Traveling foodies have a delicious secret:
The way to discover a destination’s history, culture and people is through its cuisine, especially when street food is on the menu. While street food typically focuses on regional influences and flavors, what makes it all special is that it’s quick, inexpensive and easy to eat while on the move.
Bakeries and cafés are wonderful places to explore—urban food stalls lining most city streets and squares where some of the tastiest frites, crepes, döner kebabs and much more can be found, and tourist-to-local ratio is at its best. To experience the true culinary essence of a city, just head down the street and dine like a local. From sweet to savory, here are four of the best cities for discovering the world’s most delectable street eats.
Europe has a thriving street food scene, even in cities where one might not expect it. Paris, known for its gastronomic restaurants, romantic sidewalk cafes and dare we say, highbrow food-a-‘tude, is one such place. Everywhere you look crêpes are being cooked and served from stalls and kiosks. The thin, flat, unleavened pancakes can serve as quick lunch, a hearty snack or a yummy dessert. Look for where they are being cooked to order and not stacked up waiting. There are lots of choices for savory fillings, like goat cheese, and ham and tomato. For a sweet treat don’t pass up fillings like the perennially popular Nutella (try it with banana).
A plethora of patisseries offer scrumptious grab-and-go options. The quintessential French cookies, pastel-colored macarons (not to be confused with coconut macaroons) are truly delightful. Light and airy, they are filled with either buttercream, jam or ganache. Flavors like neon green pistachio and rose are everyday favorites—as is the soft, bread-y Viennoise pastry. Pair with a café au lait and you’ll have the perfect morning or late afternoon pick-me-up.