Culinary tourism is an increasingly important part of world tourism, especially with the rise of social media like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. As travelers share their experiences online, people are ever more aware of the world’s diversity of food-ways. Yet, some of the most unique food scenes are those that have a historically long reputation for vibrant culinary traditions.
The Mexican Street Food Capital
In Mexico City, antojitos or street snacks mean variations on common ingredients in tacos, burritos, tamales, and sugar-coated, chocolate-filled churros. Stalls line the streets all over the city and offer some of the greatest street food in the world, from sizzling pits of stewing meats, to fried meats folded into flour tortillas, and blocks of spinning rotisserie or el pastor.
Avoid the water, but be sure to try:
The Bold Flavors of Morocco
Marrakech has an international reputation for bold colors and spices, with markets that overflow with colorful couscous, steaming lades of snail soup, crispy Maakouda potato fritters, and bags of dried fruit and nuts. Among its many souks or markets, the main square of Djemaa el-Fna is a food lover’s paradise come evening, with hundreds of food stalls and communal dining.
Don’t miss the following options:
The Many Foods of Istanbul
Turkey’s largest city is home to more than just skewered doner kebabs due to its close relationship with neighboring countries. Head to the pedestrian-only Istiklal Caddesi in the Taksim neighborhood or the Karakoy and Ortakoy neighborhoods for baked potato kumpirs, spitted lamb intestine kokorec, stuffed mussels or midye dolma, and delicious baklava.
Some unique Turkish dishes include:
The World’s Safest Street Food
With government regulation of vendors, Singapore provides cheap, tasty, and safe street eats. You’ll find hundreds of halls of food stalls with a fusion of Chinese, Malay, Indian, and other traditions. This exceptionally vibrant street food scene is known for its breadth and creativity, from stingray sambal and curried fish heads to national dishes of chili crab and Hainan chicken.
Some celebrated Singaporean options include:
The Ultimate Street Eats City
In Thailand, Bangkok’s robust culinary scene thrives on makeshift stands and markets, with buffets of curry and roasted chickens and ducks lining the streets. Centered on the neon-lit Yaowarat road, its scope is massive, from heavy fare such as deep-fried pork belly to lighter papaya salad and a wide array of seafood like fried mussels and barbecued catfish.
Local specialties that cannot be missed include: