“One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating,” Luciano Pavarotti said and by the looks of it, the world seems to agree.
Travelling around the world means getting to discover new cultures and try different things while getting used to your new lifestyle. Even with all these differences, one thing that remains the same the world over is the need for a great midnight snack when you get home from work tired and you are snuggled under your duvet with Netflix loading up.
When you have got the late night munchies, looking into the fridge tends to be a depressing experience with nothing looking very appetising. Whether you are craving a bag of chips or just cheese on toast make sure you settle for the absolute best that is out there. If you are travelling, it would be a crime not to experience what the locals do after work or on a night out, and if you are not then let your taste buds take a world tour at the very least.
So, what goes well with Trevor Noah, Kimmel and John Oliver? Well other than Ben and Jerry’s of course, here are 25 snacks from around the world that can help you get through the night.
Tick each one off your list slowly but surely and take the time to share the list with a friend that would like to experience every new snack with you!
25 Poutine (Canada)
Canada has some of the nicest people the world has to offer, which is probably in no small part because said people were raised on diets of the gloriousness that is poutine. Making it at home is fairly simple as well since it is essentially just gravy, cheese curds and fries, in one magnificent combination. Even though you could just make it yourself, if you do ever visit Canada then your first stop should be one of the many restaurants that sell over a hundred variants of poutine. Your fitness trainer may not think it’s a great idea but your stomach most certainly will which makes it worth it
24 Coxinha (Brazil)
The best way anyone can describe coxinha is as deep-fried pieces of chicken that make the world a better place. When you land at literally any airport in Brazil whether it is Recife or Rio, you will almost certainly find a place that sells Coxinha in less than five minutes. The dish is basically shredded chicken and cheese covered with breadcrumbs which translates to deep fried balls of goodness. There are also a few spices added into the mixture but overall it is not a spicy dish. It could be considered a better version of popcorn chicken. If you decide to spend your night binging on Netflix with a coxinha in hand, you could also dip it into the spicy sauce that is traditionally served with it.
23 Macaron (France)
Macarons are traditionally from France but you can find them pretty much everywhere and they are a great option for anyone with a sweet tooth. The macarons we know and love today were made in the early twentieth century in Paris and were a quick hit. Not many snacks manage to look as perfect as the macarons which are essentially tiny pastries. Macarons tend to melt in your mouth and you can take your pick between the jam filled or buttercream filled ones. It is only fair to issue a warning here since you simply cannot stop at one. Macarons are one of the French snacks that truly mirror France: sophisticated but full of fun.
22 Tunnbrodsrulle (Sweden)
This one is Sweden’s way of letting the world know that they have the best night outs. While the rest of us settle for McDonald’s after a few drinks, the Swedes have managed something even better. The best way to describe Tunnbrodsrulle is as a hot dog with a twist. It is a traditional hot dog wrapped in a flatbread along with mashed potatoes and onions. In Sweden, they finish a night full of beers with the best comfort food in the world - mashed potatoes. They also managed to make it even better by adding a hot dog.
21 Grilled Pig Parts (Japan)
Japan and a lot of countries in Asia do have quite a few dishes that surprise people who are not natives. Even their normal dishes are a little different at times with Pikachu shaped doughnuts recently getting pulled from a restaurant for being too creepy. One of Tokyo’s most famous night time snacks is actually grilled pig parts. This is not your average piece of meat on a leg; you can get anything from a rectum to a tongue. This one is definitely not for the faint of heart but in defense of the dish, the people that do wander out to the stalls to give it a go have given it rave reviews.
20 Churros (Mexico)
Mexico really put themselves on the map with this one because not one bad thing can be said against churros. Deep fried dough that is covered with sugar is great at any point of the day and it is also really easy to make. Churros traditionally came from Spain but became a huge hit in Mexico. You can get them with a centre filled with chocolate or caramel. Nutella filled churros are particularly famous among street side vendors and you can find them at just about any fair. If you cannot take a walk down to a vendor then you can make them yourself which isn’t a bad idea either since they only take about 20 minutes.
19 Mala xiaolongxia (China)
Mala xiaolongxia (spicy crawfish) is one of the most famous dishes in China if you are looking to grab something to eat after a tiring day. Much like tacos, it is perfect as a night-time snack because of its spiciness and it is traditionally had with a sauce on the side. A lot of people in China go out pretty frequently in the night for a quick bite and if you are in the area, you should definitely give it a go at one of the many stalls.
