Best Food in the World: 30+ Epic Dishes to Try When Travelling
What’s one of the many epic things about travel? Trying amazing dishes around the world! Here’s some of the best food in the world that you have to try when travelling!
If you know anything about me, then you know I’m a huge foodie. And, if you are anything like me, then you probably know how food is a huge part of travelling. To me, there’s nothing better than trying epic local dishes and cuisines when travelling around the world.
Whether it’s sitting down in a nice restaurant for a meal of the local cuisine, stopping by markets for local street eats, or hunting for the best dessert in a new city, it’s always fun, and always a great way to experience the local life.
Trying local foods and dishes not only lets you experience the local favorites, but also immerse yourself into the culture and your travels even more. Which is why I’m always on the hunt to try amazing dishes and local eats when I travel. It’s a must in my humble opinion!
During my travels around the world (so far) I’ve tried so many different things. Some I’ve loved, some not so much. But hey, that’s half the fun! Some personal favourites include Dal Baht in Nepal, Paella in Spain, Cambodian Curry in Cambodia and Currywurst in Germany. I’m also proud to say we can have some pretty cool foods to try in my home country of Australia.
You can’t ever say no to a Meat Pie or a slice of Pavlova! But, seeing as I haven’t travelled everywhere yet, I decided to ask some of my fellow travel bloggers about some of the best foods they have tried in the world during their travels. And trust me, the results do not disappoint! I’ve now made it my goal to travel to every one of these places that I haven’t been yet to try these foods.
So, prepare to get inspired and get hungry. Here’s the ultimate list of the best food in the world that you have to try when travelling! Let’s get into it!
What are the best European foods?
I first tried Paella in Madrid, Spain (duh!), and quite literally fell in love. Now a day, you can catch me cooking paella nearly every week at home, but it’s nowhere near as good as in Spain. Originally it originated in Valencia, and is now probably the best-known Spanish dish. The rice dish comes in lots of variations, commonly you’ll find seafood or vegetable, and also meat ones.
The name actually refers to the pan that the dish is cooked in, and often when ordering the dish in Spain, the paella will be served still in the pan. The flavours of a traditional Spanish Paella are to die for, and it’s just one of those iconic dishes that you have to try (and once you do, you’ll turn out like me, addicted!).
Ålandspannkaka, Åland Islands, Finland
Ålandspannkaka (Pancake of Åland) is a custard-like dessert from Åland Islands, a group of islands off the Finnish coast. It’s a staple in any Ålanders household and is popular with tourists who flock to the islands for a quiet escape. Ålands Pancake is pretty easy to make, but anyone will tell you no one makes Ålands Pancake as good as an Ålanders Grandma. I can vouch for that!
It’s made by heating semolina or long grain rice until it becomes a porridge-like consistency, then eggs, cardamon, flour, and sugar are added before it’s put in the oven for an hour. Once it’s baked, it’s served with a generous portion of whipped cream and stewed prunes or any fruit jam.
It’s one of my favorite desserts, and whenever I go to Åland I eat at least one a day. If you are lucky, you may be invited into local’s home for some, but if that doesn’t happen, Bagerstugan is the next best place to get it.
The humble pierogi, a soft dumpling traditionally filled with potato and cheese or meat, is the national dish of Poland. Like most eastern European dishes, pierogi are deliciously comforting and satisfying, and you’ll find yourself wanting to consume them at every meal whilst visiting Poland. Pierogi are served in almost every Polish restaurant – whether that’s a fine dining venue putting a modern twist on them, or a traditional milk bar serving them in a canteen setting for just pennies.
The most common pierogi that you’ll find in Poland are pierogi ruskie, named after the Ruthenians who resided around the northern Carpathian Mountains in western Ukraine, eastern Slovakia, and southern Poland. These are filled with potato and cheese, boiled, and served with onions on top – if you’re lucky you might get some crispy pork fat and sour cream on there too!
However, you’ll find a huge range of pierogi fillings. Goose or duck meat filled pierogi are delectably rich, if you’re near the coast you might get a seafood filling such as shrimp, and sometimes you’ll find pierogi on a dessert menu filled with chocolate and served with sweet cream!
