Street food refers to food that is prepared and sold by vendors in a public place, such as a street, sidewalk, or marketplace. It is usually ready-to-eat food that is portable and relatively inexpensive. Street food can vary widely from country to country, and often reflects the local culture and cuisine. Street food is often a popular way to sample the local flavours of a city or region.

We’ve rounded up some of the best street food in the world, to give you a whole new reason to book your next adventure.

1. Jerk chicken, Jamaica

When it comes to jerk chicken, there’s no beating the real deal fresh from a smoky jerk hut. Recipes are closely guarded secrets but all start with chicken on the bone slathered in a marinade of spice, thyme, scotch bonnet chilliest ginger and spring onions. The meat is left overnight to absorb the flavours before being grilled over a pimento wood BBQ, often made from a recycled oil drum. From a beach-side bar or roadside stall, Jamaican jerk chicken is best enjoyed with rice and a cold Red Stripe beer.

Street food Jerk chicken, Jamaica

2. Chilli crab, Singapore

The quintessential Singaporean dish, chilli crab is served by street hawkers throughout this small city-state. The invention of chilli crab is credited to Cher Yam Tian, who began serving the spicy crustaceans from a street cart in the 1950s. The crabs are served whole, stir-fried in a sweet and sour sauce of tomato, egg and of course, chilli.

Street food Chilli crab, Singapore

3. Arepas, Colombia

Along with many other regional specialties, these round corn cakes filled with cheese or meat are a common fast food in Colombia. Arepas are much thicker than tortillas and are usually grilled or baked before being stuffed or topped with cheese. Visit Bogotá to enjoy some tasty arepas which are usually served for breakfast.

Street food Arepas, Colombia

4. Halo-halo, Phillipines

A cup of multicoloured halo-halo is the perfect way to cool down on a hot and sticky Phillipine summer day. Directly translated as “mix-mix”, it’s an attractive sundae-like concotion of red beans, coconut, syrup and fruit. This is usually topped with ice cream evaporated milk and shaved ice.

Street food Halo-halo, Phillipines

5. Bunny chow, South Africa

Contrary to its name, this South African snack is rabbit free. It consists of a hollowed-out loaf of bread filled with a fragrant curry (usually chicken or mutton). As you might guess, bunny chow has its origin in India, but it is now Durban’s most famous street food, and no visit to South Africa is complete without trying it.

Street food Bunny chow, South Africa

6. Pierogi, Poland

You’ll find versions of pierogi all over Eastern Europe, but Krakow is the only city we know of that has an entire festival dedicated to this handmade dumpling. Pierogi are made from a simple dough of flour, egg, water and salt, which is then shaped into parcels and filled with meat, potatoes or cheese. They’re boiled first and then fried in butter. Delicious.

Street food Pierogi, Poland

7. Tostadas, Mexico

Unlike tacos, which are soft tortillas, tostadas are traditionally shaped into a small flat disc and fried until crisp. Toppings range from classic combinations like refried beans, guacamole, salsa and cheese to lighter seafood options like shrimp ceviche. Be prepared to get messy: a crunchy tostada, while delicious, doesn’t make for easy eating.

Street food Tostadas, Mexico

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