18 Cheese Tteokbokki (South Korea)
Cheesy rice cakes with seaweed or Cheese Tteokbokki is easy to make and works well with almost everyone. This snack is the mac and cheese of South Korea and is extremely warm and filling in the middle of the night. The spicy rice cakes topped with cheese are pretty simple to make and you should be done in less than thirty minutes. You are traditionally supposed to add shredded seaweed but it tastes just fine without as well. This dish is the most popular street food in South Korea and even though it is a bit spicy, it is definitely worth looking into.
17 Silkworms (Cambodia)
Much like Japan, Cambodia tends to throw caution to the wind when it comes to snacking on strange insects and animals. Their most famous nighttime snack is a paper bag full of silkworms which are deep fried to a crisp. It is pretty common to pick up a bag on the way home from a bar and you can find them all over in the city of Phnom Penh. Not a lot of people have the stomach to try this one. In case you do, then it does make for a pretty crunchy midnight snack with a bit of sauce to dip into.
16 Boerie roll (South Africa)
The Boerie roll is South Africa’s take on the hot dog and has spicy sausages topped with onions, chili and tomatoes. The boerewors are placed in a hot dog bun after being cooked on the braai which is essentially a grill and then the spicy sausages are ready to be devoured. It is a hot dog that took notes from a sloppy Joe and it is enjoyable in every way possible. It goes extremely well with a glass of red wine or a glass of whiskey. Coleslaw is normally served on the side in most restaurants in South Africa.
15 Langos (Hungary)
Langos makes for a great snack after an evening of drinking. It is the type of dish that can be eaten underneath the cold light of your refrigerator with no judgment. A layer of dough is deep fried and then covered with loads of cheese and sour cream to create this dish. In Hungary, people will pair this up with a traditional Palinka which has pretty high alcoholic content. So if you are not accustomed to this drink, maybe slow down on that Palinka or else double up on the Langos to soak it up.
14 Jianbing (Beijing)
Beijing offers this traditional dish all over and you can find it at any street food vendor. It is a type of crepe with an egg and sauce middle filling which ultimately makes for a great dish that you can eat on the go. This simple rolled up crepe can be eaten at any time of the day and is fairly simple to make at home as well. It is extremely popular across China because of its perfect crunch mixed with the kick that the sauce gives you.
13 Pandeyuca (Columbia)
This dish is native to Columbia and other countries across South America as well under different names. Pandeyuca is basically balls of cheesy bread made with yuca flour and cheese. It goes really well with a cup of hot chocolate and your favourite TV show. Pandeyuca tastes amazing hot when every bite means cheese is melting in your mouth and the best comparison would be to say it tastes like cheesy garlic bread rolled into a ball. It makes for a great midnight snack since it is pretty easy to make and is not a messy dish either.
12 Brigadeiros (Brazil)
This one is for anyone with a sweet tooth because Brigadeiros are tiny balls of chocolate that very closely resemble chocolate truffles. They are part of almost any celebration in Brazil and the amazing bit is no one expects you to stop at one which really helps because most people cannot. They can be covered with almost any topping, be it sprinkles, cocoa powder or shredded coconut. It really is up to the individual. They are really simple to make and it mostly takes about 15 minutes to get them done.
11 Maggi (India)
India’s famous two-minute noodles brand is great for lazy nights when you need something tasty that won’t take too long either. Each packet of the product contains some raw noodles with a little sachet of spices. It takes about 5 minutes to make from start to finish and is perfect if you are absolutely famished and cannot stand waiting for your food to get done. Restaurants across the country have actually begun serving various variants of the popular dish but the most preferred is the one with cheese. The dish is normally served with tomato ketchup which is a good idea for someone who isn’t too keen on spice.
10 Seaweed crisps (Singapore)
This may sound weird but seaweed crisps are absolutely amazing. It does not have an overpowering taste of seaweed but rather just enough for you to understand where it got the name. They are available at any 7/11 and almost every supermarket within Singapore. Thankfully you can also get them online and they are definitely worth a try even for people who are not looking for a snack but just something out of the ordinary. Unsurprisingly, they go very well with the green tea flavour from the brand of Pocky chocolates that are also available in Singapore.
