3. Reykjavik, Iceland
Iceland may not be widely known as a street-food mecca, but they have a secret weapon that earned them a solid place on the list of the best street-food cities around the world. It is Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur, translating roughly to the best hot dogs in the universe, a distinction noted by its sign as well as by the Michelin Guide. It’s common lore that every Icelander has eaten one. Part of the secret is a small amount of free-range lamb, crispy fried onions, and a stripe of remoulade.
Famous for: Hot dogs, hot dogs, and hot dogs.
4. Istanbul, Turkey
Doner kebab may be Turkey’s greatest export but there’s much more to enjoy on the streets of the city formerly known as Constantinople. One of the best evident about Istanbul’s close relationship with their neighboring seas is balik ekmek sandwiches, which top a grilled filet of mackerel with a squeeze of lemon, onions, and greens. More fruit of the sea comes in the form of rice-stuffed mussels, while those who want a funkier meat may turn to kokoreç, aka spitted lamb intestines.
Famous for: Doner kebab, balik ekmek fish sandwiches, Turkish-style lahmacun pizzas, sesame simit bread.
5. Portland, Oregon
Portland has so embraced the concept of street food that it has become a way of life. Most of the hundreds of food carts out there aren’t limited to slinging meats roasting on an exposed spit or simmering in dirty water for days.
The carts are usually clustered together in pods, where there may be beer and sometimes cocktails. And the variety of foods it can offer is astoundingly diverse, from foie gras burger, Ethiopian food, lobster rolls, steak frites, burritos, fried pies, poutine, wood-fired pizza, porchetta, pasta, cake, cheese plates, to lesser-known Thai delicacies, octopus balls, Mauritian curry, hand-churned ice cream, arepas, sushi, tandoori chicken, or a waffle cone stuffed with pulled pork all in one neighborhood. They also have halal food, street meat, or a Chicago dog to offer if you want.
Famous for: Everything, really.