Everybody loves eating street food. Who doesn't? Off the top of your head, can you identify several kinds of street foods that you encounter on a daily basis?
This kind of question would be very easy to answer if you're from a city. Busy streets have busy people, and busy people have no time for preparing elaborate meals or food items to bring to work. That's why street food vendors are very handy for these folks. Just approach a street food vendor, see what they offer, and buy what you want! It only takes seconds most of the time, maybe five minutes at the longest (or more if that certain food truck vendor has quite the following, and you have to endure the line), then you'll be on your way again. Swift and nifty, isn't it?
That's the attraction of street food in the basic sense. However, these days, street food in itself has become quite a sensation, especially when it comes to very inventive vendors. There wouldn't be TV shows dedicated to such themes if it weren't! That should tell you that street food today has come a long way.
But let's go back to some basics first. Do you think you can name all of these foodie goodies? Take a stroll and see! Happy food tripping!
Takoyaki is a popular snack item in Japan, and it's now readily available globally. It's made up of batter filled with veggies and seafood, notably octopus. It is then topped with the very flavorful takoyaki sauce and usually served in a boat-like dish.
The simplest and most basic of tacos are made up of corn tortillas with salsa, some meat, onions, and cilantro. And when in the U.S., travel bloggers say that you can get the best tacos in San Francisco, California.
As its name suggests, frybread is prepared by deep-frying the dough in hot oil, and it's usually round-shaped and a bit flat. There's an option to eat it as is, plainly, and another option to put stuff on top of it, like some jams or honey and other stuff.
Falafel is usually deep fried and served inside a piece of pita bread. It looks like a pocket sandwich when served, and it's truly vegetarian-friendly to eat. This preparation originated in Western Asia, but is now enjoyed worldwide and is popular as street food fare.
People who like their dough pastry deep-fried should try eating churros. These come with dips, usually thick chocolate. Churros originated in the Iberian Peninsula.
A gyro is a unique-looking sandwich because it's made up of a round pita bread rolled into a cone shape, then filled with slices of meat, tomatoes, onions, and sometimes cucumber and cheese. The yogurt-based tzatziki sauce is the most common sauce consumed with gyros.
The doner kebab is probably the more well-known sandwich wrap-like food item in the U.S.. But it's actually similar to the Greek gyro, since they have the same origins, though the doner kebab started it all back in the Ottoman Empire (which we now know as Turkey).
A burrito is a yummy street food favorite which could serve as a complete meal by itself! That's because some varieties include rice, refried beans, meat, salsa, lettuce shreds, sour cream, guacamole, and even cheese sauce, all wrapped inside a soft flour tortilla.
Ever heard of the burrito? Now, take one of those and deep fry it, and you get the chimichanga! This is usually served with dip choices of salsa, cheese, sour cream or guacamole, or a small sampling of all of that in one serving!
Spanish-speaking countries refer to these as croquetas, but in English, they are called croquettes. Whatever the term, the ingredients are rather similar: meat, vegetables, cheese, ham, and béchamel sauce, packed inside mashed potatoes covered with breading outside, then deep fried.
New York-style bagels are fairly plain and simple to eat, but they're very satisfying. No visit to the Big Apple is complete without trying a fresh-baked bagel with cream cheese.
The very French street food fare called crepe looks very much like a pancake, only they are prepared thinly. The sweet type of crepes are usually drizzled with a variety of ingredients, such as flavored syrups (chocolate, caramel, etc.), various jams or spreads (like Nutella), and fresh fruit slices.
All over America, you can see funnel cakes being sold in state fairs, amusement parks, and other festive events. It's not exactly a "cake" in the "birthday cake" sense, but it's batter that's slowly deep-fried, and they apply it in a swirling circular fashion that gives it that unique shape.
The samosa is India's version of the turnover, and it's also a deep-fried snack that's filled with many kinds of ingredients. Samosas can be vegetarian-friendly, but some varieties can also include meat.
Chicago has many offerings for foodies, but trying the deep dish pizza is a must! This very thick pizza is but one way to prepare the so-called "Chicago-style pizza." The other style is the stuffed pizza, which holds many ingredients just like the deep dish kind.
A typical pretzel will always look like it was twisted and shaped like a knot. When you travel in some parts of Europe, you can also see that many bakers use the pretzel shape as an emblem. So if you see this shape in front of a store and you can't understand the signage, trust that it's a bakery!
The corn-based dough used in a tamale gives it that starchy taste. Usually, it's filled with vegetables or meats and some spices are added in there, too. Then it's wrapped with a banana leaf and served.
Nothing beats the sheer simplicity of eating ice cream on a cone, especially on a summer day. This frozen favorite remains to be one of the most favorite street food dessert items in many parts of the world. While commercial brands are great, try sampling artisanal ice cream!
