"The world is big and I want to have a good look at it before it gets dark."- John Muir
Travelling around the world means discovering new cultures which invariably means discovering new foods. While you are globetrotting, it gets hard to try the perfect dish at the perfect place. Every city and every town has that one place that is famous for doing what they do. Leaving without visiting would be a crime.
So, to help you out with that, here is our list of dishes you just have to try on your travels and exactly where to get them from. Most of these dishes have been passed on for generations and have a certain charm to them that cannot be replicated by your average chain restaurant. Some of the places on this list have been where the dish started or just a place that locals love.
You can also take a look at our list of foods from around the world that are a great nighttime snack if you are going to be there for a while. So, now that you have everything sorted in the food department, you can look forward to trying some amazing dishes along the way. Once you get back from your trip and look through all of the countless pictures, more often than not, you will realize that most of your amazing memories have revolved around amazing food. Here is a little help to get you started.
30 Bergedel - Indonesia
This delight from Indonesia has won the hearts of millions over the years. If you are going to Bali looking for some unwinding, this Dutch-inspired treat should be your first stop. Bergedel translates to corn fritters which in this case are fried. The dish is prepared traditionally on the cobek which is what is used for many dishes in Bali. This dish, much like other foods from that region, contain tons of herbs and spices. Bird's eye chills, wild ginger and lemongrass, among others are part of the dish. This mixture is then fried and served. The best place to try it would be at a local host's home - Dewa and Jero in Ubad, Bali.
29 Crepes - France
This one is on our list out of respect. Crepes are absolutely amazing. They are light, they come with cream and strawberries and they makes you feel fancy - what more could you ask for really? This is part of national pride for anybody in the world who is from France and we completely understand why. Another great part about this dish is you can have it at any point of the day - change the stuffing, change the time of day. Cream and strawberries for breakfast and ham and cheese for lunch. Try the amazing crepes at Mad Eo the moment you land.
28 Smørrebrød- Denmark
Every kid in Denmark grows up on this and there are thousand different ways to do it. Whichever way is your favorite, if you grew up in Denmark, you most definitely took this to school for lunch at some point. This dish in most cases consists of a piece of buttered rye bread, some meat or fish, cheese and various sauces. Red onion and bacon fat are definitely ingredients that are used in almost every version as well. The best way to describe this dish is to compare it to Subway - you can customize it all you want. The place to do that is at the local restaurant, Aamanns Etablissement.
27 Escovitch Fish - Jamaica
The best part about Jamaica is the fish. It is absolutely amazing with a bowl full of rice. This gluten-free fish is fried and then topped with a spicy dressing known as escovitch sauce. Much like all of the other food from Jamaica out there, this one does have a kick to it. So, if you love spicy food- you are in luck. There are also sweet peppers, onions and scallions within this dish. This vinegar-based sauce along with the crunchy fried fish is amazing. You can try this dish along with locals at the famous Sharkies Seafood Restaurant.
26 Mohingha - Myanmar
This fish-based broth is a big deal in Myanmar and is commonly had for breakfast. If having a fish-based dish for breakfast made you shudder- we get it. But this one is truly an exception. It has tons of ingredients which also means tons of flavors. Is there a better way to start the day? You can add in whatever you feel like on a given day. Everything from peanuts to cilantro was on offer. A bowl of this fish soup can be found just about anywhere across the country. Restaurants or on the road- anywhere you go, this is on the menu. Here is a great place for your first bowl though- Lucky 7 at Yangon.
25 Aguachido - Mexico
Aguachido is a seafood dish that is famous across Mexico but you can find the best kind in Playa del Carmen. This place is known for its seafood and the best restaurant you can go to for Aguachido is Los Aguachiles. The dish itself consists of shrimp that has been marinated in lemon juice with clamato and some veggies added into the mix of things. It hardly cost a few bucks and does a good job of providing competition for anything served at a high-end place. You will fall in love with it before you know it.
