The Blog

The Emerging Local Street Food Culture of Europe

Feyrouz in Athens serves one of the best local Greek street food in the city. The taste of the delicious lechmatzoun and hummus served here will stay in your mouth long after you had finished eating them.
This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.

by Drburtoni via Flickr

Those of us living in western countries from time to time long for decent street food. We tend to picture in our minds how much satisfaction we would be getting from going from one market to the other and enjoying every bite of delicious foods in Thailand, for example, or Vietnam. Not only does that picture make our mouths water but it also makes us almost give in to the temptation of packing our bags and heading straight to Asia.

And since the weather (finally!) is becoming warmer and warmer in most European countries, the desire of having proper street food while sitting on the bench and enjoying the sun becomes much stronger.

But you probably shouldn't get stressed out about the amount of good food you are missing out on the other side of the world thinking that street food is only an Asian concept. Actually the trend of street food is spreading all over Europe at high speed!

Below you can find the European cities (not in any order) where the taste of street food will wipe off even the very last remained thought of leaving for another country. I hope to pleasantly surprise you with tips by Spotted by Locals' locals to show how diverse the European street food scene can be.

1. Athens

by Danai Isari

Feyrouz in Athens serves one of the best local Greek street food in the city. The taste of the delicious lechmatzoun and hummus served here will stay in your mouth long after you had finished eating them. What makes this place even more special is that there is a unique story behind every dish which will be generously shared with you by the owners of this family - business. This is a place where you will still return many times after your first visit.

by Marilena Salamanou

But if you would like to buy fresh vegetables and fruits and taste hundreds of flavors of olives and get knowledgable about traditional Greek cheese while talking to the staff there, then you should give the Varvakeios Market a visit in Athens, which is the most prominent market in the city selling any kind of product you can think of alongside food.

2. Madrid

by Samu (via Flickr)

Given the weather conditions of Spain, it does not come surprising that there is no shortage of street food culture in Madrid.

MadrEat is a food market in a park that equally offers both traditional Spanish as well as delicacies of international cuisines. Alongside with burgers made from the best meat found in Madrid, you can also taste German sausages and have a sip of the local drink of Madrid - vermut. You can give in to your cravings in this market every third weekend of every month. So mark your calendars, put on your sunglasses and get to enjoy different bites of street food of the world every month here in Madrid.

by Cat Bethune

Another place that you can buy local fresh products is Mercado Cámara Agrarian, which is open every first Saturday of all months. Alongside with buying meat, cheese or baked products you can also do testing of various kinds of local wines and beers in this market. A place just can't get any more local than this in Madrid.

3. Hamburg

by Curry It Up

Having started as a street food festival in 2014, Hamburg turned it into a tradition to have a street food market every month called Streetfood Thursday. In addition to representing a huge variety of foods from different continents this market also has a lot in the store when it comes to offering vegan and organic food. Streetfood Thursday aims to prove that street food is not always the equal of fast food and that healthy alternatives are available. Similar to there street food market, here as well you can find tunes of live music, which only covers the market with more relaxing atmosphere.

by Elisabeth Grosser

Moreover, if you would like to buy some local product of organic farms of Hamburg then the Volksdorfer Wochenmark would be the most perfect choice for you. The sellers of this market probably make up the most prominent part of the market because they are super friendly. So be prepared to find yourself in the middle of political discussions or just talking about everyday matters while buying bakery delights or some local honey.

4. Copenhagen

by Sigrid Charlotte Sturlason

Ask anyone in Copenhagen for good food and they will definitely mention CPH Street Food. This food market in Copenhagen blends cuisines from all over the world. Papirøen gives you the opportunity to hop from Turkey straight to Korea by visiting the next food stall.
The food here has high quality and the staff is always more than happy to give detailed description on their products, which will only put you in a tougher decision as which country's cuisine to taste first. What even makes visiting this market more delightful is the laid - back atmosphere filled with chit chatting and music.

5. Amsterdam

by Stephen van den Hoek

Happyhappyjoyjoy is a perfect name for this place in Amsterdam as eating here will undoubtedly give you a lot of happiness and joy. Happyhappyjoyjoy not situated outside, however it would probably be fair to say that it serves the tastiest street food that had been absent from the city for so long. The place is particularly specialized in Asian streetfood and each piece of them is so flavorsome that those Chinese dumplings will definitely make you feel as if you're right in the centre of Asia for a moment.

And only the fancy and kind of a posh environment of this place will make you realize that you are still not on the street and this is still not Asia.

by Stephen van den Hoek

But since Amsterdam is a city that has it all, you can also enjoy flavorsome street food from many food truck if you head to Waterlooplein. Here, the variety of cuisines goes from Vietnamese to Dutch and from Japanese to Greek. So, go there with an empty stomach because you probably want to taste all countries of the world offered there.

6. Tel Aviv

by Igor Lenivtsev

One might wonder why Tel Aviv is included in the list since it cannot be classified as a typical European city. But neither can it fully fall under the category of "Asian" or "Eastern". And taking the - beyond - awesome street food culture that Tel Aviv possesses it just could not be left out from this list.

Even though Filipino street is actually located indoors it still can be called a street because it does not differ from any other street except with the rooftop it has. This area in Tel Aviv in general is very famous for its migrant workers and might not be a place where a lot of foreign travelers visit. However, on weekends it turns into street food market, which offers the most diverse flavors of their country from cheese to sweet delights and more. What better place to try the local snacks of Philippines?

by Reuven Abramovich

While further exploring the street food scene of Tel Aviv, in the Caermel Market you can find fresh and delicious food among the many food stalls standing there. If you, nevertheless, are feeling like having something heavenly that you cannot forget that taste of then you should directly head to the Venezuelan food stall that sells arepas. The latter is made of dough, beef and cheese. And the final spicy sauce will turn it into a dish you won't be able to help licking your fingers no matter how hard you try.

There are undoubtedly many more European cities that offer great street food scene, however if you ever find yourself in any of the aforementioned ones, you know where to go.