Hanoi, Penang and Taipei ‘missing’ from list of world’s best cities for street food

Street food is a way of life in Hanoi. Pic: Maxime Guilbot/flickr

IN yet another curious list to pit cities’ street food prowess against each other, Bangkok has predictably emerged as a favorite in Asia.

The CNN list claimed that sidewalk food vendors in Bangkok “offer everything from breakfast, like soymilk and bean curd, while others dish up fragrant rice and poached chicken for lunch”.

The list particularly pointed out Yarowat or Bangkok’s Chinatown for kuay tiew kai soi sai nam phung – noodle soup with chicken wing stew, with young egg and pork intestine.

Rightfully, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Bali, Beijing and Mumbai also made the list alongside cities like New Orleans, Honolulu, Durban, Cairo, Istanbul and Marrakesh.

Tourists and locals huddle on plastic chairs at a street food stall in Hanoi. Pic: Paul Galow/flickr

However, there were some glaring exclusions, the most notable of them being Hanoi, Penang and Taipei, all three of which are globally famed for its street food, usually cooked by specialized vendors and devoured on plastic stools laid out on five-foot paths and food markets.

Hanoi is renowned among tourists for dishes like bun cha (grilled pork and noodles), banh mi (Vietnamese-style baguette sandwich), pho tiu (sweet and sour soup with pork), and iced coffee with egg whites.

SEE ALSO: Obama visit inspires special menu at bun cha restaurant in Hanoi

Meanwhile, Penang too has been credited for some of the best street food in all of Asia, with many Malaysian dishes originating from the state.

A street vendor flips appom in Penang. Pic: Matthew Kang/flickr

Classics like char kuay teow, Hokkien mee, assam laksa, appom manis and duck koay chiap can be easily found on the streets, and you’ll find locals often eating by five-foot paths if not at a kopitiam (coffee shop).

SEE ALSO: Renowned food writer says Malaysia is ‘most important food destination in the world’

In Taipei, tourists often make a beeline for street food such as gua bao (meat dumplings), stinky tofu, stewed pork knuckle and plenty of deep-fried goodies. Many of these stalls are set up at night markets and sell their fare at a bargain, such as the Shilin Night Market.

SEE ALSO: If you only have a weekend in Taipei…

What are some of the Asian cities you would have liked to see in this list? Let us know in the comments below.