Want your next trip abroad to be an incredibly tasty one? Then head to Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City, or Mumbai. These three cities top the list of places to find the best street food in the world.
Head to Bangkok’s Chinatown, locally known as Yaowarat, and you’ll be walking through a delectable feast all day long. The breakfast crowd is taken care of by one set of vendors, while other vendors come in to fuel the midday lunch-seekers. Yet a new set of vendors set up shop for dinnertime, giving you multiple options for freshly prepared foods from sunrise to sunset.
Common breakfast dishes include bean curd and soy milk, while Thai chicken and rice can hit the spot at lunch. Top dinner-time dishes include grilled satay, pad thai, and spicy Thai seafood soup. Whatever dish you pick, know that street food in Bangkok makes the top list for being sensational in both taste and price.
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
If you already love pho, just wait until you taste the version served up in Ho Chi Minh City. This Vietnamese noodle soup is just one of the many specialty dishes you’ll find steaming hot and ready to eat in this city well-known for its bustling food stalls.
Fermented fish soup is a common favorite, with the official name of bun mam and the nickname of Vietnamese gumbo. Vietnamese sandwiches, called banh mi, are another top pick throughout the entire country, featuring a crispy baguette packed with pork, pate, pickles, and more.
Fresh spring rolls make a tasty snack any time of the day, while a popular evening dish is cang cua and oc, or crab claws and snails. Try them grilled and sprinkled with lime and salt, or opt for the version that comes covered in a thick, garlicky, caramelized coating.
Ho Chi Minh City easily makes the best street food in the world list for its sheer variety of intriguing tastes.
Don’t be fooled by the lack of menus or signs above the street vendor stalls in Mumbai. All the delights you see and smell are certainly for sale. Watch where the locals are heading and what they eat, and follow suit to enjoy a scrumptious snack.
Mohammad Ali Road is the street vendor hotspot, and skewered kebabs are one of the most popular options. You can also enjoy the grab-and-go snack of potato patties, which feature potatoes mashed with garlic, coriander, and chilies dipped in flour and fried up golden brown.
Caramel custard is a beloved favorite for topping off any meal.
The savory aromas and vivacious variety put Mumbai firmly on the list of best street food in the world.
Tips for Choosing the Best Street Food
When you’re surrounded by street food but aren’t sure where to turn, these tips can help you make a wise choice:
- Follow the lead of the locals or crowds.
- Be wary of sauces, which may have been sitting out in the heat.
- Check the cleanliness of the cooking surfaces and utensils. Observe how the vendor washes their dishes.
- Skip the stall where the vendor uses the same hand to handle money as he does to handle food.
Laurie Lee is co-founder and CEO of Swift Passport and Visa Services. A Chicago native, Laurie loves adventure travel, especially to the Caribbean. She enjoys writing for the Swift Post, as well as for her personal blog, Spare Parts- www.sparebodyparts.com.