What’s better than yummy traditional food made by locals?
Michelin stars and fine dining restaurants are often seen as the gold standard for tasty cuisine. However, sometimes, the best meals in the world – those packed with colourful flavours and hearty ingredients are found in the inner-most corners of the world, from dingy alleyways to basic roadside stalls.
Here are 5 of the top cities in the world to find the most comforting and saught-after street food.
Durban, South Africa
Durban’s culture is a blend of Zulu, Indian and European South African influences, meaning overall, the cuisine is hot and spicy with many South African elements such as meats, herbs and seasoning thrown into the mix. The city is known for its delicious curries as well as the famous Bunny Chow, a half a loaf of bread, hollowed out and filled with mince, curry and whatever other savoury meals you love! For a filling meal that you can eat on the go, a rolled up roti filled with beans, mince or curry can easily be grabbed from any street corner restaurant or take-away.
From snake charmers and musicians to incredible Moroccan delicacies, the street cuture in Marrakech is an entire feast for the senses. But when it comes to the food, you’re in for a treat with a range of exotic sweet and savoury dishes (Moroccans are known to have a sweet tooth).
You’ll find everything from stuffed camel spleen (yes, that’s a thing), to snail soup and sheep heads. You may also want to try meloui – a kind of pancake made of folded pastry that you buy hot off the stove. If you’re after some dessert, you’ll find mountains of cookies and pastries arranged in colourful (and very tempting) displays at the souks.
Known to the locals as yatai in Japanese, street food vendors in Tokyo offer a glimpse into the historic culture of the city, set among futuristic skyscrapers and bright neon lights. Although the city boasts the most Michelin-star restaurants in the world, and sushi is a staple meal, there is so much more to be discovered.
Some popular street food snacks include mitarashi dango, adorable little dumplings served on bamboo skewers, grilled over charcoal and served with a generous helping of sweet and gooey soya sauce. The contrast between sweet and salty is definitely interesting, but it is a firm favourite of many locals. Then there is takoyaki, a golf-ball sized pastry filled with green onion, pickled ginger and a small piece of octopus. And let’s not forget the eccentric Harajuku crepes for dessert!
Miami, United States
Just off the coast of South America, Miami is home to some amazing Cuban food. This includes the famous Cubano sandwhich made with ham, roasted pork, Swiss cheese, pickles and mustard, all toasted in a Panini to fill the mouth with crunchy, chewy and savory goodness. Then there is that amazing Cuban coffee, tacos, arepas and stuffed potatoes known as papas renellas.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Rio de Janeiro is a culinary melting pot of African, European and Middle Eastern influences, presenting a wealth of flavours and taste sensations just waiting to be uncovered.
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Luckily, foodies visiting the city do not have to search too hard to find some great street food. On the beaches, vendors sell a range of sweet tropical fruits on skewers, and for a refreshing drink try sacoles – frozen fruit juice iced into popsicles. Then their is tapioca, a Brazilian pancake that can be stuffed with anything from beef to chocolate and banana.
Hotdogs, pizza and burgers are also plentiful at one of the many weekend street parties.
AUTHOR: Farah Khalfe