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Asia’s 10 greatest street food cities worth travelling for !

By Lina Goldberg 22 February, 2013

Food is one of the most enjoyable things for travelers in Asia. But do you know where to find its best street dishes? Now you do, with this collection of best street food from 10 of the top food cities in Asia.While the nature of mobile street carts and movable market stalls means pinpointing every dish isn’t possible, the listings below indicate roads in each city that are more than likely to have someone selling.

1.PENANG, MALAYSIA

Penang is one of the world's top eating destinations. Street food--or hawker food, as it's locally known--is the city's big draw.Penang hawker food reflects the multicultural makeup of the town, which has citizens of Chinese, Malay and Indian descent.There's also a distinct Nyonya cuisine in Penang, the fusion food that has resulted from the intermarriage of Chinese and Malay immigrants.The streets of Penang are lined with hawker stalls, coffee shops and hawker centers where multiple vendors offer their specialties.

2. TAIPEI

One of the best street food cities in Asia, Taipei has streets that teem with vendors serving savory noodle soups, dumplings and steamed buns. In the evening, night markets open all over the city selling a plethora of clothes and household goods, but their real draw is the food.Much of Taipei's street food has its roots in mainland China, but the people of Taiwan have put their own spin on the dishes. Flavored with star anise, Taiwanese basil, chilis, pickled vegetables, white pepper and cilantro, the street foods of Taipei might not be strictly native to Taiwan, but they just seem to taste better there.

3. BANGKOK

Bangkok is a street food heavyweight; one can eat well in the city without ever setting foot inside a restaurant.The street food scene in Bangkok is an integral part of the culture and locals know that the cuisine you'll find on the sidewalk is often the tastiest.Bangkok street food culture is built around the Thai habit of eating many small meals throughout the day.The sheer variety of street food options in Bangkok can be overwhelming -- from fried noodles to creamy coconut and tropical fruit desserts -- but those who choose to indulge are amply rewarded.

4.FUKUOKA, JAPAN

Japan is famous for its cuisine, but one city in particular is known for its street food scene. Fukuoka, on the northern shore of Kyushu, has more than 150 open air food stands, called yatai. Yatai resemble miniature restaurants, except that most fold up shop every night and disappear until the next day.The food served there is famous for being delicious and affordable. Yatai open around dusk and offer diners the opportunity to drink sake and shochu with locals and sample Fukuoka's specialties. Yatai can be found all over the city, but many are clustered on the southern end of Nakasu Island and near Tenjin Station.

5. HANOI

Hanoi and its environs are the birthplace of many quintessential Vietnamese dishes, such as pho and bun cha, and the city is often cited as one of the world's great food capitals. It's a street eater's paradise, with a plethora of options for those who want to eat like a local. In fact, many swear that the best food in Hanoi is found on the sidewalk, with dishes that often feature fish sauce, lemongrass, chilies, and cilantro and other fresh herbs.The city, which celebrated its one-thousandth birthday last year, has put those centuries to good use perfecting its curbside nibbles. Although vendors often cook in small shop fronts, they serve their wares on the sidewalk, on small plastic tables and chairs that can seem woefully inadequate for overgrown foreigners.

6. SINGAPORE

The street food scene in Singapore is now less “street food” and more “food court.” Regulated out of existence years ago, street food vendors moved into government-sanctioned "hawker centers" where they still sell the same dishes.While this may undermine the cuisine’s credibility as street food, it offers those with delicate stomachs the opportunity to partake -- strict safety and hygiene regulations make Singapore's hawker food some of the safest “street food” around. Hawker centers offer a blend of inexpensive Malaysian, Indian and Chinese cuisines, which combine to offer a uniquely Singaporean eating experience. A strong food culture also means that Singaporeans feel passionately about their hawker centers and the dishes found there, keeping standards of tastiness and authenticity high.

7. SEOUL

Seoul is a city that doesn’t exactly embrace its street food -- street carts are illegal and the authorities are trying to get rid of them -- but that doesn’t stop the locals from enjoying every morsel.Pojangmacha, or street vendors, line busy shopping districts selling sweets and savory snacks. Some operate in the open air, and others have small, portable restaurants that offer shelter from inclement weather.Pojangmacha literally means "covered wagons," and their tented street food stalls are popular with the after-work crowd.Later in the evening, pojangmacha serving soju, a Korean spirit made from rice, are the perfect place to drink on the cheap.The many markets in town also offer places to try a wide variety of inexpensive Korean snacks.

8.XI'AN, CHINA

Although perhaps most famous for the Terracotta Warriors, Xi'an is also known for its cuisine, a distinctive mix of traditional Shaanxi fare and Chinese Muslim influence.The city’s Muslim Quarter is packed with tiny restaurants that spill out onto the street, along with more traditional street food vendors. Lamb is particularly popular with the local Muslim Hui population, and the air in the Muslim Quarter is filled with the smell of mutton roasting over smoky charcoal.Night markets in Xi'an are also a good place to try the local street food. Here you'll find both Muslim-influenced snacks and specialties of Shaanxi Province, of which Xi’an is the capital.

9. MANILA

Manila is a city filled with street-food options. Most vendors are mobile and can be found walking up and down Manila's busy streets, crying out their specialties.Whenever possible, foods are deep-fried, which makes them that much more mouth-watering and, as a bonus, kills germs.Cold drinks and sweet desserts are also popular snacks in Manila's tropical heat.Wherever you are heading in Manila, it's worth stopping for a few minutes and sampling the cuisine of the streets.

10. PHNOM PENH

Cambodians like to snack throughout the day, so it’s no surprise their capitol is teeming with street-food choices. Depending on what time it is, you’ll find scores of different types of street cuisine being sold by roving vendors or at stationary street stalls that cook on small charcoal grills.The local markets are also a good source of Khmer snacks, particularly Central, Kandal and Orussei, as well as the streets around the city’s many schools and universities. Breakfast time and early evenings are particularly busy, as hungry students flood the streets, looking for fried noodles, Cambodian sandwiches and sweet treats.

Here is a link to the original article :

http://travel.cnn.com/explorations/eat/asia-street-food-cities-612721/
Please take note that NOT all food list are consumable by muslim, please check the original article to know more about the food listed ~

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