What $1 in Street Food Gets You Around the World


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Indias street food includes Pav Bhaji which sells for $1.30

Wherever people go, and wherever people are, street food has been ingrained into society. While it isn’t as popular or known as other common forms of food like cafes and restaurants, it is nice to be able to get a snack anywhere. Unfortunately for the U.S, the industry is not as common like in various other countries. While the occasional food trucks and vendors can be found in big U.S. cities, not only does it pay below average to work for but is also just not a good option when an inexpensive, fresh, and most likely better tasting snack can be right around the corner in a cafe. However, for other countries that are still developing and have a worse economy, such as India, street food is a craze due to its low prices. So without further ado, let’s take a trip around the world and see what one can get with only $1 dollar!


Needless to say, the United States isn’t generous with its serving sizes. While a single slice of pizza could get someone by, it’s almost nothing compared to many of the other foods on this list. In fact, it would be more worth it to just buy a whole pizza, as the average price of one is $7.50 in California split into eight slices.


What is a melon pan? Well, despite the name, this sweet treat doesn’t actually have any melon in it or even taste like a melon in the first place. Its name actually comes from the fact that its top looks like a melon, and is a sweet, tasty bun similar to the size of a donut. One can buy it for only about 200 yen ($1.75). In fact, they are so popular that there’s an option to get two squished together with ice cream!


A Mexican Guajolota, essentially a tamale sandwiched between two pieces of bread, is one of the cheapest things on this list. It can be bought for just about $0.60 (12 pesos). This is a very good deal, as only one of these sandwiches can act as a light breakfast, as well as taste quite good. For those who don’t know, a tamale is a type of corn-based bread wrapped around basically any sort of topping.


A well-known airplane food and tasty snack, stroopwafels are absolutely delicious. Just like its American counterpart, the regular waffle, it is a circular disk of bread normally served fairly sweet. However, stroopwafels differ in a lot of ways, mainly due to their much chewier texture, smaller size, and less fluffiness. This is not to say that the treat is bad, though, since it is normally filled with a caramel/brown sugar filling, and due to its bite-size can be eaten as a snack. It is absolutely delicious, especially with coffee, and only costs about $1.67 each (1.5 euros).


Even though India has a much higher rate of street food due to its developing economy, they give an amazing deal for such a small price. In fact, an entire lunch can be based on one order of this dish. It has multiple parts to it: on the side are the buttery buns and normally another customary vegetable, such as rice or onions. The main course is a mashup of tomato sauce and other meat, mainly chicken, as well as other spices and flavors. It is meant to be able to dip bread in, but can also be eaten by itself. While the exact ingredients differ from stand to stand, the flavor stays mainly the same. And the price for all this food? Only 100 rupees ($1.30)! Some places even go as low as 50 rupees or possibly even less.


The final entry on this list is surprisingly one with a lot of history. The dish was originally created by enslaved people in West Africa but was then imported over to Brazil during trade, where it now stays as ritual food. It can also be found across the streets of some of the biggest cities like Salvador! This fairly cheap bean dish, normally containing a “bread” made up of a combination of ground peas, onions, and various nuts and legumes also has some very strange combinations. If the fact that the fillings contain coconut milk isn’t strange, variations of the meal contain shrimp as well! However, due to it being about the size of the palm of an average hand, it is one of the more expensive items, being just under $2.00 (10 reais).

All these foods may sound enjoyable, but they should not be relied on fully. For a quick snack, they are great, but due to their mainly unhealthy ingredients, it is better to get most food from a local grocery store. That being said, the world of street food is incredibly interesting, super tasty, and should definitely be something that should be checked out while visiting a new country. 🙂