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Places with a rich street food culture are lucky

Oct 28, 2017
13,762
#1
YouTube recommendation influenced thread [fuck u Food Ranger] but I'm jealous of countries or cities that have a lot of easily accessible, cheap, freshish, delicious food that's available everywhere on the street or in open window shops or stalls or etc.

Japan kind of sucks with this but it's like 60% of the reason I like traveling to Taiwan all the time. I guess there are food trucks now too but those tend to be pricier, at least in the west.
 
Oct 25, 2017
6,929
#2
True that. Street food is one of the best things about traveling. Just make sure to get something that has been fully cooked......speaking from experience.
 
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Oct 28, 2017
13,762
#6
True that. Street food is one of the best things about traveling. Just make sure to get something that has been fully cooked......speaking from experience.
Used to be extremely paranoid about this (only times I've been hospitalized have been for food poisoning or pancreas stuff) but at some point I just had to say fuck it there is too much delicious looking stuff around for me to ignore it anymore and just hoped for the best.

I will say the cleaning of like mass amouts of chicken or other meat in open tubs of water out on the street is still gross though.
 

Dyle

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,441
Wisconsin
#7
Japan sucks in terms of street food? I mean I guess there are better places, but it's way more accessible and diverse for street food than 90% of the US
 
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Oct 28, 2017
13,762
#8
Japan sucks in terms of street food? I mean I guess there are better places, but it's way more accessible and diverse for street food than 90% of the US
Well compared to other closer areas in Asia it sucks, aside from food markets specifically. The amount of random small food stalls scattered around is nowhere near Taipei or places in China or Seoul I guess.

USA and Canada are bad in this but Mexico seems godlike.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,160
#9
Yep. It is such a great feeling eating great food outside on a nice day sampling all the street has to offer. I ate street food multiple times a week for 5 years. Really miss it.

Another thing that pisses me off is that the food truck scene should be able to compare but I feel it fails massively. The west needs to get on board. There is a guy in Vancouver who is selling Baklava in front of the light rail stations and I feel that is great to see but he is really the only guy I have ever seen kind of just selling food on the street. He isn't cooking it there but he is selling it.
 
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Oct 25, 2017
3,946
#10
Street food or just smaller venues near me would be nice, everything not fast food is just a full blown restaurant. I went out for gyudon during lunch the other week and I felt like a jackass sitting at a 4-person booth by myself.
 
Oct 25, 2017
5,016
corvallis, OR
#12
yeah the closest thing i got to street food in japan were small businesses when i just got a miso dango, or some takoyaki or snacks at the shrines. fukuoka seemed to have a decent amount of stalls on streets going on and i think they might have a specific street food area?

south korea has a lot, in jeonju the big marketplace like flips the entire place into a giant street food alleyway on saturday or friday i think. it was cool but also packed as hell

whenever i watch shows about china i feel very jealous because they seem to have a godlike amount of street food. in america the cities sometimes have stuff but its pretty commercialized and confined to food trucks. and i have never lived in a city with a lot going on, only visited
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,480
#14
I used to live in a place with a ton of food trucks with many different types of food. It wasn't famous, it wasn't flashy, it wasn't hip, but it was all really good. If a place wasn't busy they generally lost their spot and someone good would move in because there was so much competition. For the cost of a gas station hot dog, fountain drink, and bag of chips I could get a really good meal. I bet it's ruined now, or at least much more expensive, as food truck culture has become so popular. I haven't been there in awhile.
 

345

Member
Oct 30, 2017
651
#18
Japan sucks in terms of street food? I mean I guess there are better places, but it's way more accessible and diverse for street food than 90% of the US
it isn't really a thing except in summer, when it can be pretty great with festivals etc. korea and taiwan are still way ahead.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,160
#20
Another thing that food trucks get wrong is selection. All of the food truck places I have been too have way too long menus and need to cut down drastically. Part of the street food culture is that you don't just go to one place. You sample everything pretty much and usually a street food place will be doing one thing. Food trucks complicate this too much.
 
