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30 Countries With The Best Street Food In The World

In this article, we shall discuss 30 countries with the best street food in the world. To skip our detailed analysis of the global food industry in 2023, go directly and see 10 Countries With The Best Street Food In The World.

According to Fortune Business Insights, the global food market was valued at nearly $2.4 trillion as of 2022 and is projected to reach estimated valuations of $5.4 trillion by 2030, exhibiting a CAGR of 10.79% during the forecast period 2022-2030. With fast food consumption on the rise primarily owing to increasing disposable incomes globally, the food industry is achieving steady growth across major and emerging markets with franchising of popular food chains remaining one of the most popular growth models, especially in countries with the best street food in the world. To read more on the increasing popularity of fast food globally and what that means for the global health industry, check out our coverage of 10 Best Ways to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes. Furthermore, the vegan diet has been growing in popularity in the past decade with health emerging as a primary concern for new generations. This has caused major players in the agriculture segment of the food industry to invest in an incredibly complex and competitive arena.

However, according to an article by McKinsey, since 2010, profits within the food industry have significantly depleted and faced enormous headwinds owing to skyrocketing competition from private-label players, coupled with increased value-conscious purchasing from customers. These shifts in the market have begun to assert increased pressure on food prices, with new trends and transforming palettes surging demand volatility, portfolio complexity, and development expenditure. In this extenuating ecosystem, global food players like Nestle S.A. (OTC:NSRGY) and the Kellogg Company (NYSE:K) have been forced to revaluate and reassess their strategies pertaining to selection, specification, sourcing, and management of ingredients. The changing dynamics of the marketplace have pushed the industry to adopt holistic approaches to inculcate innovative solutions to reduce total cost or tap into hidden potential in the raw-material supply chain.  Furthermore, with the current depletion in commodity prices owing to supply chain constraints and residue headwinds from the pandemic, companies are also looking to capitalize on these drops strategically by identifying and sizing saving opportunities as well as developing flexible models for procurement to capture value primarily in countries with the best street food in the world.  

Plant-Based Foods: A New Area of Potential

According to a report by Bloomberg, the plant-based foods market is estimated to account for more than 7.7% of the global protein market by 2030, with total valuations reaching as high as $162 billion. This is up from $29.4 billion in 2020. By 2030, the report outlines that global animal and dairy protein demand could potentially surpass the $1.2 trillion mark by 2030, opening the door on a barrage of potential and opportunities for the global plant-based food industry. In this vein, industry giants like Beyond Meat Inc. (NASDAQ:BYND), Impossible Foods and Oatly are diverting increased investments in plant-based product portfolios in addition to forging strategic partnerships with major fast food chains and restaurants in countries with the best street food in the world. More traditional players like Nestle S.A. (OTC:NSRGY) and the Kellogg Company (NYSE:K) are actively scouting for opportunities to ramp up their production and investment in plant-based models and to produce promotional material to showcase the diversity within their portfolios. As familiarization and accustomation to plant-based diets skyrockets, the report predicts a revolution in consumer habits over the next ten years. According to Jennifer Bartashus, who serves as senior consumer staples analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence:


"Food-related consumer habits often come and go as fads, but plant-based alternatives are here to stay – and grow. The expanding set of product options in the plant-based industry is contributing to plant alternatives becoming a long-term option for consumers around the world. If sales and penetration for meat and dairy alternatives continue to grow, our scenario analysis suggests that the plant-based food industry has the potential to become ingrained as a viable option in supermarkets and restaurants alike. Meat and dairy alternatives could even obtain 5% and 10% of their respective global market shares in the next decade."

