Mexico City, Mexico
You definitely won’t go hungry in Mexico City. Stalls line the streets and sell any refreshment you could possibly want, from beverages to breakfast. Expect freshly made food, cooked right in front of you and packed with vibrant flavours you can’t find anywhere else.
If you only eat one thing…try tlacoyos. These tasty blue corn masa (dough) disks are stuffed with your choice of braised pork belly, requéson cheese, or mashed fava beans, cooked on an open-air griddle, then topped with grilled cactus paddles, more cheese, and your choice of salsa.
Feeling brave? Any cut of meat can be used as a taco filling, including de cabeza — the head of a cow. The vendor will carve your serving directly from the cow’s skull, then top it with rice, beans, and cheese.
Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
There’s more to Vietnam than their famous pho (although it’s certainly worth a try!) Vinh Khanh Street is home to a collection of street food stalls and each one has its own speciality dish, so it’s the perfect opportunity to try something new. Expect plenty of meat, fresh herbs and vegetables, and delicious seasonings like chilli and lemongrass.
If you only eat one thing…Bánh xèo is a crispy, savoury pancake filled with pork, shrimp, onions, and bean sprouts, then topped with your choice of herbs and dipped in fish sauce. Its distinctive yellow colour is caused by the turmeric in the batter.
Feeling brave?Vietnam has its own snail dish, Ốc, which is incredibly popular. The snails are steamed or sautéed in tamarind sauce, or fried or boiled in coconut milk, then served as an evening snack and often shared with friends.
Italy might not be the first place you think of when it comes to street food, but think again — street food is a key part of Palermo’s culture. Dishes are diverse and can be indulgent, with lots of fried food, or very simple and based around everyday ingredients like tomatoes and herbs.
If you only eat one thing…chi sardi is a pasta dish unlike any other. Fresh Italian fennel and sardines are combined with saffron, pine nuts, sultanas, and spaghetti — the perfect blend of Italian and Arabian cuisine.
Feeling brave? Stigghiola are found all over Palermo. Cooked veal intestines are washed, seasoned with parsley and onions, then placed on a skewer and grilled.
Look for the places the locals gravitate towards and you can’t go wrong. The foundation of most meals is bread (khobz), which is baked fresh every morning. Try a bocadillo stuffed with meat, fish, vegetables, and your choice of sauce, or dunk your bread in beans (loubia) for a filling breakfast.
If you only eat one thing…the ever-popular m’smen (a kind of flaky, crepe-like flatbread) has a beautiful, buttery richness to it. In the morning it’s eaten with sweet fillings like jam and honey. Savoury fillings include meat, fish, and vegetables.
Feeling brave? Tehal, AKA stuffed camel spleen, has a surprisingly creamy texture and makes a change from your usual sandwich filling. The spleen is stuffed with meat, olives, spices, and hump fat, then baked, sliced, and served between bread.
With their street food scene rooted in traditional, tried-and-tested recipes, Lima offers a treat for the eyes, purse, and tastebuds. The city’s biodiversity means you can find an interesting array of food and drink on offer, from pure coconut water to honey-drenched pastries made from squash and sweet potato.
If you only eat one thing…marinated ceviche, caught from the nearby coastline, is beloved by tourists and locals alike, and will satisfy any cravings for seafood.
Feeling brave? Try anticuchos — grilled cow heart on a stick. Served with potatoes and hot sauce, this dish wins tourists over time and time again.