Street food survey rates Hong Kong best for cash-strapped expats

Published:  27 Feb at 6 PM
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A new survey rating street food across the world could help cash-strapped expat gourmets choose their best location.

In the expat world one thing’s for sure, in that the majority of those fleeing their home countries for a new life overseas won’t be able to afford the culinary delights of the Michelin-starred eateries found in favourite expatriate hubs. In spite of this sad fact, most cash-strapped expat gourmets manage very well simply by searching out their destination’s street food markets, a number of which have become famous in their own right.

Nowadays, the expat world is regularly swamped by surveys, with most giving conflicting results, but this latest effort attempting to identify the world’s best street food by country is sure to become essential expat reading. The Street Food Index rates the outdoor culinary experience in 30 countries, with Hong Kong winning hands down over former favourite Bangkok, perhaps due to the present Thai military government’s dislike of everyday entrepreneurship which resulted in many popular street food locations being axed.

The survey itself takes into account the number of vendors, the style of the food, affordability and sanitary preparation conditions. Following the top two is Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City, with Singapore and Mumbai scoring fourth and fifth respectively as well as confirming the well-known fact that Asia’s street food beats out the rest of the planet’s offerings by far. The top ten listing’s also-rans in order of placing were Rome, Tel Aviv, Sydney and Mexico City along with Portland Oregon in tenth place.

Let’s face it, travellers in general, whether expatriates or tourists, are all fans of street food, wherever they find themselves at any one time. When asked the reason for the genre’s huge popularity, the cost is the invariable answer as well as the secret of Bangkok’s survey placing, as its average price per dish is at least 75 per cent lower than Hong Kong’s. Street food is also a great way to sample unfamiliar local cuisines without spending a fortune and finding it’s just not for you.
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