Street food is hugely popular, not just in the U.S., but across the globe! But, the nice thing about living in the States is that you can experience a lot of street food from different cultures. There are currently about 4,000 food trucks all across America, and many of them serve up regional and global specialties.
Richmond, VA has a unique compilation of such diverse backgrounds and ethnicities, that you can find food trucks and street vendors offering almost any type of food you could imagine. Walking downtown during lunch hour is a smorgasbord of smells and aromas that will have your mouth watering in seconds!
If you’re a vegetarian or prefer plant-based dishes as an eco-friendly decision, there are some traditional street foods you just can’t miss. You can even replicate them at home!
Let’s take a look at some popular street food options that are strictly vegetarian, so you can feel good about eating them, and encouraged to try new things next time your favorite food truck comes to town.
There are several countries who try to claim the falafel as their own, but one thing we can all agree on is that it originates from the middle east. Traditional falafel is made with fava beans or chickpeas, onions, herbs and spices. The mixture is usually shaped into patties or balls, and most street vendors serve them in pitas or another type of wrap or pocket with yogurt sauce and vegetables.
Falafel is a great source of plant-based protein, and thanks to the fried texture, you definitely won’t be missing any meat. A falafel and this hummus recipe go great together, so if you want to make falafel at home or take your street food back to your house with you, you can build a whole meal around it!
If you’re hungry, but it’s not the time for a full meal, look for Dosa. It’s an Indian-based breakfast food or snack that could be compared to a crepe, but there are a few major differences.
First of all, the dough is made from rice and lentils. It’s cooked on a flat grill and it can be filled with a variety of things. The most common filling in Indian culture is potatoes. But, the real “magic” of the Dosa is that it typically comes with several types of chutneys on the side, so you can choose your favorites and every bite can be a different experience.
If you’re craving Italian food, you have plenty of vegetarian options (pizza, anyone?). But, if you really want to get unique with your selection, seek out authentic Rustico. It’s an Italian pastry that’s filled with rich bechamel sauce, mozzarella cheese, and tomato. It’s almost like your own little personal pizza pocket! These can be harder to find, but if you’re able to get to a traditional Italian vendor in the States, you might have some luck.
As you can see, there are delicious vegetarian street food options all over the world. But, thanks to the increasing popularity in this melting pot of a country, you can find many of these foods close to home. It’s a smart decision for your health and for the planet to eat more plant-based dishes, and you don’t have to give up your global palette to do so.