You can’t really call yourself a foodie if you haven’t ventured into the territory of street food. From Bangkok to Mexico passing through Sicily, Swide’s 5 top street foods worldwide you have to taste.
Do you consider yourself well-travelled? Then you should have tried at least 3 of these 5 street foods. Food and culture, in fact, are not all about Michelin stars and high-end restaurants. The core of tradition, the real ethnic part of a population is in the everyday food you find on the street.
Although in Northern Italy it is not easy to find food stalls on the street, all over the world – including Sicily – it is common practice to buy food and eat it while walking around. This because often people didn’t have the time to sit down and had to go right back to work or simply, in the past at least, because they didn’t have the money for restaurants.
Locals in Thailand will tell you that the best food you can find is the one served on the streets, and it is true. Chote Chitr is an open-air restaurant in the old part of Bangkok you have to try, but also Raan Jay Fai, always in the old part of Bangkok, and Bamee Slow (Ekamai Soi 19). What you will be served is Chinese-style egg noodles, dumplings, but also suckling pig, duck, chicken, crabs, oysters…
It is hard to pick one street over another to enjoy street food in Istanbul: for sure you need to try Halva, a typical sweet from the Middle East based on tahine paste; kebap is a must of course, together with boza, a pudding-like malt based drink that tastes strongly sour. Lamb and cheese are also available, and mussels are a local favourite. And of course, gobs of chestnuts and pomegranates to get the best juice in the world!
Jamaa el Fna Square in Marrakech is the epitome of street food. Dozens of food stands serving local dishes in one of the biggest open air restaurants in the world, a unique experience that see street artists (including snakes-charmers) performing, can be found in this gigantic square that especially at night is bustling with people and music. Couscous, roasted potatoes, lentils, crispy calamari but also sheep’s heads and snails can be sampled here.
Mexico, Ciudad del Mexico
Tacos (soft, warm corn tortillas) is the keyword for the street food, but don’t be fooled: there are also quesadilla, churros, corn, smoky grilled meat, queso fresco (fresh cheese), hot tamales: street Food in Mexico is as wide as the variety of its landscape and history. The base of these dishes are often corn flour, avocado, beans, onions, chicken, beef grilled, tomatoes…
The Vucciria Market (Piazza Caracciolo) or the Ballarò Market are just the starting points to discover street food in Italy. If you are picky, stop by at Antica Focacceria S.Francesco to order the real street food like the panino con la milza (panino with spleen), the best in town. On the food stands of Palermo you will also find sfincione (from the arab "sponge", pizza bread seasoned with a sauce of tomatoes, onion and a typical sicilian cheese, the ragusano), arancini (rice stuffed with meat, mozzarella and peas and then fried) and sarde a beccafico (sardines with pine kernel and breadcrumbs).
Written by: Elisa della Barba