Finding the best pierogi when visiting Poland is always a fun challenge, and you’re unlikely to find any that aren’t tasty in their own way. In Gdańsk head to Nova Pierogova, in Warsaw you must try Zapiecek, and you’ll find the best pierogi in Wroclaw at Pierogarnia Stary Młyn or Konspira.
Churros con chocolate, Spain
Are you a sweet breakfast lover? Then you’ll want to dive head first into the sugary breakfast world of Spain, where churros con chocolate or churros with chocolate (in English) reign supreme in the local breakfast cuisine.
This dish consists of fluffy crispy pastries that are lightly fried and served with a warm cup of thick creamy chocolate to dunk those luscious churros in. Churros con chocolate can be found all around Spain at any cafe or Cafetería (in Spanish). However, one of my favorite ways to enjoy this sweet satisfying meal is eating at a Churrería (a churro shop) or Chocolatería (a chocolate shop) both who specialize in bringing this authentic dish to life.
If you plan to visit Barcelona, La Xocolateria is an excellent place to grab some churros, as you may choose your type of chocolate. It ranges from rich white chocolate to intense dark chocolate made without milk, an exceptional choice for vegan and dairy-free travelers. Dunk them, dip them, or sip on the chocolate separately, for the ultimate churro eating adventure in Spain.
Currywurst is a popular form of fast food in Germany, and a must try when in the country! The dish typically consists of fried pork sausage (known as Bratwurst in Germany), which is normally cut in to small pieces and topped with a curry sauce, curry powder and ketchup. Commonly, it is served with hot chips or French Fries.
It dates back to 1949, where a variation of the dish started being sold street side in the Charlottenburg region of Berlin to locals in the area who were rebuilding the city. It quickly became immensely popular, and spread through out Germany to become a favourite among most.
Today, you’ll find currywurst just about anywhere in Germany, but some of the best is still served in Berlin. Being sold as a takeaway food generally, you’ll find it at street vendors, markets and some diners and cafes. Currywurst goes well with a beer tour in Munich as well!
Pastel de Nata, Portugal
When I think of Portuguese food, the word that comes to mind is “comfort”; it’s that kind of food that it’s easy to make, delicious to eat, with simple ingredients, may not look fancy but it fills your soul! Or at least, it fills mine. Whether it’s main dishes, desserts, or snacks, there is a large variety for every person’s taste, and the cool thing about it is that depending on which part of the country you come from/visit, dishes vary.
But, there is one thing that ties it all together. And that is a Pastel de Nata! You can’t go visit Portugal and not have one, or two… or as many as you like! Haha, I try to have one day, every time I visit Portugal.
What is a Pastel de Nata? A Pastel de Nata is an egg tart pastry dusted with cinnamon. Also well known is the Pastel de Belem, but those are slightly different. My favorites are the traditional Patel de Nata. But how do the Portuguese do it? Most of us will usually have a Pastel de Nata together with expresso in the morning.
Where to find? You can find Pastel de Nata in every single coffee shop in Portugal, but my favorites are from “A Manteigaria”. So, remember: whenever you visit Portugal, grab a Pastel de Nata with an espresso and you are a step closer to be “a local”.
Truffle Pasta, Istria, Croatia
Truffle pasta is not the first thing to come to mind when you think about Croatian food unless you are exploring the Istrian peninsula, Croatia’s hidden gem. On our last vacation, we spent a few days in Istria during which we devoured so many dishes of truffle pasta, and we just couldn’t have enough of the addictive taste.
For a long time, the Istrian peninsula used to be a part of Italy, that’s the reason why pasta is so common all around Istria. Another little known fact is that Istria is one of the best places in the world to go truffle hunting or just to devour endless truffle dishes at reasonable prices. You can find different kinds of truffles all around Istria throughout the year, and the local restaurants make delicious seasonal dishes with black and white truffles.
There’s something so charming about Istria. On the one hand, there’s a communal feeling and small family taverns, each with their own unique pasta, risotto and polenta recipes. On the other hand, you’ll also find gourmet and Michelin-star restaurants all around the Istrian peninsula.
