30 Scrumptious Snacks From Around The World
Going abroad and trying out local cuisine is one of the most exciting things you can do on your travels as your palate is being exposed to exotic new flavors and experiences. Sometimes you can even spot a local street vendor in a faraway place an be transported into a world of heavenly tastes you didn't know existed!
That's the magic of traveling, so for those who might want a little more excitement in their snacking options read on as we go through 30 treats from around the world that people chow down on when they're feeling the need to nosh.
1. War Fries (Patatje Oorlog) - Amsterdam, The Netherlands
We can't possibly think of what would drive the desire for snacking in Amsterdam but, for some reason, there are so many great places to pick up decent eats and treats. One of the things closely associated with the city is thick cut fries that are often smothered in mayonnaise or lightly dusted with paprika but the real mastery of the humble fry comes from the delectable patatje oorlog, or war fries to those of you who aren't so up on your Dutch. These twice fried potato fries come layered with mayo and satay sauce and then topped off with chopped, fried onions.
Served in a cone, they are great on the go but can become a little messy if you're not paying attention. Totally worth it, though!
2. Mochi - Tokyo, Japan
Mochi cakes are fried rice cakes often in an array of flavors and colors and are somewhere between a doughnut and a macaroon. Sickly little bites that are chewy and often with a soft filled center, they come in flavors such a green tea and ice cream and are a staple of certain street food markets.
Some places in Tokyo have a robot server, much like the automated doughnut machines you sometimes see at the fair but what's more fun is if you see people pounding up the rice with a giant mallet in a large wooden bowl before shaping them themselves.
3. Churros - Barcelona, Spain
Deep fried choux pastry in long thin strands or knotted like a pretzel, and then dusted with either sugar or cinnamon, these breakfast treats are best served with chocolate dipping sauce with a steaming cup of milky coffee or hot chocolate.
You can find them across Barcelona being sold in markets, at sporting events or just by the roadside.
4. Brezel - Nuremberg, Germany
Most people know pretzels, the crunchy little-salted snacks, but brezel is the forerunner to this and is far more doughy, like a bread-based treat rather than a sort of chip. They come in an assortment of glazes, coverings, toppings, fillings, sizes, and seasonings and can cater to either the sweet or savory-toothed customer.
In Nuremberg, there are tiny little stalls on almost every street corner, in the main shopping stretch, that sell these and almost every bakery in Germany will sell one kind or another. A personal recommendation would be a sweet brezel covered with almonds.
5. Hokey Pokey Ice Cream - Auckland, New Zealand
Kiwis love their ice cream, seriously, they eat the most ice cream per capita in the world and every corner shop, restaurant, and newsagent sells it, with their favorite flavor being Hokey Pokey.
What this is, is extremely creamy vanilla ice cream filled with many tiny balls of caramel that gives you something to crunch on whilst licking away. It sounds so simple but darn is it good!
6. Spanakopita - Paphos, Cyprus
Tiny filo pastry parcels of oozing feta cheese, dripping through warm strands of spinach baked into a large pie or individual triangles of gooey goodness.
Ideal on their own or great for dipping in tzatziki these can be found across the island but particularly in restaurants in Paphos that have a real flair for them.
7. Baklava - Istanbul, Turkey
If you haven't tried baklava then you haven't lived. Made with layers of filo pastry filled with chopped nuts and held together with honey, these bite-size pastries are typical of the cuisine of the Ottoman Empire and wow, are they good! They come in a selection of shapes and sizes and types of nuts and honey and syrups can vary.
There are three distinct types with Turkish, Greek and Lebanese recipes abound but they're that tasty that you may as well try them all.
8. Okonomiyaki - Osaka, Japan
An egg and cabbage savory pancake with a name that literally translates as 'what you want' they can be filled with almost anything that takes your fancy.
This is the Japanese answer to the crepe, often battered, they can come in a roll or on a stick and make for great snacks on the go.
9. Dosa - Kerala, India
Across the whole state of Kerala you would be hard pressed to not find these giant crepes made of lentils and rice with the traditional filling being spicy potato.
You can, of course, get plenty of other innards for your dosa such as paneer or mint and if the regular sized ones seem a bit daunting the thattu dosa are smaller and far more manageable (but less fun).
10. Mechoui - Marrakech, Morocco
Slow roasted on a spit and seasoned to your liking, this hunk of lamb is a real treat for meat-lovers and in Marrakech, there is a whole alley filled with stall traders selling this local delicacy.
11. Black Tap Milkshakes - New York, USA and Freakshakes - London, UK
Basic milkshakes are pretty good, but these places take it to a whole new level, combining them into a dessert-come-drink monster.
Black Tap in NYC is a burger and beer joint that has created this epic monstrosity to satisfy the most demanding customers while Molly Bakes, is a bakery-come-cafe in London that started combining their superb cupcake knowledge with their ice cream shakes. Rich, luxuriant and calorific, they are essential for any fan of the shake.
12. Satay - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Satay is either grilled and seasoned meat or vegetables on a stick and covered in a rich peanut sauce.
Bitesize, finger food that you'll just be chomping at the bit to chomp on and the vendors in and around Chinatown in Kuala Lumpur really do it the best.
13. Corn On The Cob - Bali, Indonesia
Barbecue corn on the cob is so easy to eat on the go, simple to make and cheap to buy but in Bali, you can get it with different kinds of butter, seasonings, and sauces from almost every street corner and alley around.
