African towns and cities have some of the most lively and exciting street life in the world, and appropriately, some of the most delicious street foods. They might look a little different from what you’re used to back home (snails, anyone?) but you can’t take a trip to Africa without trying at least one of these dishes.
Here are 10 of our favorite African street foods.
This article originally appeared on AFKInsider.com.
A Cape Town favorite, Gatsbys are mostly found at halal stands or food outlets. It’s a giant baguette filled with hot fries (called “chips” in South Africa), curried meat, hot sauce, pickles or just about any sandwich filling you like.
Fried Mopani Worms
If you’re willing to eat the snail soup (below), you’re probably game to try this unique dish, found on the streets of Zimbabwe. Mopani worms are usually deep fried in coconut oil and served over rice or corn. Sometimes you just eat them with your hands, like potato chips.
The Boerie Roll
South Africa’s version of a bratwurst, this hearty treat is sold at kiosks and grills on carts in just about any busy urban area where hungry shoppers congregate. It’s a spicy sausage (ground up with nutmeg, coriander, cloves and other spices) on a bread roll and topped with tomato, onion, ketchup and mustard. It is often served with corn pap (similar to porridge) and tomato sauce.
This dish originates in South Africa’s Indian community, but is also a popular dish in Nigeria. It’s a very popular item at celebrations and festivals. It’s a flaky, triangular pastry filled with spiced meat or veggies. The inside of the pastry is partially gooey and very warm, and it’s the perfect meal on the run.
Doro Wat Stew
This is an Ethiopian chicken dish that packs an unbelievable amount of spices and flavors into one food: cardamom, black pepper, lime, cloves and ginger, to name a few. It’s usually eaten with a soft, moldable flatbread that you use to pick up the chicken pieces. You’ll need the bread, because this stew simmers for hours and the chicken falls right off the bone. The traditional recipe incorporates eggs, too.
Grilled Tilapia with Banku
Banku is a pasty, starchy side dish made from corn or cassava dough. It’s the perfect empty carb when you’re looking to indulge, but it also complements salty grilled tilapia. You can usually find this duo on the streets of Ghana for around $5 a plate.
This is essentially plantain pieces deep fried and spiced with ginger and pepper. It’s often eaten with peanuts or “groundnuts.” You can sprinkle black or white pepper on it if you like a little spice on your sweets.
Chinchinga are kebabs of spiced grilled sausages. Sometimes the sausages have been cut up into several pieces and interspersed with grilled onions. It’s common to see people in West Africa in major shopping areas walking around eating these savory sticks.
The French call them escargot and eat these slimy creatures grilled and buttered; the Moroccans eat them in soup. Street vendors sell fresh, hot bowls of broth and snails. Using a toothpick, you’re supposed to remove the meat from the shells, before slurping up the broth. The soup is reportedly flavored with around 15 spices, and great for digestion.
If you like salted nuts and popcorn, you’ll go crazy for this snack. You won’t be able to stop popping these treats in your mouth. Another Moroccan treat, the nuts are boiled and then roasted and buttered. Sometimes they’re mixed with raisins or dried fruit for a sort of trail mix.
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