Best national dishes in the world – Famous foods around the world
FAMOUS FOODS AROUND THE WORLD
It’s hard to say what’s the best cuisine in the world, or what are the countries with the best cuisines in the world. The list of countries with the best food in the world could be entirely biased.
There are different cuisines around the world with distinctive flavors and styles of preparing food. Each country and each cuisine comes with some unique foods that meet various tastes.
But we can definitely talk about the most popular food in the world. And while it is hard to say what’s the best food ever, it is possible to talk about cultural food, popular national dishes and the most famous foods in the world.
55 Most famous foods from around the world
1. ITALIAN PIZZA
Italian pizza is probably the most famous food in the World. Pizza has crossed the borders of Italy a long time ago and nowadays it is consumed all over the world. Today you can find pizza in almost every corner of the world. This traditional Italian dish is made of flattened round dough topped with cheese, and tomatoes, and additionally garnished with basil, olives, and oregano. Depending on the toppings, among the most famous types of traditional Italian pizza are Margherita, Napolitana, Marinara, Quattro Stagioni, Quattro Formaggi, and Siciliana.
2. TURKISH DONER KEBAB
Italian pizza might be the most famous food in the world ever. But the second close world-famous dish is Turkish kebab. Turkish doner kebab is a famous street food that can be found today pretty much everywhere in the world. Authentic Doner Kebab is made of Turkish pide bread stuffed with marinated and vertically grilled mutton or lamb (sometimes beef or chicken) meat, lettuce, slices of tomatoes and onions.
3. AMERICAN HAMBURGER
Probably the most famous sandwich in the world is the American hamburger. Flattened, and typically round minced meat is placed between slices of bun or roll bread and accompanied with tomatoes, cucumbers, cheese, onions, pickles, lettuce, bacon. Usually, some mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard or some sauce are added. While there are some theories about hamburgers originating from Germany, these popular sandwiches have been widely consumed in the USA and this is where they reached their world fame. Hamburger is considered to be the national dish of the USA.
4. MIDDLE EASTERN FALAFEL
Traditional Middle Eastern falafel balls are made of deeply fried chickpeas, fava beans or both. Falafel is often wrapped in a pita sandwich or eaten alone as a part of the meze (the Middle Eastern palette of appetizers). Falafel is belived to originate from Egypt where is called tameya. However, falafel is traditional Egyptian food, traditional Lebenese food, traditional Jordanian food, traditional Palestinian food, and traditional Israeli food. Today falafel is a popular street food around the globe.
4. GREEK GYRO
Gyro is a national food of Greece. Gyro or γύρο means ‘turn’. Greek Gyro is similar to Turkish döner kebab or Middle Eastern shawarma. But while kebab and shawarma are made of beef or lamb, typical Greek Gyro is made of pork and chicken.
5. MIDDLE EASTERN HUMMUS
This famous Middle Eastern spread of mashed chickpeas and fava beans is a world renewed dish. Mashed beans are blended with tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and garlic. Hummus is one of the most popular spreads in the World ever.
6. RUSSIAN CAVIAR
Traditional Russian caviar is fresh or pasteurized salt-cured roe from wild sturgeon in the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea. Caviar is one of the most famous delicacies in the world and the most expensive delicacies in the world too. There are two types of caviar: black and red. Black caviar is more appreciated than red and thus it is more expensive too. Black caviar is nicknamed the Black Gold. First-class caviar comes with a price tag of more than 30.000 USD per kilo.
7. CHINESE PEKING DUCK
Chinese cuisine is one of the most diverse cuisines in the world. But Peking duck stands out among all Chinese food. Cantonese Peking duck is the national dish of China. Roasted duck marinated and flavored with soy sauce, traditional Chinese five-spice powder, and maltose syrup is the most famous Chinese dish and one of the most famous foods made of duck in the world.
8. CHINESE DIM SUM
Cantonese Dim Sum refers to a large range of tiny bite-sized dishes prepared in small steamer baskets. Dim Sum literally means ‘touch your heart’ and this traditional Cantonese dish has touched the hearts of not only Chinese people but the hearts of people outside China too. Dim Sum is one of the most famous foods around the world. Traditionally dim sum is served in Chinese teahouses while socializing with friends and families over the tea and tiny dim dum dishes such as dim sum pork dumplings, dim sum shrimp dumplings, dim sum steamed soup dumplings, dim sum rice noodle rolls, dim sum sticky rice chicken lotus leaf wrap, dim sum deep-fried durian puffs and many more dim sum delicacies.
