Best Cuisines in the World for Foodies [Food Tourism]

Discovering the best cuisines in the world is a great advantage of travel–especially when you’re a foodie. Each country literally brings something wonderful to the table. It’s no wonder food tourism is thriving!

In this mouth-watering round-up, you’ll discover 27+ “must-try” dishes, amazing regional flavors, and some incredible culinary delights from around the globe.

Schweinshaxe from Germany

By Maria at Maria Abroad | Facebook

German food is delicious, hearty and very meat-heavy. Pork is the meat of choice and boy do Germans know how to make it delicious. Whether you try German sausages, pork roast, or pork schnitzel, you won’t be disappointed by the meaty goodness on your plate.

One dish steals the show for all of them: Schweinshaxe, sometimes also abbreviated as Hax’n. This is one of the most famous German dishes, especially in Bavaria.

So what is it?

Schwein means pork and Have is a Bavarian dialect word for foot/leg. So essentially, Schweinshaxe is a pork knuckle or pork shank.

It is roasted in the oven with the skin on and basted with beer. After slow-roasting it for hours in the oven, the meat falls off the bone and is sweet and succulent.

The skin turns crunchy and delicious–definitely my favorite part of the Schweinshaxe. In Germany, if someone shares the skin from the Schweinshaxe with you, it is considered a sign of true love.

A specialty of Germany: Schweinshaxe (pork knuckle or pork shank)
Schweinshaxe (Germany)

As for sides, you usually get a few slices of rye bread, roasted potatoes, and sauerkraut, or potato dumplings with dark beer gravy. The pork is roasted in the gravy for hours, has some flavor from the beer that was used for basting, and is absolutely divine.

If you visit Germany and eat meat, it would be a crime to not order a Schweinshaxe at least once!

Bánh Mis in Hoi An from Vietnam

By Caroline & Neil of CK Travels | Instagram

Vietnam has so many worthy contenders for the best dish. In particular, Hoi An could easily be described as a veritable feast of Vietnamese foodie treasures, from delicious cau lau noodles to wonderful white rose dumplings—but one of our favorite dishes has to be the bánh mì, the Vietnamese sandwich filled with savory ingredients.

Your basic bánh mì is a combination of vegetables and meat, although vegetarian versions (normally cheese-based) are becoming more popular. Typical ingredients include chicken, pork, pate, coriander, pickle, cucumber, and sriracha chili sauce. Prices vary but generally cost around 50 cents to 1.50 dollars.

Vietnamese sandwich from Hoi An
Bánh Mis (Hoi An Vietnam)

You’ll find two of Vietnam’s best banh mi restaurants (in our humble opinion) in Hoi An. We recommend you pay a visit to both Bánh Mì Phượng and Madame Khanh—the Bánh Mì Queen.

The former appears more popular in terms of queue length, but we put this down to the visit by Anthony Bourdain, who visited here on his ‘No Reservations’ Show. For us, whilst both were good, Madame Khanh sneaks in for the win, as her banh mis were full of fresher flavor.

Do yourself a favor and visit Hoi An for a foodie experience to suit all budgets.

Kuru Fasulye from Turkey

By Katerina & Maria of It’s all trip to me |  Instagram

Turkey boasts one of the most diverse and delicious cuisines in the world. From main courses and meze dishes to street food and dessert, Turkish food is absolutely phenomenal.

It’s one of the best cuisines in the world.

However, there is one dish that stands out from the rest. So much so that it is often considered the country’s national dish. Kuru Fasulye is a simple yet incredibly mouthwatering recipe that can easily claim the title of Turkey’s ultimate comfort food as well. 

Kuru fasulye is a stew made of dry white beans with onions and olive oil in a rich tomato sauce. The beans are cooked to perfection until they are almost unbelievably tender while there’s no way one can keep their bread off the divine sauce.

Best cuisines in the world: Kuru Faslye from Turkey (food tourism)
Kuru Fasulye (Turkey)

Sometimes, meat is also added in the stew but the real kuru fasulye is nothing but a hearty vegetarian dish. 

Kuru fasulye can be savored either on its own or with rice, the famous non-sticky Turkish pilav, as a side dish. 

The best place to try kuru fasulye in Turkey is at a lokanta, a traditional no-frills restaurant that serves heartwarming food at very lοw prices.

Speaking of costs, kuru fasulye is also an excellent value for money. In Istanbul, a serving starts from as low as 15TL (less than 2,5€ or USD ).

So, next time you’re in Turkey, don’t think twice. Order kuru fasulye and get ready to lose yourselves in the warm embrace of not just a dish, but of an entire people who cook with their whole hearts!

Related: For more delicious soups of the world, click here.

Shakshuka from Israel

By Claudia Tavani of My Adventures Across the World | Instagram

You will find one of the most interesting cuisines in the world in Israel.

Subject to the influences of many countries and cultures, Israeli food is a real blend of flavors that reach perfection—so much so, that food and wine tourism are actually becoming more and more of a thing in Israel.

One of the must-try dishes of Israeli cuisine is Shakshuka. Common in the entire Middle East and even in Egypt, this is a very simple dish of poached eggs that is full of flavor and incredibly comforting.

The dish is prepared by lightly frying onions in good quality olive oil, adding chopped ripe tomatoes—they can be fresh or even canned—and preparing a light tomato sauce.

Spices and herbs (usually parsley but also basil and oregano) can be added for extra flavor. The eggs are added at the end. Some recipes call for bell peppers, too.

Best Cuisines in the World: Shakshuka from Isreal
Shakshuka (Isreal)

Variations can include all sorts of other vegetables such as mushrooms or even eggplant.

Shakshuka is best-eaten piping hot and with ample doses of freshly baked bread or pita. It is often served with a small side salad of parsley and mint, as well as soft cheese such as labneh with za’atar (a middle eastern blend of herbs).

