150 Foods Worth Traveling For

You may be able to find these dishes worldwide, but nothing compares to trying them at the source
Dal bhat, or steamed rice with a lentil soup, is a traditional Nepalese dish.

Even if we don’t always remember the history behind the Colosseum, the significance of the Great Pyramids’ configuration, or who built Machu Picchu after returning home from a trip, we can almost always remember what we ate while we were there.

Of course, food memories can range from pleasurable to uncomfortable or even mediocre. Judgments aside, though, most of us travelers can agree that the times when we eat during a trip are most often also the times when we feel the most engaged. With all five senses stimulated, we not only see, hear, smell, or even touch a certain place — we taste it, too.

Click here to see the 150 Foods Worth Traveling For Slideshow!

Globalization has made sampling delicacies from around the world fairly easy. Most of us don’t have to live in the Middle East to sample delicious falafel, or travel to China for near perfect jiaozi. But our list isn’t solely about individual dishes; it’s about the experience of eating in an authentic context. It’s about actually stepping foot in the wood-fired pizza ovens in Naples, the steaming noodle shops of Tokyo, and the bustling cevicherias of Lima. You may be able to recreate a crêpe, but you (sadly) will have a difficult time recreating the crepêrie that wafts saccharine batter aromas from a Parisian street corner.[slideshow:

None of these dishes could have been created in a vacuum. They are most often the sum of geography, traditions, necessities, and personal tastes of a given culture. This considered, many of the dishes on our list arguably have multiple homes across several borders, yet we’ve chosen to bring you the locations where we believe you can find them in some of their purest forms.

In the following five slideshows, we’ve rounded up 150 different foods that enhance the experience of a given place. Not only do these foods complement a trip, some might argue (as we do) that given the proper address, they’re worth the trip themselves.

Admittedly, several of our recommendations might be more accessible to most people’s palates, while others might be more of an acquired taste. While it’s ultimately up to you to decide what’s on your eating itinerary for your next trip, consider our recommendations based upon popularity and critical review. We’ve segmented the five geographical areas into five pages and five slideshows:

Africa and Middle East
[slideshow:Our journey through the world’s most iconic dishes begins in the Middle East and Africa. Some of the dishes in this area maybe be more familiar to you than others (hummus versus poulet nyembwe, for example), with names that you may or may not be able to pronounce. Ranging from origins in Algeria to Yemen, the majority of these dishes in our list are rich with with pungent spices, hearty grains, and stewed vegetables.

Asia and the Pacific
[slideshow:Next, we head east to Asia, where we honor some popular dishes like Chinese peking duck, sushi, and kimchi, as well as lesser-known delicacies like khao soi and adobo. A little further south, the Pacific region has hearty Austrailian meat pies and New Zealand's meringue-based Pavlova. A mash-up of both the familiar and more exotic, this lineup is only the beginning when discovering this region's vibrant culinary culture.

Europe and the United Kingdom
[slideshow:Our Europe and United Kingdom selection is a dense and delicious mix, with highlights spanning culinary capitals from Austria to Northern Ireland. Some of the more familiar dishes on this list include pizza and fish and chips, while generally lesser-known dishes like colcannon and cevapcici, are also reconginized for their cultural importance. Whether or not you've got your own Eurotrip planned in the near future, our roundup is the next best thing to being there yourself. 

North America
[slideshow:Although you might assume this list might be the most familiar, certain delicacies that we've included from this part of the world could surprise you. In addition to hamburgers and hot dogs, North America is also home to conch and ropa vieja. This slideshow spans from Trinidad and Tobago to Canada, while encompassing Old and New World culinary cultures, as well as a spectrum of climates and ingredients. Just because you may have tried some of these dishes, don't assume that you know them all.

South America
[slideshow:Spanning the entire continent, this leg of our roundup includes many meat-centric dishes and traditions from the region, including Argentina's parrillada and Brazil's feijoada. Lighter dishes, including Peru's ceviche, are included here, too, alongside potentially less familiar selections that generally incorporate rich grains and a variety of beans.  

Did we forget an essential dish in one of your favorite travel destinations? Let us know by leaving a comment.

To see our complete list of 150 foods worth traveling for, go to the next page!

Caroline Brown, Emily Kolars, Emily Rothkrug, and Meredith Whitman contributed research and reporting to this article.

150 Foods Worth Traveling For: Africa and Middle East

Our journey through the world’s most iconic dishes begins in the Middle East and Africa. Some of the dishes in this area maybe be more familiar to you than others (hummus versus poulet nyembwe, for example), with names that you may or may not be able to pronounce. Ranging from origins in Algeria to Yemen, the majority of these dishes in our list are rich with with pungent spices, hearty grains, and stewed vegetables.[slideshow:

Algeria: Merguez

Angola: Muamba de Galinha

Armenia: Harissa

Cameroon: Ndole

Cape Verde: Cachupa

Egypt: Falafel

Egypt: Ful Medames

Ethiopia: Kifto

Eritrea: Lamb Zigini with Injera

Gabon: Poulet Nyembwe

Iran: Chelow Kebab

Israel: Hummus

Jordan: Mansaf

Kazakhstan: Beshbarmak

Kuwait: Machboos

Lebanon: Kibbeh

Lebanon: Tabbouleh

Madagascar: Romazava

Morocco: Tagine

Morocco: Pastilla

Pakistan: Biryani

Pakistan: Nihari

Saudi Arabia: Kabsa

Senegal: Thieboudienne

South Afirca: Bobotie

Tunisia: Couscous

Turkey: Doner Kebab

Turkmenistan: Palaw

Uganda: Matoke

Yemen: Saltah

To see our foods worth traveling for in Asia and the Pacific, check out the next page.

