1. Hanoi, Vietnam
Hanoi’s Old Quarter is a foodie paradise, with hundreds of colourful stalls overflowing into a maze of streets. As you eat your way through this vibrant neighbourhood, here are some delicacies to look out for. Tucking into a steaming bowl of beef or chicken pho is a quintessential Hanoi experience; but the real hero of street food is bun cha, a heavenly dish of barbecued pork served with rice noodles and fragrant fish sauce. Another decadent snack is nem cua be – crispy spring rolls stuffed with delicious crabmeat. After feasting like a king, don’t forget to indulge in Hanoi’s most exquisite treat: iced coffee with sweetened condensed milk, also known as ca phe sua da.
Eating on the sidewalk is a Hanoi tradition. Photo credit: Paul Galow / Flickr
2. Bangkok, Thailand
Bangkok is famous for its dizzying array of delectable street food, so where do you even start? If you’re a newbie, head to Sukhumvit Soi 38, a bustling road that offers the perfect introduction to Bangkok’s eclectic food scene. You can’t go wrong with pad see ew, a sinfully tasty dish of stir-fried noodles, dark soy sauce, and scrambled egg; or how about snacking on grilled pork skewers marinated in coconut milk moo ping
For dessert, gorge on banana fritters, luscious mangosteens, or the ubiquitous mango sticky rice. Avid eaters should continue their food adventures at Yaowarat (Bangkok’s Chinatown), Banglamphu and Wang Lang Market. Warning: you might never leave.
Dive into Bangkok’s foodie paradise! Photo credit: Austronesian Expeditions / Flickr
3. Penang, Malaysia
Penang is a melting pot of Chinese, Malay and Indian cultures, so it’s no wonder that it boasts some of the world’s best street food. Although you’re guaranteed to eat well in virtually every corner of Penang, the charming city of George Town is your gateway to hawker heaven. Don’t miss the iconic assam laksa, a tangy fish-based soup infused with tamarind and chilli, or the salty-sweet perfection of rojak. Other swoon-worthy dishes include curry noodles, roti canai, and Penang’s unbeatable version of char kway teow.
Overwhelmed by all this culinary goodness? Hop on one of George Town’s many street food tours for the ultimate sensory feast.
Don’t leave Penang without trying assam laksa! Photo credit: Chong Kah Fui/ Flickr
4. Taipei, Taiwan
Exploring Taipei’s legendary night markets is like diving into a sea of rich flavours. From savoury oyster omelettes to grilled squid skewers, the street food scene is out of this world. Treat your taste buds to scrumptious pork belly buns (gua bao), or an epic bowl of braised beef noodles. And now for the real challenge: are you brave enough to try stinky tofu? If that potent snack is too much to handle, you can opt for another quirky Taiwanese specialty: deep-fried milk on a stick!
For a truly authentic experience, head to Raohe, Ningxia or Shilin night markets. Is there anything better than noshing on gloriously cheap food until the wee hours of morning?
It’s skewers galore at Taipei’s night markets!Photo credit: Aaron Shumaker / Flickr
5. Fukuoka, Japan
Fukuoka should be on every serious foodie’s list, if only for its famously divine tonkotsu ramen. When you try this mouth-watering combination of silky noodles and creamy pork-based broth, you just might shed tears of joy. Fukuoka is known for its myriad of lively open-air food stalls that only open at dusk. These yatai act as pop-up restaurants, serving delicious fare like yakitori and tempura, along with generous doses of sake.
Although you’re likely to bump into a yatai at every turn, the best ones can be found in the districts of Tenjin and Nakasu. Don’t leave Fukuoka without tasting iwashi mentaiko – grilled Japanese sardines stuffed with spicy pollock roe. This is street food at its best.
Experience Fukuoka’s unique food stalls. Photo credit: drufisher/ Flickr
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