9. ITALIAN SPAGHETTI
Italian cuisine proudly comes with a wide range of popular dishes. Italian pasta is one of the most famous foods in the world. And spaghetti is one of the most famous types of pasta. This long and thin pasta is traditionally prepared with only garlic and olive oil (Spagetthi Agilo Olio), with tomato sauce and basil (Spaghetti Pomodoro e Basilico), with minced meat sauce (Spaghetti Bolognese), or with bacon (Spaghetti Carbonara) and usually topped with grated hard Italian cheese like famous Parmigiano Reggiano or equally popular Grana Padano. Yet preparation of spaghetti differs a lot from one Italian region to another region.
10. ITALIAN LASAGNE
This famous Italian dish made of wide and flat pasta is another famous food from Italy that has achieved worldwide recognition. Classic Italian lasagne are made of layers of flat pasta with a sauce made of meat, vegetables, and cheese.
11. ITALIAN BOLOGNESE SAUCE
Pizza and all diffrent kinds of pasta are world-famous foods from Italy, but Ragu Alla Bolognese is considered to be the national dish of Italy. Although there is no general agreement among Italians about what dish is the national dish, but they agree that the Bolognese sauce is used widely in Italian cuisine with almost all dishes (spaghetti, tagliatelle, pappardelle, fettuccine…). Authentic Bolognese sauce is made from tomatoes, minced beef, garlic, wine, and herbs.
12. MIDDLE EASTERN BABA GANOUSH
Baba Ganoush is a famous Middle Eastern dip made of fried and smashed eggplants with tahini, some salt, pepper, parsley, cumin, olive oil, and lemon juice. Baba Ganoush is one of the most famous spreads in the world. If you are a vegeterian, you would agree that baba ganoush goes on the list of amazing food.
13. INDIAN BIRYANI RICE
Indian cuisine is one of the most diverse cuisines in the World. And Indian food is unargubly one of the most delicious foods in the world. It’s hard to pick only few Indian dishes to represent the best of India. But, Biryani rice comes with many popular Indian dishes. Indian Biryani refers to various mixed rice dishes consisting of Biryani rice with a plethora of Indian spices (cardamom, coriander, bay leaves, cinnamon, nut mag, mint, ginger..) and various types of meats (chicken, lamb, goat, beef, fish, prawns..), or vegetables or eggs. Thus, there is meat Biryani, vegetable Biryani and Navratan Biryani (with cashews, apples, pineapples).
14. INDIAN THALI
Indian Thali refers to various small sizes dishes served typically on a round platter. Thali literally means ‘plate’. Every Indian region has its own Thali. Therfore, there are 16 different Thalis across India, and each comes with unique dishes. When in India or in an Indian restaurant whereever in the world, Indian Thali is a must have.
15. INDIAN CHICKEN TANDOORI
Chicken tandoori is famous Indian dish. It is made of chicken marinated in yogurt and spices and then roasted on skewers in a cylindrical clay oven called ‘tandoori’. Indian chicken tandoori is highly appreciated in the world and it is one most famous foods in the world overall.
16. SPANISH PAELLA
Paella is the national dish of Spain and one of the most famous foods in the world. This widely worshiped Spanish rice dish originates from the Spanish region of Valencia. Spaniards savor different types of paella: meat paella, seafood paella, vegetable paella or mixed paella (meat, seafood, and vegetables). Paella de Marisco (the seafood paella) is the most famous type of paella in the World, but authentic Valencian paella is actually mixed meat paella (with the meat of rabbit, chicken, sausage, and snails).
17. FRENCH ESCARGOTS DE BOURGOGNE
French cuisine is rich with delicacies. Snails are regarded as a delicacy food in many countries. Burgundy snails are a top world-renewed French dish originally coming from the French region of Burgundy. The snails are taken out from their shells, cooked with butter, garlic, parsley, and wine or chicken stock and then put back into the shells. Burgundy snails are considered a top delicacy around the world. While there is a long tradition of eating snails in Western Europe (like caracoles snail tapas in Spain, caracóis in Portugal), the most famous snails’ dish in the world is escargots de Bourgogne.