24 Laap Pla Duk - Thailand
This dish can be translated to catfish salad in English and is the best meal for a rainy day. This dish hails from the northeastern area of Thailand and has some surprising flavors when compared to other traditional food in the country. The entire catfish is first deep fried before being minced using a massive machete. The minced catfish is then mixed in with some spices and various flavors including coriander and some herbs. It is then fried for a second time before being served. You can try some of the best Laap pla duk at Tamnak Isan Ekamai in Bangkok which tastes great with yam tua (long bean salad) on the side.
23 Reuben Sandwich - USA
The Reuben Sandwich that is available at Sherman’s Deli in California, USA is one of the best meals of all time. It has some great ingredients and is all in all - absolutely amazing. It is a simple dish that is done well every single time. It is a little bite of heaven one piece at a time so get ready to go back the very next day because you are going to fall in love. This grilled sandwich consists of corned beef, cheese and dressing. It uses rye bread and is what we call the food of gods.
22 Pho Ga - Vietnam
This chicken noodle soup from Vietnam will remind you of all the hot meals your mother cooked to make you feel better when you had a cold. It is also equally delicious. The soup is very light and easy to cook. It can be found across Vietnam pretty easily but your best bet is Cat Tuong in Ho Chi Minh City. One trip advisor review called it the best Pho Ga in the world, so get ready to be impressed. It does not have a lot of frills, the meal is cheap and you will get a taste of local cuisine at its finest.
21 Khinkali - Georgia
Khinkali are meat dumplings that are famous across Georgia and they taste best with a glass of Khvanchkara on the side. These dumplings originated in the mountainous regions of Pshavi, Mtiuleti and Khevsureti. It is now loved and eaten all over the world. A great local joint that is frequented by many and that is famous for their Khinkali is Pasanauri. It is this amazing restaurant chain that has the best Khinkali in Georgia - give it a go!
20 Spaghetti Carbonara - Vatican City
Vatican City may be known for the Pope to most tourists but to a lot of foodies, it is also the home of the famous spaghetti carbonara that is simply delightful. It is loved by locals and has been eaten there since the beginning of time. This lovely pasta dish is made with egg, cheese, pepper and other ingredients. The cheese is normally Pecorino Romano and the pasta used can be whatever you prefer. Marzapane in Italy is our favorite place to go to if you are looking for a great spaghetti carbonara.
19 Trinxat - Andorra
This wonderful mash of potatoes and cabbage is healthy and tasty all at the same time. This dish started in the Pyrenees and contains potatoes, pork meat and cabbage. Trinxar literally translates to mashed which is what is done with the ingredients. This specialty represents a hash pancake of some kind. It is gluten-free and takes less than 30 minutes to make so you could make it yourself if you would like. Even though that is an option, nothing beats having it at a local restaurant like Cal Sinquede which is famous for their Andorran delicacies.
18 Luleh Kebab - Armenia
These famous kebabs from Armenia taste great with a dipping sauce and some onions. The meat is always amazing. At times, you can actually be served at restaurants where the cattle are grazing nearby. The best place to go for this dish is the Derian restaurant that is famous for their local dishes, in particular, their luleh kebabs. The lamb is skewered and served hot - it is literally heaven. You can add in a salad on the side and it tastes amazing. You will probably need plates of these though because they do tend to be pretty light.
17 Stroopwafel - Netherlands
Waiting for something sweet and sugary to make life worth living? Say hello to the Stroopwafel. This thin, crunchy waffle is made from two layers of baked dough and has a lovely caramel filling that makes you eat ten at a time pretty quick. These waffles were first made in the city of Gouda but now they are available in supermarkets all over. They are still available in a few local bakeries as well though and remain the pride of Gouda. A great place to try out these delightful waffles would be Confectionery Lanskroon which is in Amsterdam.
