Rio de Janeiro is one of the most diverse cities in the world; therefore, there is no such thing as “a typical dish.” Our food integrates many influences from other countries, mostly the ones that have had an important part in our formation, like Portugal, Italy, and, surprisingly, Japan. Our food has Chinese and Arabic influences, too.
It’s a puzzle of flavors, but even the pickiest of eaters will find their niche. Here a few tips for approaching the diverse flavors of Rio.
Eat Sushi on the Street
For those who can’t stay away from sushi, sashimi, and other raw goods, Rio boasts some fascinating Japanese cuisine as interpreted by Brazilians. It’s funny, because Brazil is not a country with a raw food culture, yet here we are, learning from the Japanese the craft of good sushi.
And, although there are plenty of Japanese restaurants, most of which run under an all-you-can-eat model, you’ll find some of the best sushi right on the street.
Once upon a time, the only edible street foor was pastel, a fried dough with a filling, usually of ground meat, hearts of palm, mozarella, or, if sweet, guava paste or bananas. But an enterprising fishmonger named Arnaldo Barcellos saw a gap and started selling sushi and sashimi by the pound. Now, he runs a crew of 12 Japanese-trained sushi chefs for his Sushi Barcellos franchise, found at five different marketplaces — Ilha do Governador, Pechincha, Taquara, Grajau, and Andaraí.
Follow the Walking Tapioca
On the streets of Flamengo and Botafogo, there’s a man who walks alone at night, carrying a cart with a stove. Even if the scene is a little scary, you don’t have to be afraid of Arnaldo and his tapioca.
On weekdays, if there’s a need for a warm and fuzzy feeling, a cozy comfort, tapioca is the only solution, and this little cart is your medicine. Arnaldo’s preparation is fast and without frills; he lines his pan with a fine flour made of yuca that looks a little like a crêpe. The filling is salty or sweet: choose between cheese curd and ghee or guava paste, for example. The options are infinite.
Arnaldo’s tapioca is one of the best — and cheapest — options for street food in Rio. His cart has no website and no fixed point, but he has been a fixture in the beachside neighborhoods of Flamengo and Botafogo for 15 years.
In his cart, you can also find some regional goods from the northeast, like cassava cake, ghee, organic honey, cheese curd, cashew nuts, and quebra queixo, a stiff candy made of molasses.
Eat Food at the Beach All Day
When Cariocas go to the beach, they stay there all day. Sometimes they even stick around well into the night; the fun never stops. There is a whole culinary culture that revolves around that day: beach food.
The basic training starts with a Globo biscuit: a sort of air-puffed donut made from tapioca flour that has both salty and sweet varieties. They are sold by vendors right on the beach and are crumbly and delicious — a perfect snack. Cariocas like to eat them with mate, a sweet tea that comes in a cup. It’s a classic start to the day. Don’t miss it.
At Ipanema Beach, you’ll want to eat vegetarian sandwiches and vegetarian hamburgers from Hareburger, which you can buy on the beach or in one of their two locations in the city. Be prepared to wait in line.
Picolé do Morais on Leblon Beach sells ice pops that are definitely not only for children. They are homemade and fat-free, with no preservatives or artificial food coloring. Banana, pineapple, tangerine, and jackfruit are some of the (beautifully made) flavors.
At Barra da Tijuca Beach, you’ll find the best esfihas, which are the Brazilian version of Arab pizza, a flatbread topped with ricotta, minced beef, or chicken and folded into a triangular shape. You won’t have a hard time finding them: men dressed head-to-toe in white, like sheiks, sell them on the beach.
Hot Dogs Taste Better at 2 a.m.
Botafogo is a neighborhood in Rio with a lot of bars and nightclubs, and it’s always helpful to have a spot to pig out after drinks and dancing, Oliveira has one of the best hot dogs in Rio, and it’s open every day until 3 a.m. He’s been at the same spot in Humaitá, near the Café do Largo, since 1995. Oliveira’s hot dog has corn, peas and palha potato chips (potato chip sticks), which he claims to have created.
His customers come from everywhere, and even top artists stop to eat what is often called “the best hot dog in Rio.” Oliveira wears a white dolman and a tall chef du cuisine hat, because, as he famously says, “I’m not everyone.”
The key to his success? “The bread. It’s 50 percent of the sandwich. Not even the best sausage saves an awful bread,” says Oliveira.
Eat Acarajés in “Tropical Montmartre”
Santa Teresa is Rio’s most bohemian neighborhood. Close to Lapa, sacred soil to everybody who loves the nightlife, Cariocas call “Santa” a tropical Montmartre for its slopes, beautiful architecture, and cool vibe. It’s very French, yet still all Brazil. During Carnival, its streets are full of people dancing, drinking, and singing. When the days of revelry are past, this neighborhood has Rio’s best acarajés — a fried dough made of beans stuffed with vatapá (spiced paste made from dried shrimp, cashews, and coconut milk) and caruru (okra, onion, shrimp, palm oil, and peanuts). It’s served with more dried shrimp on top. You’ll want to get them at Nega Teresa.
Drink Caipirinhas with Friends.
Lapa is, without a doubt, the favorite area in Rio for people who like to party. It has a lot of concerts, parties, clubs, and, of course, alcohol. There’s a stand selling drinks at every corner, and you can’t come to Rio and not taste a Caipirinha.