Food Tourism: Pierogi from Poland

By Deeptha from The Globe Trotter | Twitter

Pierogi are semi-circular, filled dumplings and one of the national dishes of Poland. They are typically made from noodle dough and cooked in boiling water. The fillings can be savory or sweet and most commonly include potatoes, cheese, sauerkraut, ground meat, mushrooms, and fruits.

Pierogi - filled dumplings from Poland
Pierogi (Poland)

The origins of Pierogi are not very clear, with some believing that it originated in China while others think it may have come to Poland from Kiev.

Saint Hyacinth of Poland is believed to have fed the people of Poland with Pierogi during a famine in the 1240s.

Another belief is that the people of Kościelec (in Poland) made Pierogi for the saint after he restored their crops, which had been destroyed in a storm.

Whatever may be its origins, Pierogi today is very popular in Poland and widely consumed.

While in Krakow, we went on a Polish food tour and tried these dumplings in a traditional Polish Milk Bar which serves homemade style food at affordable prices.

And it was typical comfort food – flavorsome and hearty.

The vegetarian versions included potato & cheese and cabbage & mushroom fillings and were delicious.

The good thing about Pierogi is that it can be eaten warm or cold and it tastes great in both cases. The Poles eat Pierogi daily and with special fillings for special occasions like Christmas.

If you are heading to Poland, this is one dish you must try.

Fesendjoon (Persian Stew) from Iran

By Ellis from Backpack Adventures | Instagram

Persian food isn’t as famous as other cuisines in the world. Probably because Iran isn’t the most common tourist destination yet. When people visit Iran, they are often in for a big surprise as the country has so much to offer including incredibly delicious food.

Truth be told that it is not always easy to find, because the best restaurants in town don’t need advertising and are sometimes literally hidden from view. Iranians know where to go and if you ask around they will let you in on the secret gems.

The most common dish in Iranian restaurants is kebabs with rice induced in saffron and then cooked to perfection.

However, the most delicious recipes of Persian cuisine are its stews known for its unique ingredients and abundant use of fresh herbs.

The number one dish in Iran is without doubt Fesendjoon. In short, it is a chicken stew in a sauce of walnut and pomegranate syrup.

Fesendjoon from Iran, a chicken stew in a sauce of walnut and pomegranate syrup
Fesendjoon, a Persian Stew (Iran)

The taste is divine, but the stew takes skills and time to make. Therefore it is rarely on the menu.

Consider yourself lucky if it is and look no further. You will know what to order.

Machanka Sauce from Belarus

By Iris Veldwijk of Mind of a Hitchhiker | Facebook.

In the heart of Europe, far away from any coast, exists a country whose entire cuisine is the very definition of comfort food: Belarus. It may be an obscure and elusive destination, but that only makes Belarus such a pleasant surprise. And the food will leave you oh so satisfied.

Belarusian cuisine is creamy, carby, and full of mushrooms and earthy vegetables such as beets, cabbage, and potatoes. The country has lots of ancient forests where the mushrooms come from along with the game. It’s not uncommon to see deer and boar on the menu when close to nature. Most dishes taste like living in a cabin in the forest.

Machanka is a cream-based sauce that harnesses and enhances the flavors of the mushrooms and meat it’s mixed in with. You’ll find it everywhere in the country with slight variations.

Best Cuisines in the World: Machanka Sauce from Belarus
Machanka Sauce (Belarus)

The sauce often goes on top of pancakes (blini), potato pancakes (draniki), filled dumplings (kalduni), or plain dumplings (kletski).

If you spend enough time in Belarus, you’ll be able to try each combination with Machanka Sauce. Check the menu if they have any birch sap juice (biarozavy sok) to complete the experience.

Tucked away between Lithuania, Latvia, Russia, Ukraine, and Poland, you might wonder if the Belarusian fare will be very similar to those countries. You’ll still find kvass, borsch, and cold borsch (kholodnik), but Belarus found its own unique and delicious twist on specialties from the region.

Come find it out for yourself!

Pilau and Mishkaki from Tanzania

By Joanna at The world in my pocket | Instagram

When you think about Tanzania you don’t automatically associate it with a gastronomic destination. Most of the people who travel to Tanzania are there to observe wild animals on unforgettable safaris, or to relax on the dreamy beaches from Zanzibar.

Once you’re there though, the local flavors don’t cease to amaze.

Tanzanian cuisine is quite simple but flavorsome.

Two of the staple dishes in mainland Tanzania are the Pilau and the Mishkaki, which you can find in pretty much every local restaurant.

Pilau is a rice dish that you can find all over the African continent, even beyond. However, each country has adapted the recipe to its own culture.

The Tanzanian Pilau is made vegetarian and it’s usually eaten as a side dish. It is made with five spices: cardamom, black peppercorn, cloves, cinnamon, and cumin seeds.

To make the dish, onions are caramelized and then topped with water, which is then infused with the spices. The rice is added after at least half an hour after the spices have enough time to release all the aromatic flavors into the water.

Another great dish to try in Tanzania is the Mishkaki, a street food favorite that you can find anywhere. Mishkaki are marinated pieces of meat grilled together with vegetables, on a skewer, over hot coals. The meat is so tender and juicy, with a smoky flavor.

Mishkaki skewers from Tanzania
Mishkaki (Tanzania)

It is usually eaten with French fries and kachumbari (a salad made with tomatoes and onions), or the classic Tanzanian chipsi mayai—a fried omelet topped with plenty of ketchup.

Nasi Lemak from Malaysia

By Katherine Cortes of Tara Lets Anywhere | Facebook

Nasi Lemak is considered Malaysia’s national dish. It’s a must-try when you visit this country. It can also be found in neighboring countries such as Singapore and Thailand.