16 Ensaladang Talong - Philippines
Very close to Indonesia, is the equally impressive Philippines. This dish is a roasted aubergine salad that can only be found in the houses of locals. Most of the dishes that are well known across the country tend to have a whole lot of meat in them with veggie based dishes taking the backseat. One of these amazing dishes that tourists tend to skip is Ensaladang talong which consists of roasted aubergine that is mashed at first. It is then topped with tomatoes and duck egg. The best place to try this one would be Nayna's house in Manila which always has its doors open.
15 Huarache - Mexico
Huarache in Mexico is a loved street food snack. It consists of masa dough and pinto beans. The beans are placed in the center of the long piece of fried masa dough and served along with various topping that include veggies and some form of protein. The toppings normally include onions, tomatoes, red salsa and cilantro while either ground beef or tongue is used as the main protein. The best place to try this amazing dish would be viva la mexicana.
14 Beef Liver - Montenegro
This tiny country in the Balkans has some of the best beef liver in the world. Along with its rugged mountains and tiny villages from times beyond, this rustic dish really fits in pretty darn well. This organic meat is also a rich source of B12 so that is a bonus. They do say that the liver is nature's vitamin store so count this one healthy. It is normally served with some onions and fresh ketchup with makes the dish even nicer. The best place to find this dish is at Tanjga, a restaurant in Montenegro that serves local cuisine. Grab a beer with this one!
13 Mansaf - Jordan
This traditional dish in Jordan is lamb cooked in yogurt, served with rice or bulgur. It is the national dish of Jordan but has become famous enough to be found in other countries as well such as Saudi Arabia and Iraq. The rice and lamb taste great together and it makes for a pretty filling meal. This dish has even been known to resolve conflicts and bring peace at times so you can understand why the locals are so very proud of it. The best place to try this meal would be the Al-Quds Restaurant which can be found in Amman.
12 Wiener Schnitzel - Austria
This classic fried cutlet is sold along with a slice of lime, potato salad and some lingonberry jam. Some people even have a side of fries that they add on. The cutlet in itself is super crunchy and tastes amazing. It is made of veal cutlet and tons of local restaurants compete in regard to size. It will not be surprising if you find one that is as large as your head. The best place to try this dish is at a local restaurant called Skopik & Lohn. The schnitzel is now the restaurant's staple dish.
11 Smoked Pork Shank With Beans - Romania
This traditional dish ( locally known as Ciolan afumat cu fasole) is cooked by tons of women across the country in almost every region. The smoked shank can also be replaced by smoked sausage if that is what you prefer. A glass of the local 'tuica' which is a traditional brandy that is served alongside it should not be missed. According to the locals, it was the soldiers in the military that first came up with the dish and then it spread like wildfire and became a favorite. It even has a day of its own - the first of December which is when every family takes the time to prepare it at home. A good place to try this dish is at the local restaurant La Taifas.
10 Draniki - Belarus
These famous potato pancakes from Belarus can be eaten at the rate of fries and taste much the same. They are also known as latkes locally and have won the hearts of people across the world for their crunchy exterior and potato interior- kind of like a hashbrown. Even though it has only recently become known worldwide as a dish to put on your bucket list, it holds a special place in the hearts of locals since this dish has been around since the 1830s. A local restaurant called Kuhmistr is famous for the draniki and beer.
9 Chashumen - Japan
This amazing dish of noodles and soup from Japan goes down in time as one of the best noodle-based meals. Chashumen ramen is the way into the heart of anyone who loves cuisine from Asia. It consists of braised pork that is added to the bowl of ramen, along with broth and spices. If you are done with your average pack of ramen, use this recipe to spice it up or even better - go to Konjiki Hototogisu, the home of good ramen bowls. Either way, this dish is going to help you unwind from a long day and tastes wonderful.
8 Confit de Canard - France
This tasty duck this from France takes hours to perfect. The meat takes hours to cook in its own fat which then results in the moistest duck you have ever tasted. This amazing piece of duck is then served with some fried potatoes and a side salad. Like all of the other dishes from France, this one is plated amazingly as well. It is considered to be one of the best dishes France has to offer and has won over many fans over the years. It can be found at almost every restaurant but the best one you can go to is the Restaurant Le May which has affordable, traditional food from France at its finest.
