The World’s Best Cities for Street Food

 

With traffic jams of trendy food trucks piling up in American cities, it’s easy to overlook the rich global history of street food. Dating back to the food hawkers of ancient Rome (with some centuries-old outdoor markets,like the Djemaa el Fna in Marrakech, still standing today), street food has long played an exciting role in cuisines throughout the world.

1. Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois (Photo © Galdones Photography)

Chicago, Illinois (Photo © Galdones Photography)

 Chicago’s street food is only semi-legal, since cooking isn’t allowed on carts and trucks, but that hasn’t deterred operations like Gaztro-Wagon (naan-wich), The Meatyballs Mobile (meatballs) and The Southern Mac (mac and cheese) from launching trucks that assemble cooked ingredients. Although some 30 trucks have entered the race, operators still foster a positive competitive spirit withweekly meet-up events, like Food Truck Tuesdays at North and Halsted Avenues in Lincoln Park, and Food Truck Thursdays at Ethyl’s Beer and Wine Dive in the West Loop.

2. Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul, Turkey (Photo © Day Jolly)

Istanbul, Turkey (Photo © Day Jolly)

Turkish doner kebabs can be found in nearly every city in Europe. But Istanbul, the largest city in Turkey, offers many more quick foods, with specialty kiosks scattered throughout the city hawking börek (flaky pastry), simit (ring-shaped sesame bread that recalls a pretzel) and kumpir (baked potatoes stuffed with anything from ketchup and pickles to olives and sausage).

3. Mexico City, Mexico

Mexico City, Mexico (Photo © Portobelleza)

Mexico City, Mexico (Photo © Portobelleza)

There’s no denying the appeal of a good taco, but the Mexican capital has plenty of other great antojitos (street snacks), such as roasted elotes (corn on the cob), fried corn masa huaraches and cornmeal cakes known as tlacoyos. Food stalls can be found throughout the city, or centrally located in the bustling markets of Mercado San Juan, in the Cuauhtémoc borough, and La Merced, in the La Merced neighborhood.

4. Marrakech, Morocco

Marrakech, Morocco (Photo © Marcus Beard)

Marrakech, Morocco (Photo © Marcus Beard)

Filled with tapestries, hookahs and ceramic tagines, the centuries-old markets of Marrakech have long been the global destination for chefs seeking specialtyspices, grains and flavorful meats. The main square, Djemaa el Fna, is packed with food stalls selling ladles of escargots, skewers of seasoned meats and harira (lentil and chickpea soup), plus bulk bags of dried fruits and nuts.

5. New York City, New York

New York City, New York (Photo © Darcy Strobel)

New York City, New York (Photo © Darcy Strobel)

The thousands of hot dog, pretzel and kebab stands in New York City have always been a local tradition. But the recent wave of fancy food trucks, from Wafels & Dinges to Schnitzel & Things, has solidified street food as a tourist attraction. There are now tours like the New York Street Food Walking Tour, countless websites, Twitter feeds and apps to help you track down vendors.

6. Austin, Texas

Austin, Texas (Photo © Heather Leah Kennedy)

Austin, Texas (Photo © Heather Leah Kennedy)

While South by Southwest put Austin on the map for its indie music scene, the city is gaining just as much recognition for its street food. Innovations include Lucky J’s fried-chicken-and-waffle tacos (wrapped in a waffle shell) and kimchi fries from Korean-Mexican fusion truck Chi’Lantro. As is the custom, vendors broadcast their whereabouts on Twitter.

7. Bangkok, Thailand

Bangkok, Thailand (Photo © Lloyd Heritage)

Bangkok, Thailand (Photo © Lloyd Heritage)

The ultimate tourist destination for any street-food obsessive, Bangkok boasts thriving markets throughout the city, with some of the most robustly flavored street snacks coming from neon-lit Yaowarat Road in the city’s Chinatown. Here, makeshift stands offer pork skewered on sugar canes; fragrant fish curries; sweet bananas deep-fried in rice-flour batter; and durian, the notoriously stinky fruit.

By Carly Fisher, Food & Wine

Source: Huffingtonpost



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