The Best Fried Foods Around the World

Gulab Jamun

Stanislav Sablin/istockphoto

Few cooking techniques can transform ingredients as magically as frying. Fried food is half the reason most of us go to state fairs (let’s be honest — no one goes for livestock contests) and people have waited in line for hours in the U.S. (and even gotten into fistfights) for sublime fried chicken sandwiches. From falafel to karintō, here are 18 of the best fried dishes from around the world.

Related: 24 Weird, Surprising, an Over-the-Top Foods on a Stick

Churros

Bartosz Luczak/istockphoto

The exact origins of the churro are debated, but many consider this centuries-old fried dessert to be a Spanish invention. Both creamy and crunchy, churros are tubes of dough (flour, water, salt) that are deep fried and topped with sugar. In Spain, churros are almost always made by pushing dough through a spiral-shaped funnel before frying, putting a unique spin on the churro’s French-fry-esque shape.

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Flavors from around the world have put Spring Mountain Road on the culinary map

Walking through Shanghai Plaza, on Spring Mountain Road near Arville Street, it’s easy to lose track of the dining options. A Korean corn dog restaurant sits just a few doors down from a dessert store offering ube, matcha and black sesame soft-serve in fish-shaped waffle cones. A bit farther, you’ll pass a tea house, a Malaysian restaurant, two noodle shops, a Vietnamese eatery and a pair of Chinese restaurants among the storefronts of this two-story retail complex, which has become a popular day trip for guests of nearby Strip casinos.

“Tomorrow morning, by 10 or 11 o’clock in the morning, there will be about 12 limousines dropping off tourists,” says Joe Muscaglione, a partner in one of those Chinese eateries, Shanghai Taste, and one of the creators of the chinatownvegas.com website.

The stretch of Spring Mountain Road just west of the Strip has arguably become one of Las Vegas’ top

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A new SF bar that travels around the world, and other Bay Area restaurant openings

Missing the days when you could jet across the world to explore another country without worrying about a pandemic? Traveler is an ambitious new bar that opened on the ground floor of 25 Lusk on Tuesday, bringing that globe-trotting experience to San Francisco. Every six months, the bar’s decor and menu will rotate to spotlight a different part of the world. 

First stop? Mexico.

“Mexico was a no-brainer for me because it’s so close,” said Elmer Mejicanos, the bar director behind North Beach’s Red Window who dreamed up the Traveler concept in collaboration with 25 Lusk chef Matthew Dolan and bar manager Natalie Lichtman. “We have everything so available, and because it’s the first time we do this concept, I wanted something close to us.”

But this doesn’t mean Traveler is morphing into a margarita bar for the next six months. 

Traveler's "A Clear Classic" cocktail, made with tequila, mezcal, clear grapefruit and lime, bubbles and salt. 

Traveler’s “A Clear Classic” cocktail, made with tequila, mezcal,

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Where to get street food in Central Jersey from around the world

There was a time when street food meant burgers and hot dogs at the county fair. But across the world, it’s a way for people to showcase their skills, recipes and heritage.

Thank social media or an increased interest in worldwide cuisine, but street eats have finally made their way to America. Restaurants from high-end, white-tablecloth hotspots to grab-and-go food trucks have adopted their own versions of international street foods, so you can get everything from Thai chicken sate to Mexican birria tacos without getting on a plane. 

In a region as diverse as Central Jersey, you can bet that we pretty much cover the world when it comes to street food. Here are just a few local restaurants offering their own takes on international street favorites. 

Chinese food: Bao buns, Ani Ramen, New Brunswick and Cranford

Soy glazed chicken bao buns from Ani Ramen New Brunswick.

Bao buns may originate from China, but the soft, pillowy buns filled with

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