CNN Travel's 50 Best Street Foods in Asia 2022

CNN Travel just published its list of 50 of the best street foods in Asia.

The list:

  1. Achcharu, Sri Lanka
  2. Asam laksa, Malaysia
  3. Banh mi, Vietnam
  4. Bubble tea, Taiwan
  5. Bun kebab, Pakistan
  6. Cheong fun, Hong Kong
  7. Chili crab, Singapore
  8. Crab omelette, Thailand
  9. Curry fish balls, Hong Kong
  10. Ema datshi, Bhutan **
  11. Egg waffles, Hong Kong
  12. Falooda, Pakistan
  13. Fuchka, Bangladesh
  14. Gado gado, Indonesia
  15. Getuk, Indonesia
  16. Halo-halo, Philippines
  17. Hoppers, Sri Lanka
  18. Iced coffee, Vietnam
  19. Jalebi, India
  20. Jianbing, China
  21. Jiaozi, China
  22. Kavaabu, Maldives **
  23. Kaya toast, Singapore/Malaysia
  24. Kerak telor, Indonesia
  25. Khao jee, Laos
  26. Khao soi, Thailand
  27. Khuushuur, Mongolia **
  28. Kimbap, South Korea
  29. Kuih cincin, Brunei
  30. Kwek kwek, Philippines **
  31. Laping, Tibet, China
  32. Lahpet thoke, Myanmar
  33. Lort cha, Cambodia
  34. Mohinga, Myanmar
  35. Momos, Nepal
  36. Nam khao, Laos
  37. Nasi lemak, Malaysia
  38. Pho, Vietnam
  39. Rojak, Malaysia/Indonesia/Singapore
  40. Roti prata, Southeast Asia
  41. Rou jia mo, China
  42. Sai krok Isan, Thailand
  43. Salt & pepper fried chicken, Taiwan
  44. Sofuto kurimu, Japan
  45. Stinky tofu, Taiwan
  46. Takoyaki, Japan
  47. Tteokbokki, South Korea
  48. Vada pav, India
  49. Xiao long bao, China
  50. Yakitori, Japan

There are four items on the list which I’ve not tried before (marked **), and they are now on my bucket list!


I’ve been fortunate to have had one of of your bucket list items, #10 ema datshi, in Bhutan. We absolutely loved this chili/cheese concoction. We were so surprised by the extensive use of cheese in Bhutanese cuisine and the amount of peppers that are consumed is astonishing. Roof after roof would be covered with chilies, out drying under the sun.


I heard that Bhutan is the only country in Asia where chilis are regarded as a vegetable, rather than as a condiment! :joy:

I’d have loved to try and cook ema datshi myself, but I don’t know what kind of cheese here would be a good substitute for the “yak cheese” the Bhutanese use.


Oh too bad, I’ve only tried 18 on this list! :smiling_face_with_tear:

Problem whenever I’m in Asia is always: I keep on eating fresh seafood. Simple stuff, done well, beautiful ingredients.


That’s always the best option, always! :+1:

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So, are there any notable omissions? And, what is being meant by ‘street foods’?

I wouldn’t call chilli crab a street food myself for example. Usually eaten in a restaurant. Cheong fun likewise.

While on the other hand, whenever I find myself in Thailand, I often buy bbq chicken, som tam and pad thai from some cart driving around on streets.

Satay I also miss on the list. Roast duck. Maybe these foods are too plain… :slight_smile:

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As always, very hard to nail down a hard-and-fast methodology for their cobbled together list.

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I’m surprised about nasi goreng not making it, but maybe it’s in the list of breakfast foods :slight_smile:
And I only had 11 out of the list

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Same here, now that you’d mentioned it.

A ubiquitous dish, not only in Indonesia, but also in Malaysia and Singapore. I guess it’s because every Southeast Asian country will have its own iteration of the dish: sinangag in the Philippines, khao pad in Thailand, etc. The list tried to highlight somewhat “unique” di shes.

I wish they had posted the methodology in obtaining that list!


So much stuff MISSING!

There’s probably a 50 best list that could be compiled for each country in Asia :joy:

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Hahaha - you think there was methodology? :rofl:

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Clay pot / chicken rice (even each in itself)
Hokkien mee (different versions even)

Singapore Foodie shared a post on Instagram: "Charcoal-Fired Claypot Chicken Rice in Singapore! 43 years of history 🔥

📍Lian He Ben Ji Claypot Rice (Chinatown Complex, 02-198/199)

#sgfood #sgeats #singaporefoodie". Follow their account to see 1827...

Singapore Foodie shared a post on Instagram: "One of the best Fried Hokkien Sotong Prawn Mee in S

I think they wanted a fair representation per Asian country…

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That’s an interesting point. Unique to whom though?

Also liberties with “street” food - I think there’s several things that actually aren’t.

Anyway, these lists are always good for a fun discussion!

According to the article chili crab used to be a street food in the 1950s… Learned something new today! :slight_smile:

The header on the CNN original is ‘50 of the best street foods in Asia,’ not "the 50 best.’ So, some subjectivity, maybe going-to-press deadline haste, involved, no doubt. I still find it very interesting.

I found 12 on the list I’ve had (all here in Houston) just scrolling through and added one more when I looked up the terms I am not familiar with. Looking through the picture gallery on CNN, I couldn’t add any more, but that list has only 40 entries.

Only one of the 13 I’ve had was actually from a street vendor: Vada Pav, the first time.

Anyway, very interesting list and discussion to me. I’m going to have to get a bigger bucket, though, for my Asian Street Food Bucket List :slightly_smiling_face:

Yes, it started from a couple who used to sell seafood from a pushcart by the beach on the East Coast area of Singapore.


Isn’t the only “street food” in Singapore the wonder bread durian ice cream sandwich?