There is good reason street food has become so trendy in the past decade. Some of the world’s most gifted chefs craft award-winning fare—be it juicy burgers, fusion tacos, or Thai specialties—from a humble street stand or mobile kitchen. Here, a selection of the world’s most beloved street food, for which food-loving travelers and hungry locals queue up for a bite.
1. Jai Fai
Cooking a spread of wok-fired eats at her namesake shophouse on Maha Chai Road, Jai Fai is the only street-food chef in Bangkok to garner a Michelin star. Formally named Supinya Junsuta, the 74-year-old “crab omelet queen” began her culinary journey as a child and opened her stall in the 1980s. The stand’s crowd-pleasers include “khai jeaw poo,” the buzzed-about deep-fried crab and egg omelet, “poo phad phong karee,” lump crabmeat stir-fried with eggs and onions in a velvety curry sauce, and “phad kee mao talay,” fiery drunken noodles tossed with fresh seafood and hearts of coconut palm.
2. Kogi BBQ
Los Angeles, California
Kogi BBQ pioneered the food truck movement in Los Angeles in 2009, and today, a fleet of four fusion trucks cook hearty Korean-Mexican fare. Chef Roy Choi helms the kitchens, which dole out tacos, sliders, burritos, hot dogs, and quesadillas. The Blue Moon Mulita, a corn tortilla sandwich bursting with melted cheese, onions, and chicken comes capped with salsa azul and sesame seeds. The Kogi Dog (a Hebrew National hot dog decked out with slaw, cilantro-onion-lime relish, cheese, and sesame mayo), and the signature short rib taco (double caramelized Korean barbecue short rib with all the toppings) are fan favorites.