Think of street food and the first thing you’ll probably think of is Asia. Renowned for noodles, spring rolls, and fried insects, that part of the world certainly knows what’s up. But Europe is also not short on street food delights and little snacks you can grab and go when you just don’t have time to stop! Here are some of my favourites…
1. Frites (Belgium)
I don’t want to start any fights, so I’ll give the Netherlands a shout out here too but Belgium has a pretty solid claim to fries in a cone, served with mayo of course. Some would say it’s the perfect street food, with a tiny plastic fork that helps you navigate the saucy bottom of the cone with ease. It’s the most efficient and affordable way to carb load as you spend your afternoon hopping from one chocolate shop to the next! For the best quality fries, avoid the vans on Bruges Market Square and go find Chez Vincent instead.
2. Oscypek (Poland)
Oscypek is a traditional smoked cheese originating from the mountains around Zakopane in Poland. The reason it’s an epic street food is that at the markets at the bottom of Krupowki Street, you’ll find plenty of ladies selling slices of the cheese with a big dollop of cranberry sauce to offset that intense, smoky flavour, for just a few zloty. Whilst the cheese itself is available all over Poland, little slices of heaven as a street snack are usually a Zakopane thing. You’ll just have to go there and try it for yourself!
3. Currywurst (Germany)
Possibly the only sausage to have a song AND a museum, currywurst is not as famous as Berlin’s other great street food, the highly exported döner kebap, but surely is more unique. Legend says a woman once fell down a flight of stairs and dropped her shopping bag, containing tomato sauce, sausage, and curry powder, causing them to mix. While I think this is unlikely, there’s no denying the appeal of a great currywurst. Don’t leave Berlin without trying it, maybe at Curry 36 on Mehringdam.
4. Borek (Croatia)
This is another contentious one, as borek is claimed by every Balkan country, and actually originates in Turkey. If you’re traveling around the Hop-on Hop-off network, Croatia is your best bet! Think flaky pastry, filled with minced meat, spicy potato, or salty cheese. Check out your local bakery or pekara, or keep an eye out for smaller stores specialising in borek, where they should have a variety of fillings. Around 12 kuna (less than €2) should have you keeping that hunger at bay all day long.
5. Crepes (France)
The humble crepe hails originally from the region of Brittany in northwest France, but is today found on street corners all over Paris. Crepes are traditionally filled with Nutella or any other variety of sweet things, but I am also very partial to a savoury galette, which is made of buckwheat flour and filled with ingredients like cheese, ham, or vegetables.
6. Langos (Hungary)
What could possibly be better than deep fried bread smothered in sour cream and cheese? Nothing, that’s what! Although I’m the first to admit the heaviness of this classic Hungarian snack means it’s often best shared with a friend, there are also many places, especially in Budapest, where you’ll find more varied toppings. Check out the street food alley right next to famous ruin bar Szimpla Kert, for some freshly made langos with a wide variety of exciting toppings.