Related Article: Discover the Best Places to Live in Thailand

Nasi Lemak is basically a plate consisting of rice cooked in coconut milk and pandan leaf, slices of boiled egg, anchovies, peanuts, and cucumber served with sambal (chili paste). The way the rice is cooked is special and makes it fragrant.

Overall Nasi Lemak looks simple, but it tastes very delicious. The combination of the flavors works wonderfully so you can eat it as served.

The first time I tasted Nasi Lemak, I was blown away, and it immediately became my favorite food in Malaysia.

Nasi Lemak, a specialty dish from Malaysia
Nasi Lemak (Malaysia)

You can also order it with chicken or seafood, but for first-timers, I recommend getting the traditional plate.

I like pairing Nasi Lemak with Rendang Chicken, which is another wonderful dish in Malaysia.

For drinks that go along with it, I recommend a hot glass of teh tarik or cham c.

Nasi Lemak is usually eaten for breakfast, but it’s also available all day long. You can easily order it in most local eateries for RM 5-10 (less than $3 USD).

Satays from Indonesia

By Liliane at My Toronto, My World | Facebook

Indonesia consists of over 17,000 different islands and at least 300 cultural groups so their range in cuisine is amazing; there are hundreds of different dishes you could try while visiting the country.

Indonesian food ranges from rice to fruit, to congee, to meat and so much more.

One of the best Indonesian food items, and one of their more well-known ones, has to be their Satays. They are widely recognized as Indonesia’s national dish.

Satays, or sates like they’re spelled in Indonesia, are skewers of meat that have been seasoned and grilled. They are typically served with a sauce. That’s really the only similarity in satays.

Satays with peanut sauce from Indonesia
Satays (Indonesia)

They can be made of any type of meat or meat substitute, ranging from chicken, beef, goat, pork, tofu, fish, or otherwise. When in a restaurant you’ll see many options of sate and even within a particular protein (chicken for example).

There will be many different types of chicken satays varying from different regions of Indonesia to different parts of the chicken itself (i.e. skin, intestines, etc.)

Depending on the type of protein that the satay is made up out of, the flavor of the sauce will also vary.

Chicken satays are for example typically served with the very well known peanut sauce.

Authentic satays are served on skewers made from coconut palm leaves but more often than not bamboo skewers would be used instead.

Pork Knuckle from Czech

By Marianna from Irma Naan World | Facebook

Lots of meat and bread, this is what Czech cuisine is.

Just think of roasted duck, sausages, goulash and svickova (both are meat in a thick sauce), pork ribs, chlebicki (open sandwiches), kolace, wheat and potato knedliki.

Everything is yummy and filling, everything looks appetizing and delicious.

But the most extravagantly looking one is the famous Pork Knuckle, or veprovo koleno in Czech, pierced by a knife. Back in the olden days, after a successful hunt, a wild boar’s leg would be roasted and served, but today it is a leg of a domestic pig.

The knuckle is either boiled in salted water and then roasted till it gets crispy skin and tender meat, or marinated in dark beer with spices and sent to the oven.

In any case, this deliciousness comes accompanied by horseradish, mustard, and pickles, which is nice as the meat is fatty.

The size of a pork knuckle is huge; it is enough to feed two people, so take a friend with you. And if you are a solo traveler… Well, it doesn’t mean you can’t have a piece of pork knuckle, so just go to a restaurant and order it anyway.

Just make sure you don’t order anything else in addition: desert would be too much, I am afraid. But what you might want to add to your meal is a cup of nice Czech beer :).

Food tourism: Czech Pork Knuckle
Pork Knuckle (Czech)

Souvlaki [Vegan] from Athens

By Nina at Lemons and Luggage | Instagram

Being vegan doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the best cuisines in the world. As more and more people go vegan, there are often vegan versions of traditional foods that are just as yummy as the non-vegan originals.

Greek Souvlaki is one of those dishes that you can find in vegan variants nowadays.

But first, let’s look at what a souvlaki is.

In the majority of Greece, when you order a souvlaki you will get a meat skewer. But here in Athens, when people say souvlaki they are actually referring to a pita wrap.

It’s by far the most popular fast food here in the south of Greece, and an absolute must-try if you visit. It’s cheap and filling which makes it the perfect fast food on the go.

And for the vegans, there are now several vegan restaurants in Athens that make super scrumptious vegan souvlakia.

Meatless Souvlaki from Athens Greece [Vegan]
Vegan Souvlaki from Athens

These are often made using different types of mushrooms, such as oyster mushrooms. The pita bread is the same as for regular souvlaki, and the traditional tzatziki sauce is often made with almond yogurt–though some places even replace the vegan tzatziki with other sauces, like avocado or tomato.

Add some lettuce, tomatoes, and onions, and you’re good to go!

And many Greek people confirm that a vegan souvlaki can taste extremely similar to the non-vegan version.

If you ever visit Athens you must absolutely try a vegan souvlaki.

Taufolo from Samoa

By Meredith at Chasing Abandon | Instagram

At first glance, traditional Samoan food seems like repeat variations of a few island staple crops cooked with coconut cream (or pe’epe’e in Samoan). 

With a little more insight, you will discover a huge world of culinary delight and variety, all centered around variations of the deliciously sweet coconut cream. 

Taufolo was that dish for us, that opened our eyes to the creativity that can be achieved with just two main ingredients.

Taufolo is a dessert-type dish made with another Samoan staple, the breadfruit (or ulu in Samoan).  While breadfruit is quite common in cuisine across the Pacific islands, the seasonal Aveloloa variety boasts of a nutty flavor and a texture that lends itself to the preparation of Taufolo.  The entire preparation is time-consuming but makes the final sweet Taufolo all the more gratifying. 

