When you are in search of the most famous dishes in the world, either to try at home or to order in a restaurant, a comprehensive guide on popular foods for each occasion would be appreciated, right?
As you travel, you learn the magnificence of various cuisines around the world. Judging from experience, there is a number of dishes every person simply has to try at least once in their lives. As the starting point, taste these 25 amazing dishes from around the world.
Famous Snacks/Street Food
What can be more famous than the snacks and street food we all indulge in from time to time? With a hectic schedule of a “tourist on Duracell,” I love snacks!
Poutine (that is read poo-teen) is an original Qubek dish that was not commonly accepted in other areas until the 2000s. Initially, it was considered “greasy” and not worthy of expensive restaurants. Today, poutine is served in various establishments around the world.
Basically, poutine is a mix of French fries, cheese, and hot gravy. And I’m sure most people would agree with this – the more cheese, the better!
This is a wonderful snack, side food, and stand-alone beer-food pairing.
Where to try: its original homeland, Quebec Province, Canada
Speaking of quick snacks and beer pairings, tacos have spread their popularity all around the world. Outside of South America, tacos have conquered the hearts of the U.S. and Canada. Today, you can find places serving tacos probably everywhere (at least in all countries I’ve visited).
This is a simple yet delicious comb of wheat tortillas and a varied filling. It can include all kinds of vegetables, beans, meats, seafood, and cheese. Ingredients can be chosen for your taste specifically. Personally, I usually go for beef, cheese, greens, and mushrooms. And top it with guacamole! However, you can easily make vegan tacos.
Where to try: El Huequito, Mexico City, Mexico
Now that I’ve mentioned guacamole, I must admit that this is the perfect universal dip. Or it can be a spread of a whole salad depending on how you prepare it! It is neutral enough to match a variety of dishes beyond the easiest “chips combo.” And it adds a unique flavor that is impossible not to like.
Where to try: anywhere
Cuisine: South Korean
Let’s take a step away from Mexico and its incredible street food and travel across the world to South Korea. The country has a fantastic food culture and a very unique taste palette. One of the most amazing things about its cuisine is banchan. Actually, this is not just one dish, but a whole variety of side dishes served alongside every meal.
Among the favorite banchan options of mine is kimchi (fermented cabbage – spicy hot!!), kimchi jeon (pancakes with ripe kimchi), gyeran-mari (omelet rolls), danmuji (pickled radish), and spicy tofu.
Where to try: basically any cafe in Korea or, ideally, home-cooked by a Korean Eomma (mom).
If you are gluten intolerant, please, move to the next section. These particular dishes are just bombs full of gluten. And I’m so thankful that I can tolerate it as all these dishes are simply heavenly.
Okay, this is arguable my favorite dish of all. If I had to choose just one dish to eat for the rest of my life, I’d choose pizza. Honestly, you can never go wrong with it! There are so many options of what to add to your pizza that it’s probably the most versatile dish of all.
An interesting question: what do you think of adding pineapples to pizza? Barbaric or not?
My favorite pizza is the most with the most cheese on it! Even if it’s a simple classic like Marguerita.
Where to try: Rome – Pizza Re Di Roma, Pizzeria la Boccaccia; Naples – Starita
Italian cuisine is so amazing and appetizing! When I say “pasta,” I mean the whole category of Italian cuisine, not a simple type. Pasta can be served with all kinds of meat, seafood, vegetables, and cheese. Yes, it is not the best option for a tiny waist, but the tastes are addicting.
These famous types of pasta are obligatory for a food aficionado: Alla Norma, Alla Bolognese, Alla Carbonara, Alla Puttanesca, Lasagna, various Ravioli.
Where to try: all over Italy
What can be more American in the perception of tourists than a burger? Though, I put it in the international cuisine group as the origins and invention of this sandwich-like layered dish is highly controversial. Besides, it is sold all over the globe today. Thus, this is one of the few international dishes.
The amazing taste of all sorts of burgers gives it a leading position worldwide. It consists of two or more slices of a bun and or more patties (usually beef, but may vary.) Plus some ranches and veggies. You can also make vegan-friendly burgers!
Where to try: anywhere in the world
Cuisine: Cantonese (Chinese)
Steamy Asian dumplings are a sight to behold. As you are brought to the heated cart with fresh dumplings of our choice, you can feel yourself right in the kitchen stealing the fresh batch from the chef! Just as we did it in childhood with our mom’s cooking.
Dim Sum dumplings can contain all kinds of meats, seafood, and vegetables. In addition to the traditional steamed dumplings, you can find stir-fried varieties and even served in a broth as a soup.
Where to try: in any Eastern Asia country; U.S. – Panda Dumpling, Wonton King, Tim Ho Wan.