A national obsession, the caipirinha is a drink without frills. Cachaça, a cane distillate, meets sugar and a fruit. It’s all mixed together, and that’s it. Pure, glorious simplicity, although you’ll also find creative combinations like mango with passionfruit, lemon with strawberry, and even a “capeta bahiano,” with guarana powder, peanuts, cinnamon, condensed milk, pineapple, and vodka.
It’s just not right to drink caipirinha alone. If you are flying solo in Rio, you can always find a pal — especially at Lapa, the best place to make friends.
Don’t Let Its Funny Name Stop You From Eating Tacacá
Tacacá da Rose in Ilha do Governador serves tacacá, a typical Amazonian dish. It’s a soup, served really hot, made with the herb jambú (a variety of paracress, or “toothache plant”) and tucupi (a broth made with yuca). It’s served with dried shrimps and a goo made of yuca.
Reading this description, you may ask yourself: Why would I eat something that makes my tongue go numb? Trust me, it’s worth it. It’s an experience.
This list was inspired by the travel guides Guia Carioca de Gastronomia de Rua, Volumes 1 and 2 by Sergio Bloch and Ines Garçoni.
The ultimate guide to street food in Bucharest
When in Bucharest for the first time, one is taken aback by the high number of pretzel shops, street corner bakeries and all the wonderful options for procuring some food while on the street.
Fast food nation? We're not sure, maybe not in what the world understands by fast food (which for many is the equivalent of McDonald's and its likes), but for sure there are plenty options of getting something to eat pretty fast in Bucharest.
We've looked at all the street food options across the Romanian capital and concluded: with a reasonable daily budget, sometimes more on the cheaper side, one will not starve in Bucharest.
Pretzel shops -or 'covrigi shops'
/> />The pretzel - in Romanian covrig, is probably one of the most common street foods in Romania. In many large intersections in Bucharest, there has to be at least a pretzel shop on one of the street corners. Pretzels are not just simply pretzels in Romania – recipes have been updated, and now you can have pretzels with fillings, and other products made of pretzel dough, and filled with different ingredients (sausages, cheers, apples, chocolate – well, not all of them mixed). Take the Covridog, for example, Covricheese, or Covriking, all brands and products invented by a company called Petru.
Most of the shops selling pretzels are local brands, no-names, although here are a few 'chains' as well, such as Luca and Petru. The name for pretzel shops in Romania is covrigarie, or a more fancy name, simigerie. Whatever you choose, the majority of Romanian covrigarii have very good 'covrigi'
With RON 10 – or some EUR 2 – you can buy several covrigi which could last you for a few hours until searching for more.
Gogoasa, or donut, another word one should get familiar with when searching for fast food when in town. The donut shops, or gogoserii, can be smelled from a far in many Bucharest intersections. There are several types of donuts sold in Bucharest, different shapes and sizes, with or without filling. As a lot of people buy them, they're usually fresh – the same goes for covrigi.
A RON 10 bill would buy you a few donuts, again suitable to fill you up for a few hours while walking around the city.
Bakeries & pastry shops – patiserii
These are equally, if not even more popular than the pretzel shops and the donut shops. They sell all sort of pastries, from merdenele with cheese, to pastries with mushrooms, meat, apples, nuts etc. Again, these come rather cheap, so a RON 10 budget would buy you plenty of stuff. We really like the merdenele with cheese. (merdenele cu branza). Some of these shops also sell small pizzas by the square - we're not fans, some are good, others, not so much, but for the sake of variety, they should be also tried out.
Fancier pastry shops
While the three previous street food places are using the 'takeaway' recipe, meaning you buy the products through the small window, and then eat them while walking, fancier bakeries and pastry shops give the chance to sit down while enjoying food.
It's not the only difference however: the recipes are ore complicated, some traditional French ones as well, and they also sell all sorts of bread specialties. Take Paul, which has a large network of shops, including one at Universitate, and many in shopping malls, or French Bakery.
Prices tend to be higher in such places, and a RON 10 budget for example would only buy one item, and often more would be needed to really feel full.
Plenty of fast food places in Romania: McDonald's, KFC, Pizza Hut, all suitable for low – budget, fast meals. Newest entrant Subway, which tries to steer away from the fast food concept, is also an option to seriously take into account – a sandwich there costs between RON 8 and 14 – EUR 2 to 3.5).
Perceived as the ultimate street food in Romania, shaorma is very popular in Bucharest. Shaorma places are also quite frequent. A shaorma however would be slightly more expensive than covrigi, gogosi, or pastries in general, so a budget of RON 20 or even more, on average, might be needed. Some of the places we like: Dristor Kebab, Dines and Calif (the latter also has a very good lentil soup and all sorts of other Turkish - inspired foods and recipes, and some dishes go for less than RON 10).
Eating a pizza while on the street in Bucharest is not as common as one might think (it's not Rome). But it s possible to eat a pizza quickly, at reasonable prices, going to one of the many pizza places in the city. We'd mention Pizza Hut – also listed at fast food places here -, Jerry's Pizza (initially just a delivery place, now with shops including on Magherul boulevard), Domino's Pizza, which runs five shops in Bucharest and also a delivery service. Pizza is indeed more popular as a delivery product.
A pizza would vary in price between RON 12-13 and RON 40 or 50, if it's large size, for many people.
Some supermarkets in Bucharest sell ready made food, for example Mega Image or Billa. Cooked food, all varieties, is also available in large Carrefour hypermarkets - the closest to downtown is at Unirii, near the Unirea Shopping center.