We’ve had so many yummy truffle pasta and other truffle dishes during our trip, but that’s not the only foodie experience we’ve had. Istria is also known for its high-quality wines and olive oil. So if you’re foodies at heart or you’re looking for a beautiful holiday location that is still a hidden gem, we suggest giving Istria a chance!
Chicken Gyros, Greece
The world is full of amazing dishes and local specialities and Europe is not an exception. Especially southern Europe is home to amazing food. One of them is the traditional Greek chicken gyros wrap.
Gyros is probably one of the most popular fast foods in Greece. It is a really delicious dish, very affordable for its volume and very easy to find. Honestly – you can get it everywhere in the country but the best one we had was on Zakynthos island in a restaurant called Gyropolis Taverna. Gyros consists mainly of meat – usually chicken. It is served wrapped in grilled pita along with fries, onions, lettuce and the most famous of the sauces – tzatziki. It really is delicious!
Thanks to Greek emigrants, the Greek gyros has spread throughout Europe, the United States and Australia. Today, gyros is considered an international dish, but no doubt strongly associated with Greece. If you ever visit Greece on holiday you have to try this traditional dish – no excuses!
Bitterballen, The Netherlands
Traditional Dutch food may not be as well known as other European cuisines, but there are a few things you should definitely try! When in the Netherlands, one traditional snack you have to try is the “bitterbal”. This savoury favourite is a small deep-fried ball filled with (usually) beef.
You can often order a portion of bitterballen when sitting outside a cafe and enjoying an alcoholic drink. There are many types of smaller fried snacks in the Netherlands, and they are slightly similar to tapas. From little balls of fried cheese to balls of fried rice – there is a huge variety. I’d recommend ordering a “bittergarnituur”, which is a selection of many types of these fried snacks.
Bitterballen do come in different flavours (depending on where you get them), but always taste fantastic when dipping in mustard. Apart from finding them at cafes, you can usually order them at a Dutch Chip Shop too. Find yourself a cafe, order a beer and a portion of bitterballen – a perfect way to enjoy your stay in the Netherlands!
Slovenia has 24 nationally recognized gastronomic regions. With so much variety in a small country, you are bound to find something to love. For me, that was štruklji. A traditional Slovenian dish that can be found throughout the country with variations, and it is one of the most classic Slovene dishes you can find on a menu.
Štruklji is made of dough that has been rolled out thin, filled with sweet or savory items such skuta (a type of cheese), tarragon, meat, walnuts, chocolate, or a sweet jam. It is then either boiled or baked as a large roll and then cut into slices. Sometimes štruklji is served with a breadcrumb and butter topping to give it a bit of texture.
Štruklji can be a side, often served with meat, or on its own, usually as a dessert. Traditionally it was perfect for Friday meals without meat and today it is a popular choice for vegetarians who visit Slovenia.
In Ljubljana, you can visit Moji Štruklji (Adamič-Lundrovo nabrežje 1) where they sell every combination of štruklji you can imagine. They offer traditional, savory, and sweet varieties on their menu, along with other iconic traditional Slovene foods.
Penne all’ Arrabbiata, Italy
One of the easiest and most delightful Italian pasta dishes must be penne all’ arrabbiata. Every Italian restaurant serves this mouthwatering spicy delight. Whether you venture off the beaten path in Italy to small secluded villages in the mountains or if you travel the well-trodden tourist route through Venice, Cinque Terre, Tuscany, and Rome.
You will find pasta all’ arrabbiata. Chances are you get served this delightful spicy pasta if you get invited to someone’s home, though it’s quite normal that they make the sauce without the chili so that everyone can add the amount of chili they please.
Typical for Italian food is that it’s made with only a few ingredients perfectly matched together. Who would think tomato sauce, garlic, and chili could be made to perfection all by itself? It’s also really easy to make pasta all’ arrabbiata at home with the mentioned ingredients, a bit of extra virgin olive oil, salt, and mixed with a handful freshly cut basil to really get the aroma of Italian pasta.