Sushi lovers will fall in love with Hawaii's poke bowls because they also have raw fish ingredients, similar to the Japanese sashimi styles. Then they add some other ingredients to mix, like onions, mayo or vinaigrette, roasted sesame seeds, plus sauces and veggies of your choosing.
Corn dogs are basically just hot dogs skewered on sticks, then dipped in a batter, then deep fried. There are mini-corn dog versions as well, ones that don't come with sticks but are deep fried just the same. The little ones are best eaten with dips like cheese or ranch dressing.
Pennsylvania is very proud to be identified with the Philadelphia cheesesteak sandwich, popularly known as a Philly cheesesteak. It's usually made up of thin slices of beefsteak, cheese, onions, and mushrooms enclosed in a hoagie roll.
There's a reason why the "Belgian waffle" exists - because it originated in that country! Today, waffles are enjoyed all over the world as a snack food item, street food fare, or as a breakfast staple. People prepare it just like they would prepare pancakes.
The hamburger is definitely an all-American snack that's also considered as street food fare. However, most Americans consume their supply from fast food chains that try to outdo the competition with their respective jazzed up versions of the hamburger.
If you're familiar with the basic burrito, you know that the breakfast burrito is made up of ingredients usually associated with breakfast, such as the unmistakable scrambled eggs inside, and also potatoes and chorizo. Some include bacon there, too!
Doughnut places are all over the world right now, because it's still one of the most reliable street foods anywhere, plus it's also easily recognizable. When in Portland, though, food bloggers recommend visiting Voodoo Donuts for some extra fascinating yummies!
A soda float is usually called a root beer float because root beer is the base soda to make this drink-dessert, which you top with a scoop of ice cream (usually vanilla-flavored). These days, any soda can be used as the float base, but vanilla remains to be the top ice cream choice.
The calzone is a kind of pizza, only this one is folded before oven-baking it. Its ingredients are also very pizza-like since it's filled with meats like ham or salami, cheeses like mozzarella or ricotta, some veggies are added as well, and other ingredients that different makers may add.
The Mexican state of Baja California is where the delicious variation of the taco got concocted: the fish taco. The fish they include in it is usually fried or grilled, and the usual ingredients of a regular taco are there, too.
There are different ways to prepare grilled corn, and many culinary experts suggest boiling the corn first before grilling. However, there are various regions of the world where they grill the corn directly without boiling it first. It is served buttered or salted.
A quesadilla is made up of one round soft flour tortilla filled with cheese, then folded into half before cooking. But there is also the version where the full round tortilla is filled with cheese, then another tortilla tops it like a sandwich, and it's cooked in its full rounded form.
Dumplings are usually made up of dough that has fillings wrapped inside, then prepared by frying them or steaming, sometimes even baked or boiled. Perhaps the most familiar and popular kind of dumpling is the Chinese steamed dim sum type, but other countries also have their own dumplings.
Pulled pork sandwiches are delicious, filling, and flavorful. They're made up of barbecued pork that's shredded into thin slivers, and are usually served in a typical bread roll.
Loaded baked potato dishes are now fairly common as street food fare. They're usually prepared by having the whole potato boiled first, then cut into half to put over the "loads" of stuff like cheese, bacon bits, and whatever else the sellers could think of, then baking them.
Pizza is counted as one of the most popular kinds of street food in the U.S. The world needs to thank Italy, though, for inventing this all-time favorite. There's also an ongoing debate whether it's smart or even delicious to put pineapple on a pizza, and the internet is divided over this!
Plain French fries are seen as great companions to hamburgers. But there are many street food offerings now that try to focus on serving different varieties of the usual fries. Most of them sell flavored fries which are usually prepared by adding powdered flavorings.
There are food carts all over Disneyland theme parks that sell turkey legs, and turkey legs only. Imagine that! The happiest place on earth doesn't mind it if people chew on one of these gigantic legs while walking along the streets of the parks.
The sundae is probably the most common kind of soft serve ice cream variety that's easily recognizable all over the world. This is largely due to the proliferation of many American-style fast food chains globally which serve the sundae as their dessert.
Many street food vendors, especially food trucks, have some sort of grilled cheese sandwich offering on their menu. Travel bloggers point to Boston, though, as having some of the best grilled cheese sandwiches in the U.S., and they're gourmet to boot!
Many U.S. states are proud of their hot dog heritage, and there are so many to try when going on a street food trip. When in New York, try Nathan's Famous, and when in California, try Pink's.
Mac and cheese preparations are very easy to fix up. That's why it's also easy to sell this dish as street food fare. Part of the success of street food has something to do with the speed of the food preparation, and mac and cheese certainly delivers in this department.