Know any amazing street food options in Bucharest we haven’t mentioned? Comment below, or email us and we'll add to this story.
Local Osaka food specialties
- Takoyaki: this specialty Osaka food generally contains bits of octopus, ginger, spring onions and tempura crumbs. The batter is grilled into ball-shaped dumplings, which can be eaten plain or topped with mayonnaise, seaweed and dried fish flakes.
&ndash Average price for 8 to 10 takoyaki balls: 450 to 600 yen (4.15 to 5.50 USD)
&ndash Average price for okonomiyaki: 700 JPY and up, depending on toppings (6.50 USD)
&ndash Average price for negiyaki: 1,000 to 2,000 JPY (9 to 18.50 USD)
- Kushikatsu: popular with beer and available at many izakaya restaurants, kushikatsu is a skewer of meat, seafood or vegetables that is coated in panko and deep-fried to golden brown.
&ndash Average price for kushikatsu: 80 to 200 JPY per skewer, depending on ingredients (1 to 2 USD)
&ndash Average price for kitsune udon: 550 to 3,000 JPY (5 to 28 USD)
The ultimate guide to Bangkok’s world famous street food
There are many reasons why Bangkok is one of the most exciting cities in Asia, but first and foremost would be the city’s spectacular street food culture. The bustling Thai city is often seen as a reference point for diverse and delicious street food, maintaining a reputation for no fuss curb-side dining that has endeared generations, serving up everything from classic pad Thai and grilled pork skewers, to chicken wing soup and crab omelette.
It is said that there are in excess of 500,000 street food vendors in the city alone. They stand scattered around the city at all hours of the day and night, ready and willing to serve up historic recipes to hungry locals and tourists begging to get a true taste of Bangkok. That’s a lot of choices for the visitor who only has a limited time in this fascinating, and often overwhelmingly busy, city. Not to worry.
I’ve put together a handful of our favourite street food spots in Bangkok, whether they take the form of the classic roaming cart, or a quaint and lively shophouse. Take note of these, plus a few tips to help you explore BKK street food like a pro, and stay completely healthy while doing so – no one wants to spend their holiday hugging the hotel toilet, do they?
Nai Mong Hoy Tod
Of course at least one spot in Bangkok’s famous Yarowat area had to make it. This are of narrow streets is the city’s Chinatown, and is an absolute smorgasbord of incredible traditional shophouses and street food stalls. It’s hard to go wrong in this bustling neighbourhood, but perhaps one of the best known spots is Nai Mong Hoy Tod , where the specialty is – as the name implies – hoy tod (fried oyster omelette), attracting plenty of locals between 11am and 9:30pm daily. There’s also a version with mussels, but oyster is where it’s at if you really want the full experience.
Around 70 baht (AU$3.40) will get you an omelette packed with enormous saucy oysters bursting out of the super crispy yellow blankets. It’s quite oily, but packed with flavour and kept consistent for more than three decades. I’ve visited twice, and can confidently say this is some of the best street food that I’ve tried in all of Thailand. Forget kebabs or burgers, this is real hangover food in South-East Asia.
How To Find It: Nai Mong Hoy Tod is located at the edge of Chinatown, in an old shopfront at 539 Phlap Phla Chai Rd.
Tip: Pack some Travelan
Though Bangkok’s street food is largely fine in terms of hygiene, there are still precautions any smart traveller should take. And it goes beyond just taking hand sanitizer with you wherever you go.
While some may call it paranoia, it’s wise to be vigilant about your health when giving putting yourself in the hands of any country’s street food scene. As mentioned above, you don’t want to be spending any more time in a bathroom (or even worse, a hospital) than you should. Luckily there’s a big, proactive step you can take to avoid the rightfully feared bout of Traveller’s Diarrhea.
Before you head off on the trip, grab a packet of Travelan from your local pharmacy. It’s an over-the-counter product that happens to be scientifically proven (you can read a bit more about it HERE) to reduce the risk of Traveller’s Diarrhea. It’s been indicated to offer up to 90% protection against the joy-killing condition caused by infection with E.coli, so you can nip any issues in the bud before they start.
If anything, it’ll also give you the confidence to try some new foods if you have concerns about hygiene.
Note that you can also get Travelan on Amazon. Just make sure you take the capsules before meals. For more information on it click HERE
Guaythiew Pik Gai Sai Nampung
Another legend amongst locals. Guaythiew Pik Gai Sai Nampung is a small, rustic shophouse serving up the absolute best guaythiew pik gai (chicken wings in broth with cowslip blossoms) you will ever have. There’s no exception or compromise here, with the shophouse dominating morning hours with queues snaking up and down the lower Sukhumvit area (the shophouse is located at 392/20 Sukhumvit Road between Sois 18 and 20 – it’s opposite the Radisson Blu hotel and the closest BTS station is Asoke).
The exceptional, slightly honeyed chicken wings are served with the soup in a separate bowl, sporting a flavour that is consistent across the juicy skin thanks to a marinade of fish sauce (Thai fish sauce is mind-blowing in and of itself), chilli sauce and some spaces. The chicken wings are also braised, so the texture is incredibly soft and tender. If you’re not keen on the soup, there’s also a dry version served with bean sprouts and long beans.
You can ask them to add any of six different types of noodles to the soup, including Giam ee (a hand-rolled noodle that’s a bit shorter and fatter than average) and sen lek noodles (the type that’s often found in pad Thai). You can also add other parts of the chicken to the broth, such as intestines.