7 Burek - Bosnia and Herzegovina
Remember that never-ending candy we were all obsessed with as children? Now think of it as a dish. Burek has made the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina proud time and time again. The dish is essentially a long roll of phyllo that is rolled and stuffed with a meat of some kind. It can also be stuffed with spinach if that is what you prefer. It is then coiled and baked in a large iron skillet. When it is finally taken out, it looks like a massive pie and that is how it is treated. Massive triangular pieces are then cut out and served. You can try this amazing dish at Gostionica Natalija. This restaurant is supposed to have amazing burek and the locals love it. It is a small, quaint place with the best food.
6 Kohuke - Estonia
Keeping it simple here is Kohuke which is a well-known snack that can be bought at just about any Estonian shop. If you like curd, you are going to go gaga over this. This snack can be found in countless different varieties depending on what you are looking for. It is essentially processed cheese curd that is then covered in a coating that can be anything from chocolate to kiwi to raspberry. The list is endless. This energy bar that is famous across the land can be bought from the refrigerated dairy section of just about any grocery store. Go for the classic at first- curd covered in chocolate.
5 White Pizza - USA
The White Pizza in Pennsylvania, USA is an absolute classic. This pizza is literally white all over. It has no tomato sauce and is full of creamy cheese between two thin crusts which makes for the best pizza in the world. Available at Arcaro and Genell, the White Pizza there has gotten some people to travel the world just to try a tiny bite. This pizza's main quality is that it has two crusts, one on the top and one on the bottom. So, if you like your pizza crunchy- this is going to be your favorite place. Old Forge in Pennsylvania is even known as the pizza capital of America for many.
4 Hamsi - Turkey
Hamsi is a delight that has crossed the borders of Turkey ages ago and won the love of people around the globe. This dish is essentially seafood which is caught fresh by local fishermen and taste best in the winter. The anchovies are deep fried and sold as street food across Turkey after being caught. They are served along with thinly sliced onions and some rocket leaves and tastes amazing. Sounds yum to us. The best version of this can be found at the Karaköy fish market.
3 Shkembe Chorba - Bulgaria
This amazing soup from Bulgaria is a famous lunchtime meal across the country. A meat of any kind, pork, lamb or beef is boiled at first. It is then added into the broth and mixed with spices. For a lot of people in Bulgaria, this is also considered a hangover cure after a long night. So, if you decide to down a few pints on your holiday in Bulgaria, you know where to go the next morning. You are welcome. Here is where you can get the best of this dish in the country - Slaviani. This place is frequented by locals and is cheap as well.
2 Boiled Fertilized Duck Embryos - Cambodia
If you are feeling adventurous and want to throw caution to the wind? Well then.... we have got something that may take your fancy. This dish that is considered to be great for your health in Cambodia would not be taken as well in some other countries. Many Asian countries including Cambodia serve fertilized duck embryos as a dish. It is supposed to increase sexual libido in specific. Most foreigners who try this, do so on a dare or because they want to challenge themselves with local cuisine. But there are people who absolutely adore it. To each their own? Any which way, you can try this dish by taking part in one of the Lost Plate Phnom Penh food tours. Alternatively, you can buy it from a street vendor near the riverside in Phnom Penh.
1 Stuffed Squid - Philippines
Stuffed squid or inihaw na pusit is the local dish in the Philippines that consists of tasty grilled squid. Grilled squid is pretty famous across South-East Asia but this takes it up a notch with the stuffing that lends some amazing flavors to the dish. The dipping sauce as well really brings the dish together. The stuffing consists of tomatoes, onions, ginger, salt and pepper among other ingredients. It is normally eaten with bowlfuls of rice and taste great with eggplant salad. You can try this amazing dish at Pepeton's Grill and Restaurant.