Street food has seen a significant increase in popularity in recent years as it offers hungry locals and tourists restaurant-quality cuisine at low-cost prices. In fact research shows that street food is consumed by 2.4 billion people worldwide each year.
But which city should you travel to in order to experience the best street food? To find out we analyzed data on the top 100 city destinations to uncover the world’s best street food cities.
We used data from a popular online review platform to list the number of street food eateries in each of the top 100 most visited cities in the world, alongside the number of 4*+ rated street food available, cuisine options and price range.
- Paris, France is the street food capital of the world with 350 street food eateries giving it the highest score of 573 out of 850.
- Paris, France is the best street food city to visit with 76% of its 350 eateries rated 4*+.
- Thessaloniki, Greece offers the cheapest street food with an average cost of $5.64 per meal.
- Barcelona, Spain came out top for offering the best variety of street food cuisine with an average of 3.8 cuisines by vendor, and an average 50 cuisines on offer throughout the city.
The world’s best street food cities
People travel to make new memories, or relive old ones in cities across the globe and food plays a huge part in that. A big part of any trip is the authentic dishes and local cuisine you get to taste.
Our analysis has uncovered which cities across the globe to visit to experience street food in all its glory. Which city provides the best taste of its culture? Let’s find out.
The capital of France, Paris was crowned the best city for street food scoring 573 out of a possible 850 points.
Points were given for number of street food eateries and per km2, average popular online review platform’s ratings, the number of 4*+ establishments, average cost of a meal, average cuisine types by vendor and average cuisines on offer throughout the city.
The study found that 76% of the 350 street food eateries in Paris are rated 4*+. Great news for those traveling to the romantic city in hopes of sampling some delectable delights on their trip. From croissants and coq au vin, to escargot and macarons, Paris is a firm favorite for food-loving explorers.
Famous for its deliciously creamy moussaka and beautifully marinated souvlaki, Athens, Greece followed in 2nd place with 549 points.
Rome, Italy came in 3rd place with 531 points, with Trastevere as the dominant neighborhood in the street food tradition. The city is known for its exceptional gastronomy, including spaghetti carbonara, countless gelato flavors and of course traditional Italian pizzas.
The popular online review platform classifies street food as eateries which are tagged as ‘street food’. Therefore this can include everything from a food stall or truck to a sit-in eatery that serves street food.
10 best street food cities in the world
|Rank||City||Score out of 850 rounded|
|7||Dubai, United Arab Emirates||424|
Interestingly when analyzing the most common street food cuisine in each city we found that the most popular options didn’t always reflect the cuisine of the nation. Indian street food was found to be the most popular offering in London, Dubai and Pattaya.
In Copenhagen, Edinburgh and Dublin, Asian street food was most popular, with Dublin also having an equal number of American street food options for diners, spread among O’ Connel Bridge and Dublin Castle.
Best cities for highly rated street food
To determine which city offers the most highly rated street food our analysts looked at data on popular online review platforms, specifically the number of street food eateries, including how many per km2, and the number of street food eateries rated 4*+. Using the total number of street food eateries and the percentage of ones rated 4*+ identified the cities offering the highest rated street food.
Strolling through the streets of the Ville Lumière, under the lights of the Eiffel Tower, after seeking out the mysteries of the Mona Lisa in the Louvre – or for one last bite before departing from Montparnasse, Gare du Nord or Gare de l’Est stations – you can easily find yourself in front of some of the best street food in Europe.
Paris, France topped the list with 390 points out of 500, for its 350 street food eateries. With approximately 3.32 food street food options per km2, the study found that 76% of the total number of eateries are rated 4*+.
Famous for its gastronomic delights, Rome, Italy came in 2nd place with 317 points, followed closely by Athens, Greece with 309.
The world’s best cities for highly rated street food
|Rank||City||Number of street food eateries per city||Number of street food eateries per km2||Number of street food eateries rated 4*+||% of 4*+ street food eateries in city per total number||Score out of 500 rounded|
|7||Dubai, United Arab Emirates||91||2.60||73||80.22%||266|
|9||Hong Kong, China||193||0.17||127||65.80%||232|
The most diverse cities for street food
Variety, as they say, is the spice of life. With that in mind we wanted to discover which cities offered the most diverse selection of street food cuisines.
Barcelona, Spain took the top position with 190 out of a possible 250 points, with data from popular online review platforms showing that street food eateries in the city offer an average 3.75 different cuisines per vendor;
you can find them also in central spots such as Sagrada Familia, Plaza Catalunya or Plaza de Espana.
The research also found that Barcelona offers 50 cuisines types by all street food vendors in the city. Rome, Italy came in 2nd position with 184 points, followed by London, England with 171.
Strange not to found in this ranking also one really important italian city, known also for its iconic pizza and all the other kind of street food, which is Naples, Italy.
The world’s best cities for diverse street food
|Rank||City||AVG cuisines types by street food vendor||Number of cuisines types by all street food eateries in city||Score out of 250 rounded|
|7||Dubai, United Arab Emirates||3.78||36||149|
Cities with the cheapest street food
To identify which cities are offering the most cost effective street food, the study capped the average price of meals at $50 and discounted places with less than a sample size of five for costing data.
Thessaloniki, Greece was found to offer the cheapest street food meal with the average one costing $5.74 (£5.01) according to 21 popular online review platform reviews with cost data, giving it the maximum score of 100 points. Ho Cho Minh City, Vietnam took 2nd place with $6.94 (£6.05) based on 18 reviews, gaining 95 points. In third place with 91 points was Budapest, Hungary with the average street food meal costing $7.88 (£6.87) according to 28 reviews. With less than 8 you can enjoy a typical Hungarian langos while admiring the view of Budapest’s Parliament, the Fisherman’s Bastions or before departing from Keleti station.
The world’s cheapest street food cities
|Rank||City||Average cost of meal||Score out of 100 rounded|
|2||Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam||$6.94||95|
|8||Prague, Czech Republic||$8.68||71|
We used data from popular online review platforms to analyze the number of street food eateries in the top 100 most visited cities in the world, alongside the number of 4*+ rated street food available.
The study then looked at the number of cuisine options and price ranges of the meals on offer in each city as reported by popular online review platforms.
Cities with a sample size of less than five, or with no price data available were discounted from the cost analysis and given a zero score.
Popular online review platform classes street food as eateries tagged as ‘street food’. These can include food stalls, trucks, or other sit-in vendors. Cost data was weighted from least expensive to most.
Each datapoint was assigned a score, to then calculate the overall score with a possible 850 points up for grabs.
Scoring was broken down as follows.
- Street food eateries – 500 points maximum
- Cost – 100 points maximum
- Food type – 250 points maximum
Cities in Russia and Ukraine were discounted from the findings taking into account the ongoing conflict. Mecca was also removed from our analysis where the city isn’t open to all. We also removed Marne-La-Vallée and Orlando where tourists would have to pay a fee to buy street food for the theme parks located there.
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