You’re looking at around 42 baht per serving of guaythiew pik gai, and although the shophouse is open from 9am to 3pm, the chicken wings almost always sell out before (at the latest) 11:30am. There are other great things on the menu though, so even if you miss out it’s still well worth the trip.
How To Find It: Take the BTS to Asoke and walk down Sukhumvit Road between Sois 18 and 20. You’ll find the small shophouse opposite Radisson Blu (and if it’s anytime before 11:30am, just look for the queue made up mostly of locals and a few in-the-know expats).
Tip: Look For the Queues
If you’re a food enthusiast travelling Asia then waiting in queues is part of that lifestyle. There’s no question about it, and those who will complain about a long wait need not apply. Just because it’s casual food, doesn’t mean it has to be fast food.
Don’t trust rating aggregators (unless you’re in Tokyo and using Tabelog), instead you should get used to judging the quality of a queue, over the quantity. Is it full of locals? That’s a bingo. It’s as simple as that, and while this is probably the most obvious tip on the list, it’s one that cannot be overlooked. If you’re walking along and see you a small shopfront or cart with the kind of queue you think you should join, don’t even think two seconds about it. Join. that. queue.
Moo Ping Hea Owen
Let’s kick off with one of the best. This legendary stall has been a local favourite since the early 80s, serving up the most mind-blowing Thai-style grilled pork skewers for around 10 baht (AU.50) each.
One for the late-night crowd, the sometimes elusive cart pops up just outside of 7/11 on Silom Road at Soi Convent most nights between 10pm and 2am. Although do note that the piles of juicy pork waiting to be grilled right in front of you often sell out well before closing time.
There’s a sweet, tangy sauce that’s lathered generously onto these skewers, giving it a rich and robust flavour that drips off the succulent meat and dances across the tongue. Spice lovers will want to look to the condiment tray (most street stalls would have one) and add a bit of punch with the homemade chilli sauce, but there’s already enough flavour without it.
You’ll most likely need to wait in a snaking queue to grab some of these legendary skewers, but if you’re not so keen on staggering around the streets at night do note that Hea Owen’s popularity has seen them open a stall at the considerably brighter (and indoors) Central Embassy. Although here the sticks will be around 20 baht (AU.97 each).
How To Find It: Catch the BTS Sky Train to Sala Daeng Station or the MRT underground to Si Lom Station, and from there walk the short distance to the corner of Silom and Convent roads. The cart is usually located right outside the 7/11.
Tip: Observe, Observe, Observe
If you want to stay healthy then you’ve got to put in a bit of work. Be vigilant, but don’t be overly paranoid. If you’ve taken the first tip and popped in some Travelan before heading out then you’ve already done half the work. The other half is up to you: observe, observe, observe.
Watch the food being cooked is the vendor using gloves, and if not, are they touching their face between handling food? Watch other customers being served is the vendor handling cash and food with the same hand? Also take a look at the condiment tray is it dirty or is it well-maintained? If it’s clean, then this should be taken as a green-light, because if they have time to clean that, then they care about hygiene.
Raan Jay Fai
Raan Jay Fai is perhaps the most well-known for all of Bangkok’s street food. At least around the world, considering it was awarded a Michelin star in 2017. The stately Supinya Junsuta (nicknamed Jay Fai), an elderly woman who runs the restaurant and cooks every single meal, watches over her iconic kee mao talay (smokey seafood drunken noodles) and khai jeaw poo (crispy crab omelettes) from 3pm to 2am six days a week, making sure these meticulously prepared signatures are up to a certain standard.
At 1,000 baht (almost AU$50), this is one of the most pricey casual meals you can have. Combined with the hour-plus long wait, the effort can be off-putting to some, but food enthusiasts persevere every night, and so should you. These things, especially the sweet, round-ish crab omelettes, are well worth anything kind of wait and price. I’d go so far as to say these is one of the best things I’ve eaten across Asia.
Although do note that the increased popularity has added much pressure to the restaurant and its eponymous cook. As such, I’d recommend trying to make an e-mail booking far in advance (and accepting defeat if you can’t). Also, don’t be one of those people who just stands around gawking taking photos for the sake of it. The restaurant is busy enough.
How To Find It: Raan Jan Fai is located at 327 Maha Chai Road, Bangkok near the street’s intersection with Samranrat Road. It’s best to get off at either BTS National Stadium or MRT Hua Lamphong and walk.
Tip: Eat At Specialised StallsA stall specialising in Pad Thai (usually located opposite Moo Ping Hea Owen) | Photo: Chris Singh
There are plenty of vendors around Bangkok that attempt to squeeze as many essential Thai dishes onto one more. But these substantial lists are best pushed further down your to-do list in favour of stalls that specialise in just one or two dishes, or are known for one particular signature.
Yes, it’s tempting to stop by a stall that offers plenty of things so you can try more in one go, but the general rule of thumb (with pretty much anything) is “more equals less”. Less attention, less technique, less time, less flavour. Plus, if they are only specialising in one or two dishes, chances are more focus will be given to cleanliness and fresh ingredients. These are usually the ones that only have the ingredients necessary to make that particular dish, which means there’s less produce sitting around doing nothing.
Som Tum Jae Daeng
Head to the Sam Yan area and make a bee-line straight for this locally adored shopfront waving the flag high for North-Eastern Thai food from the Isan province. Specifically, that means som tum (green papaya salad) which is one of the country’s most beloved dishes, whether as a side or a main.