18. FRENCH GARLIC SOUP
Traditional French creamy garlic soup originally comes from the region of Provence. Authentic French garlic soup is made of smashed garlic, salt, pepper, cloves, thyme, sage, bay leaves, olive oil, egg yolks, shredded cheese and toasted rounds of baguette. Pretty much similar is popular French onion soup. French garlic soup or French onion soup? You can’t go wrong with any of these soups.
19. MEXICAN MOLE
Mexican cuisine and Mexican food are highly beloved across the globe. Mole is a national dish of Mexico. Mexican mole is a sauce made of a mix of chiles, nuts, seeds, and vegetables, various spices and sometimes unsweetened chocolate, tomatoes, and raisins. Mexican mole is typically used as a base for a stew or it is consumed as a sauce poured over meat or poultry (turkey most commonly).
20. MEXICAN BURRITO
Burrito is a traditional Mexican food made of cylindrically wrapped tortilla filled with rice, various meats (chicken, beef, pork), cheese, and vegetables (lettuce, tomatoes, beans, onions …) and condiments (salsa, guacamole..). Today Mexican burritos are popular street food worldwide.
21. MEXICAN TACOS
Taco is a traditional Mexican dish and common street food in Mexico. While burritos are made of rolled tortillas, tacos are made of folded tortillas. Tacos are much smaller in size than burritos and they are common Mexican finger food. Like burritos, Mexican tacos come filled with various ingredients (rice, cheese, meats, vegetables, condiments…).
22. JAPANESE SUSHI
Japenese cuisine is one top world-renowned cuisines. And, this famous Japanese dish is one of the top famous foods around the World. Sushi is made of vinegared rice with seafood, vegetables and sometimes tropical fruits. Vegetarian sushi is quite popular as well. While there are many types of sushi depending on ingredients, the main ingredient always remains rice.
23. JAPANESE SASHIMI
Sashimi is another famous traditional Japanese dish. This simple Japanese dish consists of raw slices of meat or fish, typically eaten with soy sauce. Japanese sashimi is one of the most famous raw foods dishes in the world.
24. JAPANESE RAMEN SOUP
Ramen is a famous Japanese soup well-known worldwide. This wheat noodle soup is made of meat broth, flavored with soya sauce or miso and topped with slices of pork, seaweed, spring onions, and ‘menma’ (fermented bamboo shoots).
25. VIETNAMESE PHO
Pho is a famous Vietnamese soup. Basically, it is rice noodle soup with knucklebones (of beef, or chicken), roasted the onions and ginger, and spices (cloves, cinnamon sticks, fennel, star anise, coriander pods, cardamom, chili peppers)
26. VIETNAMESE SPRING ROLLS
Gỏi cuốn or fresh spring rolls are traditional Vietnamese food made from vermicelli rice, pork, shrimps, vegetables and all wrapped up in edible rice paper. Fresh spring rolls are a popular appetizer in Vietnam and a must-try food in Vietnam.
27. PAD THAI
Pad Thai is the national dish of Thailand. It is made of rice noodles with eggs and tofu, vegetables (like raw banana flowers, garlic chives, bean sprouts), shrimps, crabs or chicken and all flavored with tamarind, chili peppers, palm sugar, and lime. Roasted peanuts are usually added making it even more flavourful.
28. LAO/THAI GREEN PAPAYA SALAD
As you can assume, this tasty salad is made of shredded unripe papaya. Although green papaya salad originates from Laos, it is quite popular throughout Southeast Asia. Probably the most popular is Thai Some Tam with peanuts. Green papaya salad is one of the most delicious foods in the world as it blends five important tastes: salty (salt), sweet (palm sugar), hot (chili), sour (lime), and savory (fish sauce).
29. BURMESE GREEN TEA SALAD
Burmese Laphet Thoke is one of the most famous salads in the world too. Green Tea Salad of Myanmar consists of fermented soft tea leaves, roasted crispy peanuts, some crunchy beans (butter beans or yellow split peas), toasted sesame seeds, fried garlic, chopped tomatoes and sometimes dried shrimp and shredded cabbage. It is widely known as one of the healthiest salads in the world.
