World Cuisine: Street Food

Contributor: Tara Ondra. Lesson ID: 13369

Traveling the world, one of the best and cheapest ways to eat is by trying street food. In the USA, you can buy hot dogs and soft pretzels on the street, but what can you find in other countries?


Practical Life Skills, World Cultures

Life Skills
learning style
Auditory, Visual
personality style
Lion, Otter, Beaver, Golden Retriever
Grade Level
Middle School (6-8)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!

Audio: Image - Button Play
Image - Lession Started Image - Button Start

You usually eat it with your hands. It's fast. It's cheap. It's tasty.

You buy it from a food truck, a kiosk, a wooden cart, a small stand on the street, or even a stall in a market.

Street foods can be found everywhere, taking on different shapes, forms, colors, smells, textures, and tastes...from sweet to salty to spicy to bitter or tart.

Watch this short montage of some favorites!

Image - Video

  • What is the history of street foods?
  • What are the similarities and differences of street foods worldwide?

Street food is anything but a modern trend.

It dates back to ancient Greece, where you could see fried fish being sold on the streets. In ancient Rome, the urban poor consumed chickpea soup and bread.

In the Americas, the Aztecs were known to have sold nearly 50 types of tamales in their marketplaces.

Image - Video

Over time, street foods and the stalls and carts from which the food is sold have evolved.

Street food varies greatly worldwide, taking on a different form in every country or region. Let's take a trip worldwide to sample fresh and affordable street foods.

Fasten your seat belts. We're off to Asia and the island nation of Japan!

map of Japan and its flag

When you think of Japanese food, you probably think of sushi (raw fish) or hibachi (grilled) food.

  • But what is Japanese street food?

Watch the following video to learn about the ingredients and techniques that go into making takoyaki, yakisoba, gyoza, okonomiyaki, and taiyaki.

Image - Video

Using ingredients from octopus to bean sprouts and textures from chewy to crispy, Japanese street food is packed with flavor and texture.

  • Ready for lift-off?

We'll cross the Pacific Ocean and land in the largest city and capital of Mexico, Mexico City.

map of Mexico and its flag

Beef, chicken, beans, rice, onions, lime, avocado, and cilantro are all prevalent in Mexican food and can be found in the most quintessential Mexican food: the taco.

Visit six different taquerias in the video below.

Image - Video

Time to cross the Atlantic Ocean for a stopover in Germany.

map of Germany and its flag

This next video will take you to Berlin to try Currywurst, which can be traced back to 1949 Berlin.

With a little experimentation, Herta Huewer combined curry powder and ketchup or Worcestershire sauce given to her by a British solider with a traditional wurst or grilled sausage to create the Currywurst, and it is widely consumed throughout the city today.

Image - Video

If you ever find yourself in Berlin, be sure to check out the Currywurst museum!

Image - Video

Last stop on our trip takes us to Colombia and Venezuela in South America.

Image - Video

Here, we'll discover arepas dating back to pre-Colombian times.

Arepas are based on corn flour, with the fillings and methods of preparation varying by region.

Watch the following video.

Image - Video

  • Are you hungry yet?

Just a few activities to work through before lunch break. Move on to the Got It! section to review your street-food smarts!

Image - Button Next