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The Best Fast Food and Street Food Around The World

The Best Fast Food and Street Food Around The World

One of the pleasures of traveling is to experience new cultures through their cuisine. The cuisine of each country can be very extensive in dishes such as the Mexican, French or Italian cuisine; But in the end all countries have one or two dishes that represent them and many of these are usually the most accessible dishes such as fast food or street food. In this post I will give a brief review of the best fast food and street food around the world.

1. TACOS

A taco is a traditional Mexican dish composed of a corn or wheat tortilla folded or rolled around a filling. A taco can be made with a variety of fillings, including beef, pork, chicken, seafood, vegetables, and cheese, allowing for great versatility and variety. A taco is generally eaten without utensils and is often accompanied by garnishes such as salsa, chili pepper, avocado, guacamole, cilantro (coriander), tomatoes, onions, and lettuce.  As a Mexican I can say that tacos are the best fast and street food in the world. Not only do Mexicans love them, but every tourist in Mexico enjoys good tacos. The best places to eat them are usually chosen for their taste and their sauces. The tacos have become a favorite dish not only in Mexico but also in the United States and are increasingly seen in other countries, but nothing like Mexico to enjoy them. It is simply what most Mexicans miss when they leave our country.

 

Tacos in México

Tacos in México

Shrimp Tacos

Shrimp Tacos

2. BURGERS

When thinking about fast food, the first thing that comes to mind are burgers, consisting of grilled beef, topped with american cheese, lettuce and tomato wrapped in hamburger bread. There are many fast food chains that offer burgers as their main dish and they are often found in restaurants as well as in street stalls.

The best country to enjoy burgers is the United States and currently the best burger chains are:

Shake Shack

Product: Shackburger
Location: They are born in New York and can be found in several states and already in other countries.
Characteristics: They are distinguished by their great quality and juicy flavor.

ShakeShack Burger

ShakeShack Burger

In-N-Out

Product: Double-Double Animal-Style
Location: They are born in California but are already in several states around.
Characteristics: They are distinguished by their quality and satisfy with their size.

In-N-Out Burger

In-N-Out Burger

Five Guys

Product: Cheeseburger
Location: They are born in Washington and predominate in the East Coast.
Characteristics: They are not as good looking as Shake Shack or In-N-Out burgers, but they are delicious. They also have the best fries in burger chain market.

Five Guys Burger

Five Guys Burger

As a curious fact the rarest burger I have eaten has been in Aussie burger of kangaroo meat.

3. PIZZA

Pizza is recognized for being an Italian dish and the modern version we know was developed in Naples since the 16th century. It consists of a baked flatbread made with wheat flour, salt, water and yeast, and covered with tomato sauce and other ingredients such as cheese, salami, mushrooms, onion, ham or olives. This is a food easy to get around the world, but the best pizza is made in Italy in stone or rustic ovens.

Italian Pizza

Italian Pizza

4. FRENCH FRIES

French fries are said to have been created in Belgium even though they are recognized of French origin in their name. French fries are potatoes cut into slices or sticks and fried in hot oil. They are usually accompanied by many dishes such as burgers but can also be enjoyed by themselves as a fast food or street food option. The best versions of them will be found in Netherlands where you can eat them with onion and mayonnaise, catsup or many options of sauce like peanut sauce among others. 

Fries in Amsterdam

Fries in Amsterdam

In Belgium where they claim to be native, they are usually accompanied with mayonnaise and are ordered with mussels.

Fries and Mussels in Belgium

Fries and Mussels in Belgium

And in the United States you can put Chili con Carne over them and also you will find them always with a burger.

Fries with Chili con Carne in the United States

Fries with Chili con Carne in the United States

5. DÖNER KEBAB, SHAWARMA & GYRO

Döner Kebab (in Turkish) or shawarma (from Arabic) or gyros (in Greek) is a traditional Turkish dish commonly found in the Middle East and neighboring regions, consisting of thin slices of lamb, chicken or beef cooked in a vertical rotisserie, usually consumed with a flat bread as ordered or pita along with vegetables and other accompaniments. The best place to eat them is Berlin where there is a large Turkish community and is where more Döner Kebab a year is sold in the world, or anywhere in Greece where it is very easy to find Gyros.

