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Jun 19

Footpath Feasting: a Series of Street Food Stories

We love street food. Whether it’s yakitori in Tokyo or tacos al pastor in San Miguel de Allende, snacking on street food is for us an essential part of the experience of travel. We love eating street food as much for the delight of discovering delicious new ways to please our taste buds, as for the insight that roadside dining gives us into how people live their day-to-day lives.

Selling everything from spicy chicken and papaya salad (somtam) to pork satay and fried eggs and rice, depending upon the time of day, street food stalls cram the footpaths of Sukhumvit Soi 16, our home in Bangkok for the last four months.

No matter what time we walked down our busy street, whether it was heading out at dawn to photograph monks at a mass alms-giving or popping out in the evening to shoot a fashion show, there’d be some kind of food stall setting up or shutting down, cooks prepping food for the day ahead or cleaning up after a twelve-hour stint, stall-holders ran off their feet feeding the onslaught of office workers, or taking a moment to nap before the arrival of the after-work crowd.

By the end of our stay on Soi 16, we were so familiar with the ebb and flow of our foodie street, we not only knew what to eat when and where, we could have pitched in to help one of the stall owners, such as our new friend Noi, if their staff didn’t turn up for a shift.

It’s this passion we have for street food that has motivated us to run a series of weekly posts on Footpath Feasting, in which we’ll cover everything from our favourite fried pork stall in Bangkok to tips to eating street food safely around the world. We hope you’ll join us for what we promise will be some mouthwatering fun.

From time to time we’re planning to do round-ups of the best content on street food on the web. If you’ve written a blog post or story on a street food dish, stall, vendor, street, neighbourhood, recipe, or walking tour taking in street food, or if you have a blog dedicated to street food, then let us know and include a link in the Comments below. If we like what we see, we’ll include it in one of our themed Footpath Feating round-ups with a link to your blog/site.

32 comments

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  1. Keith

    How do you define ‘street food’?

    Can it be sold in a regular shop, but eaten in the street (e.g. fish and chips) or must it be sold from a temporary stall or barrow?

    If, for instance, you bought a ‘Subway’, and took it into the park to eat, would that count?

    (Just had an urge for an Aussie pie!!)

    1. Lara Dunston

      Our definition of ‘street food’? Probably should’ve included it above, shouldn’t we? Anything that is made and/or sold on the street, on the footpath/pavement, curbside, or in a car park/parking lot, I guess.

      So, yes, to meat pies if sold from a van – but not in a bakery ;)

      But definitely no to Subway :)

      We’ve had cravings for Aussie meat pies too!

  2. Turkey's For Life

    Looking forward to these street food posts. The best way to find out more about local food and culture as far as we’re concerned. Great idea. :)
    Julia

    1. Lara Dunston

      Hi Julia – thanks! We totally agree with you. Do let us know if you have any posts on Turkish street food that we can check out and include in a future round-up. Thanks for dropping by!

  3. Alison@streetfood

    We run a blog dedicated to the culinary underbelly of streetfood – and in Australia it’s found more in food courts (kind of hawker centres) and we travel and post about our street food finds.

    Jealous of your Bangkok experiences! Glad to find your blog so I can dream a little bit more.Oh, and eat.

    1. Lara Dunston

      Hi Alison – checked out your site! Love it! Your Blacktown posts took me back – my Russian grandparents lived there so spent lots of time as a childhood visited the largely Eastern European delis in the shopping mall and main street (back then anyway). Will definitely include you in the first round-up of street food blogs we do. So glad you dropped by!

  4. Leslie

    Great feature! Look forward to reading your street food posts.

    1. Lara Dunston

      Thanks, Leslie! Do leave links to any street food posts you do :)

  5. Meagan R

    The very best, best, best, street food we had was in the night market in Luang Prabang. Oh what I would give for one of the crispy grilled fish!!!!! *drool* I wrote about it somewhere…will send it along when I find it…

    1. Lara Dunston

      Hi Meagan – we just visited Luang Prabang a few months ago for the first time and loved it, especially the morning fresh food market that runs on the street perpendicular to the hot food market you’re talking about. Although not everything was appetizing – those beautiful yellow-feathered birds, for instance, that I’d rather see in trees than on someone’s plate :(

  6. puertoricoistheplace

    Puerto Rico has some great street food: Alcapurias, Bacalaitos and Sorullos de maiz(Puerto Rican fritters). Great read! Thanks for posting.

    1. Lara Dunston

      They sound delish! We haven’t got to Puerto Rico yet, though would love to get there some day. Do feel free to leave any specific URLs to street food posts you might have or come back and let us know when you do post something on Puerto Rico street food.

  7. ciki

    totally agree.. street food is the way to go! Fastest immersion into the way of life I tell ya;) Great post!

    1. Lara Dunston

      “fastest immersion into the way of life” – great reason to eat street food.

