Food is something that constantly brings about joy, happiness, bliss, and good memories. Not much else can match up to the joy that arises when you bite into a brand new flavor combination and fall in LOVE with it. Trying different dishes from around the world is exciting, and there are always too many tasty options to choose from. It seems like every restaurant is eager to come up with the best new food invention or craziest new flavor combination. Many restaurants fail to invent new trends and make culinary breakthroughs, but the few chefs that have succeeded are the ones we must thank (their food is seriously DELICIOUS).
Below is a list of 20 food items that you should order at least once in your lifetime. Some of these dishes might cost a little extra money, while others might pack on a few extra calories, but they’re all sure to put a smile on your face—and that’s what food is intended to do, right? So, go ahead and devour that crazy ice cream sundae, or that “out-of-this-world” sandwich. Try that extremely fatty, meat-filled, sauce-smothered sandwich that you’ve always wanted. You only live once, and while you’re here, you might as well enjoy all the guilty pleasures that life has to offer. If you’re looking to add a bit more excitement to your daily menu or you just want to indulge in a seriously good meal, then keep on reading! You’ll be surprised to see all the tasty sweets, treats, and salty bites that you’ve dreamt about but never knew existed in real life.
20 Coconut ice cream sundae served in a coconut
Imagine you're sitting on a nice warm beach in the Caribbean. The sun is out, and you’re taking a relaxing afternoon walk along the ocean. What could possibly make this any better? Maybe a scoop of ice cream? Or two? Or how about three scoops of ice cream and a delicious sauce of your choice served inside of an actual coconut!? The good news is this dessert actually exists (and you don’t even have to travel all the way to the Caribbean to enjoy it)! Helados Pops in San Fransisco serves up these decadent desserts in a wacky load of different flavors like cashew fruit, almond avocado, sugar corn, soursop, and cherimoya! We're definitely putting this shop on our bucket list for 2019.
When you think of a guilty-pleasure food, you usually think of something rich and creamy (with no worries about the calorie count). One of the greatest guilty pleasures is exactly that: a bowl of fries and cheese curds smothered in a rich ’n salty gravy. There are so many different toppings you can add to this trio of ingredients such as smoked bacon, avocado, and even fried eggs!! One wild poutine variation we’re dying to try can be found at “The Big Cheese Poutinerie” in Calgary. They sell a Perogie Poutine—a traditional box of poutine topped with pirogies, caramelized onions, bacon, and (of course) a big ‘ol dollop of sour cream—YUM.
18 Nine-pound Humongous Banana Split (The Poky Dot)
Are you and your friends looking for a good ‘ol food challenge? If so, then wander on over to the Poky Dot in Fairmont, West Virginia. They sell a 9-pound “Humongous Banana Split” that’s jam-packed with sweet flavors! It’s made up of vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry ice cream and topped with chocolate strawberries, pineapples, peanuts, whipped cream, and cherries. For $8.00, this is a steal, but it’s an "eat-in ONLY" special (so you’d better bring your appetite). Gather some of your friends, head on over to West Virginia, and check this goal off your bucket list!
17 Mac and Cheese Bun Burger
This burger has successfully combined two childhood favorites into one mouth-watering meal. A big juicy, comforting burger is stuffed inside of a Mac-and-cheese bun—YES PLEASE. The “Mac-and-cheese burger bun” trend has become quite popular, and it's easy to find recipes to make your own at home. However, if you’re not a kitchen wizard, then it’s your time to visit the Pigpen Delicacy in Los Angeles where you’ll find the “Mac Daddy Burger.” This burger is topped with candied bacon, cheese, and BBQ sauce, and it’s stuffed between two mac-and-cheese “buns.” We’ll just ignore the calories—this burger sounds way too good to avoid!
16 Rainbow Seven-Layer Cookie Doughnut
If one donut doesn’t bring enough joy, then how about three? Better yet, how about indulging in a triple-layer rainbow donut to start your day? The bakery “Glaze Donuts” in New Jersey sells this colorful, sweet treat. Employees at Glaze Donuts work hard to bake and assemble these sweet treats, but they’re only available for sale on weekends. At $4.95 per triple donut, this treat sounds like it’s one we’ve gotta try—stat! The bakery also sells more indulgent treats like donut ice cream sandwiches and donut sundaes. Forget the boring ‘ol Dunkin Donuts or Tim Hortons baked goods—these donuts are pure genius, and there’s no doubt that they’ve made it onto our “foods we’ve gotta eat” bucket list.