Angela Merkel preparing a Doner Kebab in Berlin

Angela Merkel preparing a Doner Kebab in Berlin

Doner Kebab in Berlin

Doner Kebab in Berlin

Gyro in Athens

Gyro in Athens

6. SUSHI & SASHIMI

Sushi and sashimi are traditional Japanese dishes, sushi is based on rice that is usually accompanied with: sesame, salmon or trout, depending on the tastes may be raw or cooked marinated with rice vinegar, sugar, salt and other ingredients such as vegetables, fish or shellfish; And the sashimi consists mainly of raw seafood or fish, finely chopped, though not as much as a carpaccio. Sushi is the easiest to find in many countries as a fast food or street option especially in its version of uncut sushi or sushi burrito, but you should not miss the opportunity to visit Japan and try both dishes as it is all an art and tradition to eat them in Japan besides being delicious.

Sushi in Japan

Sushi in Japan

Sashimi in Japan

Sashimi in Japan

Sushi Burrito in the United States

Sushi Burrito in the United States

7. GRILL, BARBECUE & SHISH KEBAB

Grill or barbecue is a cooking technique where usually pieces of meat are exposed to the heat of fire or embers so that they cook slowly. Although the meat most used is beef, you also roast pork, lamb, kid, fish, chicken, shrimp and various sausages.

South American countries are well known for their barbecues, like Argentina, Uruguay or Brazil where they become an easy dish to get on the street and restaurants.

Argentinian BBQ or Asado Argentino

Argentinian BBQ or Asado Argentino

In the United States some states like Texas are proud of their barbecues with cuts of juicy meat and sausages.

Texan BBQ

Texan BBQ

The Shish Kebab would be a variation since the meat is roasted but in skewers and this is originated from the Middle East.

Shish Kebab in Turkey

Shish Kebab in Turkey

Korean cuisine is distinguished by its barbecues although these are not usually found on the street or are considered fast food but worth mentioning.

Korean BBQ

Korean BBQ

And of course the roasted chickens are the favorites in African countries and it has transcended to the African American culture and the Caribbean where I like them the most with rice, sweet beans and yuka.

Roasted Chicken

Roasted Chicken

8. FALAFEL

Falafel is a croquette of chickpeas or bean and is originated somewhere in the Indian subcontinent. It is currently eaten in India, Pakistan and the Middle East, and in recent years has become known in the West thanks to being a famous dish of vegetarian food. This has become a fast food option or street food served in a pita or wrap sandwich, traditionally accompanied with yogurt or tahini sauce. My favorite place for Falafel is in Athens in a place called Falafellas.

Falafel in Athens

Falafel in Athens

9. PAD THAI

Pad thai is one of the best known dishes of Thai cuisine and it is a sauteed dish in wok based on rice noodles with eggs, fish sauce, tamarind sauce, red pepper, and any combination of soy sprouts, prawns, chicken, or tofu, garnished with chopped peanuts and cilantro. This dish is found in various street stalls around Thailand and although it is not so easy to get in other parts of the world, it is certainly one of the best street foods.

Pad Thai in Bangkok

Pad Thai in Bangkok

10. SAUSAGES

Sausages are a fast-food and street food dish I've seen eaten in many countries, the best known are hot dogs consisting of a sausage of the Frankfurt type or Viennese boiled or fried, served on a long bread and accompanied by dressings, this dish is identified as from the United States although the idea was imported from Germany.

Hot Dogs in the United States

Hot Dogs in the United States

Germans are experts in sausages and throughout Germany and nearby countries it is easy to find stalls selling fried German sausages by themselves with dressings like the Currywurst in Berlin, or accompanied with caramelized onions, potatoes and bread.

Currywurst in Berlin

Currywurst in Berlin

German Sausage

German Sausage

Finally we have the Choripan a traditional Argentine dish that consists of Argentine chorizo wrapped in a bolillo or bread and accompanied with chimichurri.

Choripan in Argentina

Choripan in Argentina

11. SANDWICH, BOCADILLOS & TORTAS

A Sandwich is a meal, snack or appetizer typical of English cuisine and has been adapted in other countries such as Bocadillos in Spain or Tortas in Mexico. It usually consists of two slices of English loaf or any type of bread, among which are placed other foods such as ham, meat, cheese, vegetables, etc; Sometimes with condiments, sauces or other companions.