#21
When I'm in the US, I miss street food culture for the variety.
Yet, when I'm in Taiwan, I generally don't bother much with street food due to health (use of animal fat) and inconsistent quality reasons.

To me, the real benefit of street food culture is that it increases competition for small restaurants, so there are more quality offering at street food prices and also the fact that it allows for a "night life" that isn't related to partying.
 
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Oct 28, 2017
13,762
#23
Some parts of Korea are big on street food. Lots of seafood.
Yeah, one of the things I miss the most a out living in Seoul.
Seoul was probably the first place I traveled that I saw tempting stuff in abundance but I was too paranoid over getting some gastrointestinal sickness because of past medical issues, but after I went home, maximum regret. Took some trips to Taiwan after and thought not this time. Will probably go to Korea in Dec / Jan and rectify.

When I'm in the US, I miss street food culture for the variety.
Yet, when I'm in Taiwan, I generally don't bother much with street food due to health (use of animal fat) and inconsistent quality reasons.
The breakfast options were the best for me.
 
Oct 27, 2017
759
#24
HK and Singapore are great too from my experience.

Funny though, that when they are shown on YouTube videos, the comments section usually are filled with Westerners who scream hygiene issues, because they don’t use gloves.
 
Oct 25, 2017
200
#25
it isn't really a thing except in summer, when it can be pretty great with festivals etc. korea and taiwan are still way ahead.
You could say they are....streets ahead

But actually, I enjoyed the street food a lot more in Osaka a lot more than Korea.
 
Oct 28, 2017
1,038
#27
Am in Malaysia right now visiting the wife's family and was in Guangzhou just a day prior for three days. Can confirm that street food is the best.
 
Oct 28, 2017
1,038
#29
As for Japan, you guys have to go to Osaka. Tons of street food/small vendors there. Esp at the wet markets
 
Oct 27, 2017
641
#32
I don't know if it's considered proper street food, but I do like going back to my law school campus for CLEs, as there are several dozen food trucks parked around the place, at least during weekday mornings to early afternoons.
 
Mar 5, 2018
320
#34
Street food is great. I just got back from 6 weeks in Colombia, primarily Bogota, and the scene was kinda interesting. People get coffee and empanadas and hang around the stalls for the salsa/picante. Cheap and delicious but everything was fried and salty. Now I'm back in Chengdu, one of Food Ranger's favs hehe.
 
Oct 27, 2017
3,916
#35
HK and Singapore are great too from my experience.

Funny though, that when they are shown on YouTube videos, the comments section usually are filled with Westerners who scream hygiene issues, because they don’t use gloves.
Thailand is also pretty amazing for street food, but yeah... you run a risk there sometimes. Still, I have some great khao pad gai memories from taking a chance here and there in Bangkok.
 
Oct 25, 2017
4,806
#43
I...don't think you know what you're talking about..
A food desert is when most of the only food available is street food/fast food/convenience stores and not actual healthy food, like a complete absence of supermarkets

do you know what you're talking about?
 
Nov 6, 2017
363
#44
Disagree. I know it’s a meme (usually Taco Bell) at this point but the two times I got flaming diarrhea was eating street food. Once in HK and once in Mexico.
 
Oct 28, 2017
1,643
#47
The street food in my hometown was awesome. That is, until the local government decided to bulldoze over them to "modernize".

That being said, I don't really consider food trucks in Canada to be street food. At the very least, it doesn't feel authentic and down to earth.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,160
#49
A food desert is when most of the only food available is street food/fast food/convenience stores and not actual healthy food, like a complete absence of supermarkets

do you know what you're talking about?
What? Pretty much all of Asia is a food desert by your definition which is not the case. If you want to talk about some small American town where the only restaurants are a Taco Bell and KFC ya but saying that Asia is pretty much a food desert is like the dumbest thing one can say.

And saying supermarkets like they are some bastion of quality is hilarious. You can get better food in a lot of rural places in Asia than some North American cities and there are no supermarkets in sight.
 
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