4 Reasons To Love Street Food

street food

Just so you know, San Francisco supports its street food culture. The 2nd Annual SF Street Food Festival celebrated mobile food vendors and also raised awareness about the need for formal policies to support these vendors.  Not only did I go to the Mission District to enjoy the food and bolster the city’s mobile vendors but it reminded me just how amazing street food around the world can be. I’ve boiled it down to four reasons why a menu down on the street is the way to go.

1. It’s Fresh

When we’re in a foreign country, we can be quick to judge the unknown dish because we are afraid. In actuality, street food is probably the safest way to go because it is made right in front of you. You can see what goes into your food and you know that it is fresh. You don’t want to regret missing out on something really tasty just because you were unsure.

street food

street food

2. It’s Authentic

I believe that the best way to get to know a city and its people is to try the food at a street vendor or at a food market. You can avoid the chain restaurants that are tourist traps and instead sit down at a bench or take a stool next to a local. You will be sure to taste a dish that you can’t eat anywhere else.

street food

street food

3. It’s Fast

The lines were long at SF Street Food Festival but one of the benefits of street food is that it’s fast so the lines weren’t discouraging. When you only have a certain amount of time in a city, you don’t want to waste it at a sit down restaurant when you could be galavanting  around town exploring the new. Stopping at a street food vendor for a quick bite to eat saves time and fills your belly for a long day of sight seeing.

street food

4. It’s Cheap

All of the food at SF Street Food Festival was between $3 and $8 which meant I didn’t have to stop at just one stall. The affordability of street food is a perk for travelers on a tight budget. You can buy a quality meal for practically nothing and its a hearty meal that will fill you up so you can spend your money on museums, bars, shopping, adventure or whatever else your heart desires.

street food

Have you had some really good street food?

17 thoughts on “4 Reasons To Love Street Food”

    1. Thanks James! I’m sure something like this will reach Vancouver. I need to get to Vancouver myself. It’s at the top of my list.

  1. It’s one of those West coast things where you know it’ll happen, but not when:)

    I’m planning another trip down to SanFran in the spring. This time with a more food-cart centric bent.

  2. I really love how trucks and street food are making a comeback in the United States! My husband and I lived in San Francisco until 2001 and would have loved to have had a street food festival. Like you, I adore street food for the freshness, price and experience. Here’s to many more festivals like this!

  3. I love street food. Tried out all over India and the US, in Sydney, London, Toronto, Montreal, Berlin, Brussels, Grenoble, Seoul, Singapore and Hong Kong. Some of these cities do have fairs, but at most places, it’s like a permanent street food fair on every corner.

    Things to try for sure… Currywurst in Berlin (though I hear it’s better in Bavaria), Chaat and roasted corn on the cob in Bombay, Tacos in San Diego, Pupusas and Rellenos in Puerto Rico, really huge sausages in baguettes in Cambridge, MA.

  4. Wow, that looks great! We’ll make sure that our next visit to San Fran coincidences with the Street Food Festival! We’re both huge fans of street food and like you say – it’s cheap and fast, perfect! We’re trying street food everywhere we go. By the way – we had our first Pupusa ever in San Francisco 🙂

    1. Once I know the date of the next one I’ll forward the info to you! It was my first time trying a pupusa at the festival and it was delicious!

  5. Nice post! I totally agree with you that street food vendors provide great opps for us to learn about a city and its people. And yep, chain restaurants are to be avoided on my end too…ugh, can’t stand seeing them while I travel!

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