30. ISRAELI SHAKSHUKA
Shakshouka is a popular Israeli dish made of poached eggs in a sauce of tomatoes, chili peppers, and onions spiced with cumin or zaatar, paprika, cayenne pepper, and coriander. Shakshouka originally comes from the Maghreb region of North Africa, more precisely from Tunisia. But Israel is the place where Shakshouka reached the world fame.
31. EGYPTIAN KOSHERI
Koshary is the national dish of Egypt. This traditional Egyptian dish is made of tasty carbs: rice, macaroni, lentils, and chickpeas, topped with onions and a special vinegar-tomato sauce. Koshari could be additionally garnished with hot chili sauce.
32. ALGERIAN COUSCOUS
Couscous is the national dish of Algeria. Couscous is called Ta’ām in Algeria what literally means ‘food’. It is made from steamed semolina. Typical Algerian couscous is topped with meat, vegetables, and various spices. Today couscous is one of the most famous foods around the world overall. LYBIAN KUSKUS is the national dish of Lybia. TUNISIAN KOSKSI is the national dish of Tunisia.
33. MORROCAN TAGINE
Couscous is the national dish of Morocco. But tagine or tajine is a world-famous dish from Morocco as well. This traditional Moroccan dish is meat or fish-based stew with vegetables or fruit, dried fruits, spices (cinnamon, ginger, cumin, turmeric, and saffron, chili) prepared in traditional the domed shaped clay tajine pot. Morrocan tajine is famous for the mix of sweet and sour tastes.
34. ETHIOPIAN INJERA
Ethiopian injera is a flatbread with a spongy texture and made of teff flour. Injera is the national dish of Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Somalia. Traditionally different stews and salads are put on injera, and then small pieces of injera with the stews or salads are torn and eaten all together. Therfore, Injera at same time serves as a plate, eating utensil, and food.
35. ARGENTIAN ASADOS
The national dish of Argentina is Asados. Asados refer to various grilled meats (stakes, sausages, ribs etc). Argentinian barbecue is commonly served with chimichurri, a sauce made of vinegar, garlic, and herbs. Argentian barbecue is done exclusively with coal and wood (never gas). In Argentina, Asado means both ‘barbecue’ and a ‘cut of meat’. Asado is a symbol of Argentina.
36. PERUVIAN CEVICHE
The national dish of Peru is ceviche. This famous Peruvian dish consists of raw fish, lime, lemon, onion and chili pepper. Italy has carpaccio, Japan has sashimi, but Peru has ceviche.
37. HUNGARIAN GOULASH
Goulash is the national dish of Hungary. This traditional Hungarian dish is basically a beef-based stew with onion and paprika. Quite often potatoes, carrots, garlic, peppers, and tomatoes are added. Hungary like paprika. Thus expect getting a lot of paprika in this traditional Hungarian dish.
38. TURKISH/GREEK MOUSSAKA
Moussaka is a famous dish from the Levant, the Middle East, and the Balkans. Moussaka originates from the Ottoman Empire. Probably, the best known today are Turkish moussaka and Greek Moussaka. Moussaka is made of layers of potatoes or eggplants and tomato-based sauce with minced meat. Moussaka is eaten warm in Greece, at room temperature in Turkey and cold in Arab countries.
39. AUSTRIAN WIENER SCHNITZEL
Traditional Austrian dish made of sliced and breaded veal fried in the fat (lard or butter). Wiener Schnitzel is the national dish of Austria and one of the top famous foods in the world.
40. GERMAN BRATWURST
German Bratwurst is probably the most famous sausage in the World. This popular German pork sausage is typically fried and cooked with beer, potatoes, and red cabbage. German bratwurst and German beer go well together!
41. BELGIAN MOULES FRITES
Mussels are the national food of Belgium. In Belgium, they are cooked or steamed with onions and celery and commonly accompanied by fries. Oh, should I add that there’s a dispute about (french) fries not being originally french but belgian?!
42. ENGLISH YORKSHIRE PUDDING
Yorkshire pudding is the national dish of England. Actually, this simple baked pudding is a side dish made from eggs, flour, milk or water. Typically it is served as a first course with onion gravy or as a main course with beef and gravy.
