Why Everyone Should Eat Street Food

Why Everyone Should Eat Street Food | Always A Foreigner

Caren and Cazzie

Hi, We're Caren and Cazzie and we're Always A Foreigner. Welcome to our travel blog! We hope you find it useful. We love waterfalls, street eats, and anything to do with travel and adventure. We met while volunteering in India, and since then have made it our goal to travel to as many places as we can. Join us on our journey!

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Why Everyone Should Eat Street Food

Admittedly, we’re a little obsessed with street food. While traveling, we can survive off street food for days (or weeks!) and are completely happy with the decision to forego fancy restaurants. First off, who has the ability while traveling to eat at nice restaurants for every meal? I know we sure don’t have that type of cash flow, especially while on extended trips. I’ve definitely asked myself before “should I eat street food?” but without a doubt in my mind, the answer is yes.

The “Food Poisoning” Myth

But what about food poisoning, you ask? I asked the very same question of Cazzie when he first discovered street food in India. Here he is, chowing down on a giant piece of chicken and I’m like….uh you’re definitely going to get sick later. Later came and went, and he didn’t get sick once. I was still skeptical though. It must have been a fluke. And so I carried on, eating nice “clean” restaurant food, spending all my money, while Cazzie was eating street food non-stop. Guess what? I got sick. He didn’t.should i eat street food

Now I’m not saying that if you eat street food you will or will not get sick. Because hey, if you’ve traveled anywhere and eaten anything, there’s a chance you’ll get sick. BUT, why eliminate an entire food category from your list based off of chance?? I slowly started eating street food, and now it’s one of my favorite way to experience food culture.

Should I Eat Street Food?


We’ve now eaten street food everywhere we’ve been. Momo’s in McLeod Ganj, fritangas in Nicaragua, and endless amounts of pad thai, sticky rice, and red and yellow curry
in Laos and Thailand. In the Parque Central’s in Nicaragua, there was always some form of excellent and authentic street food to fill you up. The same goes for the Main Bazaar in Delhi. I actually got so enamored with these tiny cookies that I had to have a package almost every night. I even ended up being on a first name basis with the vendor.

Authentic Experiences

All jokes aside though, street food is a wonderful way to experience the food of a country. Often times, the street food vendors are cooking popular and authentic food of a country. I mean, yea…you might find the odd hot dog or hamburger stand, but choose your street food wisely. We’ve been to many street food stands with a line of locals around the corner waiting for their to-go container to take to lunch or dinner. It’s best to scope out the stands with lines, because then you know it’s going to be awesome food! 

Cheap Eats

While traveling, we are generally on a pretty tight budget. Even if you’re not on a strict budget, it’s always nice to save a few dollars on food. I’ll give you an example for some insight. While we were in Laos, we were able to buy sandwiches from street vendors each night for about 20,000 kip or USD$2. If we had went to a traditional restaurant, meals could have ranged from 40,000-60,000 kip which isn’t quite much more, but it does add up if you’re on a long term trip. In India, the prices were even more drastic with street eats being 1/8 of the prices of food in restaurants. Eating street food is a great way to fill up for way cheaper than restaurants.

 

If I could have a constant supply of my favorite street food from around the world, I would be one chubby happy person. I guess part of the fun is finding new things to try while on the go, and I don’t think it will ever get old! What are your thoughts on street food? I would love to hear the best places you’ve eaten on the street! 

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18 Comments
  • I am with you there all the way. Apart from saving bucks, which you can splurge elsewhere if you so choose, you get to try the local flavours and delicious food. I have never had bad local street food in any country. Your mention of the momos in Mcleodganj got me misty-eyed. I have such wonderful and shivery memories of those yummy momos and the butter tea!

    • Always A Foreigner says:

      I had a hard time writing about the momos without my mouth watering. But yes, it is such an easy way to experience the authentic locale of a country and even different regions within countries. Glad you can agree!

  • Jen says:

    Totally agree! You have to try the street food when you travel! Nothing is more authentic than that. We always follow the locals when we buy street food. If they like it, it must be good and is probably less risky. 🙂

    • Always A Foreigner says:

      100% agreed! And we do the same exact thing of following the locals. If they like it, then it generally is amazing. Thanks for reading!

  • Great post, Caren. I completely agree that street food is a must. 🙂

  • It is definitely something that happens. On our September road trip each of us came down with a case of food poisoning and you’ll know it when you do. Not fun for sure.

    • Always A Foreigner says:

      Yikes, food poisoning is rough. I’ve gotten food poisoning before but it just wasn’t from street food. I do know that it is very possible, but I believe that you’re also likely to come down with food poisoning from any food you eat. I’m sorry you had a bad experience though because that is never any fun.

  • I love eating street food. It’s so cheap and yummy, and you can explore so many different tastes. I especially miss living in Korea and getting spicy ddukbokki, fried chicken, and cinnamon hotteok on the street. one time, I bought just a plain naan on the street in India, and the people I was with were looking at me like I was already diseased. It was delicious, and I didn’t get sick.

    • Always A Foreigner says:

      Ha, we would sometimes even order Naan in restaurants and would get chastised because there it’s more about the roti. We loved all the street food in India. The street food in Korea sounds amazing as well!

  • menerokasite says:

    I totally agree! Georgetown, Penang, in Malaysia was one of my favourite places for street food.

  • teacakesand says:

    Street food is amazing. As long as I have a decent bathroom to throw up in as long as I get sick, it’s all good!

  • Amanda says:

    I totally agree with you – missing out on street food is such a mistake! I’m heading to China soon and cannot wait to devour street food! <3 I may or may not get sick, but hey – it'll be worth it either way!

    • Always A Foreigner says:

      We loved the street food in China. It was definitely interesting at times, but so much fun to try new things. Have an awesome trip!

  • I love street food, cheap and tasty is a winning combo

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