Let’s admit it – a few people are looking for soups in the new area as tourists. And that is a significant failure when it comes to national foods. Each country has various first-course dishes as they are beneficial for our digestive systems and simply mouthwatering.
Ramen is a traditional Japanese soup that derives from Chinese wheat noodles brought to the country. Interestingly, each region in Japan has its own variation of ramen. Some are based on fish-based broth, others on pork. They usually contain miso, soy sauce, boiled eggs, often mushrooms, nori, and sprouts. There is no universal taste to this dish, but each is unique and unforgettable in its own way. Personally, I prefer two kinds: Shōyu and Miso Ramen.
Where to try: a new kind of ramen in all Japanese provinces you visit
Tom Yum, the love of my “at-home exotic cooking” days. Initially, it may sound like a complicated soup to make with all the ingredients: coconut milk, lemongrass, lime juice, fish sauce, lime leaves, red chili pepper powder, shrimps, and so on. In fact, numerous grocery shops sell pre-made tom yum paste with all the necessary spices and herbs. You can easily cook this heavenly dish at home!
Where to try: Somboon Seafood – Bangkok
I’m a big fan of Italian cuisine, as you’ve noticed. In addition to all the heavy pasta, a vegetable-heavy soup comes as a diversifying tool.
Admittedly, there is not set minestrone recipe, and each restaurant has its own “secret ingredients.” Basically, minestrone is not a high-class soup. This is a regular dish in Italian cuisine. Minestrone gives enough energy to hard-working Italians and can feed a grown-up man with a healthy appetite. The most effective recipe is to throw in all the vegetable and spaghetti left in the fridge and cook it (possible with chicken broth.)
Where to try: Milan – Trattoria Mirta
Is it surprising that a French cuisine dish is so far on the list? Not to me! If you look at my gastronomic tourism in Paris, you’ll notice that most dishes are desserts. And I firmly stand by the point that this is the country of fluffy and savory desserts.
When it comes to more substantial foods, every tourist has to try an onion soup in France. I admit that this one is not among my top ten dishes because my psyche doesn’t let me forget that this actually has onions. Even though it’s delicious, many people cannot o pass the main ingredient. In addition to onions, it has meat stock, meat, eggs, milk. Often garnished with cheese and croutons.
Where to try: Paris – La Jacobine
Famous Meat Dishes
What’s in a name? Everything if this name is meat.
You definitely enjoy this type of cooked meat every once in a while. No matter what you choose to cook, a juicy steak, chicken wings, sausages, and something else, the signature BBQ smell and the whole experience of cooking meat with family and friends is the time to behold.
Where to try: at your backyard
Tasty meat seems to be international, right? Ribeye and filet minion are two of the most popular steak parts served in every respectable restaurant.
There are constant debates on what steak “doneness” is the best. Some like raw and juicy, others well-done either for the safety measures or the taste. Mexicans like them burnt mostly. But do not let that bother you. Just enjoy your favorite kind of doneness. After all, a steak should bring you satisfaction as none another dish can!
Where to try: in your favorite non-vegan restaurant; a luxury option – A5 Kobe Strip Steak in Japan
Cuisine: German, Austrian
A schnitzel is a tenderized thin strip of meat, breaded, and fried. Thanks to the work of a meat tenderizer, a schnitzel is never too rough and can be well-done without tasting like a jerky. Many countries have their schnitzel varieties, but the tastiest I’ve tried are in Austria and Germany. Although, all European countries and some other regions offer this type of meat as “schnitzel.” Among its counterparts are escalope, rezeň, dunajski zrezek, panado, otbivnaya, and tonkatsu.
Where to try: Vienna, Austria
Although some of the abovementioned dishes have vegetarian options, they are primarily served as their non-vegan types. The following dishes are always vegan-friendly.
You are probably familiar with the name Ratatouille thanks to the popular animated movie. However, not many people actually try this dish at home or when dining out. And that is a seriously neglected point of yours.
This is generally a stewed vegetable dish. Ratatouille has many recipes but generally includes the following veggies: tomato, eggplant, onion, zucchini, and bell pepper.
Where to try: Nice, French Riviera
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
This is a common Middle East street food that has already spread around the world. These are small deep-fried balls of ground beans. They are usually served with hot sauce, vegetables, and pitas. Today, you can buy falafel sandwiches, bowls, and stand-alone snacks on all continents.
Personally, I’ve tried the best falafel in Egypt, but this is a common dish for many Middle Eastern cuisines.
Where to try: ideally, Middle Eastern countries; but you can easily find them near you!
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Have you noticed the recent popularity of hummus in all “balanced diet blogs”? This is one of the most famous dips in the world, probably only after guacamole (which can be placed among these vegetarian dishes as well!).
