When you want to get to the heart of a destination, you taste the street food. From sidewalk stalls to lively markets, you’ll find some of the world’s soul-stirring food and authentic local cuisine on the streets. Take a culinary journey around the world, from the Michelin-starred street stalls in Bangkok and Singapore to the fragrant markets of Florence and Marrakech, and discover how you can sample the world’s best street food.
When you’re talking about the world’s best street food, you’ve got to mention Vietnam. The country is paved with tantalising markets and sidewalk stands and Hanoi is one of the top cities to start your culinary adventure. Sit on a plastic stool on the sidewalk with a steaming bowl of phở (a comforting beef noodle soup). Or grab a banh mi sandwich on the go, stuffed with everything from pate to pork and topped with fresh herbs.
But that’s only the start. Head to the charming Old Quarter in Hanoi and work your way through a list of tasty dishes from bún chả (grilled pork with noodles) and gỏi cuốn (spring rolls) to bánh xeo (savoury pancakes) and kem xôi (sticky rice ice cream).
When you travel Vietnam with Luxury Gold, we’ll take you on a street food tour through Hanoi’s Old Quarter. You’ll join a local foodie for a deeper dive into the city’s street-food culture and learn what the locals love to eat from crab spring rolls to com cake.
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Looking for the best street food markets in Europe? Florence is sure to win your heart – and stomach. The city is packed with chioschi (street food trucks) selling all kinds of Florentine delicacies. You’ll find trippa and lampredotto sandwiches, where slow-cooked organ meat is infused with tomato, onion, and parsley, and served on a fresh, crunchy bun. And don’t forget the creamy gelato found on almost every street in almost every flavour you can imagine.
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If you really want to get to know Florentine street food, join a local foodie guide on our Italy luxury tours. You’ll learn what makes Florentine food different and visit the buzzing Mercato Centrale (Central Market) to sample seasonal and gourmet delights. The Mercato Centrale spread across the first floor of a historic iron and glass structure, built by architect Guiseppe Mengoni. The artisans pay homage to the stunning building with their own works of culinary art, from fresh bread and pastries to cheeses and chocolates, all lovingly homemade. Whether you want to indulge in authentic pasta, taste some exquisite truffles, or enjoy a glass of regional wine, this is the place to go for the best Florentine street food.
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Singapore is the king of Asian street food markets. Packed with regulated hawker centres like Chinatown’s Maxwell Food Centre, you can find everything here from chilli crab and Hainanese chicken rice to garlic tiger prawns, fish dumplings, and pork rib prawn noodles. Walk down the street in Singapore at almost any time of the day and you’ll find a street food vendor dishing out enticing wontons, oyster omelettes, roast duck – almost anything you can dream of.
It’s creative, it’s delicious, and some street hawkers have even won Michelin stars. Chan Hon Meng gained a Michelin star for his street food stall Liao Fan Soya Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodle. The stall offers quick meals like soy sauce chicken, char siew, and roast pork and it really is world-class… Not to mention, the world’s cheapest Michelin-star meal.
The street food stall Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodle also won a Michelin star for their quality pork noodles with a rich, black vinegar-laced soup. The stall was opened in the 1930s by Tang Joon Teo and it was later inherited by his second son Tang Chay Seng who still runs it today.
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Delhi is a colourful, chaotic capital and if you really want to get to the heart of the city, you’ve got to taste the street food. It’s a culinary wonderland, with everything from parathas, samosas, aloo chaat, and kebabs, to tangy biryani, pani puri dough balls, malpua pancakes, and sweet mango lassis. The diversity of the food is astonishing, from Middle Eastern delights to Punjabi recipes, and you can try it everywhere at any time across this megacity.
The scope of it can be somewhat overwhelming. To help you get started on your Delhi foodie adventure, you can join a street food tour on our India luxury tours. We’ll introduce you to a well-known chef for a mouthwatering exploration of Old Delhi. You’ll visit local stallholders to see how the famous local street food snacks are made. Then sample a variety of foods and experience how different flavours melt and explode in your mouth. Be sure to bring your appetite.
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As soon as you touch down in Marrakech, you’ll smell the aromas of the city’s delicious street food. Follow your nose to the lively markets and squares and you’ll find a scrumptious spread of Moroccan delicacies. Whether you go for the beautifully decorated cookies and pastries or something more daring like warm snail soups and steamed sheep heads, you’re sure to find your new favourite dish here. It’s also perfect for when you’re on the go – you can pick up a meloui (a heartwarming, doughy pancake) fresh off the stove, or a freshly squeezed fruit juice in seconds.
