There’s nothing quite like spending summer in the city. Soaking up the warm weather and setting out to explore on a sunny day is one of our favorite travel experiences. But when there’s so much to see and do, how do you fit in time for a meal? That’s where street food comes in. Check out our list of the best grab-and-go snacks around the globe.
Banh mi in Hô Chi Minh City, Vietnam
When the French colonized Vietnam, they brought their bread with them. The culinary result? Banh mi, a crusty baguette sandwich bursting with traditional Vietnamese ingredients like barbecued pork, pickled daikon and cilantro. It’s the perfect takeaway meal, though you’ll find a bevy of options when it comes to street snacks across the city. Locals enjoy noodle dishes and soups like pho as breakfast on the run.
Döner kebab in Berlin, Germany
Brought to Germany by Turkish immigrants, döner kebab quickly became a favorite for Berliners—second only to the city’s famous currywurst. Made with spit-roasted meat and veggies in a flatbread or pita, this Mediterranean-inspired meal is sold (usually for less than 5 euro) in shops all across the city. For the ultimate delicious döner, visit Mustafa’s Gemüse Kebap in the Kreuzberg neighborhood.
Empanadas in Buenos Aires, Argentina
The Spaniards’ traditional pie-sized empanadas became much more portable once they got to South America. These little hand pies change a bit to reflect the ingredients and cultures around them, but one thing always remains the same: they’re delicious. In Buenos Aires, empanadas are made with a floury dough that’s oven-baked and often shaped to represent what’s inside. No matter what your flavor preferences are, there’s an empanada for you—fillings range from meat and beans to cheese and fruit.
Hot dogs in Reykjavik, Iceland
Nordic countries might be best known for their distinctive cuisine (fermented shark, anyone?), but this Icelandic favorite should be familiar to anyone who’s ever been to a ballpark or barbecue. It’s the humble hot dog, made here with a mix of lamb, pork and beef. Icelanders prefer their dogs served with the works: a sweet mustard, ketchup, rémoulade and a mix of raw and fried onions. If you’re in Reykjavik, make sure you visit Baejarins Beztu Pylsur. The seaside shop is so sure that they’re dishing out a delicious meal, their name means “the town’s best hot dogs.”
Fried seafood in Vernazza, Cinque Terre
We can’t think of a better way to spend a summer day in Italy than by exploring the streets of Vernazza. Like many Italian cities, cars aren’t allowed on the streets in the center of town, making “the jewel of Cinque Terre” a walker’s paradise. The best snack to accompany your stroll? Pesce fritto nel cono, a mix of fried seafood served in a paper cone with a sliver of lemon.
A snowball in New Orleans, U.S.
Beat New Orleans’ summer heat with a classic frozen treat: the snowball. In the Big Easy, there’s nothing more original than Hansen’s Sno-Bliz. Opened by Ernest and Mary Hansen in 1939, Hansen’s is still in the family, churning out frozen treats with the original ice-shaving machine Ernest invented more than 75 years ago. If there’s a line, it’s worth the wait. Hansen’s makes their own syrups, ranging from classic flavors to more inventive mixes; the honey- and lavender-flavored snowball was a favorite from my trip.
Have plans to see the world this summer? Want to share your favorite street foods? Tell us in the comments!