15 Dishes ALL Foodies Must Seek Out On Their Travels

15 Dishes ALL Foodies Must Seek Out On Their Travels

There are some worldly foods that are just so iconic they can't be missed. They are the ones no self-respecting foodie traveler would skip as they hop from city to city; the ones that fill every menu and every cookbook of their respective regions. Here's our own top pick of our favs, with plenty of Neapolitan pizza and peanut satay to go around…

1.   Ceviche, South America

Raw fish might not seem like the most enticing of ingredients to start this list with, but when placed with the chili flakes and lime garnishes, the veg and coriander tops of the South American ceviche, we're pretty sure you'll forgive us. Be certain to grab one of these bad boys as you flit between Machu Picchu and the beaches of Peru, or take some time out from bustling Santiago to sample its salty, seafood delights.


2.   Pad Thai, Thailand

Sizzling woks of oily noodles toss and turn on virtually every road corner in the Land of Smiles, and despite a recent street food crackdown, there's still every chance to find the classic pad Thai. Considered half tourist must-try half national dish, plates of this one usually come topped with crushed peanuts and wedges of lime, a sprinkling of soy and beansprouts, and – of course – a bona fide Thai smile.

3.   Peanut satay, Malaysia

It's likely you won't have to venture far in Malaysia to find one of the country's much-loved satay joints. Tables are laid out with bubbling cauldrons of peanut sauce in the middle, while diners choose stacks of kebab sticks from fridges all around the room. Then, it's all about broiling up your chosen veg and meats in your spicy hotpot, watching as the sauce infuses your proteins with its oils and tastes.

Photo by Monica Arellano-Ongpin / CCBY

4.   Pav bhaji, India

Mumbai's famous pav bhaji is just one of the reasons that India is hailed as one of the world's top street food meccas. It's a dish that bears influences from the Portuguese traders who once sailed the eastern coastline of the subcontinent. That's why the bubbling tomato and veg curry that's laden with strong spices and marinated veg is served in a bread bun; like a curious kitchen combo of east and west.

5.   Nasi goreng, Indonesia

Street-side cooks and maestros of the warung (traditional Indonesian kitchens) have been cooking up this iconic Indonesian rice dish since time immemorial. Each will have their own recipe and regional variations, but we love the simple, spicy creations of the chefs in Bali. We often settle in for a nasi after a day of surfing opposite the sands of Kuta. Ah, it's wonderful, that mix of soy and kecap manis, fried egg and chili.

6.   Neapolitan pizza, Italy

It's not Rome, or Florence, or Milan that can claim the crown for being the veritable home of pizza. It's Naples. Yep, the southern city of tight-knit lanes and brooding volcanos is where you'll get the best traditional pies on the whole Italian Boot. They are made with refined 00 flours and have cushiony pastry that makes for chewy crusts all round. Then there's the uber-fresh passata used on top, and the milky buffalo mozzarella cheese – very melt in the mouth!

7.   Goulash, Hungary

Paprika and tomato combine to create this wonderful dish that's become a veritable symbol of the old Magyar nation. It's sold in little taverns all over Budapest and beyond, and typically comes laden with crumbling meat cuts and slow-cooked vegetables that are caramelized to just about the perfect level. You can also grab some crunchy Hungarian breads to mop the remainder up once you're finished.

8.   Gallo pinto, Nicaragua

A medley of boiled black beans and rice might not sound like a must-try dish for globetrotters but Nicaragua's trademark gallo pinto is a lesson in just how wonderful simple, country cooking can be. The combo of mushy pulses and grains is often served with a side of fresh tomato salsa and eggs, and is the perfect way to start a day overlooking the beautiful beaches of San Juan del Sur.

Photo by James Diggans / CCBY

9.   Pierogi, Poland

If it's something to soak up the endless stream of Slavic vodka you're after, then this national dish of Poland is right on the money. Thick crusts of boiled dough come packed to bursting with cream cheese and potato filling, all topped with fried onions, chives and oil. It's all usually served with a frothy local beer and plenty of salty gherkins on the side.

10.  Tagine, Morocco

Thick-cut vegetables and crumbling lamb meat, oodles of pulses and a taste-bud-tingling array of spices the likes of which you've only heard in tales of Arabia and the Maghreb – all that and more combines to give Morocco's national dish the flavorsome punch it's known for. Be sure to find a traditional Berber eatery in an old riad home to enjoy this one in, and don't forget to wash it down with a tipple of mint tea!

11.  Feijoada, Brazil

The Feijoada is simple, hearty Latin American food; the daily dish of choice Paulistanos and cariocas from Rio to Sao Paulo. Essentially a stew, the dish is made from a selection of filling shoulder meats and sausage, usually augmented with spicy chilis and paprika, and emboldened with thick pulses and beans. It's filling and heavy – perfect for devouring after a day of sightseeing to the tops of the Sugarloaf Mountain!

12.  Paella, Spain

The national dish of Spain is right up there with the world's most coveted tourist must-tries. Hailing in from the southern region of Andalusia, it's known for its fusion of European and North African flavors, use of hearty vegetables, and slow-cooked rice. You can get a number of variations, from popular seafood paellas along the coast, to meaty, more traditional paellas up in the pueblos blancos of the mountains.

13.  Francesinha, Portugal

A meat eater's delight, the famously fattening, stacked francesinha sandwich is one of the culinary masterpieces of Porto – a beautiful, UNESCO-tagged city in northern Portugal. Packed with cured Iberian hams, steak, roast pork and melted cheese, it's topped with a secret sauce and served with a fried egg. It might not be one to eat before getting the beach bod out, but it's perfect for curing a hangover!

Photo by elchicogris / CCBY

14.  Baklava, Turkey

If you find yourself pining for something a little sweet after all those salty doner kebabs and olives on our YachtLife Mediterranean trip, then this syrup-doused medley of layered puff pastry might just be the perfect choice. Notoriously difficult to cook at home, it's probably best bought straight from a bakery in its country of origin: Turkey.

15.  Peka, Croatia

As you sail along the mountain-topped coastline of Dalmatia on our LBW Yachtlife, between the historic stone towns of Hvar and the ancient ruins of Split, we recommend you sample the region's trademark peka. Cooked in a single domed pot that looks more like a football stadium than a cooking utensil, it's made of chicken, seafood and other game meats, heated in a wood-fired pizza oven and served with healthy green salad. It's great sailing food!

Of course, there are oodles of more must-try foods to add to this list. If you can think of one you think LBW travelers would love, be sure to add it in the comments below.

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