      You write a bit about street food, don’t you, Ciki? Do leave some URLs for your star posts I can head people to in our first round-up.

      Thanks for dropping by!

  8. Lily

    Great idea! Looking forward to salivating over your posts.

    Here’s a brief overview of what Taipei, Taiwan, has on offer:

    http://jetlagrnr.wordpress.com/2011/02/18/five-on-friday-taiwan-street-food/

    1. Lara Dunston

      Thanks for the link, Lily! Love that post – you’ve got us wanting to go to Taiwan now :)

  9. Natalie T.

    I was just in Vancouver and they have a burgeoning street food scene there. What I love about it is that a lot of the carts are serving some very fresh fish, which you don’t see in other cities. I touched on it in my Vancouver Foodie Wrap Up Post. There’s a link to the Globe and Mail article in there that reviews the new carts (they beat me to it!). http://nearafar.wordpress.com/2011/06/21/vancouver-foodie-wrap-up/ Love the blog. Keep up the great work guys!

    1. Lara Dunston

      Thanks, Natalie. Excellent. We’ll definitely check it out and add it to our round-up post. Haven’t been to Vancouver, though there’s an incentive.

  10. Suzie

    Just had seafood in Chinatown (BKK) last night (see my post on FB) – our favorite street restaurant – will not share it ;-) – for sure all others around are good too – but this one has fresh seafood. We go there for special occasions, like bdays or farwell dinner. It is terrific ambiance and we always bring bubbles to make it even more special!

    1. Lara Dunston

      Hi Suzie – sounds like fun! We tend to find most of the food, seafood or otherwise, fresh at the best street food stalls in Bangkok – simply because the turnover is so high. Our favourite stalls will even run out early.

  11. TravelEater

    Like Natalie recently did, I’m currently in Vancouver feasting on their amazing street food. I’m posting my reviews at https://TravelEater.wordpress.com
    I look forward to learning about other great places!
    Johanna
    @TravelEater

    1. Lara Dunston

      Thanks, Johanna – we’ll go and check them out. I would never have thought of Vancouver as a street food city – going to have to get to Canada one of these days.

  12. Jaime

    I would have to agree street food is the best. I actually do have a post on street food. Its on PUPUSA’S in EL SALVADOR. http://breakawaybackpacker.com/2011/05/pupusa-mania-in-el-salvador/

    Hope it makes the cut.

    1. Lara Dunston

      Hi Jaime – thanks for this! We haven’t been to El Salvador yet. Dying to do more travel in Central America. I’ll definitely be checking this out. Thanks!

  13. Foodie International

    In my recent foodie adventures there’s always an element of street-side eating, I believe it’s the “truest” way of connecting with the living culinary history of a new place. I’m submitting two posts which are focused specifically on street food. The first is a piece on Antigua, Guatemala. http://foodieinternational.com/post/2912962291 The second is a photo essay of the night markets of Beijing http://foodieinternational.com/post/1480623574 both are delicious destinations from the past year. Hope you enjoy!

    -Foodie International

    1. Lara Dunston

      Love the food in Beijing – everything! Street food, restaurants, you name it – but never been to Guatemala; been dying to go for as long as I’ve wanted to travel. Will definitely be checking this out. Thanks!

  14. Can M

    I’ve been documenting street (and other) food from Turkey for a few years now. Here’s relevant post:
    http://eatandletlive.com/glorious-gourmet-gluttony-stre

    1. Lara Dunston

      Thanks, Can! Ah, we’ve had many wonderful street food experiences in Turkey. What a country for food! Thanks!

  15. Mike C

    I love street food, whether its eating open-faced sandwiches on the streets of Copenhagen or sweet gelato in Sicily.

    I wrote about my trip to Cefalu in Sicily and their gelato festival.

    http://nomadsontheroad.wordpress.com/2011/02/18/cefalu-and-gelato-sicilian-odyssey/

    Great idea for a feature. I love food!

  16. Janice / e_ting

    One of the great things about moving back to Asia has been the street food! Hong Kong (where I’m based) isn’t the best, but I’m only 1-3 hours away from cities like Taipei and Bangkok! My most memorable “street” food trip of late was from biking in Fengyuan, 30 minutes out of Taichung city, Taiwan. Here’s my post: http://www.e-tingfood.com/2010/07/taichung-biking-or-fooding-in-fengyuan.html

  17. iamthewitch

    I love street food! I think it’s great that someone is taking the effort to compile the best street food around the world! Here are some of my street food posts:
    Malaysia’s street burger: http://www.iamthewitch.com/2011/06/30/ugly-greasy-sloppy-om-burger/

  18. iamthewitch

    NOW I know why! I tried to include 2 links in the previous comment but it didn’t go through. Here’s the second one:

    Xiamen (China) Street food: http://www.iamthewitch.com/2010/12/07/street-food-in-xiamen-part-2/
    Hope you like them! :)

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