43. ENGLISH STILTON CHEESE
France has its wide list of first-class chesees like Munster cheese, Brie, Camambert, Roqufort … Italy has a wide range of famous cheeses like Parmigano Reggiano, Grana Padano, Gorgonzola, Mascarpone … But delicious Stilton cheese comes from England. There are two types of creamy Stilton: Blue Stilton and White Stilton cheese. My favorite is Blue Stilton cheese, and on this list deserves a special place.
44. SWISS CHEESE FONDUE
This traditional Swiss dish is one of the famous dishes around the world. Traditionally prepared of cheese, wine, and simple peasant bread. It is a hearty peasant dish prepared in a rounded ceramic pot with a handle on a tabletop burner, consumed widely in the winter. Typically Swiss cheese fondue is eaten with long and thin fondue forks.
45. CANADIAN POUTINE
The national dish of Canada is poutine. This simple dish consists of french fries with cheese curds topped with gravy.
46. BOSNIAN ĆEVAPĆIĆI
Ćevapćići are the national dish of Bosnia, but they are actually eaten throughout the Balkans. Ćevapćići are small oblong sausages made of grilled minced meat (usually beef, but can be also pork, lamb or mixed). They are served typically in ‘somun’ or ‘lepinja’ flatbread with chopped onions, kajmak cheese, and ajvar spread.
47. BALKANS AJVAR
Ajvar is a famous spread and a side dish on the Balkans. Ajvar is made by slowly cooking (hours and hours of cooking) red bell peppers and oil. There are three types of ajvar: mild (typically), piquant and hot (spicy; with lots of chili peppers ). If you are travelling to Macedonia, Bulgaria, Albania, Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia or Croatia, don’t miss out tasting this havenly spread!
48. PORTUGUESE BACALAHU
Dried and salted codfish, or Bacalhau in Portuguese, is the main food in Portugal. In Portugal it is said that there are more than 365 ways to prepare codfish, one for every day of the year. If you travel to Portugal, you can’t miss esome of the many traditional Portuguese dishes made of codfish. The most popular cod dish in Portugal is ‘Bacalhau com todos’ what literally means ‘cod with everything’. ‘Bacalhau com todos’ is a Portuguese dish made from cooked cod, vegetables, and hard-boiled egg.
49. BRAZILIAN FEIJOADA
Feijoada is the national dish of Brazil. This traditional Brazilian dish is a hearty stew of beans with beef and pork prepared in a thick clay pot. Typically it is not made with vegetables. Instead, it’s served with white rice, shredded kale and slices of oranges to make the digestion easier.
50. SOUTH KOREAN KIMCHI
Korean kimchi refers to spicy fermented vegetables. It is often described as spicy and aromatic Korean sauerkraut. Cabbage and radishes are salted and drenched with water. Aftre few hours of the fermentation, chili powder, garlic, scallions, ginger and sometimes even salted seafood are added.
51. PHILIPPINO CHICKEN ADOBO
Adobo is the national dish of the Philippines. This traditional Filipino food is prepared from pot-roasted beef or pork meat (sometimes both) in a special sauce made from vinegar, soy sauce, cooking oil, garlic, peppercorns, and bay leaves.
52. CZECH KNEDLIKY
Traditional Czech knedliky are boiled bread dumplings made with milk, flour, egg, and yeast. The bread dumplings are a popular side dish in the Czech Republic.
53. POLISH PIEROGI
Pierogi are the national dish of Poland, although they can be found across Central Europe and Eastern Europe in various forms. Pierogi are boiled dumplings with sweet, salty, spicy or savory fillings. Sometimes they are fried as well. The most common Polish pierogi are filled with fresh creamy quark cheese, boiled potatoes, and fried onions.
54. INDONESIAN SATAY
Satay is a famous Indonesian dish. Basically it is seasoned meat, put on skewers and grilled. Most commonly Indonesian satay is prepared of chicken, mutton, beef, pork, goat, fish and eaten with a sauce, most typically with soy and peanut sauce. Satay is beloved across southeastern Asia and it is especially popular in Malaysia, Brunei, Thailand, and Singapore.
55. AIR-CURED HAM
Italy has prosciutto crudo, Spain jamon iberico, France jambon sec, Croatia pršut ... but in each case it is always thinly sliced, air-dried, cured and uncooked pork meat, or more precisly pig’s hind leg or thigh. And it is always eaten raw. Needless to say, air-dried ham is voted as a first-class delicacy by gourmands over the globe.