Be warned though, this salad can get quite hot, and Jae Daeng don’t compromise on their technique or their quality. Order up the fermented green papaya salad and make sure to get some of those deliciously salty anchovies on top to round-out the complex flavour profile. That should be your priority, then you can start ordering up accompanying dishes like the fleshy snakehead fish that’s been stuffed with herbs, some of those incredibly juicy grilled chicken thighs, and kor moo yang (charcoal grilled pork neck). It’s also worth grabbing a catfish salad for around 70 baht (AU$3.00), which will give you some of the papaya salad loaded on top of a pile of moreish deep-fried catfish.
Note that there’s no English menu, as it’s almost exclusively locals who make this a staple between the opening hours of 10am and 3:30pm (closed Sundays, as with most of the best spots).
How To Find It: Som Tum Jae Daeng is located at 209 Soi Chula, 48 Khwaeng Wang Mai, Khet Pathum Wan, Bangkok.
Tip: Head to Sook SiamSook Siam @ Iconsiam | Photo: Chris Singh
After all that, if you still feel a bit nervous about completely giving yourself over to Bangkok’s vibrant street food scene, then head to Iconsiam . The brand new luxury development stands stately by the waterside, and it’s quite easy to get to. Yes, a luxury mall is far from the gritty narrow roads where the best street food is found, but they’ve got one magnificent food hall that buzzes all day with energy.
It’s called Sook Siam , and remarkably the entire place is modelled after Thailand’s famous floating markets. The design and layout is like no other, and the food on offer is a comprehensive overview that represents all regions of Thailand. And it’s rare to find somewhere in Bangkok that embraces every single part of the country. The showcase of food is extraordinary, so take some time and visit all the indoor stalls to get familiar with what kind of street food you can expect in the country.
Then maybe you’ll develop a taste worth risking any perceived risk of trying the real Bangkok street food.
This article was made possible with the support of Tourism Authority of Thailand and Travelan. All opinions, food eaten and suggestions are that of the writers .
Typical Sicilian Nonna’s recipes
The best thing about the sicilian cuisine is that it’s a cuisine of traditions and made with heart. As you may have noticed already, I absolutely love Sicily and I am crazy about Sicilian food. But the best food I’ve eaten in Catania over the years is the one I found in a restaurant or street food stand.
The best food in Catania is the one made by “la nonna”. Nonna means grandma in italian. As we all know, grandmas always have the best foods. Catania is no exception.
There are a couple of recipes that you won’t always find in restaurants but are typical catanese food!
The parmigiana siciliana is very similar to lasagna except that the sheets are aubergines and the filling is other vegetables.
It only uses seasonal ingredients such as aubergines, tomatoes and basil. It’s easy and cheap to make but yet absolutely delicious!
This dish is particularly popular in summer. It can be eaten warm or cold.
This one is a bit of an awkward one because there is no official recognition for it. But if you go into the Catanese countryside, you will find out that for a lot of locals, this is the ultimate typical food. Particularly popular near Adrano and Biancavilla, the pane siciliano is made with a freshly cooked bread, named Cucciddatu.
A Cucciddatu is a loaf of bread in a circle shape. This typical Sicilian bread is generally made during the day and cooked at about 6pm.
If you want to master the perfect pane siciliano, you need to follow the ritual!
Go to the bakery as soon as they take the bread off the oven (at about 7 pm), go back home, cut it horizontally and add mozzarella, aubergines, tomatoes… whatever you have left in your fridge. Put the other half back on top.
As the bread is still warm, the mozzarella should naturally melt a bit.
You can then cut it in mini sandwiches and share it with everyone.
This is to the province of Catania what the pizza was to Naples. A way to use the leftovers, mix everything and share with everyone.
Ultimately, if you only get to see the result, you will think it’s a very good and giant sandwich.
But if you are with a local and get to enjoy the whole process, it becomes one of the best things you will ever get to do! Such a cultural experience.
RECOMMENDED COOKING CLASS: If you wish to discover authentic Nonna’s recipes in Catania, you can go book this traditional Nonna’s cooking workshop.
Folie à Deux for Coffee
This wonderful café (with an extremely peculiar name) is just the right place for a mid-morning espresso.
Their location lies less than 100 meters from the foot of the Trem do Corcovado, and their coffee is both delicious and budget-friendly (R$5 for each espresso (US$1.25)).
Roasting coffee in-house is always the best, and they have a selection of beans from Bahia (more info on Bahia, and the amazing city of Salvador, here) available for whichever style of coffee you prefer.
Local beans from Bahia, up the Brazilian coastline from Rio de Janeiro.
Brazil is Tough to Beat for Delicious Coffee
With outdoor seating available as well, this is a wonderful place to sit for a moment under the trees, enjoying the memories of the amazing views from your trip to see Christ the Redeemer.
Enjoying a few hot sips of some of the tastiest coffee on earth, getting ready for your next destination is always better when its done with a coffee in hand.
We took 4 espresso shots to go, a total bill of R$20 (exactly US$5).
Name: Folie à Deux – Café & Bistrô
Location: (Google Maps)
Hours: 10am – 6:30pm. Closed on Sunday
Amazing detail on this mosaic-tile staircase. Look at this artist’s handwork!
Gourmet Girl Graffiti is delightful anime about food and friendship that will make you feel hungry after each episode.
