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Street Food: USA

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What it’s about:

A six-part docuseries that introduces viewers to exciting food destinations in the USA, highlighting a carefully curated selection of establishments and their signature dishes — as well as the people and cultures behind them. From poke bowls on Oahu to po’ boy sandwiches in New Orleans to the bold and rich carnitas tacos in Los Angeles and beyond, the series explores the family and cultural histories that have helped shaped street food legacies.

Names you might know:

Chef’s Table creators David Gelb and Brian McGinn, the team behind the hit Netflix docuseries, produce Street Food. Stars from the culinary world, like TV host Lanai Tabura, food writer Bill Esparza and celebrated chef JJ Johnson make appearances.

Why it’s worth your time:

Having previously visited destinations across Asia and Latin America, Street Food: USA is the third edition of this unlikely hit docuseries. This time, we’re transported to food-centric cities including Portland, Oregon, Miami, New York, Orleans, Oahu, and LA.

Netflix

Each episode follows a simple format: it introduces a few of the most sought-after street food businesses in each destination, covering diverse neighborhoods and cultural enclaves. Close-up shots of each establishment’s signature dishes are interwoven with clips of how they’re cooked and garnished, and takes from long-time customers who indulge in the dishes.

Stories about each vendor’s hardships and successes drive the arc of each episode, with intimate interviews that reveal tales of family tragedies, immigrating to America, early memories of illegally pedaling food carts on the streets, and repeated business failures. But each episode is also anchored by a message of hope, celebrating the ultimate successes of these families and their passion and dedication for creating dishes that honor their culture and identity.

The series showcases America’s diversity through its street food scene. In the Los Angeles episode alone, we visit the Guatemalan Night Market, Filipinotown and historic Boyle Heights, home to a large Mexican American community.

The takeaway:

Street eats are vital to the identity of destinations and embracing them is the way to get to know a city and its distinct communities. Street Food makes the case that cheap street eats are just as worthy as food found in restaurants, bringing a new appreciation to a city and its culinary landscape. Plus, each episode leaves you feeling very hungry.

Watch it with:

Travel addicts, food lovers, wanderlusters of all ages…and anyone who wants an escape from the comfort of their couch. With thoughtful editing, strategic storytelling and mouthwatering shots of food, anyone curious about America’s diverse street food scene will appreciate this series.

Worth noting:

The concept of this show was born from the traveling the producing team did for the Emmy-nominated series Chef’s Table.

You can find it on Netflix here.

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