The Info List - Street Food

Street food
Street food
is ready-to-eat food or drink sold by a hawker, or vendor, in a street or other public place, such as at a market or fair. It is often sold from a portable food booth,[1] food cart, or food truck and meant for immediate consumption. Some street foods are regional, but many have spread beyond their region of origin. Most street foods are classed as both finger food and fast food, and are cheaper on average than restaurant meals. According to a 2007 study from the Food and Agriculture Organization, 2.5 billion people eat street food every day.[2]

Play media

A video clip of a vendor making churros in Colombia

Today, people may purchase street food for a number of reasons, such as convenience, to get flavourful food for a reasonable price in a sociable setting, to try ethnic cuisines, or for nostalgia.[3]


1 History 2 Around the world 3 Cultural and economic aspects 4 Health and safety 5 See also 6 References 7 External links


street vendor in Java, Dutch East Indies, c. 1870, using pikulan or carrying baskets using a rod.

The presence of street food vendors in New York City throughout much of its history, such as these circa 1906, are credited with helping support the city's rapid growth.

Small fried fish were a street food in ancient Greece;[4] however, Theophrastus
held the custom of street food in low regard.[5] Evidence of a large number of street food vendors was discovered during the excavation of Pompeii.[6] Street food
Street food
was widely consumed by poor urban residents of ancient Rome whose tenement homes did not have ovens or hearths.[7] Here, chickpea soup[8] with bread and grain paste[9] were common meals. In ancient China, street food generally catered to the poor, however, wealthy residents would send servants to buy street food and bring it back for them to eat in their homes.[7] A traveling Florentine reported in the late 14th century that in Cairo, people brought picnic cloths made of rawhide to spread on the streets and sit on while they ate their meals of lamb kebabs, rice, and fritters that they had purchased from street vendors.[10] In Renaissance Turkey, many crossroads had vendors selling "fragrant bites of hot meat", including chicken and lamb that had been spit-roasted.[11] In 1502, Ottoman Turkey became the first country to legislate and standardize street food.[12] Aztec marketplaces had vendors who sold beverages such as atolli ("a gruel made from maize dough"), almost 50 types of tamales (with ingredients that ranged from the meat of turkey, rabbit, gopher, frog and fish to fruits, eggs and maize flowers),[13] as well as insects and stews.[14] Spanish colonization brought European food stocks like wheat, sugarcane and livestock to Peru, however, most commoners continued to primarily eat their traditional diets. Imports were only accepted at the margins of their diet, for example, grilled beef hearts sold by street vendors.[15] Some of Lima's 19th-century street vendors such as "Erasmo, the 'negro' sango vendor" and Na Aguedita are still remembered today.[16] During the American Colonial period, "street vendors sold oysters, roasted corn ears, fruit, and sweets at low prices to all classes." Oysters, in particular, were a cheap and popular street food until around 1910 when overfishing and pollution caused prices to rise.[17] Street vendors in New York City faced a lot of opposition. After previous restrictions had limited their operating hours, street food vendors were completely banned in New York City by 1707.[18] Many women of African descent made their living selling street foods in America in the 18th and 19th centuries, with products ranging from fruit, cakes, and nuts in Savannah, to coffee, biscuits, pralines, and other sweets in New Orleans.[19] Cracker Jack
Cracker Jack
started as one of many street food exhibits at the Columbian Exposition.[20] In the 19th century, street food vendors in Transylvania
sold gingerbread-nuts, cream mixed with corn, as well as bacon and other meat fried on top of ceramic vessels with hot coals inside.[21] French fries, consisting of fried strips of potato, probably originated as a street food in Paris in the 1840s.[22] Street foods in Victorian London included tripe, pea soup, pea pods in butter, whelk, prawns, and jellied eels.[23]

A whole street was taken up by street food vendors during the Yasothon Rocket Festival
Rocket Festival
in Thailand.

Ramen, originally brought to Japan by Chinese immigrants about 100 years ago, began as a street food for laborers and students. However, it soon became a "national dish" and even acquired regional variations.[24] The street food culture of Southeast Asia today was heavily influenced by coolie workers imported from China during the late 19th century.[25] In Thailand, although street food did not become popular among native Thai people until the early 1960s, because of rapid urban population growth,[26] by the 1970s it had "displaced home-cooking."[27] The rise of the country's tourism industry is also contributed to the popularity of Thai street food. In Indonesia
— especially Java, travelling food and drink vendor has a long history, as they were described in temples bas reliefs dated from 9th century, as well as mentioned in 14th century inscription as a line of work. During colonial Dutch East Indies
Dutch East Indies
period circa 19th century, several street food were developed and documented, including satay and dawet (cendol) street vendors. The current proliferation of Indonesia's vigorous street food culture is contributed by the massive urbanization in recent decades that has opened opportunities in food service sectors. This took place in the country's rapidly expanding urban agglomerations, especially in Greater Jakarta, Bandung
and Surabaya.[28] Around the world[edit] Main article: Regional street food See also: List of street foods

Food carts lining Indonesian street, selling street foods.