Best found in the carts on the beaches though which sell them day and night.
14. Shumai - Hong Kong
A dim sum variant, these little dumplings are often filled with pork or fish (although you can get vegetable, peanut, and various other fillings) and come in restaurants or from street markets all over China and Hong Kong.
They're also delicious!
15. Kottu - Colombo, Sri Lanka
Spiced vegetables, meat, eggs, and roti ( a type of flatbread) that’s cooked in front of you on a flat grill, it is considered an evening meal and can have variations from place to place.
Especially popular in the Sri Lankan capital, food vendors sell this as a staple.
16. Hor Mok Pa - Phuket, Thailand
Tiny globules of fish or crab mousse that has been steamed and served up wrapped in a banana leaf.
Tangy and often with a spicy pepper atop, they give a kick to the local flavors of the rainforest region of Thailand.
17. Pão de Queijo, Brazil
These gooey, scrumptious Brazilian cheese balls (aka Pão de Queijo) are a mainstay dish all over Brazil. They tend to be served with coffee during the afternoon.
Originating from the states of Minas Gerais and Goiás, these yummy delights are thought to date back to the 18th century in the farms of Minas Gerais.
18. Kouign-Amann, Brittany, France
Kouign-Amann is one of the nicest puff pastries you'll ever taste in Europe. However, this sugary treat is packed full of fat. It's comprised of 40% dough, 30% butter and 30% sugar!
While most people opt for the butter flavor, the pastry also comes in apple and raspberry flavors.
19. Schokokuss, Germany
These German treats are one of the most popular items sold at their world-famous Christmas markets. The name translates as ‘Chocolate Kiss’ and consist of a lush, marshmallowy centre on a chocolate wafer base. The buttery centre is actually sweetened egg.
You can also find flavors in peppermint, caramel, mulled wine, and baileys.
20. Schmalznudel, Munich
The schmalznudel has to be one of Germany's best ever snacks (and there are many!). Originating from Munich, this Bavarian snack is a mishmash of a doughnut, a danish, and a croissant.
The dough is fried and then swirled in a glorious mixture of cinnamon and sugar before being served fresh and hot on a plate. Feeling hungry?
21. Börek, The Balkans
For those who've gone to Eastern Europe, one of the first things they will think of- especially if they're foodies- is the fantastic borek snack. Unlike other snacks on this list, it is made with filo pastry topped with meat or cheese.
Affordable and filling, this treat is found all over the Balkans, from sunny Croatia to the windy cities of Poland.
22. Cornish Pasties, UK
Go to the coastal regions of Devon and Cornwall and you will see countless bakeries selling Cornish pasties. However, they are sold and consumed throughout the UK!
Crumby but oh so tasty, these delights are filled pastries with anything and everything from chicken and cheese to egg and vegetables. However, if you want to eat like a Cornwall local, a cheese & onion pastry is a must!
23. Pastizzi, Malta
The pastizzi is a small filo pastry stuffed with buttery ricotta cheese. Usually made by hand, these fresh delights are made to order and thus literally melt in your mouth.
The dough is also folded in particular ways depending on the filling used.
24. Pastel de nata, Portugal
Also known as Egg Tarts, these Portuguese snacks are an edible concoction of sweet and savoury and are served in cafes across Portugal.
You can have them with your coffee or even as a light breakfast. Whatever time you decided to eat them, you're guaranteed a delicious treat.
25. Catalan tomato bread, Barcelona
We've featured a lot fo sweet delights in this article, but this next snack comes in the form of simple but delicious tomato bread. A favorite of the Catalans, this treat is served throughout many European nations with a simple serving of olive oil and salt.
You can also scrub garlic oil on it as well as balsamic vinegar.
26. Stroopwaffels, Amsterdam
Think of Amsterdam and you think of its many vices, but one thing that this beautiful capital is also home to is the humble and delicious stroopwafel. These wafer-like treats s are actually cookies and come in a great caramel filling.
If you want to blend in with the locals, you should dip them in your coffee. They taste much better that way!
27. Langos, Budapest, Hungary
This Hungarian dish is a perfect example of street food done well. It looks like a heart attack waiting to happen, but it's so damn good!
A sought of pizza hybrid with combinations of toppings and sauces, the langos base is deep-fried in a similar mould to an Indian bread called bhatura.
28. Beignets, New Orleans
A firm favorite with locals and tourists visiting New Orleans, beignets take the form of doughnuts but are actually deep-fried choux pastries.
These so-good-you'll-want-more treats are found all over the French colonial city, but the best ones are cooked up at the world-famous Cafe Du Monde. The cafe, which dates back to 1862, is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, except Christmas Day.
29. Biltong, South Africa
This tasty cured meat treat can be enjoyed in a variety of seasonings, though a kick of peri-peri seasoning will assure your mouth a fiery but palatable experience.
The meat comes in different forms, from straight cut beef and game to fillets of meat cut into strips.
30. Octopus on a stick, Japan
Found in Kyoto’s Nishiki Street Food Market in Japan, many foods there will catch tourists' eyes, and one of those head-turning delicacies is octopus on a stick.
Covered with a sticky and sweet sauce, the initial crunch can spawn a taste not too dissimilar to smoked chicken.