Culinary Stops

6 Nocturnal Food Experiences Around the Globe

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6 Nocturnal Food Experiences Around the Globe

Every real traveller knows that when you arrive in a new place 'extreme' food experiences are an essential part of really getting to know a city. A dedicated foodie is ready to mobilise their stomach day or night to get their fix of unusual eating experiences regardless of where they are in the world.

And where better in most cities to experience the authentic, real deal than at dawn. When markets come into full swing, and nocturnal revellers thoughts turn to filling their empty stomachs on their way home.

Here are six unmissable nocturnal eating experiences around the world from Brazil to Tokyo where you're guaranteed authentic, fresh, rustic, inexpensive and filling fare. 

1.The 5am Fish Market in Hamburg, Germany

Photo: ©tribp/Flck

Try this eating experience as dawn breaks on a Sunday morning as you stumble home from the local bars in the St. Pauli and Altona districts. Opening at 5am in spring and 7am in winter - the fish market in Hamburg is not to be missed. Starting at the beginning of the harbour you can follow your nose to find the fresh fish sandwiches, herring, shrimp, salmon and fried fish, served by food trucks of all sizes and washed down with an obligatory cold beer. If you need to start - or finish- the day with something sweet never fear, there are also some small shacks with tempting cream laden pastries.

After swallowing your sandwiches you'll reach the covered market structure, where from four am (in spring) or six (winter am) you can often find several concerts.

2. The 'moist' hamburger for a hangover in Istanbul, Turkey


Sticking with the theme of sandwiches, we move on to the east side of Istanbul, Turkey  where at around 3 or 4 in the morning you can soak up the nights excesses with a 'moist' Islak Burger. Find them in Taksim Square in the middle of the night and early hours of the morning before dawn breaks. For the authentic experience get sticky fingers eating the moist burger with your hands smothered in sauces. To wash it down you can always try a yogurt drink.

3. L’AUTISTA (the driver) - The After Dinner Drink in Palermo, Italy

Photo: Screen / Roberta Abate

In Palermo you are guaranteed to eat well, and a lot. To aid your after dinner digestion and address your night's excesses head towards the kiosks in the ancient streets in the center of Palermo, where in the past the Sicilian nobles once refreshed themselves with citrus drinks. In an evening, post dinner, order 'l'autista' a special drink made from mandarin or lemon juice with sparkling soda or bicarbonate of soda that you drink in one go, guaranteed to awaken your from a drunken stupor or refresh you after eating too much. Prepare for some 'un ladly like noises' as the drink kicks in your digestion. Legend says the name comes from a taxi driver that invented the drink to recover from a big blowout. Unfortunately there are too many places to mention, but without doubt try the Old Kiosk Blessed and Paul.

4. The Sushi and Fish Market of Tsukiji for Breakfast in Tokyo, Japan 

A unique experience for all food lovers and those with a penchant for raw fish in particular. This appointment starts at five in the morning every day at the indoor maket that is home to more than hundreds of tons of fish. Unless you just want to eat sushi, but also witness the infamous auction of tuna, it's best to arrive at around two o'clock in the morning- perhaps after an evening spent at karaoke - so be sure not to miss it ( a maximum of 120 visitors are permitted who are divided in two groups of 60). At about 6am the market finishes.  

5. ACARAJÈ after Samba, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

From Japan we fly onwards to Brazil. After your evening spent dancing to the sound of Samba is the time to put sink your teeth into some good food. In Rio de Janeiro you have to try Acarajé com Camarões (sandwiches with fried green beans, shrimp and onions). You'll find very good ones at Bar Gomez, a local bar in Rio Rua Áurea 26 , Santa Teresa.

6. Mixed Boiled Meats for Breakfast at La Fiera Del Bue Grasso in CARRÙ, Italy

More than a gastronomic event, this is a true test of stamina: for the Bue Grasso Fair (Fat Ox) in Carrù you'll have to get up in the night and battle the Piedmontese cold. The fair opens at 6am, when the exbibition starts with a display of the finest cattle. And at 9am you eat, boiled meats, accompanied by seven sauces and a glass Piedmont wine. We leave you to decide whether you go home to sleep or enjoy the long day ahead on a full stomach.

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