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Food + Drink

Our Guide to Snacking Abroad

There’s no better place to get a taste of local cuisine — and culture — than at a street stand. Here, nine quintessential bites around the world so mouthwateringly delicious you won't be missing that Michelin star.

See recent posts by April Ellis

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Grilled street corn with pili pili rub, Kenya

East Africa may not be known for its culinary chops, but this street food staple would make anyone crave more. Vendors roast the corn in their husks on an open grill, then rub them with lemon slices and smother them with spicy chili powder called pili pili (or piripiri) — the fiery final touch.

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Soft-serve cone with a Flake bar, England

Who doesn’t love ice cream on a sunny summer afternoon? Throughout the UK and Ireland, locals lick vanilla soft-serve in cones topped with a Cadbury Flake. This delicious dessert, called a 99 Flake, would beat a popsicle or sundae any day (sorry, America).

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Biltong, South Africa

If you think you’re as brave as Anthony Bourdain, we dare you to try biltong. This jerky is actually made from exotic regional animals like ostrich, springbok, and kudu, and can be found at market stalls all over Cape Town. The meat is soaked in apple cider or malt vinegar, then rubbed with spices like black pepper, coriander, brown sugar, and garlic, giving it a salty, chewy texture.

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Granita, Italy

To hell with gelato. Granita is Italy’s best-kept sugary secret. The frozen treat, similar to sorbet or Italian ice, comes in a variety of flavors like lemon, jasmine, almond, mint, and black mulberry. It’s typically served like a slushie (to be slurped through a straw), but it’s also common to have it for breakfast with a brioche pastry or as a palate-cleanser between courses.

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Kroketten/Bitterballen, Netherlands

What are kroketten, you ask? They’re croquettes stuffed with pieces of beef or veal, rolled into balls, battered in breadcrumbs, and deep fried. The traditional Dutch dish can be bought from food carts, dive bars and even self-serve vending machines around the country. We love to nosh on them with a dollop of mustard.

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Trdelník, Czech Republic and Slovakia

If there’s one thing you should buy when you’re in Eastern Europe, it’s trdelník. Merchants make these goodies by rolling dough into long ropes and wrapping them around rotating metal rods before baking. The crispy, barrel-shaped pastry is then dunked in sugar, cinnamon, and chopped nuts to be eaten by hand.

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Bakkwa, Singapore

Bakkwa, also known as rougan, is salty-sweet fried pork (or sometimes beef) similar to jerky. After being smoked for hours, it's then barbecued until the meat is tender and caramelized before being cut up into thin square slices — the perfect bite-sized snack.

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Frites with samurai sauce, Belgium

Though the word "samurai" may conjure images of Japanese warriors, rest assured they have nothing to do with this popular dipping sauce. Made with mayo, Tunisian chili, spices, tomatoes, and bell peppers, it’ll set your mouth on fire and leave you craving more.

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Mango with chili powder, sea salt, and palm sugar, Thailand

On hot summer days in the crowded markets of Bangkok, there’s nothing more refreshing than biting into a slice of sticky sweet mango. The Thai treat is topped with spicy chili powder and palm sugar to give it an extra kick and crunch.

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