9 Tacos (Mexico)
Even though this dish is traditionally Mexican, you can find it pretty much everywhere - who hasn’t had a messy taco after a night out? These bad boys can be stuffed with just about anything and make any day better. Any mistake is automatically erased and you get to go to bed extremely happy. Tacos are also great because they are spicy which is what someone needs if it’s after a night out. The grilled steak tacos go particularly well with the night time with an extra load of salsa and cheese.
8 Leftover Wendy’s (USA)
Leftover Wendy’s is a part of American culture at this point. Fries and burgers make everything better and Wendy’s just introduced their Bacon Maple Chicken sandwich which granted may not be the best choice if you are looking to drop a few pounds but it certainly does seem inviting if you want to end the night on a high note. Pair this up with one of Wendy’s Frosties and you have got yourself a great meal to go. This also tends to be the perfect match if you are going to be spending the night binge watching Westworld. The same theory applies to McDonald's Big Macs, KFC's popcorn chicken, or Burger King's Whoppers.
7 Chicken Kiev (Ukraine)
The humble chicken Kiev is a warm, wholesome meal from Ukraine that makes every night just a tad better. No one really knows where this dish came from and it is often disputed over but nonetheless, this dish made it into the hearts of people across Europe and is now of the most common meals across Ukraine. This dish is essentially chicken rolled in butter after which it is coated with bread crumbs and eggs to get ready for frying. It is actually so popular that it was the first ever chilled meal that was sold in the UK way back in 1979 for only two pounds. It is now available in almost every country across Europe. Fair warning- the butter can be pretty messy and hot when you dig in.
6 Bolon de Verde (Ecuador)
Fried plantains and cheese or Bolon de Verde is native to Ecuador. Green plantains are first fried over medium heat and then taken back out. They are then rolled into the dough and stuffed with pork only to be fried again. Other than the fact that the dish is fried twice which definitely contributes to its popularity, these green plantain balls go great with a cup of coffee. So if you are trying to stay up through the night and push through a pile of papers that are due, this dish is the perfect midnight snack to keep you going.
5 Currywurst with fries (Germany)
You can tell this dish is straight from Germany simply by looking at the name. It is a sausage that is covered with curry sauce and oddly enough, it works. Its side dish is equally amazing because the salty fries are covered with mayo. It is essentially a night out’s paradise snack. It goes really well with a beer and most Germans normally pair the two together anyway, so it is a perfect way to keep the night going. You will normally be able to get the dish for less than 6 euros at a bunch of restaurants across Germany that are open till 4 and 5 AM.
4 Fish and Chips (UK)
Fish and chips are as synonymous with the UK as tea is and it can be eaten at pretty much any time of the day. A fillet of fish covered with bread crumbs and fried to perfection along with tartar sauce is a great way to end the day. Adding to this already perfect dish are the chips (or fries for anyone who thinks this means a pack of Pringles) which makes for a perfect combination. Poppies and Golden Union are among the best restaurants in London for fish and chips if you do want a late night snack.
3 Quesadillas (Mexico)
This is another great dish from Mexico that is now found all over the world. The soft tortilla is warmed up and then filled with cheese before it makes its way to the grill. It is the Mexican version of a pizza and is perfect for a midnight snack. It is also really easy to make and you can have a dish ready pretty quickly. Traditionally corn tortillas are used but flour tortillas are more common outside Mexico, particularly in the United States.
2 Cacio e Pepe Spaghetti (Italy)
Rome offers a wide variety of pasta but this one, in particular, tends to make its way into most late night meals because of its simplicity. Essentially just butter, Pecorino Romano cheese and pepper mixed together with the starchy pasta water from the spaghetti, there's not much not to love here. When you get home after a hard day’s work and are looking for something starchy - this is perfect. It is filling and reminds you of the days you lived on pasta when you were at uni. If you are still at uni, then this is a variation to your fairly predictable day. With all of its cheesy goodness intact, this great dish goes well with a glass of wine.
1 Salchipapa (Ecuador)
This is another South American dish that is native to Ecuador. In this dish, cheese and sausages are added into a bowlful of fries which makes for a heavenly combination. These Latin style fries are covered with salsa and onions and make for a perfect snack. Today, you can find them at any street vendor but it all began in the city of Loja with a small place called Soda Bar that became extremely popular because of their great idea. It is now a tradition to end a good night in Ecuador with Salchipapa.