The Seven Greatest Street Foods

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When we think about the benefits of travel, as much as we focus on exposure to different ways of living and thinking, or the beautiful things to be seen far across the world, sometimes we just have to go with our guts. Sure, museums and beaches and mountains are nice, and memories made there can last a lot longer than lunch. But we'd be lying if we said that when we go somewhere special, good food isn't on the top of our list. With that in mind, here's our collection of the best street foods around the globe:

7. Burek, The Balkans

Imagine, if you will, the perfect street food. It would probably be something portable. Maybe some kind of crunchy, buttery, perfectly flaky casing, matching perfectly with its tender, juicy interior. Throw in some subtle spicing and enough variation that you could never reasonably be bored with it. Congratulations! You've come up with the burek. Originating in what is today Turkey, this baked or fried pastry stuffed with cheese, minced meat, or vegetables was an Ottoman Empire staple before its irresistibility prevailed upon North Africa and the Balkan nations. Whatever the filling, national origin, or shape (there are triangular, cigar-shaped, or brick-like varieties), it's sure to be delicious.

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6. Red Red, Ghana

Besides being just plain fun to say, this traditional treat is a tasty sample of West African cuisine. Named for the distinctively-crimson palm oil used as an ingredient, the two reds are a spicy bean stew, often garnished with pleasantly starchy cassava root, served alongside sweet fried plantains. This aromatic vegetarian option is popular in Ghana, a country often unfairly ignored as a travel destination...until word gets out about red red, of course.

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5. Food Trucks, Portland

This entry takes the premise even further by being food that is literally found in the street. With specially-designated areas where diners take part in communal feasting, it's fair to say that the city's culinary scene revolves around the amazing entity that is food trucks. Standouts include Koi Fusion, a Korean-Mexican-American hybrid that freely samples deliciousness from each nation; Nong's Khao Man Gai, which serves a Thai poached chicken and rice dish that will haunt your dreams; and Tabor, a former philosophy student's testament to hearty Czech home cooking. To experience the magic firsthand, head to Portland. Enjoy your food coma from one of these Portland short term rentals.

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4. Choripan, Argentina

Sometimes the simplest things in life really are best: true friends, sunny days with a cool breeze, or a spicy sausage, fresh of the grill, stuffed into a crusty toasty loaf and topped with a tangy herbal sauce. That's all there is to the South American specialty of choripan, and yet somehow those rudimentary elements combine into a beguiling, unbelievably satisfying package. The smoke and snap of the chorizo mesh with the bun's yeasty bite and the chimichurri's hint of citrus to form what is perhaps the perfect picnic food. The hotdog never stood a chance. Taste for yourself! Head to Argentina and enjoy the sites and good eats of the country's capital. Afterwards, kick back in one of these Buenos Aires accommodations.

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3. Bhel puri, India

We have a history of sharing delicious Indian food with you, so here's one we missed the first time around. Suppose you decide to imagine a new perfect street food. You'd envision something crispy, yet tender. Sweet, yet spicy. Salty, yet sour. Thoroughly unhealthy, yet technically containing vegetables. Soon enough you'd come up with something quite close to the street stall specialty of bhel puri, a tantalizing study of flavor and texture consisting of puffed rice, crunchy noodles, chutney, potato, onion, spices, and whatever the chef desires. There's no set recipe, but the final result is guaranteed to unite your taste buds in glorious harmony. Start your bhel puri tour today! Be sure to stay in one of these Mumbai vacation rentals.

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2. Bun Cha, Vietnam

Often times, the ingredients for some of the world's most delicious dishes are subject to the chef's whim. This is the beauty of bun cha, a North Vietnamese creation most popular in Hanoi. Here's what can be agreed upon: juicy grilled pork, fresh noodles, an assortment of fresh herbs, and some spicy sauces for dipping. Again, simple on its face, but in reality a beast subject to infinite variations, as other options include pickled vegetables, fried spring rolls, and broth in different proportions. It's up to each bun cha eater to determine an individual arrangement that works best for him. Something tells us you won't mind the task. To find your perfect bun cha, venture to Vietnam's capital. Stay in one of these Hanoi short term rentals.

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1. Ais Kacang, Singapore

We have to end this with dessert, and there's nothing better in these hot summer months than ais (ice) kacang, a southeast Asian treat that's like shaved ice after a wild semester abroad. Like bun cha up there, ais kacang has no set list of ingredients or preparation style, but all iterations include a base of flaky, refreshing shaved ice. From there, the ice is topped with a dizzying array of syrups, jellies, fruits, nuts, candies, and ice cream. The result is something that looks like it was assembled in the kitchen sink when mom wasn't home, but tastes divine. Head to Singapore and get down with the ais kacang craze. Start planning your getaway by browsing our Singapore vacation rentals.

Photo via Andrew Bogott/Wikimedia Commons Photo via Andrew Bogott/Wikimedia Commons

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