8 Healthy Street Foods That Are Actually Delicious
Receive our free newsletters
Healthy Street Snacks
Street food indulgence doesn’t always have to mean deep-fried grease bombs or cheese-filled carbs. Around the world, there are light, fresh, grab-and-go options that are as memorable and tasty as their unhealthy counterparts.
Here, some of AFAR staff’s greatest (and good-for-you!) street food experiences.
Tapioca is a traditional Brazilian dish made of...tapioca (there isn’t another word in English for it). It’s amazing! You cook the flour (made from cassava root) with just a little oil in a pan. It’s not greasy, and you can eat it plain or put fillings inside. I eat it with good cheese and oregano. —Ana Luisa, art intern
Shave ice! OK, OK, it’s not exactly nutritious. But it is healthier than ice cream, right? Try it at Ono Shave Ice in Portland or Tege Tege in Kapaa, Kauai (the lime + condensed milk is delish). —Aislyn Greene, associate editor
Bacon in small doses is healthyish, right? I snagged a few of these weird bacon-wrapped mushrooms at the Chatuchak Weekend Market in Bangkok. They’re a beautiful balance of sweet and savory and the texture is delightfully weird. I’ve been trying to make them again at home to very little success. But they’re delicious. —Maggie Fuller, editorial assistant
Photo by Maggie Fuller
My favorite street food in Istanbul was midye dolma, or stuffed mussels. Street vendors haul drums of the prepared shellfish, packed with aromatic rice, to popular nightlife spots like Taksim Square. Late-night revelers slurp up as many of the mussels as they please, then the vendor counts the empty shells and charges one Turkish lira for every two pieces. It might be the strangest tipsy bites I’ve ever had, but I still crave them. —Danielle Walsh, associate editor
There are about 101,000 Turkish immigrants in Berlin, which explains the city’s wealth of kebab joints. What makes Mustafa’s Gemüse Kebap so distinct are the crispy grilled veggies and feta they top their chicken and vegetarian options with. That and the fact it’s open super-late. Drop a pin here to top off late-night adventures. —Andrew Richdale, senior editor
At the street market in Pai, Thailand, my friends and I got at least two orders of mango sticky rice every night we were there. The fruit was naturally sweet and fresh, the coconut milk was ultra-creamy, and the rice was gooey perfection. —Alina Polishuk, editorial intern
Photo by Alina Polishuk
I can honestly say that the ceviche from the Mercado de Mariscos in Panama City changed my life. For years before visiting Panama I refused to eat fish, but ceviche was such a must-try that I begrudgingly gave it a try. It was so fresh and full of citrus and flavor that ceviche has become one of my all-time favorite foods. —Maggie Fuller, editorial assistant Photo by LWYang/Flickr