So where to begin? We recommend starting in the famous Jemaa el-Fnaa square in Marrakech. You’ll find everything here from seasoned meat skewers and potato fritters to spicy sardines and roast lamb and couscous. With ceramic tagines bubbling away, sausages hanging around the square, and barrels overflowing with cinnamon, saffron, and turmeric, this is street food at its best.
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Japan is famed for its cuisine and nowhere does it better than in Tokyo. This lively capital is home to more Michelin-starred restaurants than any city in the world. Dive into the iconic sushi and sashimi, then explore the wonderland of grilled meats and vegetables, Okonomiyaki pancakes, and enticing bento boxes. You’ll find the best seafood street food at Tsukiji market and if you’re eyeing off all those alluring vending machines – go for it. These vending machines are like nothing you’ve seen before, churning out everything from burgers and beers to pizza, soup, curries, rice, beetle snacks, and fresh fruit and vegetables.
While Tokyo is famed for its street food, Osaka gives it a run for its money. Known as the kitchen of Japan, this neon-lit city is the place to go for local delicacies like Takoyaki (batter-wrapped octopus) and Kani Suki (crab hotpots). When you travel on our Japan luxury tours, we’ll introduce you to a Local Expert who will take you on a stroll through the famous Donburi Street. You’ll hit up all the best stalls to taste all the specialities from grilled meat skewers to melon pan ice cream.
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Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Rio de Janeiro may just be Brazil’s most blissful city. Not only is it famed for its golden beaches and gorgeous residents, but it’s also home to one of the world’s best street food scenes. Imagine empanadas filled with chicken and cheese, skewered shrimp, or pão de queijo, warm little doughy balls stuffed with melted cheese. Don’t miss the tapioca crepes that are crunchy on the outside and oh-so-soft in the middle, and come in savoury and sweet options, like banana and condensed milk.
If you’re looking for something a little heartier, keep an eye out for the vendors selling juicy grilled meats and multi-meat kebabs. And if you need to cool off after all that sun and surf, dive into a refreshing acai bowl or a few sacoles, popsicles made from juiced and frozen tropical fruits.
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Organic, sustainable, delicious – Copenhagen never fails to deliver the style of Scandinavian street food we’ve come to know and love. You’ll find street food markets all over the city selling traditional Nordic fare, like Reffen and Tivoli Food Hall. One of our favourites is Torvehallerne Market and when you travel to Copenhagen with Luxury Gold, we’ll take you there with a Local Expert to really get the lay of the foodie land. You’ll marvel at all the local flavours and authentic dishes, and meet the friendly resident stallholders waiting to show off their homemade delights.
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Start with the Danish smørrebrød, the famous open-faced sandwich, and then indulge in a delicious Danish pastry. You’ll find everything from organic Scandi cheese, chocolates, nuts, seafood, wine, beer, and coffee, to specialty sweet and savoury porridges. You’ll even find international dishes like Italian risotto and Indian dahl.
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Bangkok is synonymous with the world’s best street food. Almost every street in the city is lined with sidewalk vendors slinging everything from the famed pad thai noodles and fried rice to chicken wing stew and pork intestine. It’s a near 24-hour foodie wonderland, starting with breakfast dishes like sweet soymilk and bean curd, and lunch meals like poached chicken and rice and tom yum soup. Once the sun goes down, the dinner crowd feasts on grilled satay, crispy fried mussel pancakes, massaman curry, roast duck, and deep-fried pork belly. Still got room for dessert? It’s got to be the renowned mango sticky rice.
You’ll even find Michelin-starred street food here. Raan Jay Fai is run by the flame-wielding, goggle-wearing, 76-year-old Queen of street food, Jay Fai. She won a Michelin star for her enormous omelette stuffed with fresh crab meat. If you want to try it, be sure to get there early because the crowds never let up here.
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When you think about classic British fare these days, locals are more likely to claim an Indian-inspired chicken tikka masala as their national dish. London is one of the most multicultural cities in the world – and that means the quality and diversity of street food here are unparalleled. You’ll find dozens of street food markets, food halls and food trucks dishing up food from almost every country in the world.
Whether you’re craving Mexican tacos, Vietnamese pho, German bratwurst, Italian pizza, Spanish tapas, Turkish kebabs, American burgers, Egyptian falafel, Peruvian ceviche, or Thai noodles, you’ll find it in London. And with crowds of locals and tourists alike lining up every week to get their fill, you can be sure it’s top quality.
Where have you tasted the best street food? Let us know in the comments below…