Top 5 Best Street Foods in Asia

Thinking about planning a sneaky trip to Asia?

Wondering where and how you might find the best food on offer here? Look no further than on the street!

Top 5 Best Street Foods in Asia

Thinking about planning a sneaky trip to Asia?

Wondering where and how you might find the best food on offer here? Look no further than on the street!

Hi, we’re Rach & Marty!

We’ve visited every country in the world and want to help you get the most out of your travels!

Whether you need an expertly planned itinerary, some experienced hints and tips, or just craving a delicious food adventure, we’ve got you covered!

Hi, we’re Rach & Marty!

We’ve visited every country in the world and want to help you get the most out of your travels!

Whether you need an expertly planned itinerary, some experienced hints and tips, or just craving a delicious food adventure, we’ve got you covered!

Hi, we’re Rach & Marty!

We’ve visited every country in the world and want to help you get the most out of your travels!

Whether you need an expertly planned itinerary, some experienced hints and tips, or just craving a delicious food adventure, we’ve got you covered!

We may earn affiliate commissions from websites we link to, at no cost to you. Click here for details.

Top 5 Best Street Foods in Asia hot food

Asia is an exciting and eye-opening place! Sizzling woks and aromatic broths are being conjured up by talented locals on every corner!

In short, street food in Asia is what food dreams are made of! So go on and treat your taste buds to a holiday of their own.  

Our number one tip in finding these culinary magicians at work is to find the cart/stall serving street foods in Asia with the longest line of locals waiting for their lunch or dinner.  

In other words, the longer the line, the better the meal will be. Trust us, we’ve waited in many queues for an amazing meal and we don’t regret a minute of it.

Top 5 Best Street Foods in Asia

1. Thailand – Spicy stir-fried pork with Chilli & Thai holy basil (Pad Krapow Moo) 

Locals often eat this meal at breakfast time. Fluffy steamed white rice is served topped with fresh stir-fried pork. Deliciously seasoned and mixed with a heap of chilli, garlic and holy basil.

However, the best bit is the deep-fried egg with crispy edges served on top of the whole dish. The fried egg goes fantastic with this dish as it takes some heat off the chilli.

And it seems to create the perfect balance of flavours in your mouth. This is a great dish to start the day. Check out these 12 most popular Thai dishes to continue your Thai food journey!

best street foods in asia
Top 5 Best Street Foods in Asia – Spicy stir-fried pork with chilli and Thai holy basil

2. Indonesia – Satay Chicken Skewers

The secret to a delicious satay chicken skewer is on the BBQ grill.

In short, these skewers are constructed using pieces of chicken thigh meat threaded onto a skewer, delicately marinated and slowly cooked over coals, and turned regularly.

Definitely, one of the best street foods in Asia to try. If you’re planning to visit the beautiful island of Bali, these 5 Best Warungs in Canggu, Bali should have satay skewers for you to try.

But our favourite is the chicken bits that were charcoaled just a little too much. The sugars from the marinade caramelize and give a delicious crunch to the outer bits.

Once cooked, a homemade satay dipping sauce is often served to accompany the skewers. Bliss!

best street foods in asia
Top 5 Best Street Foods in Asia – Satay Chicken Skewers

3. Vietnam – Beef noodles (Phở bò)

This is probably the most popular Street Food dish in Vietnam.

In fact, it would be the most commonly known Vietnamese dish outside Vietnam, too, and with good reason. It is simply delicious!

We’ve heard tales of the soup broths for this dish bubbling away on the hob for days until the balance of flavours is just perfect.

The best Pho is served in a big bowl filled with fresh noodles covered in soup. Thinly sliced pieces of beef are layered just on top so the heat of the broth instantly cooks it to perfection.

The dish is commonly served with a plate of fresh Vietnamese mint, fresh-cut limes, chilli and crisp bean shoots. As a result, it is a winner at any time of the day!

This is by far one of the best street foods in Asia.

If you’re planning to visit Hanoi, our Complete Food Guide to Hanoi has pinned the best spots in the city to taste the best pho you’ll ever eat! 

best street foods in asia pho
Top 5 Best Street Foods in Asia – Pho is the ultimate dish in Vietnam

4.  Malaysia – Beef Rendang

This reliable little number from Malaysia is a sure way to enjoy a satisfying meal.  Sold from street carts and side stalls, you cannot mistake the aroma of this amazing dish when little ladies lift the lids off their pots of goodness ticking away.

One of our personal favourites on this list of the best street foods in Asia.

Created using chunky cuts of beef mixed with a thick gravy of fresh spices and coconut, beef rendang is our idea of food heaven.

It is often served with a side of peanuts, dried anchovies, a fried egg, crunchy cucumber pieces, and fresh sambal.

Order freshly cooked Roti bread to soak up this delicious gravy!

One of the best food tours we’ve ever experienced was in Malaysia’s capital city, Kuala Lumpur.

Read our post – Eating Like a Local in Malaysia.

