Some individuals go on trips in search of adventure, culture, or architecture. For my part, I travel to eat. Furthermore, I believe that good, inexpensive street food may be much more fulfilling than any fancy, upscale dining establishment. For those that wander blindly, here are 16 amazing cities.

1. Mexico City

Jenni the quesadilla lady making quesadillas on the street.
A plate of street tacos from Mexico City.

Hannah Loewentheil

Journeying to Mexico City tests your stomach’s endurance. The city is filled with the aromas of flame-grilled meats and sizzling blue corn masa tortillas, and almost every other block is lined with street carts and merchants serving everything from tacos and tamales to tlacoyos.


A street quesadilla from Jenni's.

Hannah Loewentheil

For the best fresh blue corn tortillas covered with melted cheese and squash blossoms, go to the Roma Norte district and look for Jenni’s Street Quesadillas (it will only cost you approximately $1). And search for a modest, unremarkable kiosk on a street corner near Reforma 222 retail mall for the greatest esquites you’ve ever had. For less than 50 cents, you can stuff yourself with a generous cup of corn mixed with mayo, cotija cheese, lime, and chipotle pepper there. 



A street food taco stand in CDMX.
An al pastor taco.

Hannah Loewentheil

Al pastor tacos, thinly sliced marinated pork shaved off a spit and topped with white onion, pineapple, and cilantro, are a must-try when visiting CDMX. Although it’s difficult to go wrong at any taqueira, the best places to get tacos loaded with pork are El Vilsito (Colonia Narvarte), Taqueria el Greco (Condesa), and El Turix (Polanco).

3. Singapore

Chinatown Street Market in Singapore at night.
A bowl of Laksa on a countertop.

Getty Photographs

Singapore is like a coin with two sides: glamorous and immaculate on the one hand. On the other hand, it’s vibrant and hectic; simply visit the bustling night markets, such the Chinatown Street Market, which are crowded with hawker booths. The food of Singapore is a fusion of foods and tastes from China, India, Malaysia, and even Europe.

Char kway teow aka Singaporean stir fried noodles.

Getty Photographs

Don’t miss the Hainanese chicken rice, char kway teow (stir-fried flat rice noodles), roti prata (a flaky fried bread served with butter), and laksa (noodles in a creamy coconut broth). Get ready to eat a ton of rice, noodles, and seafood. 

4. France’s Paris

Oysters on a table at an open air market.
Someone holding a dessert crêpe on the street at night.

Getty Photographs

Though it may not seem like it, Paris has a wide variety of street food options, from crêpe booths to outdoor markets like the Marché des Enfants Rouges. All you have to do is ask around. L’As du Falafel, located in the center of the historic Jewish Quarter, serves up heaping portions of pita sandwiches topped with pickled veggies, fried eggplant, and crispy falafel, all covered in a fiery sauce made of tahini.

A falafel plate from l'As du Falafel.
A pistachio pastry from Du Pain et des Idees.

Hannah Loewentheil

Some of the greatest sandwiches in the city can be found at Chez Aline in the 11th arrondissement. They serve straightforward combos like jambon, feta, and pesto on freshly baked baguettes. And at Au P’tit Grec, a little shop in the Latin Quarter, you can get savory and sweet crepes that will change your life for just $5 a piece. Of course, a freshly made baguette or flaky croissant from one of the city’s numerous boulangeries tastes just as good as any nice dinner, but if you just go one place, it’s Du Pain et des Idées, which is near Canal St Martin.

5. Morocco’s Marrakesh

The main square in Marrakesh at sundown.

Getty Photographs

Around sunset, the sights, sounds, and fragrances of Marrakesh’s main plaza, Djema al Fna, will overwhelm you. There are storytellers, henna tattoo artists, snake charmers, monkeys, and booths upon stalls of food offering bowls of snail soup, freshly squeezed orange juice, aromatic spices, and pyramids of honey-coated delicious nuts.

A souk selling olives in Marrakesh.

Getty Photographs

Other foods include tagine, a slow-cooked stew of couscous, vegetables, and meat, and harira, a classic tomato and chickpea soup. The highlight of Marrakesh’s street food scene, however, is located at Mechoui Alley, where lamb is slow-cooked in clay ovens underground for days on end until it is soft, then topped with salt and cumin and served with pita.

