Street food tips: useful for travellers on the road

Be a smart street food consumer
Image courtesy: ©Elena Aleksandrovna Ermakova/Getty Images

Navigate the world’s dazzling array of street food while keeping an eye on your health.

-Give yourself a few days to adjust to the local cuisine, especially if you’re not used to a commonly used ingredient or spice. You can always work up to the more unusual specialities over several days.

-You know the rule about following a crowd – if the locals are avoiding a particular vendor, you should too. Also take notice of the profile of the customers – any place popular with families will probably be your safest bet.

-If the vendor is cooking in oil, have a peek to check it’s clean. If the pots or surfaces are dirty, there are food scraps about or too many buzzing flies, don’t be shy to make a hasty retreat.

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-Don’t be put off when you order some deep-fried snack and the cook throws it back into the wok. It’s common practice to partly cook the snacks first and then finish them off once they’ve been ordered.

-Unless a place is reputable (and busy), it’s best to avoid eating meat from the street. As already noted, follow the crowds.

-The hygiene standard at juice stalls in many parts of the world is wildly variable, so exercise caution. Have the vendor press the juice in front of you and steer clear of anything stored in a jug.

-Don’t be tempted by glistening pre-sliced melon and other fruit, which may keep its luscious veneer with the regular dousing of (often dubious) water. Buying fruit whole and peeling it yourself with a knife you’ve cleaned yourself is a good way forward.

This excerpt has been taken from Lonely Planet’s Best Ever Travel Tips.