One of the primary drivers which is expected to catalyze growth within the plant-based food segment is population growth. As population density in emerging markets skyrockets, it presents an enormous economic problem because it imposes incredible pressure on depleting limited resources. The Asia-Pacific region in particular finds itself to be increasingly susceptible to the possibility of a limited food supply, with total population expected to be north of 4.6 billion by 2030. As a result, it is the Asia Pacific region which is expected to dominate the plant-based foods market by 2030, expected to reach total valuation of $64.8 billion, up from $13.5 billion in 2020. It is for this reason that major players in the food industry like Nestle S.A. (OTC:NSRGY) and the Kellogg Company (NYSE:K) are ramping up investments in countries with the best street food in the Asia-Pacific, understanding quite well that alternative dairy products will constitute more than 57% of the market by 2030. However, companies focusing on meat alternatives like Beyond Meat Inc. (NASDAQ:BYND) will also make up for a substantial share of all plant-based food opportunities in the region by 2030. Other drivers which have contributed to this changing dynamic within the industry are an increased awareness of health across the world, continued depletion in product prices, and an increased global focus on sustainability and climate-friendly alternatives. You can read more on strides made by food companies to achieve sustainability objectives in our coverage of the 20 Countries with the Highest Rates of Vegetarians

Sustainability in Food and Agriculture: An Overview

With population growth rates skyrocketing and fueling increased global demand for nutrition, severe climate issues have consistently been posing insurmountable challenges for the global food industry and complicating production around the world. Despite the fact that agribusinesses and food producers have made immense progress in optimizing per capita caloric availability, environmental challenges associated with food and agriculture have not adequately been addressed as yet. According to a report by McKinsey, in 2022, global agri-food systems have accounted for more than thirty percent of human-caused global carbon emissions, making them an important stakeholder for accomplishing ambitious climate objectives. One of the primary ways in which agri-food businesses can accomplish climate targets whilst improving their bottom-line is to systematically uproot their carbon footprint through regenerative agricultural practices such as planting cover crops. This kind of carbon removal has the potential to sequester 0.7 to 1.2 metric gigatons (Gt) of carbon dioxide out of the 7.0 to 10.0 GtCO2 of annual sequestration which is the 2050 global target. Furthermore, it will better equip companies like Beyond Meat Inc. (NASDAQ:BYND), Nestle S.A. (OTC:NSRGY) and the Kellogg Company (NYSE:K) to deal with other sustainability challenges like biodiversity loss, nutrient pollution, and freshwater consumption in countries with the best street food in the world

According to the report, well thought-out public incentives are pushing leading players within the agribusiness and food industries to reevaluate business models and look for innovative mechanisms, especially in countries with the best street food in the world. In the future, substantial transformational shifts in global food systems are emerging to meet global demand for food, fuel, and fiber without rendering significant damage to the planet's environment, with innovation at scale being absolutely critical.

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Our Methodology

To compile our list of the 30 countries with the best street food in the world, we decided to use a consensus based approach by acquiring data from a variety of different credible sources (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7). We picked countries which appeared at least twice in these sources, assigning them an average ranking based on the numbers at which they appeared on the lists. Low averages mean that the country appeared at high ranks overall during our research. For instance, if a country ranked number 1 in one list and number 2 on the other, the average ranking it obtained would be 1.5. Alternatively, if a country ranked number 20 on one list and number 30 on another, the average ranking would be 25. We then arranged all the entries based on their average rankings, from highest to lowest.

To know about countries with diverse cuisines, check out our coverage of the 20 Countries That Have the Most Variety of Food. 

Countries With The Best Street Food In The World

30. Uganda 

Average Ranking: 51

The national street dish of Uganda is called a “rolex” and is adored by locals and tourists alike. Some other street dishes in Uganda include grilled maize, mandazi, sumbusas, and muchomo.

29. Netherlands

Average Ranking: 49.5

Netherlands street food dishes are known to be extremely affordable and low-budget. Some of the more loved street food dishes in the Netherlands include stroopwafel, herring, kibbeling, poffertjes, and stamppot. Hence, it is one of the countries with the best street food in the world. 

28. Paraguay

Average Ranking: 47

Paraguay’s street food is known to be extremely diverse. The street food in the country mainly revolves around vegetables and desserts. Some of its main street dishes include pastel mandi’o and chipa guasu. 

