No travel bucket list is complete without a food menu! Before you plan your next trip, make sure to check out the local fare in order to truly experience the unique flavors of international cities.
From sweet treats to savory meats, these are some of our favorite foods from around the world.
Poutine in Montreal
We’ll start our selection just north of the border in Quebec where poutine was first created in the 1950s. Ever since, this dish of french fries served with gooey gravy and cheese curds has become a fan favorite. Even though it was first received with skepticism, many have dubbed poutine Canada’s national dish. Montreal has annual poutine festivals and some of the restaurants serve over thirty varieties.
Ramen in Tokyo
Serving good quality ramen in American restaurants has become a recent fad, but Japan has been making ramen for over three hundred years! The dish was an adaptation from Chinese wheat noodles. Nowadays, Tokyo has about 5,000 ramen shops. Most restaurants will make the noodles onsite and include a selection of broths and flavors.
Empanadas in Buenos Aires
Empanadas are made in several South America and European countries, but Argentina has made this tasty pastry a staple. Usually served as an appetizer, these fried delicacies are filled with potatoes, peas, meats, or hard boiled eggs. Empanadas are so commonplace in Buenos Aires that they have been declared a “Cultural Heritage of Food and Gastronomy” food.
Koshary in Cairo
Koshary is a hearty dish filled with rice, macaroni, lentils, spiced tomato sauce, and chickpeas. It might sound unusual to Americans, but it has become Egypt’s national dish so it’s definitely worth trying when you’re in the country.
Beignets in New Orleans
Just like gumbo and po’boys, beignets have become a must-try food when strolling the French Quarter of New Orleans. The fried dough pastries are covered in powdered sugar and must be eaten warm. Café Du Monde, the most famous beignet restaurant in New Orleans, has been serving these treats to a long line of customers since 1862.
Currywurst in Berlin
Currywurst was invented in Berlin in the late 1940s as a fast food option to hungry citizens. The dish consists of fried pork sausage topped with curry ketchup. The food became popular among construction workers who needed filling food while rebuilding the city of Berlin after WWII. Back then, the original stand sold over 10,000 servings a week!
Jeon in Seoul
Jeon is a savory fritter or pancake made with meat, fish, vegetables, and egg. Jeon filled with red meat used to be served to Korean royalty while commoners typically made the pancakes with vegetables. Don’t forget to try this scrumptious appetizer with a side of kimchi!
Crepes in Paris
Crepe stands can be found all over Paris serving this quick street fare in sweet and savory varieties. Some of the methods to make these thin pancakes have remained the same since the 1100s! Originally from Brittany, France, crepes became most popular in the Montparnasse quarter of Paris because this region of the city had a train station with a direct connection to Brittany.
Braai in Cape Town
Braai is a traditional South African BBQ. Not only is it a source of food, braais are also a cultural tradition for special events and gatherings. Some braai staples include boerwors (sausage seasoned with coriander and nutmeg), pap (maize porridge), and braaibroodjie (sandwiches with cheddar cheese).
Boat Noodles in Bangkok
Boat noodles were first served in Bangkok in the 1940s to boats traveling through the city’s canals. Since the noodles were cooked on small boats on the canal, the serving size was always small and hand-sized. This tradition has remained, which makes boat noodles a great option for an appetizer or quick street snack.
Brigadeiro in Rio de Janeiro
We’ll end on a sweet note with the cherished brigadeiros. This “Brazilian truffle” is made with condensed milk, chocolate, butter, and covered in sprinkles. The name comes from Brigadier’s presidential campaign in 1946. Women who could vote for the first time in the country served the truffles during his campaign. Although he lost the election, this sweet treat became a winning staple for Brazil.