Once the unsavoury dining choice of the broke backpacker or hippe local-wannabe, street food has come a long way in recent years. With several street food stalls around the world now being recognised with Michelin stars the concept of eating out of a paper carton on the side of the road has suddenly become somewhat cool, or at the very least a marker of an in-the-know traveller.

So whether you're brave enough to go to the extreme of eating insects in Asia, or just want to dabble with a crepe in Paris, tuck in (pardon the pun) to our list of the twelve best cities to travel to for your fix of street side grub...

food market in bangkok

Bangkok

Famed the world over for its weird and wonderful street food, Bangkok is top of the list for a reason. Many might argue that eating an insect off a stick is something of a rite of passage but the less brave will find a multitude of much tastier treats on offer too.

Join a local guide to discover the best hidden spots - including the Michelin starred 'Auntie Fai' - on an evening tour by TukTuk.

mexican food spread on a table

Mexico City

Tangy, tasty and full of colour, Mexican food is fast becoming a British favourite. That said, much like the Indian curry, us Brits have watered down the real Mexican flavours and left many of the best dishes off our menus. Head west to sample the real deal for yourself and you'll soon see what we mean.

Street food is an integral part of day to day life in Mexico and nowhere is the offering as varied and accessible as in Mexico City. Tostadas, tamales, carnitas and corn are all on offer, along with seasoned favourites like burritos and tacos. All of which can be enjoyed on a private foodie focused tour.

chicken being fried on a street

Singapore

With not one but two of Singapore's street food stalls now having Michelin stars to their name, this is one for the food connoisseurs.

Thankfully the delicious bowls of chicken and rice served up at 'Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice and Noodle' are much easier to swallow than the stall's tongue twisting name.

pintxos in san sebastian

San Sebastian

Okay so this one isn't exactly street food, but as the home of the teeny tiny tapas style pintxos, San Sebastian is foodie heaven and earns itself a well-deserved placement on this list. Think bite sized portions of Spanish meats, freshly caught fish and more exotic options such as braised pig ear.

Join one of our local guides to spend the night on something of a 'food crawl', travelling between hole-in-the-wall joints and more upper class restaurants to sample a different tasty dish at each.

spice market in marrakech

Marrakech

Bustling, bright and filled with the sweet smell of slow cooked tagine, Marrakech's medinas are an exotic street food delight.

Take a guided tour of the central medina surrounding Djemaa el-Fna square and sip on freshly squeezed orange juice as your guide introduces you to a multitude of spices and different snacks, before finishing up with a tagine from one of the guide's favourite secret spots.

vietnamese banh mi thit food

Ho Chi Minh

No street food guide would be complete without mentioning Vietnam, the home of steaming bowls of pho and jam packed banh mi. A descendant of Vietnam's colonial rule these tasty baguettes are filled with crunchy carrot, coriander, cucumber and a generous portion of pork.

Though you'll find street food stalls in most of Vietnam's towns and cities, Ho Chi Minh has our favourite scene and is best explored on a guided tour which takes you through Saigon's streets after dark, on the back of a Vespa.

jambalaya creole food

New Orleans

Famous for its soulful music scene, lively festivals and melting pot of cultural influences, it comes as no surprise that New Orleans also hosts some of the best street food in the US. With influences ranging from Creole to Cajun the food is punchy, hearty and full of flavour.

Head to the French Quarter's French Market and sample your way around the various stalls, sipping craft cocktails and listening to live jazz as you go. Dishes on offer include freshly caught oysters, traditional po'boy sandwiches, hearty jambalayas and even a local alligator speciality.

farmers market food display in cape town

Cape Town

Perhaps not as well known for its street food as some of the others on this list, Cape Town is actually a hot spot for locally produced, artisanal goodies and has a vibrant market scene to go with it.

Visit the bohemian 'Neighbourgoods Market' at The Old Biscuit Mill, for hand crafted trinkets alongside a tasty brunch. Or head to the eclectic 'Bay Harbour Market' on Hout Bay Harbour, where you'll find people of all ages feasting on spicy seafood and listening to the soulful sounds of a saxophonist.

peruvian ceviche

Lima

A rising star on the food scene, Peru has proved its worth with a recent flutter of fancy new restaurant openings - Mil we're looking at you. Its national dish, ceviche, is also fast becoming the UK chef's favourite new find, but there's still nothing quite like sampling it fresh on the streets of Lima.

Visit the hole-in-the-wall La Paisana and wait out the queue to sample the Ceviche de Mero, named after the meaty white mero fish which gives the dish its powerful flavour. Then head to Anticuchos de la Tia Grimanesa for course two, the signature beef-heart skewers.

market in mumbai

Mumbai

It's a well-known British fact that when dining with friends you just cannot go wrong with a curry. It's also true that our creamy kormas aren't a patch on the real Indian deal, whose strong spicy aromas and full bodied flavours are also a staple of any sociable Indian occasion.

Wander through one of Mumbai's many markets and find friends, relatives and strangers all brought together over a colourful pot of dhal. Avoid the infamous Delhi-belly by exploring with one of our local guides who will point out the best stalls.

melbourne cityscape at night

Melbourne

Though not usually a city that springs to mind for street food, Melbourne's eclectic culture means there is a huge variety of different cuisines on offer here. Couple that with an arty boho bar scene and you've got the makings of a great night.

Join Melbournite Monique Bayer on one of her 'Dumplings Discovery' or 'Rooftop Bars' walks and get a unique and fun insider's view on the city's culinary scene.

chocolate crepe making in paris

Paris

We've travelled the world over on this list and ended up almost at home with our friends across the channel in Paris. But there had to be a sweet treat on the list, and we couldn't think of anywhere better than the city of love, where Nutella lathered crepes are found on virtually every street corner.

Top tip: why only have one crepe when you could have two? Start with a gruyere and ham combo and pair it with a local cider, then move onto the classic Nutella with strawberries, obviously.