Top 10 best cities for street food

Aug 13, 2012 at 5:00 p.m. ET

Street food is not a new concept. However, thanks to the amazing popularity of food trucks and food-based travel shows, it's becoming something that tourists look for when scouring a city for grub. Whether you're partial to the well-known food trucks or the unknown local veterans, these 10 worldwide cities are slinging the best street fare around.

Street food in Chicago

These aren't the places that take reservations, have white cotton table linens, glowing candles or even real silverware. These well-known street food cities serve their best food out of a cart, truck or large pot and hand it to you on a plastic plate, bowl or takeout food container. Just remember to bring cash if you go; most of these vendors don't take plastic.


Chicago, Illinois

Street and food truck cooking is illegal in the Windy City, but this city has found loopholes and ways around slinging their best foods from the street corner. The law says you can't cook on a truck or in a cart, but it doesn't say you can't assemble already cooked food! Some of the top eateries in the city work off a truck, like The Meatyballs Mobile, which serves meatballs and the The Southern Mac, which has some of the best mac-n-cheese you'll ever have. There are more than 30 trucks and carts vying for Chicagoan's love. You can find them on Food Truck Tuesdays at North and Halsted in Lincoln Park and Food Truck Thursdays at Ethyl's Beer and Wine Dive.


New York City, New York

There's more to street food in the Big Apple than just those stinky carts by the side of the road selling burned hot dogs. In fact, the food truck scene has blazed through NYC, bringing with it some fancier (and more delicious) street fare, like veal schnitzel from Schnitzel & Things, wafels from Wafels & Dinges, hearty lobster rolls from Red Hook Lobster and dumplings from Rickshaw Dumplings. If you're not sure when and where to find these vendors and trucks in the concrete jungle that is NYC, why not try a NYC street food walking tour? If that's too touristy for your liking, just check out Twitter for the feeds of all the trucks to find their locations and times.


Hong Kong

You can't go far on the island of Hong Kong without being stopped by the smell of something amazing coming from one of the many food street carts and stalls. Many stalls were shut down in the 1980s, but you can still find a wide selection of truly authentic fare. Anything from traditional Chinese noodle dishes to curry to fish balls to endless varieties of dim sum await you. Many of the noodle vendors have chairs and tables set out so you can enjoy your soups while you people watch, however, these are pretty hard to snag. Frommer's recommends checking out Temple Street in Yau Ma Tei for some amazing food stalls. Travel & Leisure recommends you order the barbecue goose, wonton noodles and beef-brisket noodles. Our mouths are watering at the thought.


Istanbul, Turkey

Anyone who has been to Istanbul, which is the largest city in Turkey, can vouch for the fact that they are certainly not lacking in the street food department. Not only do they have a lot of vendors, they have hundreds of different kinds of things you can enjoy. Like giant bagels, kumpir (baked potatoes stuffed with everything under the sun), döner kebap (roasted meat) served in pita and endless vendors selling incredible baklava treats. A little overwhelmed by all the options? The travel experts at Frommer's recommend you check out the neighborhoods of Karaköy and Ortakoy, which are on the European side of Istanbul. These neighborhoods have many stalls of decadent foods to choose from.

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