In the United States there are several popular sandwich options like the Club Sandwich that has ham, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and bacon. The Grilled Cheese Sandwich which is a cheese-only sandwich or mainly cheese sometimes accompanied with meat or vegetables and heated to the grill; The Italian Hoagie, which was adapted from the Italian cuisine, contains Italian meats and sausages with lettuce, tomato, other vegetables and olive oil; And the Cheesesteak which is a sandwich with a thin cut of beef, caramelized onion and melted cheese.

Club Sandwich

Club Sandwich

Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Italian Hoagie

Italian Hoagie

Cheesesteak in Philadelphia

Cheesesteak in Philadelphia

In Spain, bocadillos are very common in local bars and markets, the best known are the ones of squid, Spanish tortilla and sausages such as Serrano ham and Spanish chorizo.

Squid Bocadillo in Spain

Squid Bocadillo in Spain

And in Mexico, tortas can be as famous as the tacos and an inexpensive and nutritious option to eat. Tortas usually have ham, sausage, chicken, turkey, steak grilled or breaded, etc; And are usually accompanied with tomato, onion and avocado in addition to sauces or chiles.

Torta in México

Torta in México

12. PHO

Phở is a traditional dish of Vietnamese cuisine based on what is generically called a noodle soup. It is served in a bowl with rice noodles in a beef broth with small pieces of meat. Variations often carry viscera such as tendons, guts, or minced meat in the form of meatballs, chicken thighs, chicken breasts, or even other chicken organs (heart, liver, etc.). The dish is usually garnished with ingredients such as chives, white onions, coriander leaves, mint, basil, lemon or lime, soy and pepper sprouts. These last four ingredients are served in a separate dish so that the diner can season the soup to taste. They are usually added due to popular taste some sauces such as: hoisin sauce, fish sauce, and Sriracha Thai sauce. The Phở can be served for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Although the dish is of Vietnamese origin it is very easy to get it throughout Asia as much on the streets as a fast food option and it is a very nutritious food.

 

Pho in Vietnam

Pho in Vietnam

13. FISH

Some countries like fish as their choice of fast food or street food. The United Kingdom distinguishes itself with its fish and chips dish, a fish-and-potato fry which was also exported to the colonized countries and is a traditional low-class dish that became a symbol of the kingdom.

Fish and Chips in the UK

Fish and Chips in the UK

The Nordic countries often eat raw fish as a fast food or street food option, in the Netherlands you can see street stalls that sell Herring which you can accompany with bread, onions, pickles and some type of dressing. I am not a fan of this food but for some reason in the area they love it.

Herring in the Netherlands

Herring in the Netherlands

14. EMPANADAS & DONUTS

An empanada or laso known as a patty is a thin crust of bread, broken dough or puff pastry stuffed with a salty or sweet preparation and baked or fried. Filling may include red or white meats, fish, vegetables or fruit. The dough is generally wheat flour, although cornmeal or other cereals may also be used, and usually contains some fat, oil or butter. Empanadas are a traditional dish from most of the cuisines of Spanish speaking countries, although almost every country in the world has a dish prepared in this way like gyoza in China, Korea and Japan; Or like some mashed and fried meat sandwiches in Indo Asia and Africa. Empanadas Argentinas are the most recognized in the world.

Empanadas

Empanadas

Although many like sweet empanadas, there is a king in the sweet bread dough category and it is the donut that are usually deep fried from a flour dough, and typically either ring-shaped or without a hole, covered with sugar or glazed with several colors and sometimes they carry candies, or they may be stuffed with jam. The donuts were apparently inspired by desserts made in Europe but it is in the United States that it was shaped and defined as we know them today and have become a sweet choice of fast food or street food.

Donuts

Donuts

15. ICE CREAM

In its simplest form, ice cream is a frozen food that is usually made from dairy products such as milk or cream, although they may also be water-based, and often in combination with fruits or other ingredients and flavors . It is usually sweetened with sugar, flavorings, sweeteners or honey. Other ingredients such as egg yolks, nuts, fruits, chocolate, cookies, nuts, yogurt, etc. are typically added. In colloquial terms it is usually called ice cream to those that are based on milk or cream and sorbet to those that are water based. In Italy they are known as Gelato.

Ice Cream

Ice Cream

Sorbet

Sorbet

Gelato in Italy

Gelato in Italy


We hope you like our list of the best fast food and street food around the world, there will be many dishes that we did not consider and probably you love, but we believe it is a solid base and the dishes you should know when traveling the world. Anyway let us know what dishes you think we should include, because this knowledge is worth sharing.

Bon appetit!

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