There is no food like street food, is there? Whether it be a quick hot dog or a sandwich on the go, picking up a bagel or just those delicious corners with shawarma, the mere sight of a street food stall gets your mouth watering. One might argue over their preference for street food or restaurant food, but in the number of times that you ate out in a week, how many times did you sit in a restaurant and how many times did you grab a hot dog from the closest stall?
So why exactly is street food so popular? Let’s look at the very obvious reasons.
1. Costs Less
The most in your face reason that even those who have never had any street food know for a fact is that it is cheaper to eat at a stall than a restaurant or a diner. Stalls generally don’t carry the burden of rent or utilities and expenses are generally limited to raw materials for food, which makes them very price competitive. Well, it’s a deliciously win-win situation for the seller and the customer.
2. Tasty and Good Quality
What makes street food so tasty? Everything is done in front of you and you think you know the recipe. Then there are attempts at recreation at home but you never get that exact taste. Why does that happen? Nobody knows. But yeah, it is undeniably delicious and the quality of the ingredients is right in front of you as you watch it being made.
3. It’s Cooked In Front Of You
Taking from the previous point, you can see the food being made which is like the live version of a food video. And you know how in a restaurant, you can never be quite sure whether the waiter has spit in your food or not, after you got too specific with your order. Well, you won’t be concerned with that when food is being prepared right in front of you.
4. There Is More Variety
Restaurants are generally dedicated to one cuisine and so are stalls of street food. But considering the low-cost nature of it, along with the fact that generally a few stalls with different wares group together, you can try and eat more food.
5. Food Experiments
Want vegan hot dogs? Or Indian cheese balls? A Mexican Japanese fusion taco? Chances are, a street food stall would have thought of it and is already selling it somewhere. Considering the small scale and limited staff of street food business, they tend to experiment more with what they offer.
6. It’s Authentic
The direct contradiction of the previous point, authenticity is another facet of street food. You can see who is making your food so you know that the cuisine is coming from the original source, be it an American making sandwiches or a Thai person making pad Thai noodles.
7. On The Go
We all lead busy lives, and yes, that means that most days, we do not have the time to sit down and have a meal. This is where street food comes to the rescue. Easy to have while commuting or rushing for the meeting that you were late for, street food makes sure that you don’t go hungry just because you don’t have the time to eat in one place. Just make sure you carry mouth freshener and that you don’t spill anything. Nobody likes a smelly spillerson.
8. A Way To Be Social
Something about eating street food together brings people closer. You have officially stepped into the next phase of your relationship if you have moved from cafe dates to hot dog ones. Your boss likes you more than your colleagues if he is willing to eat a sandwich with you standing on the sidewalk. You realize as you grow older that this is where you socialize the most – cheaper and more time compact.
9. Company To Entertainment
Remember when you were eating that Persian wrap at a carnival while enjoying the fireworks? Or when you were eating Caribbean dumplings from a cone while watching a guy play the guitar and sing a song under a lamppost? Yeah, these experiences are absent in the walls of a restaurant.
10. It Is Personal
The person operating the food stall is most likely to be the owner. A street food truck is not likely to have a huge staff, so it is possible that most of your communications happen directly with the owner of the business. That gives it a very personal feel as owners will care more about the customer service, which more often than not forms a friendship of sorts. That’s something you will certainly enjoy.
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Every country, every state and every city has its own food culture and street food is where the true optics of that are presented. Street food makes everything better. It’s the ultimate comfort food while also having the capacity to act as sustenance for our day to day lives. While health and hygiene might be a concern, the very nature of the food provided puts our doubts to rest.
We see it being made in front of us and we can objectively determine whether it’s hygienic or not. Knowing that, food is the cultural determinant of any place and street food is where all the action is. Anywhere you go, whatever you do, make sure that in your lifetime, you have eaten copious amounts of street food.
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