The whole breadfruit is fire-roasted and then pounded smooth to make a thick lining inside of a large wooden bowl.  Simultaneously, other chefs are cracking open and scraping fresh coconuts to produce fresh coconut cream.

Taufolo, a dish made in Samoa from fire-grilled breadfruit
Taufolo (Samoa)

Once both the pounded breadfruit and coconut cream are prepared, hot rocks are propped inside the wooden bowl (on small pieces of coconut frond, of course!) lined with breadfruit. 

The fresh coconut cream is poured inside the bowl, to begin the magic of caramelizing the cream. 

Sugar is slowly poured over the hot rocks, while another person washes the rocks with coconut cream. 

The combination of sugar and cream over the hot rocks creates a rich and smoky caramel sauce inside of the breadfruit bowl. 

The sauce is then combined with bite-sized breadfruit dumplings for full enjoyment!

Foodies: Pastel de Nata from Lisbon

By Pam Iorg & Alex Payne, at Travel Hacking MomInstagram 

Going to Lisbon, Portugal was a last-minute add-on to a previously planned Spain trip. Why not see two countries instead of one?

I didn’t plan to love Lisbon so much so it was an added surprise. I lived near San Francisco, California and found their Ponte 25 de Abril in Lisbon similar to the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Their neighborhoods and hilly streets were familiar too. Add on the beautiful squares and interesting tiled streets in so many patterns, and I was in love.

But the thing that makes me most want to return was the most amazing custard treat ever: Pastel de Nata.

This is the most traditional sweet of Portugal and something you can’t miss out on. The crazy thing is I thought I didn’t even like custard desserts! These were AMAZING though!

They are served on the flakiest crust with a dusting of powdered sugar on top!

If you get them at Pastéis de Belém in Belem (near Lisbon), they are served warm and simply indescribable. The shop is considered the best Pastel de Nata in the country by many. They make and sell 20,000 of these pastries every day!

Pastel de Nata, a famous custard dish from Lisbon
Pastel de Nata from Lisbon

Belem is a short distance from Lisbon and worth visiting, not only for these delicious sweets but also because it is a very historic place. Lisbon and Belem are fascinating to visit but the highlight of both was the Pastel de Nata.

Have one, or three! You will thank me later!

And while you are in Spain, don’t forget to check out this Spanish Bucket List for 28 Best Experiences in Spain that you cannot miss!

Dosa from Bangalore India

By Penny at GlobeTrove | Instagram

I have to confess that I have lived in Bangalore for so long, I can’t call it my base anymore. It has become home. While the city isn’t quite my favorite (because it is sooo crowded!), I find myself missing the south Indian food that it is so famous for. This is especially so when we find ourselves on the go for months on end.

If you ever find your way to this part of South India, you have to try the Dosa!

This mouth-watering delicacy is the Indian version of the crepe (it’s savory and not sweet) but served in an assortment of ways.

A crepe-like Dosa from Bangalore, Inda
Dosa (Bangalore India)

You can never fail with the standard masala dosa. This dosa is stuffed with a potato filling and served with chutney and sambar. Think of chutney and sambar as kind of dips.

Interestingly enough, you will find that the dosa is made in many parts of India. Speak to an Indian about it and they can talk at lengths about how it differs region by region.

Whatever you do, don’t ask which one is better, as that could lead to a heated debate.

Nevertheless, you will find that the dosa is one of the most loved items of street food in India.

Ookonomiyaki from Japan

By Tanja at Ryokou Girl | Instagram

Foodies in search of a taste of Japan are in for a treat with the unique flavors of Okonomiyaki.

A fusion of two Japanese words; okono, meaning ‘as you like’, and mikayi, meaning ‘cooked’, the dish first became popular after World War Two when ingredients were scarce or expensive, and dishes were often created out of necessity.

These savory pancakes were filled with whatever was at hand and served as a versatile and nutritious meal.

These days the two most popular recipes vary between regions.

Kansai-style okonomiyaki includes eggs, shredded cabbage, green onion, and often meat, octopus, vegetables or cheese. The batter and ingredients are mixed and fried together in a pan like a pancake, and then topped with okonomiyaki sauce, seaweed flakes, fish flakes, and mayonnaise. This salty ‘Japanese pizza’ is usually served on its own or with a side of rice.

Ookonomiyaki, a culinary specialty of Japan
Ookonomiyaki (Japan)

Further east in Hiroshima, they like their okonomiyaki a little thicker. The ingredients are cooked in layers rather than mixed together and include batter mix, cabbage, pork and noodles topped with a fried egg and okonomiyaki sauce. 

Hiroshima style okonomiyaki, or Hiroshima-yaki, is often more filling than the Kansai version because of the extra layers, but they each have a distinctive flavor and are a source of pride in their respective regions.

Top tip: If you go asking for Hiroshima-yaki anywhere in Osaka, don’t be surprised by the looks of confusion or dismissal you’ll get in return!

Koshari from Egypt

By Rai of A Rai of Light | Instagram

Egypt has a rich culture, with history and traditions dating back thousands of years. It is among the earliest of civilizations and has been influenced by a multitude of forces through the years, resulting in a melting pot of cultures. It is worth taking the time and effort to discover.

Known for its ancient monuments and Pharaonic civilization, the food of Egypt is sometimes overlooked. It includes delicious dishes such as koshary, ful, and fiteer.

Egyptian food makes heavy use of legumes, vegetables and fruit from the region’s rich Nile Valley and shares similarities with the food of the Mediterranean region.

The national dish of the country would be Koshary, served in virtually every restaurant and in every home.

Koshari, a dish from Egypt with many sauces
Koshari (Egypt)

Originating in the early 19th century, koshari is made of rice, macaroni, and lentils mixed together, topped with a spiced tomato sauce and garlic vinegar.