Hummus is usually made of chickpeas, tahini, and lemon juice. When served, it is often topped with olive oil and nuts. You can easily scoop it with a slice of bread, pita, or even vegetables. I especially adore the combination of hummus and fresh celery.
Where to try: make it at home!
Most of our planet is covered by water. Thus, people had to learn to accept gifts and “hunt” for highly nutritional seafood through the history of humanity. It’s become a crucial part of many cuisines.
Paella is originally a Spanish dish, but you can find its varieties through the Middeteranians. The locals will tell you that it’s originated in Valencia and literally means a “frying pan” in the regional language. That is because traditional paella is cooked in a large frying pan on an open fire.
A fun fact: the original Valencian recipes of paella add rabbit, chicken, and duck to the fried rice. However, modern restaurants often prefer a seafood paella known as Paella de marisco. This recipe includes mussels, lobster, shrimp, and cuttlefish.
Where to try: Taverna Alfacinha, Lisbon, Portugal
Though Ceviche originated in Peru, it is a common appetizer and tad-alone dish across Latin America. It is mainly served in countries with rich coastal lines as Ceviche is not cooked with heat. You basically eat raw seafood cubes sprinkled with lemon juice, so it is cured. Ceviche is always dependent on the daily catch to keep the dish as fresh as possible. So, chop every tasty bit of the freshest seafood, add spices, such as chili, onions, aji, salt, and spritz with a bit of lime or lemon juice. Ceviche is often served with greens and avocado.
Where to try: Latin America: Peru, Ecuador, Chile, Colombia. Choose only the freshest ingredients.
Speaking of raw fish and seafood, how can we forget sushi? Exactly, such negligence is intolerable. Thus, sushi it is! Among the most famous seafood dishes in the world! Besides, if you are a bit skeptical about raw fish or live in a country with a lack of fresh ingredients, sushi rolls can also be done with cooked fillings. It is often accompanied by sashimi (which is always fresh) in Japanese restaurants.
And what is your favorite type of sushi? Traditional Japanese ones or some local variety famous in your country?
Where to try: Japan, Tokyo – Katsu Midori, Sushikoma, Sushi Ginza Onodera (visit during lunch for lower prices)
Oh, my sweet desserts! This is the perfect final point to conclude this article. The tastiest desserts will leave a sweet aftertaste for you to enjoy after completing this article.
Cuisine: ancient Greek
It’s not every day that you hear about a dessert originating in ancient Greece. An initial form of cheesecake was mentioned in the 5th century BC. The actual name “cheesecake” is a bit younger. It was formed around the 15th century. Since then, this delicious dessert has spread to many countries, way outside of Europe.
It mainly contains a thin layer of the biscuit base and a thicker, almost souffle-like one. It is a mixture of soft cheese, eggs, and sugar. Also, many establishments would serve it with some kind of topping like jam, fruit, chocolate, whipped cream, etc.
Where to try: California – The Dessert Lab, Berlin – Fraulein Wild, London – Marks and Spencer.
If you haven’t tried crepes yet, know that they are like extremely thin pancakes of bigger diameter. Although they can be both sweet and salty, I prefer the former variant is the ultimate form of dessert. This dish comes under different names all over Europe.
If you are looking for some delicious crepes ideas, pair them with sweet syrups, melted chocolate, peanut butter, jam, honey, or ice cream. You can also add all kinds of fruits to make them more nutritious.
Where to try: cook them at home (eggs, milk, flour, salt, butter)
I bet you don’t know many dishes of Ottoman cuisine. More likely, you know them but do not correlate to this cuisine.
Baklava is one of the most popular and tastiest desserts in the world! It is always rich in nuts and sweet syrups. The recipe slightly varies depending on the country that’s adopted this delicacy during the advancements of the Ottoman Empire.
Personally, my favorite type of baklava is the Turkish one, full of pistachio fillings and sugar syrups. Turkish baklava also contains walnuts, almonds, and other kinds of nuts. Some are served with ice cream tops.
Where to try: Istanbul – Hafiz Mustafa
Brussels waffles or their North American-born counterpart Belgian waffles are now served all around the world. This is a popular street food dessert and pairs perfectly with ice cream and other sweet toppings. Some of the most popular options include Nutella, melted chocolate, dulce de leche, jam, peanut butter, and whipped cream. These fluffy waffles are especially popular in touristy locations across Europe.
Where to find: street vendors in Europe (just watch where the crowd is)
Would you like to order some additional must-order dishes from other cuisines? I know that there are lots and lots of delicious cuisines around the world, and you have to get to know them. What would you suggest next?