With traffic jams of trendy food trucks piling up in American cities, it's easy to overlook the rich global history of street food. Dating back to the food hawkers of ancient Rome (with some centuries-old outdoor markets, like the Djemaa el Fna in Marrakech, still standing today), street food has long played an exciting role in cuisines throughout the world. Here, Food & Wine names World's Best Cities for Street Food.
Chicago's street food is only semi-legal, since cooking isn't allowed on carts and trucks, but that hasn't deterred operations like Gaztro-Wagon (naan-wich), The Meatyballs Mobile (meatballs) and The Southern Mac (mac and cheese) from launching trucks that assemble cooked ingredients. Although some 30 trucks have entered the race, operators still foster a positive competitive spirit withweekly meet-up events, like Food Truck Tuesdays at North and Halsted Avenues in Lincoln Park, and Food Truck Thursdays at Ethyl's Beer and Wine Dive in the West Loop.