Yes. You read that right—“Haggis” did make it onto this “we’ve gotta try it” list. Haggis is a traditional meal from Scotland that contains sheep’s pluck (liver, lungs, and heart), onion, oatmeal, spices, salt, and stock. Most people cringe at the thought of eating Sheep’s pluck, and we’re not much different… But clearly, the meal is popular enough to have become a tradition in Scotland, and we’re curious why. If you can’t make the trip across the pond to Scotland, try “The Caledonian" located in Toronto. They sell a haggis main dish with turnips and potatoes, as well as a haggis burger—sounds interesting…
14 Pastel De Nata
Pastel de nata is a decadent custard dessert that originated in Portugal. These treats are little tarts that have been filled with a creamy custard and topped with a dash of cinnamon. The combination sounds simple yet delicious. I’ve never tried one myself, but if it’s a classic dessert, it’s gotta be tried, right? Of course, we’d love to indulge in one of these in the original country itself (Portugal), but if that’s not possible, we’ll settle for whichever version. Try out Joey Bats Cafe (in New York) to enjoy a unique taste of Portugal at home!
13 Lamb Soup Dumplings
I’ve never specifically had lamb soup dumplings, but I've tried a few variations of soup dumplings—and they are DELICIOUS. No doubt about it, these are a must-try for any foodie out there. Think of a regular light and airy dumpling dough, filled with tender meat, and a burst of flavor that explodes in your mouth. The “soup” that’s inside the dumpling is by far the best part. As soon as you take a bite, the flavourful liquid explodes into your mouth. Better yet, the liquid inside keeps the meat moist, tender, and juicy! Many restaurants around are starting to sell these addicting bites, so hop on over to your favorite dumpling restaurant and try one yourself—stat!
12 Taco Pizza (Tony Boloney’s)
Pizza is a classic “go-to” food. You usually can’t go wrong with a good ‘ol slice of pizza. Nowadays, restaurants are trying to come up with creative and innovative twists on the classic. Admittedly, some have failed (like the hotdog-stuffed pizza crust or a pizza topped with fries), but this one certainly hasn’t. This “pizza” is essentially a giant circle of tacos filled with brisket, chipotle sauce, queso string cheese, guacamole, pickled jalapeño crema, and esquites (toasted corn). This “pizza” masterpiece can be found at Tony Boloney’s in Hoboken on Tuesdays and in Atlantic City on Thursdays! You can even pre-order one so you’re sure to not miss out—better get ordering soon (I know I am).
11 Bunny Chow
This is honestly such a cute name, we just couldn’t turn it down! This meal is commonly found in South Africa and is essentially a piece of hollowed-out white bread filled with curry. The best part of enjoying a plate full of curry is using a light and airy piece of bread to sop up all of the sauce that’s left on the plate. This dish does that for you (and leaves little mess on the plate—bonus)! None of the delicious sauce is wasted, as it soaks into the bread and creates what I could only imagine would be a perfect bite. Kaia Wine Bar in New York sells the “Brekkie Bunny Chow,” a bread bowl filled with mushrooms, bacon, breakfast sausage, chakalaka, and a poached or scrambled egg—is there a better way to kick off your day?
10 Golden Food
There seems to be a “golden” everything these days, and even though the price tags might be a little steep, I think it’s worth it to try one of these “rich” treats at least once. From golden burgers to golden cappuccinos to golden cheesecake to golden ice cream—there are so many intriguing options (and so much money to spend…) Maybe stay away from the $1,300 golden cupcake, and go for something a little more budget friendly. Instead, try the gold-covered cupcake at Film Cafe in Toronto. At $12.00 per cone, it might be a pricey ice cream, but you’ll wind up feeling like gold—and that’s a feeling that can’t be passed up!
9 A Good Quality Steak
A big juicy steak might just be one of the greatest pleasures this world has to offer. Nothing is quite comparable to sitting down at a dinner table with friends and family while feasting on a giant slab of steak. You can find a steak dish in nearly any city you visit, but finding a perfectly cooked piece of meat can be a challenge. I think everyone should treat himself or herself at least once in his or her life and spend some money on a truly indulgent steak. Whether it be a $100 slab of Wagyu Tomahawk meat or a $350 serving of sous-vide A5 Kobe Steak from Japan, splurging once on a steak masterpiece is definitely worth it!
8 Game Kabob (South Africa)
When my family and I traveled to South Africa, we were astounded by all the different meats we could find! From zebra to springbuck to crocodile—there were countless meats I’d never even dreamt of trying! Of course, being in Africa, we were all dying to try the unique cuts of meat, and we certainly weren’t disappointed. If you ever get the opportunity to travel to South Africa, stop by Joe’s Beerhouse and pick up the Game Fillet. They serve up a variety of meats cooked perfectly to your liking and all arranged on a giant kabob. Not only will you get an Insta-worthy picture, but your stomach will also be thanking you for long after!
