When heading overseas, it’s nice to think about what kind of food you are going to eat. While most of us immediately think of high quality European restaurants, or cozy hideaway pubs, but there is one venue that is often overlooked: the street vendor. In major cities, you will find new and exotic mixes of foods that do not exist in America, so you won’t be trying to avoid hot dogs, pizza and tacos. Many vendors have begun blending traditionally European foods with spices and techniques from other countries. Here are a couple examples of what you can expect while in Europe on your next vacation.
Where to Find the Best European Street Food
In Berlin, Germany, you would expect sausage (wurst) and pretzels on every corner. While that is partly true, currywurst is not your fathers beer soaked brats. It’s basically a plate of ketchup, wurst, curry powder, and paprika. Legend says it was made by mistake, like many culinary classics.
Once you have been to Brussels, Belgium, you may no longer be able to enjoy what we consider French fries. There are stands everywhere selling delicious, fresh fries that have something most fries are lacking. First off, they use local potatoes, never frozen. Secondly, most of the stands do not use canola oil. Instead they opt for more flavorful oils, like peanut. Dip that in your favorite sauce and it’s a win-win situation. By the way, there are typically no less than 10 blended sauces, ranging from curry to strawberry, so make sure to try them all on your next vacation in Belgium.
While in the Czech Republic, you are going to come across a street food called smazeny syr. Don’t let the name stop you, it’s fantastic. Imagine a soft piece of deep fried cheese served on a hamburger bun. Sounds good right? Most locals eat this treat with tartar sauce, but ketchup is always available.
In Italy, besides pizza, vendors sell watermelons during the summer months. While it’s not a unique culinary blend of any kind, I figured that the idea of watermelon on a hot summer day was too good to leave out of this post.
In some cities in the UK, “Brit-Indie” food sells more on the streets than fish and chips. It typically consists of curry and yogurt sauces poured over potatoes, rice and beans. It’s delicious and is actually becoming a popular food in America as well. I know because I had some last night, and it was delicious.
Don’t be afraid of what’s being served on the street, you may end up discovering some of the best food that Europe has to offer.