Street food
Street food
vending is found all around the world, but varies greatly between regions and cultures.[29] For example, Dorling Kindersley describes the street food of Vietnam
as being "fresh and lighter than many of the cuisines in the area" and "draw[ing] heavily on herbs, chile peppers and lime", while street food of Thailand is "fiery" and "pungent with shrimp paste ... and fish sauce." New York City's signature street food is the hot dog, however, New York street food also includes everything from "spicy Middle Eastern falafel or Jamaican jerk chicken to Belgian waffles"[30] Street food
Street food
in Thailand offers various selection of ready-to-eat meals, snacks, fruits and drinks sold by hawkers or vendors at food stalls or food carts on the street side. Bangkok
is often mentioned as one of the best place for street food.[31][32] Popular street offerings includes pad thai (stir fried rice noodle), som tam (green papaya salad), sour tom yum soup, various selection of Thai curries, to sticky rice mango Indonesian street food is a diverse mix of local Indonesian, Chinese, and Dutch influences.[33] Indonesian street food often tastes rather strong and spicy. A lot of street food in Indonesia
are fried, such as local gorengan (fritters), also nasi goreng and ayam goreng, while bakso meatball soup, skewered chicken satay and gado-gado vegetable salad served in peanut sauce are also popular.[34] Indian street food is as diverse as Indian cuisine. Every region has its own specialties to offer. Some of the more popular street food dishes are Vada Pav, Cholle Bhature, Parathas, Rolls, Bhel Puri, Sev Puri, Gol Gappa, Aloo tikki, Kebabs, Tandoori chicken, Samosa, Bread omelette, Pav bhaji
Pav bhaji
and Pakora. In India, street food is popularly known as nukkadwala food. There are several restaurants and QSRs in India that have also taken their inspiration from the vibrant street food of India.[35]

street food in Hyderabad Andhra Pradesh India.

In Hawaii, the local street food tradition of "plate lunch" (rice, macaroni salad, and a portion of meat) was inspired by the bento of the Japanese who had been brought to Hawaii as plantation workers.[36] In Denmark, sausage wagons allow passersby to purchase sausages and hot dogs. In Egypt, a food sold commonly on the street is ful, a slow-cooked fava bean dish.[37] Mexican street food
Mexican street food
is known as "antojitos" (translated as "little cravings") which include several varieties of tacos, such as tacos al pastor, huaraches and other maize based foods Cultural and economic aspects[edit]

Street vendor of snack foods in Nepal

Because of differences in culture, social stratification and history, the ways in which family street vendor enterprises are traditionally created and run vary in different areas of the world.[38] For example, few women are street vendors in Bangladesh, but women predominate in the trade in Nigeria and Thailand.[39] Doreen Fernandez says that Filipino cultural attitudes towards meals is one "cultural factor operating in the street food phenomenon" in the Philippines because eating "food out in the open, in the market or street or field" is "not at odds with the meal indoors or at home" where "there is no special room for dining".[21] Walking on the street while eating is considered rude in some cultures,[40] such as Japan[41] or Swahili cultures, although it is acceptable for children.[42] In India, Henrike Donner wrote about a "marked distinction between food that could be eaten outside, especially by women," and the food prepared and eaten at home, with some non-Indian food being too "strange" or tied too closely to non-vegetarian preparation methods to be made at home.[43] In Tanzania's Dar es Salaam region, street food vendors produce economic benefits beyond their families. Because street food vendors purchase local fresh foods, urban gardens and small-scale farms in the area have expanded.[44] In the United States, street food vendors are credited with supporting New York City's rapid growth by supplying meals for the city's merchants and workers.[45] Proprietors of street food in the United States have had a goal of upward mobility, moving from selling on the street to their own shops.[3] However, in Mexico, an increase in street vendors has been seen as a sign of deteriorating economic conditions in which food vending is the only employment opportunity that unskilled labor who have migrated from rural areas to urban areas are able to find.[14] In 2002, Coca-Cola
reported that China, India, and Nigeria were some of its fastest-growing markets: markets where the company's expansion efforts included training and equipping mobile street vendors to sell its products.[44] Health and safety[edit]

The hepatitis A virus can be spread through improper food handling and poor food hygiene.[46]