The enchanting story of Chihiro is truly memorable for so many reasons. The beautiful art, the remarkable story building, and characters, and of course, some of the most delicious-looking dishes in anime history.
We have to mention it is the first and only hand-drawn non-English speaking animated movie that has ever won an Oscar.
On the way to their new home, Chihiro and her parents make a stop exploring an abandoned theme park that will change their lives forever. The ten-year-old girl has to go great lengths to save her family.
Oh-luak and chai tao kway
These two dishes, though both distinct, share a unifying ingredient – eggs. Oh-luak is an oyster omelet, made from fried egg and potato starch along with the delectable shellfish. Starch-less versions can be purchased, but they have a thinner taste. Originally from Taiwan, the Singaporean variant is always accompanied with chili vinegar. Ah Hock Fried Oyster Hougang serves some of the best. Chai tao kway, also known misleadingly as carrot cake, is generally served in the same stalls as oh-luak, and consists of egg-fried perverted radish, radish cake and seasonings. Its name comes from the apparent resemblance between carrots and radishes, and it’s often served for breakfast in many street food stalls.
10 Best Street Foods In Brazil
Brazil has a lot in store, especially if you’re a foodie. Take a look at these 10 best delicacies where you can witness the real Brazilian charm like no place else!
1. Bolinhos de bacalhau
Bolinhos de bacalhau are delicious codfish balls that are one of the best street food dishes in Brazil. They’re usually served with lime for a bit of a fresh kick. You can find them at corner stalls, bars and restaurants. This famous street food in Brazil should be crispy on the outside with a creamy inside. If that’s not what you’re served, move on to another place!
Best place to eat: Bolinho de Bacalhau, Peruíbe
There’s nothing like deep fried food to satiate cravings and one of the top street foods in Brazil is exactly that. Known as pastel, it’s a deep-fried pastry that stuffed with different fillings including cheese and meat. Sweet versions are also available.
Best place to eat: Bar so Adao, Rio de Janeiro
Another favorite deep fried street food in Brazil is Coxinha that’s made of chicken and shaped to look like a chicken thigh. Crunchy and totally comforting, it’s a Brazilian food that you can have at any time of the day. Today, there are many unconventional variations such as with the use of fruits and vegetable protein.
Best place to eat: Veloso Bar, Sau Paolo
Though this is not really a street-food, its popularity makes it easily available in the country. If you’re in the mood for flavorful, barbequed meat, you should definitely try Picanha. In Brazilian cuisine, the picanha is a prized cut of beef with a texture similar to sirloin. It’s tender and juicy and the cap of fat lends even more flavor. Already drooling? Well, there’s so much more that street food in Brazil has to offer so that you keep coming back for more.
Best place to eat: Braseiro da Gavea, Rio de Janeiro
5. Pão de queijo
Cheese fans will love this next street food of Brazil. Known as pao de queijo, it’s a baked cheese roll that follows a traditional recipe originating from Minas Gerais. It’s enjoyed as a breakfast item but you can have it any time of the day. So, all the cheese lovers, what say? Don’t forget to try this delicacy while you’re out and about in Brazil.
Best place to eat: Cultivar: Rio de Janeiro
Although it has its roots in the Middle East, kibe is a part of Brazil’s food culture and is often sold by street vendors. It’s made up of a mix of minced beef or lamb and bulgur wheat. It may be fried or baked and is even eaten raw. The choice is up to you! Whether you’re a beef fan or not, this dish is surely worth the try and a trip to Brazil is incomplete without tasting one of these.
Best place to eat: Kibe Kibe, Sao Paulo
7. Açai na tigela
The acai palm fruit is turned into a delicious Brazilian street food in the form of acai na tigela. It’s a summer favorite and something that you can also have for breakfast as it’s turned into a creamy smoothie topped off with fruits, granola and seeds. If you’re planning to try something healthy or vegan on your Brazil vacay, this one will not disappoint you!
Best place to eat: Tigela Acai, Fortaleza
8. Aipim frito
Those who crave healthy Brazilian food can find it in aipim frito, a popular street food in Brazil that’s essentially yuca fries. You can choose to have it baked too for a healthier kick. The shrub is widely used in local dishes including Brazilian tapioca, which is a crepe made of yuca flour. Sounds delicious, doesn’t it?
Best place to eat: Le Petit Restaurante, Minas Gerais
9. Brazilian acarajé with vatapá
Brazilian food can pack some heat and if you love a fiery dish, you should try acarajé with vatapá, a dish that has its roots in Africa. It’s made with mashed beans and onions stuffed with vatapá – which is itself made of bread, shrimp, peanuts and coconut milk – and is a filling snack that you won’t be able to get enough of.
Best place to eat: Brasil Legal, Bahia
Once you’ve sampled all the savory stuff, it’s time to wrap things up with brigadeiro, a traditional Brazilian dessert guaranteed to make you drool. Comprised of cocoa, butter and condensed milk, it’s a simple yet decadent end to your tour of the top 10 Brazilian street foods.
Best place to eat: Bend Café, Sao Paulo
Enticed to try these cuisines already? Then, what are you waiting for? Plan your international trip with TravelTriangle and explore the markets of Brazil like a pro!
A Guide to Eating Street Food in Mexico City
With street food there are no hard and fast rules per se, but there are certain, let’s say, generalities that the nascent street food eater should know about before they hit the stands of Mexico City. Here are the telltale signs, the ingredient explanations and the no-rules “rules” of eating street food in Mexico’s capital.
