When you travel around the world, or even just within your own district, you have the opportunity to sample food from pretty much every corner of the planet. One thing I really enjoy is tracking down the local street vendors, you know, the men and women with a small kiosk set up on a nondescript street corner who are serving up some interesting dish from their home country, be it half way across the planet, or from the next town over. Every city has a wonderful collection of these street stalls that are well worth the effort it takes to find them.
I’d like to start the tour with Athens Greece and breakfast. Breakfast isn’t much of an event in Greece, and most people start their day by snacking on koulouri, a plain bread topped with sesame seeds. You will find people selling warm, fresh koulouri on just about every street corner. If you are right down in the city centre, stop in at the kiosk directly across from the Agii Theodori church and ask for a chunk of fresh cheese to go with your koulouri. It’s simple, yet filling and scrumptious.
Onwards to lunch. Sometimes you get that craving for something sweet or savoury, and it’s Paris to the rescue. There is something deliciously sinful about French crepes. You can get them smothered in butter and sugar, or my favourite, with a little bacon or ham. If you want to go vegetarian, you can try out a falafel – a perfect example of a food from one of the far-flung corners of the earth brought right to your doorstep in Europe. There is a kiosk down on Rue des Rosiers that I always make a point of visiting when I am in the city on business. Their wonderful home-made style falafels are almost perfect!
The day now draws to a close and it’s time again for a bite to eat. Restaurants are OK, but there are all those street vendors plying their delicious wares. A wander of the streets of Budapest will likely lead you to one of the more popular all night street cafés on Akacfa utca, known as Langos. This place serves up one of the best local specialities, a simple flat fried bread topped with cheese and sour cream. Add garlic, sausage or ham, and you have a meal that is terribly bad for you, but oh so tasty. If you would rather satisfy your sweet tooth and you are close to the Margit hid, stop in at Szeraj and try one of the sugary, buttery, freshly made baklava. One is usually enough, but oh my, the explosion of sweet flavours is enough to bring you back for seconds.
Street food is an amazing way to discover Europe, and the world all in one stop.