It is then garnished with chickpeas and crispy fried onions with sprinklings of garlic juice, garlic vinegar, and hot sauce.

This cheap and simple dish is easy to find and is a must-try dish when in the country.

Best Cuisines in the World: Italian Pizza from Naples

By Helen from Helen on her Holidays | Instagram

No list of the best cuisines in the world could be complete without mentioning classic Italian Pizza.

While many ancient cultures around the world have had pizza-like dishes based around flatbreads, pizza as we know it today comes from Naples in southern Italy, although not without a few modifications along the way.

In the 16th century Neapolitan pizza was a street snack, and for the next 300 years was predominantly sweet, not savory.

Once tomatoes became widespread in Italy, pizza with a tomato topping started to become the most popular variety, and in 1889 the pizza maker Raffaele Esposito created a special pizza in honor of the Queen of Italy.

This special pizza featured tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil to represent the red, white, and green of the Italian flag.

The Queen’s name was Margherita of Savoy, and the pizza is still known today as Pizza Margherita.

Neapolitan Pizza (Naples, Italy)

Trying authentic Neapolitan pizza is one of the top things to do in Naples, but it’s not quite as easy as finding the nearest pizza place and ordering a Margherita.

The traditions of pizza-making are closely guarded in Naples and protected by the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana (AVPN). Only 100 of the 800 pizzerias in Naples are certified by the AVPN, and it’s worth seeking out one that is.

The most popular among visitors is L’antica Pizzeria da Michele Forcella. They only sell Margherita or Marinara pizzas, but when they’re as good and as authentic as these, why would you want to mess with perfection?

RELATED:  A Traditional Italian Seafood Dinner in Boston’s Little Italy.

Espinacas con Garbanzos from Seville, Spain

By Mayuri from Tosomeplacenew | Instagram

Andalucia in the southern region of Spain is known for its delicious cuisines and centuries-old restaurants and bars. In our recent visit to the city of Seville, we took a food tour to enjoy some of the amazing tapas delicacies.

Of the many varieties of tapas in Seville, the Seville style spinach and chickpea stew, also known as Espinacas con Garbanzos, was my absolute favorite.

It is a tapas-style or starter size plate served with a glass of white wine. It is not spicy at all and is a vegetarian specialty.

Traditionally, Espinacas con Garbanzos is considered a part of the typical tapas served during the spring days of the Holy Week.

A traditional dish of Seville Spain: Espinacas con Garbanzos, or spinach with chickpea stew | Food Tourism
Espinacas con Garbanzos (Seville, Spain)

The simple spinach and the popular chickpeas combination with a special mix of species is a Sevillian traditional cuisine, and you will easily find one in every tapas bar in the city!

Perogi (Russian Pies) from Russia

By Lisa of Tripsget | Instagram

Russian food isn’t always on top of everyone’s mind, however, Russian cuisine is very diverse and has a lot of amazing dishes.

In most of Russia, winters are very cold (with the temperatures often falling below -20C), so hot soups are a substantial part of Russian diet.

A typical Russian meal normally consists of 2-3 dishes: a soup, a salad and a main. I recommend trying the best Russian dishes like Olivier salad, soups like Solyanka and Bortsh and mains such as Pelmeni and Beef Stroganoff.

However, the most remarkable and probably the most beautiful part of Russian cuisine is various savory and sweet pies. They are called Pirogi (or pirog if you’re ordering just one).

Don’t confuse them with Polish pierogi, as they literally have nothing in common (just a similar name).

Pirogi can be huge and usually have decorations on top. The decorations can be pretty elaborate!

If you decide to try the savory pirogi, you can expect them to have fillings such as potato and mushrooms, egg and cabbage or meat, egg and onion. There are naturally way more filling variations but these ones are the most popular.

Sweet pies can be made with strawberry jam, cherry jam and a lot of wild berries like black currant.

A decorative Russian pie (sweet or savory) | Must try for Foodies
Russian Pies

You can try pirogi in some specialized restaurants that sell mainly just pirogi (as it’s a very hard and time-consuming to bake). Most of the average Russian restaurants just serve small pies known as pirozhki.

A variation of pirogi is pirozhki – small pasties similar to Cornish pies or Argentinian empanadas, however, Russian pirozhki are usually perfectly round or oval and don’t have any decorations.

Kottu, Spinach Dal from Sri Lanka

By Seema from PandaReviewz | Instagram

Surrounding the stereotypes, people from outside Sri Lanka think that all that the country has in terms of food is curries. While curries do make up for a major portion of the food, that is not it. 

Aside from the spicy curries, one of the most common staples that Sri Lankans depend on is steamed or boiled rice. This serves as a universal staple that is eaten with curries in almost every meal of the day.

Rice and curry is also the national dish of Sri Lanka.  Sri Lankan food is also slightly influenced by the South Indian flavors due to which you will find a lot of curries tempered with curry leaves and mustard seeds. 

Sri Lankan Kottu & Spinach Dal

Some of the “must-try” popular local cuisine of Sri Lanka, apart from Rice & Curry,  include :

  • String hoppers and hoppers, in general, are also quite popular as evening snacks in the cuisine of Srilanka.  
  • Sambal, which is a form of condiment, is also considered quite popular in Sri Lankan cuisine and is made from coconut. It was one of my favorites.   
  • When it comes to everyday meals, dal or lentil curry is also another staple in the diet. 
  • Talking about street food, Kothu is an absolute favorite among the locals and can be bought for as low as one dollar in the roadside stalls.  It is made with the roti being chopped into thin slices along with some spicy sauces and some vegetables/meat. Kothu comes in varieties like Vegetarian Kothu, Cheese Kottu, Egg Kothu, Chicken Kottu and so on.   

