welcoming food vans and stalls. And these new arrivals are serving up all manner of feasts, from traditional comfort food, such as good old fish and chips, speciality pies and tasty stir-fries, through to the most exotic cuisine from around the world.
Head to: Leather Lane in EC1. A five-minute stroll from Holborn Station will bring you to this proper old-fashioned London market street. Alongside the clothes rails, bric-a-brac and fruit stalls you’ll find some of the tastiest food street food in the capital. But beware; the queues get long around lunchtime. After you’ve filled up with great food, go shopping for diamonds in the city’s famous jewellery district, Hatton Garden, which runs parallel.
Hot favourite: Daddy Donkey’s famous burritos
Home to over 20,000 street food vendors, Bangkok has street food sussed. And with a stall serving up something delicious – including an array of delicately fried edible bugs - on just about every street corner, you’ll just need to pace yourself. Everything is fresh, fragrant and full of flavour, from the coffee served up in the morning, to the fried noodles and tasty Thai curries prepared roadside from lunchtime well into the evening.
Head to: Thong Lor on Soi 38 from 6pm for some of the city’s best pad thai, mango sticky rice and egg noodles with pork. There’s a load to choose from here, so be sure to check out all your options before you tuck in. Find a table and most vendors will bring your food to you.
Hot favourite: Mae Waree’s mango and sticky rice is to die for. Ask for Sutti Mansion and you’ll find it just in front.
Some of the best food to be found in Marrakech is hidden away. And as is the case with most street food cities, the simplest way to find best fayre is to head to where the locals are eating. A glass of freshly squeezed orange juice is not a bad place to start in Marrakech, followed by flavourful Harira – traditional Moroccan soup. More adventurous diners can tuck into seasoned snail broth and really brave foodies can get their teeth into a freshly prepared sheep’s head. Mmmmm….
Head to: Jemma El Fna Square and hang around into the evening to enjoy the array of after dinner entertainment on offer, from snake charmers and tooth pullers to acrobats and storytellers.
Hot favourite: Merguez sausage served with bowls of freshly baked bread. Cheap, simple and completely mouth-wateringly delicious.
With its own International Street Food Festival, (taking place 15th-16th January 2016) Melbourne is now an internationally acclaimed street food city. Mobile kitchen trucks have become a familiar sight on sidewalks all over town day and night, serving up a diverse menu of tasty treats, from prime waygu beef burgers and wood-fired pizza topped with prosciutto and fresh figs to creamy crème brulee and tongue tinglingly tasty frozen yoghurt for dessert.
Head to: The Night Noodle Markets, which take place for two weeks every November and offer amazing food from every corner of Asia – from Korea, Vietnam, China and India, to Malaysia, Burma and Nepal.
Hot Favourite: Lil Nomnoms trucks pop up all over town serving up quintessential Vietnamese dishes to die for. If you like your banh bao, love your banh mi and can’t resist a bun cha, this one’s for you.
Rio de Janeiro
With a passion for gastronomy that’s almost as famous as its football, Brazil is home to the traditional churrascaria (barbecue restaurant). So it comes as no surprise that Rio’s street food scene is a haven for meat eaters. But there’s a whole host of other mouth-watering delights to sample too, including the delicious Caldinho de Feijao (bean soup) and Coxinha - tiny raindrop shaped parcels filled with shredded chicken and catupiry cheese.
Head to: Ferro e Farinha for wood-fire pizza to rival anything you’ll find Pacific side of Naples. You’ll just need follow social media to find out where this fabulous food truck is heading next.
Hot Favourite: The barbecued sardines on offer at the impressively stocked CADEG food market in the northern neighbourhood of Benfica are not to be missed.
Laws restrict Berliner Street food vendors from venturing out of designated areas, but this hasn’t held them back. Leading the field in the art of freshly prepared food-on-the-go, the city has street food events happening all the time and these have become the perfect stage from which foodies can showcase their wares. Over five thousand Berliners turn up regularly for their street food fix on Street Food Thursday at the Markthalle Neun in Kreuzberg, where culinary delights from all over the world are on offer.
Head to: Markthalle Neun in Kreuzberg every third Sunday of the month to experience the Breakfast Market. It’s the ultimate Sunday morning hangover fix.
Hot favourite: Heisser Hobel’s spatzle – Germany’s answer to pasta - served at the Markthalle Neun and at other food events around town.
It’s a dream destination for street food enthusiasts, with stalls on just about every street corner. Often family-run and always serving up something tempting (with the exception of the sea worms and pig’s tail stew), from Shao Kao (noodles) and rice to steamed buns, pancakes and delicious savoury pancakes.
Head to : Fangbang Road for the city’s best pick of street stalls. Behind these, you’ll find a great range of low-priced restaurants too.
Hot favourite: Chinese Guotie, a classic dumpling filled with succulent pork and topped with a deliciously crunchy crust.