When you think of Switzerland, what do you envision?
I think of the Matterhorn, Swiss banks, and decadently cheesy dishes. The most famous of these dishes is fondue.
When enjoying fondue, a large pot of melted cheese will be set in the center of the table. This simmering Gruyere-blend is served with tasty bites – typically bread, but occasionally other accompaniments like vegetables – which are dunked in the cheese and enjoyed. Tradition dictates that you return your fork to the plate before eating it, but most end up skipping that step. After all, who can resist deliciously cheesy bread? This rich dish is best enjoyed during the colder months but it can be found year-round in Switzerland.
Fondue is available throughout Switzerland but one of the most famous fondue restaurants is located in Zurich. Swiss Chuchi is located in Hotel Adler right in the heart of Zurich. When I visited, I ordered the morel mushroom fondue and it was delicious.
Morel mushrooms are some of the most famous (and rare!) mushrooms in the world, very similar to truffles. These mushrooms add depth and complexity to the fondue that I just couldn’t get enough of. If you like mushrooms, you’ll love this dish.
Besides being a delicious dining experience, one thing I loved about Swiss Chuchi is that it isn’t a tourist trap. The restaurant was packed and it seemed to be mostly locals. If you ever visit Switzerland, find a cute mountain lodge, bring your friends, and cozy up for an evening of traditional Swiss fondue!
What are the best Asian foods?
Dal Bhat, Nepal
Dal Bhat is a traditional meal in Nepal, but also in some parts of India. In Nepal, it’s a local favourite, and the saying goes ‘Dal Bhat power 24 hour’. If you have ever trekked in Nepal, you’ll know what I’m talking about.
It differs depending on the set and where you buy it, but 2 things are always essential parts of the dish – rice and dal (lentil soup). The dish is often accompanied by a type of meat, greens, vegetable curry and pappadams severed on a large tray, with each individual part of the dish in separate bowls.
Traditionally, it is eaten with your hands, and one of the best parts about it, is that by ordering Dal Bhat as a meal, with It comes unlimited refills, so you can eat until you are well and truly full. It is a must try in Nepal, that you will always go back too!
Bún chả, Hanoi, Vietnam
Food in Vietnam is unique, distinct, incredibly affordable, and Vietnamese dishes are full of history and influence. It’s a cuisine known for being one of the healthiest in the world, where meals regularly utilize the freshest herbs, fruits, vegetables, and little use of oil.
Seafood, fish sauce, lemongrass, ginger, and basil can be found in many dishes with street food and rich flavorful broths reigning supreme. Eating in Vietnam is an experience with many diverse choices and flavors to choose from. So, move over Pho, today we’re talking about Bún chả.
Bún chả is the specialty of Hanoi and a staple of the Northern Province. Grilled pork, rice vermicelli noodles, pickled vegetables, and all the herbs you could ever want in a broth consisting of diluted fish sauce with sugar, lemon juice, vinegar & crushed garlic. It’s a simple dish, that packs a punch and uniquely belongs to Hanoi.
Although you may see restaurants all over the country with Bún chả on their menu, the flavor in the North is distinct and differs when you travel South. Bún Chả 34 (Bún Chả Tuyết) is the spot to sample the Capital City’s gift to the country, as no journey through Vietnam is complete without dodging traffic and sampling Bún chả in Hanoi.
Ah, Israel, the Holy Land. Throughout it’s centuries of existence, uncertainties surrounding land ownership, immigration, and political tension have loomed. However, one important cultural aspect has remained as steady as Jerusalem Stone itself: Israeli cuisine.
With a strong incorporation of other Middle Eastern dishes with a Mediterranean twist, Israel serves up popular dishes such as falafel, hummus, couscous, and the “national dish” (my personal favorite), Shakshuka. While the exact origin of Shakshuka is debatable, Israelites have perfected the art of this vegetarian breakfast delicacy over the centuries.
First, a delicious combination of tomatoes, onions, red peppers, garlic, paprika, and cilantro is simmered with love. Then, four sunny-side-up eggs are cracked into little nests made within the tomato blend and poached to the perfect consistency. Typically served with warm pita bread or crusty bread, others eat it over hummus or with grains.