So the next time you are in Sri Lanka, do not forget to try some of the above dishes.

They are among the best cuisines in the world!

Haggis from Scotland

By Allan Wilson of It’s Sometimes Sunny in Bangor

Kilts, bagpipes, whiskey, and haggis; there are few national dishes more representative of a country than in Scotland where haggis has almost taken on mythical lore to the land.

It is also easy to find, and while it is not so common in family homes these days, it is found at almost every tourist table it is served with traditional Scottish breakfasts, and always deep-fried in the local chippies (chip shops).

But when it comes to traditional Scottish food, it can be a bit hit-and-miss with both locals and tourists with its unique ingredients including the liver, heart, and lungs of the sheep. And at the occasional traditional feast, it will still be cooked inside a sheep’s stomach.

Haggies from Scotland served in fine dining | Food Tourism
Haggis from Scotland

There are more palatable ingredients though including oatmeal suet and onion, and it is fairly well-spiced compared to many Scottish foods with a savory and peppery taste to the pudding.

Most famously, haggis is served with neeps and tatties (mashed potato and mashed turnip) and it is the pride of Scotland’s Burn’s night when it is celebrated by the “address to the haggis.”

Otherwise, it is easier found in chip shops where it has been slopped and deep-fried in batter and served with chips (a haggis supper).

RELATED:  Plan a Trip to Nova Scotia, where many Scottish families emigrated in the late 1700’s.

Thali from Gujarat India

By Alex Reynolds of Lost With Purpose | Instagram

It’s impossible to travel to India’s western Gujarat state without trying at least one Gujarti Thali.

Thali, which literally means plate, are found all over India. They’re the best showcase of regional cuisine, as they’re basically a massive tasting plate of all the different foods you often find in the region. But whereas you might sample heavier or meatier thali in other parts of the country, Gujarati thali are traditionally vegetarian.

Jains represent a large part of the state’s population, and their strict almost-vegan diet (no products that cause harm to living creatures) reflects in the cuisine.

World cuisines: Gujarati Thali is an Indian food specialty | Food Tourism
Gujarati Thali from India

Another curiosity: many of the foods you’ll sample will be slightly sweet. Don’t be surprised if you’re offered sweets at the start of your meal—it’s tradition!

Gujarati thali is quite a production, especially in Ahmedabad, Gujarat’s capital.

You’ll sit down and be presented with a massive platter, often with several small bowls for holding saucier dishes. Serving men will then come around offering to fill your plate with everything from rice-based khichdi to semisweet kahdi curry to hot roti bread fresh from the fire.

Make sure to come on an empty stomach—thalis are all you can eat. They’ll keep serving you your favorite dishes until you’re fit to burst… and more often than not, they’ll insist you keep eating even so!

Choucroute from Alsace, France

By Elisa from France Bucket List | Facebook

The historical region of Alsace, in the French region of Grand Est, is a paradise for foodies. Whether you are visiting Strasbourg on a weekend getaway or driving the Alsace Wine Route, be sure to savor some of the Alsatian specialties.

Alsace combines the flavors of Germany and France to create a very special cuisine. The use of pork in all its forms is wide as well as potatoes and fresh cream.

Traditional dishes include hearty recipes such as baeckeoffe, cordon bleu, vol-au-vent, spaetzle, or the fleischnacka but probably the famous Choucroute (sauerkraut) is the best known. The Alsatian choucroute consists of cabbage with sausages and other salted meats, and potatoes.

Alsatian Cuisine: Choucroute from Alsace France
Choucroute from Alsace

Amongst the staples, there is the flammekueche (a kind of pizza with bacon and fresh cream) and bretzels are very common in Alsace as well.

The region of Grand Est is the first oenological destination in France and Alsace is a big contributor with its wines. Alsatian wines are mostly white, perfect to pair with pork and potatoes based dishes.

The region is also dotted with many micro-breweries, producing interesting beers on a small scale.

A hot and crunchy flammekueche paired with a fresh draft beer, for example, is heaven.

Best Cuisines in the World: Moussaka from Greece

By Elena at Passion for Greece | Facebook

Anyone who has been to Greece or planning to travel to this amazing country, surely has heard about the renowned Greek cuisine. It’s one of the best cuisines in the world!

Greece is known for its diversity of dishes, and although there are several staple foods which always top the list of must-try — every region of Greece has its own unique flavors.

Apart from the Greek salad and souvlaki, another dish which is the star of the Greek cuisine is Moussaka. This eggplant and potato based dish, consists of several layers and includes a generous layer of minced meat, usually beef and lamb mix or just lamb, which is topped with a rich milk-based sauce, called béchamel.

Famous traditional dish of Greece: Moussaka |  Best Cuisines in the World
Moussaka from Greece

The preparation of the dish usually takes time, as layers are carefully assembled into a tray-like dish and baked in the oven for about an hour.

You can find Moussaka almost on every taverna menu, and even the higher-end restaurants serve this spectacular dish.

When it comes to family gatherings, Moussaka is usually present on every special occasion. Some tavernas serve Moussaka in small clay pots. 

You can also find vegetarian options of this delicious recipe, where the filling of minced meat is usually replaced with mushrooms.

It is best enjoyed when hot but also tastes equally delicious on the following day.

Sweet of Bengal, India

By Madhurima at Orange Wayfarer | Instagram

They say Bengal is the sweetest part of India. There could not be a more apt description to the region with an uncanny inclination for the sweet tooth, collectively for a few million people!

Surprisingly, Bengali’s affinity towards all things sweet goes beyond the border and prevalent in Bangladesh too.