27. Greece

Average Ranking: 43.5

The street food dishes of Greece are generally incredibly famous around the world. Some of these dishes include gyros, loukomades, and tiropita. The street food in the country is known to be very pocket-friendly and hence, Greece makes our list of countries with the best street food in the world. 

26. United Arab Emirates

Average Ranking: 43

The United Arab Emirates, especially Dubai, is known for its luxury and that effectually translates into its street food. Some of its main street dishes include the shawarma, manakish, and kebabs. 

25. Portugal 

Average Ranking: 41

Many of Portugal's street dishes are famous around the world. The street dishes in the country are generally available during festivals and outdoor events. The espetada is one of the most famous Portuguese street dishes. 

24. Israel

Average Ranking: 39

Israel, mainly Jerusalem, is known globally for its diverse street food, which tend to contain different kinds of spices and food combinations. Some of the famous street dishes in Israel include the falafel and hummus.

23. Lebanon

Average Ranking: 34.5

The most famous street food dish in Lebanon is the shawarma. The country’s capital, Beirut, is the main hub of street food and combines its tradition and culture within the food they serve, making Lebanon one of the countries with the best street food in the world. 

22. Jamaica

Average Ranking: 33

Jamaica has a variety of street food including boiled crabs and peppered shrimps. The country’s street food is known to be very popular amongst the locals and tourists as it is very affordable.

21. Sri Lanka 

Average Ranking: 32.5

The street food in Sri Lanka is diverse and has a lot of variety ranging from curry to desserts. Some of the most famous street foods in the country include the kottu roti, watalappan, and achcharu. 

20. South Korea

Average Ranking: 30.5

South Korean street food is famous all around the world because of its unique tastes. Some of the commonly known street food of the country includes fish cakes, hotteok, and sundae. 

19. Philippines

Average Ranking: 29

Street food is incredibly popular in the Philippines, especially in Manila, as the street food stalls are scattered all over the city. Some of the famous street dishes include balut, isaw, and binatog. 

18. Saudi Arabia 

Average Ranking: 27

Saudi Arabia’s street food is diverse and has a lot of variety. Although the locals demonstrate a preference for less spicy food, Saudi Arabia's food is known to be flavorful. Some of the street dishes are the muttabaq, hummus, and kunafah. 

17. Malaysia 

Average Ranking: 26

Malaysia is famously known for its street food mainly because it includes dishes from Malay, Chinese, and Indian cuisines. A city in Malaysia, Penang, is famous for its seafood street dishes. 

16. Argentina 

Average Ranking: 25.5

Empanadas and Choripan are some of the most famous Argentinian street foods. Buenos Aires is an ideal place for meat lovers as a lot of their street food is made of different kinds of meats.

15. France

Average Ranking: 23

France, especially Paris, has a lot of food options as the street food vendors are scattered all around the city. Croque-monsieur and macarons are two of the must-try street dishes of the country. 

14. Spain

Average Ranking: 18

Some of Spain’s most famous street food dishes are churros and patatas bravas. Barcelona is largely known for its street food and has vendors are spread across the city.

13. Vietnam

Average Ranking: 17

Almost every street in Vietnam is filled with street food vendors who sell sandwiches and soup. The city, Saigon, is known as the food capital of the country.

12. United Kingdom

Average Ranking: 15.5

One of the most famous street food markets in the United Kingdom is the Borough Market located in London. Oysters are one of the most loved street food dishes in the country.

11. Italy 

Average Ranking: 15

Italy is generally famous for its food but Rome is known to be one of the best cities in Italy for street food. Suppli and pizza al taglio are two of the must-try street dishes for locals and tourists. Italy is number eleven on our list of the 30 countries with the best street food in the world. 


Click to continue reading and see 10 Countries with the Best Street Food in the World.

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Disclosure: None. 30 Countries with the Best Street Food in the World is originally published on Insider Monkey.