Rules to Live By
Here are a few general things that I tell every person that asks me about eating on the street in Mexico City:
- Eat at stands that look busy with locals, i.e. lots of turnover. Not only does it mean that they probably aren’t making people sick, but it also ensures the you get the freshest ingredients and preparation.
- There is no such thing as a salsa rule. Always ask for a little, “poquito,” to start out if you can’t do spicy — remember, you can always add more.
- I always feel better eating at a stand where the person cooking is not the one taking money, or alternatively, they at least take money with a plastic bag covering their hand — but I’m not a stickler if something looks amazing.
- There are times when people get mildly sick just by the sheer fact that they are eating unfamiliar items or lots of spice that they aren’t used to. The best way to approach street food as a non-resident is to go slowly, don’t eat at 5 different stands on your very first day in the city, ease into street food one bite at a time.
Speaking the Lingo
Let’s start out with some vocabulary:
Tacos – A broad category that includes anything folded into a tortilla — from grilled meats, to scrambled eggs to potatoes and sausage. In Mexico, food is “taco-ed,” and that means anything can become a taco at any moment.
Tlacoyos – One of my favorite corn dough creations on the street, tlacoyos are cat-eye-shaped patties of dough where the raw dough has been wrapped around a filling of cheese (requesón which is a little like ricotta) or beans (either refried or mashed fava beans) and grilled until the outside is slightly browned and cooked and the inside filling is hot. They are generally topped with chopped raw onion and cilantro, cooked, cold nopal cactus, salsa (either red or green) and queso fresco, a harder grated cheese with a very mild taste.
Tlayudas – These large, crispy tortillas are made from a slightly different masa than regular tortillas, left to dry out a bit and refried with a bit of lard. They are generally topped with refried beans, cheese and a meat but can also have raw cabbage, roasted grasshoppers, fresh lettuce and cream. And always salsa. Find them on the street in Oaxaca.
Tortas – sandwiches on a slightly crispy bread roll, they have all kinds of fillings too, but generally include some kind of grilled meat (mostly likely a combination of a couple), quesillo cheese (that’s the stringy kind), avocado, lettuce, mayo, tomato, and something spicy — you can get chipotle peppers in a sauce usually or spicy, pickled veggies. Check out this guy manning a torta grill:
Huaraches – Long, thick, football-shaped tortillas that supposedly resemble the footprint of a huarache (a type of Mexican sandal). They are grilled on a flat grill and topped with a layer of beans, salsa and cheese, sometimes with the addition of bistec (thin beef steak) or cecina (dried, salted beef).
Sopes – Round like a tortilla but generally smaller, sopes are thick and when the dough is about half-cooked, their maker pinches the sides creating a little edge around the outside of the dough that keeps the filling in. Sopes are open-faced and can be topped with just about anything but usually have some combination of shredded meat, cheese, salsa, onion and cilantro on top.
Squash blossom quesadillas
Quesadillas – In Mexico City, quesadillas are simply large, oval-shaped tacos with all kinds of different fillings inside, generally not only grilled meats like bistec or cecina but also rajas con crema (poblano peppers in a cream sauce) potatoes and sausage, chicken tinga (a shredded chicken in a mild tomato sauce) or beef tinga. If you want cheese all you gotta do is say “con queso,” with cheese is usually a few pesos more.
Gorditas – a type of very thick tortilla, the dough sometimes mixed with chicharron prensada, then deep-fried in pork lard. These are generally sliced into a little pocket, filled (filling type depends on where you are in the country) and then heated on the grill.
Tamales – Corn dough, ground slightly chunkier than tortilla dough, mixed with a little pork lard (a very few places use vegetable oil, sorry vegetarians), and then applied to the inside of a corn or banana husk. A smear of salsa then goes on top and and piece of meat or other addition (a slice of pepper or mushrooms, the list is endless). Then the husk is folded and tied and the tamales are steamed during which time the dough puffs up and encases the filling — delicious.
Barbacoa – Slow-roasted (the best is underground pit roasted) lamb or goat, generally served with a broth made from the meat’s drippings, other seasonings, garbanzo beans and rice.
Rellenos (fillings) – These are what go in your tacos, most applicable with quesadillas
Masa (dough) – Pretty self-explanatory
Comal – The flat grill that you will find at most quesadilla/tlacoyo/gordita stands. Here is a photo:
How to Look Like You Know What’s Going On
No two street food stands are exactly the same, but telltale signs will let you know what kind of food they are serving almost immediately.
Tlacoyos & Quesadillas : Most tlacoyo stands sell quesadillas and vice versa. They are spottable normally as groups of 2-3 women, usually cooking around a small comal. One woman will be manning the comal with a trusty spatula, one making tortillas for quesadillas and tlacoyos either by patting them out by hand or using a tortilla press, and usually one woman is serving drinks and taking money. These stands are likely to be selling gorditas, but you can also find gorditas as the star of their own show at a stand or even as an added item in large stand selling other types of tacos.
Insider tip : Many tlacoyo/quesadilla/gordita stands in Mexico City use blue corn dough, it’s delicious, don’t let the color throw you off. If you happen upon obisipo quesadillas (a pork sausage from the State of Mexico) I beg you to try it.