The “shakshuka capitol” of Israel is unofficially Tel Aviv, and there’s no shortage of great shakshuka spots. To get the most authentic shakshuka experience, book an “Israeli Cooking Workshop” with Abraham Hostels. In a private kitchen session, guests are led by a trained local chef who uses only the freshest local ingredients. Afterwards, reap the rewards of time in the kitchen with a family-style feast. What could be better?
Cambodian BBQ, Cambodia
I’ve had a lot of amazing meals while traveling around the world but to this day, the one meal that sticks out to me and my husband as one of the very best we’ve ever had was dinner in Siem Reap, Cambodia sitting on the terrace of a restaurant on Pub Street, in plastic chairs as the humidity hovered around us.
We ordered Cambodian BBQ, not really sure what we were going to get and a coconut milkshake. To this day, we dream of this meal and would gladly travel back to Cambodia just to enjoy it again!
Our dinner of Cambodian BBQ was an experience and was cooked at our table on a metal grill. A cube of fat was added to the top of the grill, which melts to add flavor in the broth around the sides of the grill.
Vegetables, noodles and eventually sliced chicken is added to the grill and marinate in the broth on the edges of the grill as the meat cooks. We found most traditional Cambodian restaurants in Siem Reap served a version of Cambodian BBQ and alongside a sweet coconut milkshake, it’s one of those meals you’ll never forget!
Cao lầu, Hoi Ann, Vietnam
Hoi An is considered by many as the culinary capital of Vietnam. One of the many reasons it has earned this prestigious title is for its amazing noodle dish Cao lầu. Hoi ann was once a bustling trading port, due to this traders from all across the world would venture to this small town for business. Years later, this has resulted in the excellent melting pot of culinary influences and flavours many have come to love in Hoi An.
Unlike many other Vietnamese noodle dishes such as Pho which use rice noodles, Cao lầu is made using thick chewy noodles, similar to Udon. This is likely an influence of the Japanese traders who visited in the 17th century.
The noodles are served with a small amount of broth and topped with sliced pork and deep-fried croutons along with cilantro, basil, greens and bean sprouts. All of these ingredients make for a delicious homely meal that will leave you feeling satisfied!
This famous dish may now be served in other areas across Vietnam. However, the reason you can only get authentic Cao lầu in Hoi An is because the noodles are soaked in well water and lye from the Cham wells surrounding Hoi An. Many suggest that the best place to get Cao lầu is to order from the street vendors surrounding the many markets in Hoi An.
Mango Sticky Rice, Thailand
Mango Sticky Rice (Khao niao mamuang) is a delicious sweet street food originating from Thailand. It belongs to one of the most beloved Thai desserts loved by locals and tourists alike. The simple treat consists of freshly cut slices of mango and a mixture of glutinous rice with coconut milk. A bit of sugar and a dash of salt is added too. Other than that, it’s just topped off with a few crispy mung beans and voila – your dessert is ready.
Mango Sticky Rice is so popular that you can find it all over Thailand, whether you travel just to Bangkok or even some of the islands in the South, such as Koh Phangan. You can expect to pay anything from about 40 baht to 150 baht, with higher pricing at fancy restaurants. Even those have their own take on the famous Mango Sticky Rice.
It’s a treat that can be had year-round, but since mango harvest season is in April & May, that’s when you get the freshest ingredients in your dessert.
One of the tastiest dishes I had during my travels is Karahi, one of the most authentic meals in Lahore, Pakistan. The word “karahi” refers to the deep, circular pan (similar to a wok but with steeper sides) used to make this dish. It’s often used in Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, and other nearby countries.
The most common kinds of Karahi dishes you’ll find are chicken or mutton karahi. The meat is typically stir-fried and simmered in the karahi pan with tomatoes and then served with rich spices such as cilantro, ginger, and pepper. What I love most about Karahi is that the tomatoes and spices really give the meat a unique taste, making it super flavorful and appetizing!
If you’re in Lahore, the best place to try this dish is Butt Karahi in Lakshmi Chowk — it’s recommended by the locals and the experience is very authentic.