6. Taiwan’s Taipei

A Taiwanese pork bun.
A street vendor making scallion pancakes.

Getty Photographs

Though it’s sometimes disregarded, Taiwan is a fantastic travel destination with plenty of natural beauty (beaches, hot springs, and mountains, to name a few) and a vast metropolitan metropolis (Taipei). But the cuisine should be your main reason for visiting Taiwan. You may see firsthand why eating is a national pastime by visiting any one of Taipei’s thirty night markets.


Getty Photographs

Try the Xiao Long Bao (the original Din Tai Fung is in Taipei; 10 plump soup dumplings will cost you around $5), the spicy fried chicken sprinkled in a mixture of salt, pepper, and basil leaves, the eggs wrapped in scallion pancakes, and the umami-packed beef noodle soup. If you’re not sure where to start, the night market in Nanjichang is a local favorite. For foreigners who are just starting to explore Taiwanese street food culture, Ningxia and Raohe are two more doable possibilities.

7. Thailand’s Bangkok

A floating market in Bangkok.
Someone cooking pad Thai in a hawker stall.

Getty Photographs

Bangkok is perhaps the city most likely to be named the global center of street cuisine. Perhaps no other city offers as good cheap dining options as this one, with many of the little hawker booths deserving of Michelin stars. But where to eat might be difficult in a metropolis with more than half a million street food vendors.

A street food stall in Bangkok.

Getty Photographs

The titular female chef of the roadside eatery Raan Jay Fai dons goggles while preparing curries, stir-fries, and crab omelettes over a roaring fire. Next up comes Kuay Jub Mr. Joe, which is well-known for having Bangkok’s crispiest pig belly ($4), which is best enjoyed with a steaming bowl of noodle soup. When it comes to deep-fried noodles with pork in a rich sauce, Chakki, situated in Bangkok’s Chinatown, is the place to go. Naturally, Thipsamai is renowned for serving the greatest pad Thai in the city.

8. Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro

Açai bowls on the beach.
A Brazilian pastel.

Getty Photographs

You’ll notice a distinct vibe as soon as you arrive in Rio, and this vibrancy is evident in the street cuisine as well. The famous foods may be found in Sunday markets, hidden-away stores, and carts cruising the busy streets of Ipanema and Copacabana. The cuisine is a fusion of African, European, and indigenous traditions.


Getty Photographs

Savor delectable dishes such as vibrant açai bowls flavored with tropical fruits, cod dumplings, pastéis, and coxinha, which are deep-fried pastries stuffed with cheese and shredded chicken.

9. Germany’s Berlin

Doner kebabs from Berlin.

Getty Photographs

Berlin street cuisine is so much more than just currywurst and döner kebabs, despite popular belief to the contrary. Berlin is a very cosmopolitan city, and as such, its inexpensive food is influenced by tastes and cuisines from throughout the globe. Almost every week, there’s a new pop-up like Street Food Thursday in Markthalle Neun or Bite Club in Badeschiff, where a variety of vendors congregate to serve mouthwatering fare like gourmet burgers, tacos, tapas, and craft beer.



Then there’s Thaipark, a long-standing custom that takes place on weekends in the summer. More than a hundred Thai, Vietnamese, Korean, and other Asian vendors are selling their national dishes, such as sticky rice with mango ($2), chicken satay skiewers ($2), and shrimp pad Thai ($6). Lastly, there’s Boxhagener Platz, a street food, farmer’s, and flea market where you can eat a variety of foods including bruschetta, charcuterie, and falafel. 

10. Japan’s Tokyo

Fresh onigiri in Tsujiki market.
Two men cooking yakitori skewers at a street-side stand.

Hannah Loewentheil

You may naturally picture upscale eating establishments and excellent dining when you think about Tokyo. Tokyo is a foodie haven for reasonably priced street cuisine, even yet an omakase lunch might easily bankrupt you. Tsukiji Market, with its winding alleyways and buildings, is a sensory overload for the senses, particularly the stomach.

A Japanese woman serving omelettes.
Me holding a Japanese egg salad sandwich.

Hannah Loewentheil

You’ll pass kiosks selling overflowing bowls of ramen (about $5), shelves brimming with freshly made onigiri, sellers cooking skewers of chicken yakitori and thinly sliced wagyu beef over a flame, and small sushi bars teeming with people scarfing down pieces of fatty.