A full-fledged Bengali meal will invariably end with the numero-uno Rosogolla. Rosogolla is a Geo Tagged ball of happiness, made of soft cottage cheese and dipped in sugar syrup. It is just not a dietary habit, it is an emotion. the larger the size of the ball, the more hospitable your host is!

During winter, specifically during the solstice, Rosogolla is sweetened with Notun Gur, palm jaggery, rendering it a heavenly aroma!

There are Pantha, Chom Chom, Shorbhaja, Bonde, Ledikeni (in memory of Lady Canning, the first vicereine of British India), etc in the same line, cottage cheese (Chena) sometimes deep-fried and put into sugar syrup, and up for grab.

If syrupy things are too much to handle for you, trust Sondesh to blow your mind! Tatsash Sondesh is an enigma, where a portion shaped like Palm fruit (some of my non-bengali friends call it baby bum) is filled with liquid jaggery in the inside.

Some Sondeshes are shaped like fish and gifted during a wedding. Sondesh often has an aroma of rose water associated with it.

Sweet meats and bakery items from Bengal India |  Best Cuisines in the World
Sweets (Bengal India)

Pithe is a seasonal sweet dish, made of rice flour crepe stuffed with coconut and Nolen Gur (palm jaggery).

Another remarkable dish is Payesh, also known as Paramanno: the one divine dish offered in every ritual. Payesh is made of rice boiled in milk and flavored with exotic nuts. It is also known as Kheer.

Bengali Mishtis are usually made of Chena, milk, coconut rarely baked, and an essential accompaniment to an auspicious new beginning.

Be it a bonedi Durgapuja to a wedding in the family or celebrating a new season, there is one Mishti dedicated for each occasion.

Kalua Pork from Hawaii

By Noel at This Hawaii Life | Facebook

Of all the delicious foods to try in Hawaii and typical of authentic Hawaiian food, the primary dish in every luau you may attend is the Kalua Pig that is steamed in a pit and wrapped in banana leaves all day until the meat is juicy and super tender.

After the pig is taken out of the pit and prepared for the luau feast, the kalua pork is just what you would expect from steaming all day long with hot coals and mixed with other traditional Hawaii food, the kalua pork is a delicious entrée to have–one of the best cuisines in the world!

Kalua Pork from Hawaii | Best Dishes in the World
Kalua Pork (Hawaii)

Nowadays, most kalua pork at home is usually wrapped in aluminum foil and baked at a certain temperature until the meal typically falls off the bone.

Now you don’t have to always go to a luau event to try kalua pork, most take out food shops, cafes, farmers markets, and even grocery take-out counters will have kalua pork on the menu with the typical sides that are added to a plate lunch including macaroni salad, two scoops of rice and salad.

The Hawaiian plate lunch dish is what you fill find locals craving for lunchtime with a variety of different sides or entrees, but with kalua pork as the primary entrée to this lunch meal.

But remember, it’s just one of the most popular Hawaiian foods to try on the island.

Cap Ferret Oysters from Bordeaux

By Jennifer at Bordeaux Travel Guide | Instagram

Bordeaux is world-famous for its wine, but most visitors don’t realize Bordeaux is located just 30 miles from the Atlantic Ocean. As a result of Bordeaux’s proximity to the Atlantic, this world-renowned wine region is also famous for something else: the Cap Ferret Oyster.

A Bordeaux specialty, Cap Ferret oysters grow in the Bassin of Arcachon. There are around 350 oyster farms producing around 10,000 tons of the beloved oysters each year.

It’s far less than the oyster production in Brittany, which is why you won’t find Cap Ferret oysters commercially exported or sold outside of the region.

Cap Ferret Oysters and Seafood from Bordeaux France | Best Cuisines in the World
Cap Ferret Oysters (Bordeaux)

The best way to try them to go head to Cap Ferret. Oyster farms sell them directly to hungry customers ready to slurp them up while sitting with toes in the sand at the no-frills oyster cabanas that line the beaches of Cap Ferret.

Best Cuisines in the World: Conclusion

Food is such an intrinsic part of each country’s culture and identity…I always research what the regional specialties are and look forward to trying new dishes when I arrive.

Have you tried or are you inspired to try some of these best cuisines in the world?

Are there others we’ve overlooked?

Let us know in the comments below!

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Jackie Gately

Jackie Gately is a seasoned travel writer, photographer, and marketing consultant who is passionate about travel. She loves casual-luxury experiences, coastal getaways, cultural attractions, and local, wholesome food and wine pairings. A perfect day ends with her toes in the sand or by chasing the sunset with her camera--ideally both.

48 thoughts on “Best Cuisines in the World for Foodies [Food Tourism]

  • Avatar
    September 1, 2020 at 2:14 am
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    It’s very useful article for me, Thank you for sharing.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      September 1, 2020 at 12:59 pm
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      You’re welcome, Kumar! Glad you found this info useful.

      Reply
  • Avatar
    May 25, 2020 at 12:16 am
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    Like!! Thank you for publishing this awesome article.

    Reply
  • Avatar
    March 2, 2020 at 12:31 pm
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    You have written a terrific list! I am interested in cuisine of different countries. Your blog is by far the best source I’ve found. Thanks!

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    • Avatar
      March 2, 2020 at 1:52 pm
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      Thanks, Victoria! I’m so glad you enjoyed this post and my blog!

      Reply
  • Avatar
    February 27, 2020 at 10:45 pm
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    What an incredible roundup! Love the diversity and variety in flavors and foods. My favorites in this list are Shakshuka and Nasi Lemak!…yummy.

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    February 27, 2020 at 10:31 pm
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    Wow! So many delicacies. The only ones I’ve managed to have is Pierogi in Poland, Satays in Indonesia, Nasi Lemak in Malaysia, Kottu in Sri Lanka, Kalua Pig in Hawaii, and Taufolo in Samoa. I’ve had a few more of the others, but not in the places mentioned. Nice roundup. It made me want to travel and eat.