150 Foods Worth Traveling For: Asia and the Pacific

Next, we head east to Asia, where we honor some popular dishes like Chinese peking duck, sushi, and kimchi, as well as lesser-known delicacies like khao soi and adobo. A little further south, the Pacific region has hearty Austrailian meat pies and New Zealand's meringue-based Pavlova. A mash-up of both the familiar and more exotic, this lineup is only the beginning when discovering this region's vibrant culinary culture.[slideshow:

Australia: Meat Pies

Bangladesh: Ilish Polau

Bhutan: Ema Datshi

Brunei: Ambuyat

Burma/Myanmar: Mohinga

Cambodia: Amok Trey

China: Pecking Duck

China: Jiaozi

China: Tofu          

Hong Kong: Char Siu

China (Macau): Minchee

India: Idli

India: Tandoori Chicken

Indonesia: Gado-gado

Indonesia: Nasi Goreng

Indonesia: Satay

Japan: Japanese Curry

Japan: Ramen Noodles

Japan: Sushi

Laos: Larb with Sticky Rice

Malaysia: Nasi Lemak

Mongolia: Buuz

Nepal: Dal Bhat

New Zealand: Pavlova

New Zealand: Bacon and Egg Pie

Philippines: Adobo

Philippines: Lechón

Singapore: Chilli Crab

Singapore: Hainanese Chicken Rice

South Korea: Kimchi

South Korea: Bulgogi

Sri Lanka: Rice and curry

Taiwan: Beef noodle soup

Thailand: Pad Thai

Thailand: Tom Yum Soup

Thailand: Khao Soi

Vietnam: Pho

To see our foods worth traveling for in Europe and the United Kingdom, check out the next page.

150 Foods Worth Traveling For: Europe and the United Kingdom

Our Europe and United Kingdom selection is a dense and delicious mix, with highlights spanning culinary capitals from Austria to Northern Ireland. Some of the more familiar dishes on this list include pizza and fish and chips, while generally lesser-known dishes like colcannon and cevapcici, are also reconginized for their cultural importance. Whether or not you've got your own Eurotrip planned in the near future, our roundup is the next best thing to being there yourself.[slideshow:

Austria: Schnitzel

Austria: Tafelspitz

Belaris: Draniki

Belgium: Moules-Frites

Bosnia: Bosanski Lonac

Croatia: Jota

Czech Republic: Roast Pork with Dumplings

Czech Republic: Svíčková

Denmark: Frikadeller

Estonia: Mulgikapsad

France: Crêpes

France: Pot-au-Feu

France: Choucroute garnie

France: Boeuf Bourguignon

France: Pâté de Foie Gras

France: Mille-Feuille

Georgia: Khachapuri

Georgia: Khinkali

Germany: Currywurst

Germany: Sauerbraten

Greece: Moussaka

Hungary: Gulyás

Iceland: Hákarl

Ireland: Colcannon

Ireland: Irish Stew

Italy: Spaghetti al Pomodoro

Italy: Pizza Margherita

Lithuania: Cepelinai

Luxembourg: Judd mat Gaardebounen

Macedonia: Tavče Gravče

Malta: Stuffat Tal-Fenek

Netherlands: Stamppot

Norway: Fårikål

Poland: Pierogies

Poland: Bigos

Portugal: Bacalhau con natas

Portugal: Pastel de nata

Romania: Mămăligă

Russia: Pelmeni

Russia: Shchi

Russia: Kasha

Serbia: Ćevapčići

Slovakia: Bryndzové Halušky

Spain: Gazpacho

Spain: Paella

Sweeden: Köttbullar

Sweeden: Kräftskiva

Switzerland: Rösti

Switzerland: Fondue

Ukraine: Borscht

U.K.: Chciken Tikka Masala

U.K.: Sunday Roast

U.K.: Fish and Chips

U.K. (Northern Ireland): Ulster Fry

Scotland: Haggis

To see our foods worth traveling for in North America, check out the next page.

150 Foods Worth Traveling For: North America

Although you might assume this list might be the most familiar, certain delicacies that we've included from this part of the world could surprise you. In addition to hamburgers and hot dogs, North America is also home to conch and ropa vieja. This slideshow spans from Trinidad and Tobago to Canada, while encompassing Old and New World culinary cultures, as well as a spectrum of climates and ingredients. Just because you may have tried some of these dishes, don't assume that you know them all.[slideshow:

Bahamas: Conch

Barbados: Cou-cou and Flying Fish

Canada: Poutine

Costa Rica: Gallo Pinto

Cuba: Ropa Vieja

Dominican Republic: Sancocho

El Salvador: Pupusas

Jamaica: Ackee and Saltfish

U.S.: Philly Cheesesteak

U.S.: South: Barbecue

U.S.: Texas: Chicken Fried Steak

U.S.: Hamburgers

U.S.: Apple Pie

U.S.: Chicago: Hot Dog

Mexico: Mole Poblano

Mexico: Tamales

Trinidad and Tobago: Doubles

To see our foods worth traveling for in South America, check out the next page.

150 Foods Worth Traveling For: South America

Spanning the entire continent, this leg of our roundup includes many meat-centric dishes and traditions from the region, including Argentina's parrillada and Brazil's feijoada. Lighter dishes, including Peru's ceviche, are included here, too, alongside potentially less familiar selections that generally incorporate rich grains and a variety of beans.[slideshow:

Argentina: Parrillada

Brazil: Feijoada

Chile: Empanadas

Chile: Pastel de Choclo

Colombia: Bandeja Paisa

Grenada: Oil Down

Guyana: Guyana Pepperpot

Paraguay: Sopa Paraguaya

Peru: Ceviche

Uruguay: Asado

Venezuela: Pabellon Criollo

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