Khao Soi, Chiang Mai, Thailand
One of my favourite dishes from around the world is Khao Soi which I tasted in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Khao Soi is from northern Thailand. It’s a curry dish served with egg noodles in a spicy coconut milk broth.
There are usually crunchy noodles on top and chicken or another protein in the soup. It can also be made with rice noodles and without coconut milk, depending on the region. Something about the Khao Soi curry broth is so intoxicating and delicious. My partner, Colin, and I inhaled bowl after bowl during our two days in Chiang Mai – we sometimes ate it for all three meals of the day!
One of our favourite bowls was from “It’s Good Kitchen” in the Old Town of Chiang Mai. I’m still dreaming about this dish today but, sadly, it’s not as easy to find at the Thai restaurants near me. I might have to try my hand at recreating it in my own kitchen!
Visitors to Central Asia won’t have to look too far to bag themselves a plate of the dish known as Plov. However, nowhere does it quite like Uzbekistan, where it holds legendary status. There is no definitive recipe, but there are a couple of golden rules for true Uzbek Plov.
Firstly, the staple ingredients will almost never deviate from a simple mix of rice, carrots, onion and meat – typically lamb, mutton or beef. These are packed into an oily kazan(cauldron) before being served as a classic lunchtime dish. Uzbek plov can typically be enjoyed with extra egg or horse meat – if you’re particularly brave, the leftover oil is frequently drunk!
The second rule for Plov is how it’s served. This dish is fervently celebrated in Uzbekistan – a source of national pride and enjoyment, with a belief that eating plov should be a communal experience. One it’s removed from the Kazan, it’ll be placed on a shared dish for the whole group to demolish – true social dining.
The best place to understand Plov’s potential to feed the masses is at the Central Asian Plov Center in Tashkent. Here, the Kazans need to be seen to be believed – half a dozen gigantic baths of Plov simmering away, each containing hundreds of portions. It’s well worth arriving ahead of time to watch the chefs as they prepare the feast. This is true Uzbek plov – a ritual which stretches back centuries, and whose popularity shows no sign of slowing down.
Butter Chicken, India
Let’s be honest, we have all tried butter chicken, and if you are like me, you have it often, whether its from the local Indian take-away or a home cooked meal. But as good as this may be, nothing beats Butter Chicken that is actually made in India.
Butter Chicken or Murg Makhani is chicken in a mild tomato-based sauce, commonly served with rice or naan bread. The dish was actually developed by accident in 1947 in Dehli, whereby chance leftover chicken was mixed in a tomato gravy sauce.
From that moment, butter chicken was born and gained popularity throughout India and neighbouring countries. To this day, it is one of the most popular Indian dishes worldwide. Indian Cuisine is so varied and unique, so to get the most of it, why not go on a local food tour?
Japan is home to so many great dishes, but one of the top things to try in Japan is ramen! This delicious noodle soup is perfect after a long day of exploring.
One of the best things about ramen in Japan is that there is a huge variety of types of ramen. You can get ramen from two different restaurants and have a totally different experience at each one! Additionally, different cities and regions of Japan have their own take on ramen.
Some of the most popular varieties of ramen include tonkotsu (broth made with pork bone), shoyu (broth with soy sauce), and miso (broth with miso mixed with either chicken or fish broth).
In addition to the noodles and broth, ramen may include a variety of toppings including sliced pork belly, nori (seaweed), scallions, bamboo shoots, bean sprouts, boiled eggs, and narutomaki, a white and pink swirled fish cake. One of the best places to try ramen in Japan is Ichiran, a chain ramen shop that’s located all over the country.
Here, you’ll order your ramen at a vending machine and be given a sheet to customize your ramen – you can customize everything from the noodle tenderness to the spice level to the toppings. Another cool place to try a variety of ramen is Tokyo Ramen Street, an area in Tokyo Station with 8 different ramen restaurants. This is definitely a must for your Tokyo bucket list!
What to eat in Oceania?