Top 5 Best Street Foods in Asia beef rendang
Top 5 Best Street Foods in Asia – Beef Rendang

5.  Thailand – Chicken Noodle Soup

We stay at the same boutique guesthouse, Samsen Sam each time we visit Bangkok, and the thing that excites me the most about returning to Bangkok is getting to visit my ‘chicken soup lady’ located down the road from our guesthouse.

She is there every day without fail between 0700-1200. If it’s been a really busy day, she serves until she runs out of food.

She changes it up occasionally by using chicken, pork and sometimes fish balls, but her dish’s elements are always the same. The soup or broth is consistently delicious.

The noodles are always freshly rolled in perfectly sized portions, still lightly coated in the flour used to hand-make them that morning before she quickly blanches them in boiling water for an order.

She adds the same amount of carefully chopped spring onions and crunchy bean shoots to the bowl, and you are free to add extra sauces, seasonings, fresh herbs and chilli flakes to match your taste.

The protein of the day is always braised and is falling off the bone, which gives the bowl of noodles the touch of love and care that you so often crave on long trips away from home.

At the beginning of this post, we mentioned waiting in queues when searching for the best street foods in Asia. We had this little lady in mind. Locals line up for their entire lunch break to get a bowl of noodles from her.

We’ve noticed her prices haven’t increased for the past 4 years either. At 35 THB or about USD 1.00, she is someone who cooks for the love of it.

best street foods in asia Thai soup
Top 5 Best Street Foods in Asia – Thai Soup

Travel Tips for Asia

We have many travel guides and tips for Asia— a fascinating continent!

Delicious cuisine can be enjoyed across Asia, and our food map of Asia will inspire your food journey.

These top 5 best street foods in Asia are unmissable! We explain Central Asian food, including seven popular foods in this region.

Our Southeast Asia packing list will be helpful if you’re travelling here.

Furthermore, if you plan to travel long-term (or at least until the money runs out), these 21 cheapest countries to visit will help you make your hard-earned dollars stretch a bit further.

Not surprisingly, our top 10 best countries for food lovers include a few Asian countries.

You’ll need to stay connected while travelling in Asia. We recommend eSIM. It’s easy, reliable and affordable. View eSIMs for individual Asian countries, or consider a regional eSIM for Asia (which covers 18 countries).

If your travels in Asia are part of a much larger global adventure, then a Global eSIM may be the answer. It connects you in 124 countries, offering data-only eSIM and data/call/text eSIM. The Global eSIM has been a game-changer; we couldn’t imagine travelling without it now.

If you want to travel with like-minded travellers, consider joining a group tour. View the best deals on group tours in Asia.

Check out our best-ever travel tips compiled from more than twenty years of experience.

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Travel Planning Resources

✈️ Flights: We use Skyscanner to book cheap flights worldwide.

🏨 AccommodationBooking.com is our preferred platform for booking hotels and accommodation. We use Vrbo to book apartments and long-term stays.

🏥 Travel Insurance: We recommend Heymondo (Get 5% off Heymondo) & SafetyWing

🚌 Transportation: Trainline is the best website to reserve trains. We use Omio to book transport worldwide. For travel in Asia, we use 12Go. 

🚘 Car Rental: We use DiscoverCars to book rental cars worldwide.

👫 Group ToursG Adventures OR compare multi-day tours worldwide with Tourradar.

📸 Day Tours & TripsGetYourGuide & Viator are the only two platforms you need.

📚 Lonely Planet: The Best Range of Travel Guides & Ebooks, and FREE Shipping! (use code RACHELDAVEY10 for a 10% discount)

🎒 LuggageOsprey Farpoint 40L Backpack or Samsonite Luggage Range.

🛄 What to Pack: Don’t forget your Universal charger and a good power bank.  To help you pack the essentials, here is our ULTIMATE Packing List for all Travellers.

🐶 Become a House Sitter: Join Trusted Housesitters and enjoy FREE accommodation worldwide. Use our invite to receive 25% off your new membership.

💰 Send Money Anywhere: WISE & Revolut are the best online accounts that let you send money, get paid, and spend money internationally. Both are so easy to use and way cheaper than any bank transfer.

📶 Stay Connected: Airalo eSIM allows you to get connected the moment you land at your destination, and you can avoid those expensive data roaming charges. We LOVE this product! Use promo code NOMAD15 for 15% off ALL eSIMs (new Airalo users only) OR use NOMAD10 for 10% off ALL eSIMs (for existing Airalo users)

✅ Check out our Travel Gear and Travel Resources for more valuable tips to save you money!

Tasty Food Adventures

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See all articles about Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam

2 Comments. Leave new

  • Hi. Can you please tell me the name of the “soup lady” in Bangkok near the hotel you stay at?

    Thank you for all the wonderful information on you blog.
    Ralph

    Reply
    • Hi Ralph,
      We don’t know the name of the ‘soup lady’, but she was located at the end of the Soi at this address: Soi Samsen 3 House No.48 Banglumpoo, Bangkok. Marty was in Bangkok recently and stayed at the same accommodation, but she didn’t see our soup lady…so we’re hoping she was just on a day off and hasn’t disappeared forever.

      Reply

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