As early as the 14th century, government officials oversaw street food vendor activities.[10] With the increasing pace of globalization and tourism, the safety of street food has become one of the major concerns of public health, and a focus for governments and scientists to raise public awareness.[47][48][49][50] However, despite concerns about contamination at street food vendors, the incidence of such is low, with studies showing rates comparable to restaurants.[51] In 2002, a sampling of 511 street foods in Ghana by the World Health Organization showed that most had microbial counts within the accepted limits,[52] and a different sampling of 15 street foods in Calcutta showed that they were "nutritionally well balanced", providing roughly 200 kcal (Cal) of energy per rupee of cost.[53] In the United Kingdom, the Food Standards Agency
Food Standards Agency
provides comprehensive guidance of food safety for the vendors, traders and retailers of the street food sector.[54] Other effective ways of enhancing the safety of street foods include: mystery shopping programs, training, rewarding programs to vendors, regulatory governing and membership management programs, and technical testing programs.[55][56][57][58][59] Despite knowledge of the risk factors, actual harm to consumers’ health is yet to be fully proven and understood. Due to difficulties in tracking cases and the lack of disease-reporting systems, follow-up studies proving actual connections between street food consumption and food-borne diseases are still very few. Little attention has been devoted to consumers and their eating habits, behaviors and awareness. The fact that social and geographical origins largely determine consumers’ physiological adaptation and reaction to foods—whether contaminated or not—is neglected in the literature.[60] In the late 1990s, the United Nations and other organizations began to recognize that street vendors had been an underused method of delivering fortified foods to populations, and in 2007, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization recommended considering methods of adding nutrients and supplements to street foods that are commonly consumed by the particular culture.[51] See also[edit]

Food portal

List of street foods List of snack foods Snack
food Food street Street market Catering Mobile catering Yatai Ice cream
Ice cream