One of the most iconic Australian desserts out there, Pavlova’s are one of those must have desserts in Australia, especially at Christmas. The dish is named after Anna Pavlova, a Russian Ballerina who toured Australia in 1926, after which the dish was invented and named after her.
The base of a pavlova is meringue, where the crust is crisp but the middle soft and gooey. Traditionally topped with cream and fruits, you’ll find lots of variations of the dessert, often including chocolate. It’s a delicious dessert with the right amount of everything, and a dessert you simply have to try in Australia.
Most Popular African Foods
Moroccan Beef Tagine, Morocco
Name of the Plate: Moroccan Beef Tagine on Lemon Couscous
What is it: Delicious slow-braised preserved lemon-infused beef over spiced with fresh seasonal vegetables and wheat couscous.
What’s special about a tagine? A Tagine is a cooking pot and serving platter, usually made of ceramic or unglazed clay, with a wide and shallow bottom base and a heavy conical lid. The shape of the tagine enables slow cooking, allows steam to circulate during cooking while keeping the food moist.
The conical lid traps the moisture on top, then circulates it back on the food keeping the stew moist and the flavours fresh. Tagine includes cooking lamb, chicken or fish along with carrots, potatoes, chickpeas, olives, tomatoes, cucumber, bell peppers, onions and garlic, and a variety of regional herbs and spices. Not only a cooking pot but a dish, tagine comes from North Africa – Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya – with the Moroccan tagine being the most popular.
Best place to eat it: Nomad Restaurant, Marrakech Address: 1 Derb Aarjane, Medina، 40000
TIP: A great way to experience Morocco is to eat chicken or beef tagine in a local’s house and learn how to prepare it from scratch!
In anticipation of my February trip to Tunisia, I looked up some dishes to get excited about. There were a lot of mouth-watering Tunisian dishes listed, but one caught my attention: ojja. It said, “scrambled egg dish made of tomatoes and mild green chilies supplemented with various meats and harissa.” I’m sold.
My partner and I went traveling in Tunisia for one week, so I set out to make this my first meal on arrival. In our neighborhood, we spotted a small eatery with plastic chairs and partially outdoor in the wind chill. A bright sign outside mentioned ojja along with kebab.
An enthusiastic young man ushered us inside and seated us, then asked in French what we wanted to eat. My pronunciation of ojja was accepted, and the guy asked if I wanted it with merguez sausage, which I did. Within ten minutes, our table was filled with endless French baguette, my partner’s food, and eventually the steaming hot bowl of ojja.
Ooh boy, it lived up to the description and beyond! The eggs were poached inside the tomato sauce instead of scrambled, with a beautifully runny yolk. It was really spicy, but that’s where the baguette comes to the rescue. This eating experience is one of my favorite food travel memories.
Ojja is now our go-to dish to cook on the road. It’s quite easy to prepare and substituting ingredients is no problem. These days, we always make it vegetarian.
What is the Most Popular Dish in South America?
If you’re a meat-lover searching for the ultimate dish, you shouldn’t look further than a traditional Asado. Growing up between Argentina and Uruguay, I know first-hand that this dish is traditional for get-togethers with friends and family.
Often served with a side of fries or salad and garnished with chimichurri, it consists of several different cuts and types of meats. Typically, you would find cuts of beef, lamb, pork and some sausages, chitterlings and blood sausage.
The meat is prepared hours in advance, and it’s rubbed with a mix of herbs and salt. Then, it’s slowly cooked in a charcoal grill until it’s tender and juicy. When removed from the grill and ready to serve, the meat is often put in a tray or in a charcoal ‘braserito’ like the one in the picture below. This helps keep the food warm as you sample all the different pieces at your own pace.
In Montevideo, one of the best places to try Asado is Mercado del Puerto. There, you can watch the Asado being cooked and can sample different cuts. In Buenos Aires, I was recommended Parrilla Don Julio several times. And if you find yourself in London, the best place to eat a good Asado is at La Patagonia in North London. Their ‘mixed grills’ are the perfect size to share between two people, and I promise you won’t leave hungry!