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      February 28, 2020 at 7:05 am
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      I love that you’re so well-traveled and have tried many of these dishes.
      p.s. Traveling and eating is what we’re all about. LOL

      Reply
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    February 27, 2020 at 11:43 am
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    Lovely collab post! My favorites are Dosa (we make an egg version at home), Rossogolla, and Satays! 🙂

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    February 27, 2020 at 5:59 am
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    This article is just full of deliciousness! I’ve eaten quite a few of them, but heading to Portugal soon I’m definitely putting their Pastel De Nata at the top of my list. Thanks for the inspiration.

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      February 27, 2020 at 7:54 am
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      Oooh, I’ve heard such great things about Portuguese pastry! Try the Bacalao, too, if you’re a seafood lover. Have a great time on your trip!

      Reply
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    February 26, 2020 at 5:45 pm
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    Oh my goodness! So many mouthwatering dishes, you had me craving for Indonesian satay and I would love to try some Sri Lankan dishes. Okonomiyaki was not too bad in Hiroshima, I enjoyed that. Great post.

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      February 27, 2020 at 7:57 am
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      Thank you! They all sound delicious to me, too! I love a good food adventure.

      Reply
  • Avatar
    February 26, 2020 at 10:03 am
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    What a fabulous foodie list! I consider myself a big foodie but I haven’t tried half this list. I’m a big fan of the Polish pierogis and the Vietnamese Banh mi. Saving this list as an excuse to travel and eat!

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    February 26, 2020 at 3:27 am
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    Turkey is where we’re based when we’re not traveling and our favourite peasant dish/local cuisine is the white bean stew and rice you wrote about. It’s a hearty lunch, and very affordable – don’t forget the baskets full of bread that accompany it! Bread is a religion to the Turks.

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      February 27, 2020 at 8:02 am
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      Lucky for you to have access to this hearty lunch! I am a big bread fan myself, so no doubt would be dipping it in my stew… Yum!

      Reply
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    February 26, 2020 at 1:19 am
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    Oh wow, I love this!
    It really inspires me to eat more of the local foods when I travel, not just the fast-food or the more tourist things.

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      February 27, 2020 at 8:03 am
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      Glad to hear this, Ann! I’m always looking for more authentic food when I travel. For me, it’s a big part of the overall experience!

      Reply
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    February 25, 2020 at 10:36 pm
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    While I couldn’t bring myself to
    Try haggis one Scotland, we have had pizza in Naples! Love all these yummy regional dishes!

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    • Avatar
      February 27, 2020 at 8:05 am
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      LOL, there are definitely a few dishes around the world where it’s best not to know what they are… like haggis.

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    February 25, 2020 at 1:14 pm
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    What a great collaboration post! I have eaten a few of the foods such as haggis, pastel de nata, pierogi but so many more to discover and try out. I found it very interesting.

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      February 25, 2020 at 5:30 pm
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      Mmmm…each of those dishes is so delicious. I’m glad you found this post interesting and hope it inspires more foodie adventures!

      Reply
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    February 23, 2020 at 11:17 am
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    Om nom nom! I have tried most of these (I looove trying new food) but I would love to eat Taufolo and Koshari, I have never even heard of those two!

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      February 24, 2020 at 4:30 am
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      Yes, those are new for me, too! I hope you get the chance to try both soon!

      Reply
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    February 23, 2020 at 6:09 am
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    Oh, I really shouldn’t have read this post before I had lunch, my salad pales into insignificance compared to all these delights! I am craving oysters, pizza or maybe a thali?

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    February 23, 2020 at 5:33 am
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    I love this post! I enjoy exploring new places and cuisine. I’d have the pleasure of tasting the custard dessert from Portugal and the Italian pizza from Napolli and I am in love. I can’t wait to explore all of this other places and just eat! <3

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    • Avatar
      February 23, 2020 at 10:18 am
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      Thanks, Yina! Glad to hear it’s inspiring explorations!

      Reply
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    February 23, 2020 at 4:13 am
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    This post makes me very hungry. I would love to try Pilau and Mishkaki from Tanzania. Actually I would try everything except for the Indian dishes. I had Delhi Belly recently, so that’s why 🙂

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      February 23, 2020 at 10:19 am
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      Oh….I’ve heard Delhi Belly is the worst! So sorry. Definitely look to the other options listed.

      Reply
  • Avatar
    February 22, 2020 at 11:52 pm
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    Wow! All of these destinations look amazing and I want to try all of the food from each spot.

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    February 22, 2020 at 7:10 pm
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    This post is making me so hungry just reading it! I would love to try the bánh mì in particular – worth a visit to Vietnam for that if nothing else I think!

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    February 22, 2020 at 6:50 pm
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    This all looks AMAZING! I always say the main reason I travel is for food! Thanks for sharing.

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    • Avatar
      February 23, 2020 at 10:22 am
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      The food is certainly something I really look forward to, too!

      Reply
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    February 22, 2020 at 5:29 pm
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    I had no idea that there was an Association that governed pizza in Naples. Well, governed is probably the wrong word. But I was also blown away by the thought of 800 pizzerias in one place! I’m glad that the association narrows it down to 100 for the time-poor among us travellers!

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      February 23, 2020 at 10:23 am
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      Yes, that does help narrow things down a bit…in my opinion, all good!

      Reply
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    February 22, 2020 at 5:16 pm
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    Ohhhh the Moussaka from Greece sounds like it’s right up my alley! Thank you for highlighting all of these delicious foods!

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    • Avatar
      February 23, 2020 at 10:24 am
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      Moussaka is one of my all-time favorites. <3 (Happy to share these yummy things.)

      Reply

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