^ Artemis P. Simopoulos, Ramesh Venkataramana Bhat. Street Foods. Karger Publishers, 2000. p. vii. Retrieved 18 April 2011.  ^ "Spotlight: School Children, Street Food and Micronutrient Deficiencies in Tanzania". Rome, Italy: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. February 2007. Archived from the original on 2015-04-09. Retrieved 2008-02-20.  ^ a b The Oxford Companion to American Food and Drink. Retrieved 2012-08-17.  ^ Cathy K. Kaufman (2006-08-30). Cooking in Ancient Civilizations. Retrieved 2012-08-17.  ^ Artemis P. Simopoulos. Street Foods. Retrieved 2012-08-16.  ^ Food: The History of Taste. Retrieved 2012-08-16.  ^ a b B. W. Higman. How Food Made History. Retrieved 2012-08-16.  ^ Dalby, Andrew (2003-06-18). Food in the Ancient World A-Z. Retrieved 2012-08-16.  ^ Civitello, Linda (2011-03-29). Cuisine and Culture: A History of Food and People. Retrieved 2012-08-17.  ^ a b Mary Snodgrass – (2004-09-27). Encyclopedia of Kitchen History. Retrieved 2012-08-16.  ^ Snodgrass, Mary (2004-09-27). Encyclopedia of Kitchen History. Retrieved 2012-08-16.  ^ "Street Food Around the World". google.com.tr.  ^ Evans, Susan. Archaeology of Ancient Mexico and Central America: An Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2012-08-17.  ^ a b Long Towell Long, Luis Alberto Vargas. Food Culture In Mexico. Retrieved 2012-08-17.  ^ J. Pilcher (2005-12-20). Food In World History. Retrieved 2012-08-16.  ^ Albala, Ken (2011-05-25). Food Cultures of the World Encyclopedia. Boo. Retrieved 2012-08-17.  ^ Katherine Leonard Turner. Good Food for Little Money: Food and Cooking Among Urban Working-class ... Retrieved 2012-08-17.  ^ Artemis P. Simopoulos. Street Foods. Retrieved 2012-08-16.  ^ African American Foodways: Explorations of History and Culture –. Retrieved 2012-08-17.  ^ Andrew F. Smith. Eating History: 30 Turning Points in the Making of American Cuisine. Retrieved 2012-08-16.  ^ a b Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery 1991: Public Eating : Proceedings. Retrieved 2012-08-17.  ^ Marshall, Bill. France and the Americas: Culture, Politics, and History. Retrieved 2012-08-16.  ^ Clarissa Dickson Wright. A History of English Food. Retrieved 2012-08-16.  ^ Japanese Foodways, Past and Present. Retrieved 2012-08-17.  ^ Carlo Petrini,. Slow Food: Collected Thoughts on Taste, Tradition, and the Honest Pleasures ... Retrieved 2012-08-16.  ^ Thompson, David. Thai Street Food. Retrieved 2012-08-16.  ^ B. W. Higman. How Food Made History. Retrieved 2012-08-16.  ^ Firman, Tommy (12 May 2012). "Urbanization and urban development patterns". The Jakarta Post.  ^ Wanjek, Christopher. Food At Work: Workplace Solutions For Malnutrition, Obesity And Chronic Diseases. Retrieved 2012-08-16.  ^ Kindersley, Dorling. Ultimate Food Journeys: The World's Best Dishes and Where to Eat Them. Retrieved 2012-08-17.  ^ Wiens, Mark (9 May 2011). "Top 16 Bangkok
Street Food Sanctuaries (Are You Ready to Eat?)". Migrationology.  ^ "The 10 best street food cities in the world, per VirtualTourist.com, Frommer's". NY Daily News.  ^ Jing Xuan Teng (28 April 2016). "The Best Street Food in Jakarta, Indonesia". The Culture Trip.  ^ "Indonesian Street food". Food & Travel.com.au.  ^ "Nukkadwala -Inspired by a billion foodies". Nukkadwala. Retrieved 21 March 2018.  ^ Nina L. Etkin (2009-09-15). Foods of Association: Biocultural Perspectives on Foods and Beverages that ... Retrieved 2012-08-17.  ^ Anderson, Heather Arndt (2013). Breakfast: A History. Lanham, MD: AltaMira Press. p. 33. ISBN 978-0-7591-2165-2.  ^ Esther Ngan-Ling Chow. Women, the Family, and Policy: A Global Perspective. Retrieved 2012-08-16.  ^ Tinker, Irene. Street Foods: Urban Food and Employment in Developing Countries. Retrieved 2012-08-17.  ^ Dan Knox, Kevin Hannam. Understanding Tourism: A Critical Introduction. Retrieved 2012-08-17.  ^ Michael Ashkenazi, Jeanne Jacob. Food Culture in Japan. Retrieved 2012-08-17.  ^ Albala, Ken (2011-05-25). Food Cultures of the World Encyclopedia [4 volumes]: [Four Volumes]. ABC-CLIO. pp. 2–. ISBN 9780313376276. Retrieved 4 April 2014.  ^ Donner, Henrike. Being Middle-Class in India: A Way of Life. Retrieved 2012-08-16.  ^ a b Globalization of Food Systems in Developing Countries: Impact on Food ... Issue #83. FAO. 2004. Retrieved 2012-08-17.  ^ Start Your Own Food Truck Business – Entrepreneur Press. Retrieved 2012-08-17.  ^ Hoorfar, Jeffrey (2012-06-25). Case Studies in Food Safety and Authenticity: Lessons from Real-Life Situations. Elsevier Science. pp. 182–. ISBN 9780857096937. Retrieved 7 April 2014.  ^ Mukhola, Murembiwa Stanley. "Guidelines for an Environmental Education Training Programme for Street Food Vendors in Polokwane City" (PDF). Retrieved 2007-11-23. [permanent dead link] ^ Mukhola, Murembiwa Stanley. "The thesis contents" (PDF). Retrieved 2007-11-23. [permanent dead link] ^ Lues, Jan F. R.; Rasephei, MR; Venter, P; Theron, MM; et al. (2006). "Assessing food safety and associated food handling practices in street food vending". International Journal of Environmental Health Research. 16 (5): 319–328. doi:10.1080/09603120600869141. PMID 16990173.  ^ Food and Agriculture Organization
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of the United Nations. "The informal food sector" (PDF). Retrieved 2007-11-23. [permanent dead link] ^ a b Nina L. Etkin (2009-09-15). Foods of Association: Biocultural Perspectives on Foods and Beverages that. Retrieved 2012-08-16.  ^ Globalization of Food Systems in Developing Countries: Impact on Food ... Retrieved 2012-08-17.  ^ Artemis P. Simopoulos. Street Foods. Retrieved 2012-08-17.  ^ Food Standards Agency. "Safer food, better business". Retrieved 2007-11-24.  ^ Sydney Market Limited. "Retailers Support Program". Archived from the original on 2007-08-29. Retrieved 2007-11-25.  ^ Queen Victoria Market. "Food Safety Supervisor Course". Archived from the original on October 12, 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-25.  ^ Green City Market. "Producer Rules and Regulations". Retrieved 2007-11-25.  ^ Adelaide Showgrounds Farmers Market. "How To Become A Stallholder". Archived from the original on 2012-11-30. Retrieved 2007-11-27.  ^ Brisbane Markets Limited. "Chemical residue and microbial testing program for Australia's fresh produce industry" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-08-29. Retrieved 2007-11-27.  ^ MARRAS S.R. (2014). "Comparative Analysis of Legislative Approaches to Street Food in South American Metropolises." In Cardoso R., Companion M., Marras S. (eds.). Street Food. Culture, Economy, Health and Governance. London & NY: Routledge. Pp.15–45.