Over the past few years, shawarma has certainly become more and more popular in America. The slow-roasted, thinly sliced meat is juicy, tender, and outright delicious. The meat can be stuffed in a pita with your favorite toppings or enjoyed on top of a fresh salad. If you haven’t tried it yet, search up a Shawarma place near you and head there right away! Better yet, if you’re traveling to the Middle East, pick up a serving of traditional Shawarma. Try out the traditional version (made with lamb or mutton) or go for a modern twist and enjoy a chicken, beef, turkey, or veal shawarma.
If you’re a sandwich fanatic, the Mitraillette should be #1 on your “foods I have to try” list. This sandwich definitely isn’t for the “neat eaters,” and it’s sure to leave an ooey-gooey mess (but that’s what makes a great sandwich, right?). This sandwich is stuffed with fried meat, fries, and a whole lotta sauce. Although the indulgent food originated in Belgium, there are many variations to satisfy any appetite. According to “The Culture Trip,” some fried meat options include steaks, sausages, and hamburgers. They also name a wide variety of sauces such as andalouse, mayonnaise, garlic sauce, curry ketchup, and tomato ketchup. I think it’s safe to say that this sandwich is one we NEED to try (and then take a little nap after…).
Macarons are one of the most delicate pastries in the world. It takes years of practice to master the techniques of making a perfect macaron. Although these cute and colorful treats can be found worldwide, it’s definitely on our bucket list to try one from a world-famous bakery. Laduree Paris sells a variety of mouthwatering flavors like cotton candy, chocolate orange, pistachio, rose, and orange blossom. You can order a custom box to be delivered or visit one of their many stores around the world. Skip the cheap grocery-store macarons for a day and instead indulge in these perfectly crafted “pillowy” treats.
4 Citrus, Date, and Almond M’Hencha
I think this Moroccan cake is going to be my new birthday treat! This cake is similar to a baklava and is composed of almond paste wrapped in layers of filo dough. The unique shape of the cake makes it look impressive and straight-up DELICIOUS. I imagine the “cake” would be just as crispy as a square of baklava but with even more almond paste stuffed inside. The creamy almond paste would add the perfect contrast to the crunch of the filo dough, making a delightful little bite! To be honest, I’m not sure I could limit myself to just one slice, but what’s wrong with a little indulging?
3 Chicken and Waffle Cupcake
Chicken and waffles is a delicious combination, and putting it on a cupcake is pure genius. The sweet and salty combo makes for the perfect bite, and the thought of having all the flavors in one portable treat is tempting. It would certainly be a challenge to carry a plate full of chicken and waffles on your way to work, but it would be a breeze to bring along this cupcake! Enjoy the same mouthwatering flavors on the go by picking up a cupcake for yourself from Robicelli’s (in New York). According to Complex.com, their version features a buttermilk vanilla and cinnamon cupcake stuffed with spiced buttermilk chicken and topped with a buttery maple frosting! Now, who doesn’t want that for their early morning wake-up call?
2 Completo (Chile)
If you walk along the streets of any major city, you’re sure to pass what seems like a million generic hot dog stands. The Completo (from Chile) is the ultimate hot dog—supposedly twice the size of a ‘dog from America! According to Serious Eats, the hot dog variation consists of a toasted roll stuffed with a wiener, sauerkraut, mashed avocado, chopped tomatoes, and a whole lotta mayo. Depending on where you go, you might find some other flavors of sauces like mustard or red chili sauce, but regardless of your choice, you’re definitely in for an indulgent meal. Next time you're out and about, ditch the boring generic hot dog from America and double it up with this awesome combo!
1 Kangaroo Meat (Australia)
It’s always super interesting to try different kinds of meat that aren’t popular in your own country. In Australia, it's common to indulge in a juicy piece of kangaroo meat, and we’re curious to try it for ourselves. Supposedly, the lean meat has a gamey flavor that isn’t too overpowering and is extremely satisfying. I’ve been meaning to try this meat for a while, and I think I might just run out this week and grab myself a small taste. The St. Lawrence Market (in Toronto) sells raw kangaroo meat that you can prepare yourself, or if your kitchen skills aren’t up for the challenge, opt for a restaurant like Carte Blanche (in Montreal). They sell a rich kangaroo meat tartare with a side of fries and salad. Sounds like a meal we’ve gotta try ASAP!