Tacos : Generally, taco stands have a sign with a list of the types of tacos they offer, but you can also tell a few things without even needing to look. A convex grill with a little bump in the middle of it is used for slow cooking suadero (Mexico’s confit) and longaniza (sausage) in either fat or water. The meat is dredged up from the grease and set in the middle to drain a bit, then chopped and heated on the grill before it goes in your tortilla.
A large, flat grill means grilled meats like bistec, cecina and arrachera (a thicker flank steak) as well as any of those with grilled cheese (sometimes offered in a flour tortilla and sometimes not). Most of these stands also have an al pastor spit which you will recognize as a vertical skewer with layers of reddish, marinated pork meat on it.
While we are on the topic, tacos al pastor are reddish marinated meat on the spit and tacos arabes are displayed in the same format but with a regular meat color and spiced to a flavor that shares more in commmon with shwarma
and is served in a pita. Both types of taco are more popular in the evenings than daytime.
You can find carnitas (deep-fried) pork any time of the day, but they are also most popular as a daytime taco. You will recognize them by the heat lamps keeping the cooked meat warm, generally inside a glass box so you can see
All of these meat-centric taco stands are generally run by either an entire crew of men or a mixed group of men and women, with men manning the grill and women serving, taking money, making tortillas, and cleaning up.
Insider Tip : Carnitas stands will ask you what part of the pig you want — maciza is a basic meat for beginners, but carnitas experts will tell you sortido (mixed meats) or particular appendage (cheek, snout, intestines) make you look much more like a badass when ordering.
Barbacoa : One of my favorite street foods, not only because I love barbacoa, but I also love the ambiance of the barbacoa stand. Barbacoa in Mexico City is a weekend affair and these stands set up long, family-style tables on Saturdays and Sundays along the city’s sidewalks. For most places it’s a family affair, with even the littlest members of the family washing dishes, taking orders and delivering food. Barbacoa is the ultimate hangover food in my opinion, but for many its gamey flavor is a turn-off.
These stands sell either goat or lamb barbacoa which is traditionally cooked in underground pits overnight, wrapped in maguey or banana leaves. These days not everyone is still making this dish in the old-fashioned way.
The meat is spreadable, butter tender and although served with all kinds of salsas, is best with a smoky chipotle. Barbacoa tacos also get a little raw onion and cilantro on top as well as a squeeze of lime, all self-serve instead of at other stands where taqueros will ask if you want verdura and put the cilantro and onion on for you.
Insider Tips : More high-end establishments buy younger (and therefore more expensive) animals and the gamey factor is less. The consommé (broth) is free with the order of tacos and most places have a regular and 1/2 size if you don’t want a full bowl. The broth makes a delicious dipping sauce for your tacos.
Tamales : Tamales are an early morning and early evening snack. Daytime vendors are generally stationary at tables and evening vendors mobile, usually on bikes. Two types of tamales can be found in Mexico City, those wrapped in corn husks, common to northern and central Mexico and Oaxacan tamales, wrapped in banana leaves. Their casings give each a distinctive flavor, but the consistency of their dough is also different, with corn husk tamales being fluffier and drier and Oaxacan tamales a little oilier and flatter.
Tamales can be both sweet and savory, with the most common fillings being pork with green sauce, mole with pork or chicken, rajas (poblano peppers), strawberry and pineapple. You will recognize tamale vendors by their large, round metal steamers with lids to keep the tamales nice and warm inside.
Most vendors also sell atole, which is a creamy corn drink served hot that can be flavored with chocolate, strawberry, rice milk or a million other things. A tamale and glass of atole make a very filling meal. Tamales vendors also sell tortas de tamal or tamal sandwichs, which just means an unwrapped tamal on a crusty bread roll, sometimes with a little of the inside bread torn out so it’s not overwhelmingly filling (but it’s still overwhelmingly filling).
Insider Tip : Tamales are no brunch food, if you’re not up and buying one before 10am you’re shit out of luck.
And… My Favorites
This post wouldn’t be complete without a list of some of my favorite street food stands. Because there are SO MANY to choose from, I couldn’t possibly mention them all, but here is a good list to get you started.
El Rey del Taco – Corner of Coahuila and Merida in Roma Sur
Los Parados – Corner of Monterrey and Baja California in Roma Sur
5 Hermanos – near door 11 at the Merced Market’s outer food hallway
Mercado Medellin – There are two stands, one at each entrance, run by two different groups of women and both delicious, Campeche street between Monterrey and Medellin
Quesadillas – Corner of Colima and Merida Roma Norte
Doña Emi – Jalapa 278, Roma Sur – I beg you to get the pork and olives (lomo y acietunas)
Barbacoa Renatos – Jacarandas 443, Azcapotzalco
- Corner of Tonala and Campeche, they hand press their blue-corn tortillas
- Corner of Manzanillo and Campeche, this is the spot in the Roma for street barbacoa
Sylvia’s – under the Pedestrian bridge all the way at the end, just past the Fuente de Petroleo in Las Lomas
El Turix – Calle Emilio Castelar 212, Polanco
El Paisa – Tonala just down from the corner of Baja California, Roma Sur
Tacos La Reyna – Manzanillo 164-150, Roma Sur
Las Tlayudas – Insurgentes Sur 560, Colonia del Valle Centro
Want to take your very own STREET FOOD TOUR with yours truly? Check out my list of tours here and send me an email giving me some dates you will be ready to eat.
And Finally, a DISCLAIMER: There are about a million more things to know about street food. You’ll learn as you go.