Rocoto Rellano, Arequipa, Peru
The Rocoto Relleno is the iconic stuffed pepper that can be found in the “white city” of Arequipa, Peru. This is just one of many typical dishes of the region. These fiery red peppers are the perfect flavor combinations of spicy, sweet, and salty. Each restaurant has their own “house” recipe, but the pepper is usually filled with meat, olives, raisins, peanuts, and an assortment of spices.
Find it almost always topped with the Peruvian “queso fresco,” or a fresh, soft white cheese. These delicious peppers are typically served up with a heaping portion of Pastel de Papa, a hearty potato and cheese bake, similar to au gratin potatoes.
The best place to indulge in this signature dish is at a Picantería. These authentic eateries are only open during lunch time and represent a delicious fusion of Inca and Spanish cultures.
The region is a foodie haven and boasts over 200 unique and flavorful typical dishes. In Arequipa, there are no shortages of Picanterías or distinct dishes to choose from. The rotating daily menu offer everything from guinea pig to “adobo,” a favorite hangover cure of the locals. Don’t miss these typical dishes from Arequipa and other interesting tidbits about Picanterías.
La Capitana-Picantería is an authentic and bustling Picantería away from the main city center of Arequipa. Share a table with locals and tourists alike who anxiously await a massive plate of traditional fare made with love. Wash down the spicy rocoto rellano with a big glass of Chicha de Guiñapo, a weakly fermented drink made from purple corn.
Gallo Pinto, Costa Rica
Gallo Pinto is the national dish of Costa Rica and anyone who has tried it can tell you, you will be hooked from the first bite. It may be a simple Costa Rican dish made up of largely rice and beans, but it is oh-so-delicious.
Both Nicaragua and Costa Rica lay claim to the discovery of Gallo Pinto. Costa Rica claims the dish was created in the early 1900s in a suburb of Costa Rica’s capital city. Whereas Nicaragua believes Gallo Pinto was created on its Caribbean shores. Either way, Gallo Pinto is a staple of each country’s respective diets.
Gallo Pinto is typically served as a breakfast dish with egg, toast, sausage, and locals’ favourite, Lizano sauce.Gallo Pinto is made from white rice, black beans, red bell peppers, onion and cilantro, all fried up together. You can find it in just about any small restaurant you come across in Costa Rica and when you do, we recommend giving it a try.
Must-Try North American Dishes
Tacos al Pastor, Mexico
Tacos al Pastor, or sometimes referred to as just Al Pastor, is a traditional Mexican taco filled with spit-grilled pork. The dish is based on flavours brought to Mexico from Lebanese immigrants, the dish combines flavours from Central Mexico and the Middle East, and the end result is delicious.
The pork is slow cooked in spices before being added to the soft tortilla. Commonly added extras to the tacos include onions, cilantro and pineapple, and a wedge of lemon or lime is often added.
Today, there are many variations of Tacos al Pastor not only in Mexico, but around the world, and they are all delicious! However, when in Mexico, trying the traditional version of Tacos al Pastor is a must! A great way to get a taste for all the best food in Mexico, including Tacos Al Pastor, is of course, a street food tour!
Poutine is an epic food that you have to try when visiting Canada. Originating in the 1950’s in Quebec, and the dish was mocked for many years. Later, the dish become celebrated as a part of Québécois cultural pride and began to gain popularity in other parts of Canada. Today, there are annual Poutine celebrations around the country, and the dish has cemented itself as one Canada’s most popular dishes.
Traditionally, the dish is French fries (hot chips) topped with cheese curds and gravy, and there are many variations available now a days. You’ll find Poutine on the menu as a main at many restaurants, but also in markets and street food vendors. Get a taste for poutine, as well as all the best Canadian foods on a city food tour!
Have I made you hungry? I know I’m hungry after editing this. I hope I’ve inspired you to try some of these epic dishes next time you travel. There’s a whole world of food out there just waiting to be eaten.
I’m sure I could have made this post a whole lot longer, as narrowing down the best food in the world is almost impossible – so stay tuned for more foodie posts in the future! A huge thanks to all of the amazing travel bloggers who contributed some of their favorite dishes to this post!
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Happy travelling (and eating!),