External links[edit]

Media related to street food at Wikimedia Commons Street food
Street food
travel guide from Wikivoyage

Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Civilisations.

v t e

Street food

Street foods

Acarajé Aloo chaat Aloo tikki Anticucho Apam balik Arancini Arepa Asinan Bagel Bakpau Bakso Balık ekmek Banana cue Bánh canh Bánh hỏi Bánh mì
Bánh mì
sandwich Bánh xèo Batagor Beguni Belgian waffle Beondegi Bhelpuri Binaki Biryani Bourekas Bratwurst Brochette Bublik Bubur ayam Bun cha Bungeo-ppang Bunny chow Burrito

Breakfast burrito

Calzone Camote cue Cart noodle Chaat Chebureki Chiko Roll Chimichanga Chinese bhel Cockle (bivalve) Cōng yóu bǐng Covrigi Coxinha Crêpe Currywurst Dahi puri Dak-kkochi Dim sum Dosa Douhua Empanada Enchilada Esquites Falafel Farinata Fish ball Focaccia French fries Fried chicken Navajo frybread Galette-saucisse Ginanggang Gorengan Ghugni Gukhwappang Gyeranppang Gyro Haleem Hot dog Isaw Idli Jhalmuri Jiaozi Kaassoufflé Kachori Kapsalon Kati roll Kebab

Chapli kebab Doner kebab Kyinkyinga Shami kebab List of kebabs

Kerak telor Ketoprak Khachapuri Khanom Tokyo Knish Laksa Lángos Luchi Malatang Maruya Masala puri Meat pie Mie ayam Murtabak Naan Nem chua rán Obwarzanek krakowski Pad thai Pajeon Pakora Paneer tikka Pani ca meusa Panini Panipuri Panzerotti Panzarotti Papri chaat Paratha Pasty Pav Bhaji Pempek Pepito Peremech Pho Picarones Pilaf Pirozhki Pizza
al taglio Pizzetta Plăcintă Pljeskavica Poutine Pretzel Punugulu Puri Quail eggs Quesadilla Rat-on-a-stick Ražnjići Rogan josh Rojak Roti Rumali roti Rustico Sabich Samosa Sandwich Sardenara Satay Scaccia Seblak Sevpuri Sfenj Shao Kao Shashlik Shawarma Sicilian pizza Siomay Soto Souvlaki Stigghiola Taco

Korean taco

Tahri Tahu gejrot Tahu sumedang Takoyaki Tamale Tandoori chicken Tangbao Taquito Tauge goreng Tokneneng Tornado potato Turon Vada Vada pav Vastedda Vietnamese noodles Xôi Yakitori Zapiekanka

Food trucks

Big Gay Ice Cream Truck Chef Jeremiah Chi'Lantro BBQ Clover Food Lab Coolhaus Don Chow Tacos Grease trucks The Grilled Cheese Truck The Halal Guys Harry's Cafe de Wheels Honeysuckle Gelato Kelvin Natural Slush Co. KIND Movement Kogi Korean BBQ Korilla BBQ Maximus/Minimus Off the Grid Philadelphia Mobile Food Association Pincho Man Pølsevogn Taco

By location

Hong Kong India

Chennai Mumbai

Indonesia Mexico South Korea Thailand

Mobile catering

Field kitchen Food booth Food cart Food truck

Food truck
Food truck

Hot dog
Hot dog
cart Hot dog
Hot dog
stand Ice cream
Ice cream
van Sausage
wagon Taco
stand Yatai Pojangmacha Würstelstand


List of street foods List of food trucks

Food trucks in Tampa, Florida

See also

Food street

v t e

Fast food


Convenience food Junk food Snack
food Street food Take-out

Points of sale

Fast food
Fast food
restaurant Food booth Food cart Food court Food truck

Select dishes

Bacon Breakfast sandwich Breakfast sausage Buffalo wings Cheeseburger Chicken fingers
Chicken fingers
/ Chicken nuggets Cookie French fries French toast Fried chicken Grilled cheese Gyro Hamburger Hot dog Hot pretzel Ice cream Kebab Macaroni and cheese Onion rings Pancakes Pasta PB&J Pizza Salad Sausage Spaghetti Taco Waffles