The street food movement is revolutionary! Food trucks date back to the late 17th century in the United States, where they were just ice cream trucks selling soft serve treats. These days, though, food trucks can be found all over the place, and trucks are now equivalent to modern restaurants on wheels.
Remember at all times that while you are seeing the world, the world will see you.
As spring takes off, here is a list of our top 5 street food (that serve mouth-watering food) currently operating from around the world. Please share any others that are not mentioned below:
5. London England
When you consider that the most popular British-invented dish is chicken tikka masala, it comes as no surprise that London’s street food follows a similar route of adopting food cultures, then sternly-but-lovingly raising them on homegrown produce. The various markets (and more recently, food trucks) are lined with stalls from virtually every nation under the sun, slinging spice-fueled tacos, juicy brats, steaming bowls of pho, packed lobster rolls, and more — and the packed crowds of tourists & locals alike attest to their quality.
4. Tokyo Japan
Tokyo would place higher if there wasn’t a stigma against eating on the move, but that doesn’t stop them from having two massive outdoor eating amenities: next-level vending machines and the Tsukiji market. Just the fact that you can score a beer out of a vending machine takes Tokyo up our list a few places, but the true gem is Tsukiji, which very roughly translates to “seafood heaven.” Sashimi samples, raw oysters, and massive nigiri rolls are all incredible.
Despite the street-eating stigma, any time a festival is going on you’ll find an army of vendors slinging the best pancakes in the world. Or go simple, by waiting alongside a busy line of Tokyo businessmen for a bento box.
Known for: Okonomiyaki pancakes, bento boxes, weird vending machines, anything from the Tsukiji market
3. Berlin Germany
The world is in a deep debt to Berlin for popularizing the doner kebab, and the world is also in deep debt to Berlin for keeping the euro somewhat competitive with the dollar, am I right? Economics asides aside, few things taste like classic Berlin like currywurst, and a fresh pretzel is a must to soak up all the beer, but what the city excels at these days is pushing the envelope. That’s where these 10 food trucks come into play.
Known for: Kebab, currywurst, every type of food truck imaginable
2. Mexico City – Mexico
Mexican food sometimes gets flack for just recombining the same ingredients in different ways, but that only serves to buttress its ability to create some of the greatest street food known to man. At any hour of the day you can find street corners crowded with Mexicans huddling around a cart with a flat grill frying up meats to fold into fresh tortillas. Or see a sizzling circular pit of meats stewing for the next order. Or whole blocks lined with spinning al pastor or rotisserie chicken.
You could go a month without eating a single veggie other than onion and cilantro, but those deficiencies are combated by the plethora of stands slinging freshly squeezed juice, cups of mango powdered with savory chile, and mayo-slicked corn on the cob. Sugary churros, fresh pastries, or steaming-hot tamales have you covered in the morning. Although it’s mostly traditional Mexican, less-conventional ethnic food trucks are also starting to make their mark on the scene, although the jury’s still out on whether or not to trust Mexico City street sushi.
Known for: Street corn, al pastor tacos, gorditas, fresh juice, churros
1. Bangkok Thailand
Sure, you’ll find the best pad Thai of your life, but the streets of Bangkok are paved with more than just stir-fried noodles. Roasted chickens and ducks hang from carts, bountiful papaya salads serve as some much-needed veggies, and basically any protein you can imagine is fried up and satayed. Literal buffets of curry line the streets. The seafood game is on point with everything from fried-to-a-crisp mussels to barbecued catfish to live “dancing” miniature shrimp. Super-heavy meals like deep-fried pork belly are contrasted by lighter fare like sour tom yum soup.
Expect mounds of basil, garlic, and chiles on top of everything, and plenty of sticky mango rice to combat the heat from those same chiles. It’s impossible to do justice to the massive scope of the offerings here, and the complexity of those flavors helps push Bangkok to the number two spot on our list.
Known for: Curries, noodles, roast duck, shrimp from fried to dancing