When it comes to famous dishes, most people have varying opinions on which ones are the most popular. Of course, you have your ‘standard’ choices, such as burgers, tacos, and ever-delicious pizza. Still, we’ll keep them for another time because of their commonness. With that in mind, to highlight the best dishes in the world, we’ve selected some of the most popular ones, and we’re bringing them to you!
By the end of this article, you’ll learn more about the most famous dishes worldwide — their origin, main ingredients, and why you must try them at least once. Let’s dig in!
- Find this dish in Switzerland
- Main ingredients: An array of cheeses (gruyere and Emmental are standard). White wine, cherry brandy, or nutmeg might be used as flavors
Today, you can find fondue in many restaurants, especially those in the mountains. If you’re ever hitting the slopes or are just craving something creamy and flavorful, this famous dish will surely hit the spot!
It’s perfectly fine to get cheesy occasionally, especially when it comes down to fondue! Noted as the most delicious apres-ski dish, the richness of fondue never ceases to amaze, especially since it’s made in various ways. However, the history of fondue tells a whole different story.
Surprisingly, the cheesy dish has existed since 800 BC, when Homer wrote the Iliad, and it served as a saving grace for the poor living in the Swiss Alps. Namely, they used leftover aged cheese and stale bread that was almost inedible, along with some wine, and put it over a fire to melt it to survive the harsh winter. Before long, they discovered an incredibly delicious dish that can be made in various ways, using different cheeses and herbs. Before it became one of the most popular dishes in the world, fondue was practically a traditional “secret” until the 1930s when the Swiss Cheese Union crowned it as the country’s national dish.
2. Pastel de Belem
- Find this dish in Portugal
- Main ingredients: Milk, sugar, egg yolks, vanilla bean, cinnamon stick, and lemon rind
Before Pastel de Nata took over the Portuguese culinary scene, Pastel de Belem was the show’s star. Created in 1837 by the monks of Jeronimos monastery, it took a little bit of time for these pastry shell-filled tarts to be named one of the best foods in the world. It’s made out of a combination of milk, eggs, sugar, cinnamon, and lemon, providing a tantalizing taste every time.
Interestingly, pastel de Belem can only be called so if the custard came from the Fabrica Pasteis de Belem, while all the others are named pastel de nata. That said, whenever you’re traveling through Portugal, whether winter or summer, try this ‘best thing to eat‘ per the Guardian.
- Find this dish in Indonesia
- Main ingredients: Chicken, pork, beef, or tofu might be used
If you’ve ever been to an Indonesian restaurant, it’s most likely that you’ve tried this top ten worldwide famous dish. If you haven’t, now you have a good reason to visit this beautiful country.
First appearing in Java, Indonesia, and then introduced to other South Asian countries such as Malaysia and Thailand, satay didn’t take long to become a staple in Asian cuisine. It is often mentioned as the most popular dish due to its many variations in terms of marination and choice of meat. While chicken and beef are the most common options, seeing more exotic options, such as crocodile or snake meat, is unsurprising. On top of that, since satay has been moved around a lot, the trade of spices has brought a unique flavor to the dish, meaning the taste depends on where it’s made.
- Find this dish in New Zealand & Australia
- Main ingredients: egg whites, sugar, cream of tartar or vinegar, cornstarch, and vanilla extract
How about we satisfy our sweet tooth with this essential summer famous dish? The Pavlova is a super tasty dessert named after Anna Pavlova, a renowned ballerina who toured Australia and New Zealand in the 1920s. However, its exact origins are still debated to this day.
The first recipe of Pavlova first appeared in 1926, but it was quite different from how we know it today. Instead of a sweet meringue base, usually topped with whipped cream and refreshing fruits to ease the sweetness, the dessert was a colorful gelatin dish. Still, despite its transformative nature, it’s one of the most popular dishes in the world that you absolutely have to try.
5. Pizza Napoleana
Find this dish in Italy
Main ingredients: Dough, raw tomatoes, fresh mozzarella cheese, fresh basil, and olive oil
Even though we mentioned this option before, we must feature it in our top ten worldwide dish list, hands down!
The iconic Italian dish first appeared in Naples in the 1700s when Vincenzo Corrado was exploring the eating habits of the Italians. It didn’t take long for this thin-crust culinary masterpiece to take over the world!
We won’t take too long to describe its delicious taste, as you’ve probably had (or are planning to have some) this week. Still, for the ultimate experience of what’s commonly referred to as the “best food in the world,” a trip to Naples is imminent.
- Find this dish in Spain
- Main ingredients: Pork, smoked paprika, and garlic
Along with churros and paella, Chorizo is a highlight in Spanish cuisine, characterized by a distinct red color, which is why many people refer to this famous dish as the blood sausage. It is believed that this famous dish of Spain originated in Yucatan, while others say it stems from the Catalan chorizo. Despite its undetermined origin, we cannot deny its delicious taste, featuring hints of paprika, giving it a spicy kick. Similarly to Satay, Chorizos are made differently in Latin American countries, so if you’re traveling there, prepare for a unique flavor — every single time!
7. Frozen Yogurt
- Find this dish in USA
- Main ingredients: Milk solids, a sweetener, milk fat, yogurt culture, plus flavorings and sometimes coloring (natural or artificial)
Nothing beats having an icy frozen yogurt on a scorching summer day – apart from the brain freeze, of course! Even though it’s one of the most popular dishes in the world, we only know that it was invented in the 70s, while its inventor remains the biggest mystery.
One of the best things about frozen yogurt is the possibility of adding a whole array of toppings, from crushed Oreo cookies and chocolate syrup to gummy bears and fruits. While this tasty dessert was made a low-fat alternative for ice cream for Americans, it never topped its popularity. Either way, we love its creamy (and lightweight!) taste.
- Find this dish in Japan
- Main ingredients: Rice, nori (seaweed), fish, and vegetables
When one mentions Japan, the mind almost immediately pictures a tech haven with a one-of-a-kind tech haven. Picking out the most popular dish in Japan is as challenging as ever, as the country is abundant with iconic dishes, each boasting an authentic, mind-blowing taste. However, nothing comes close to sushi!
First made in Southeast Asia, though it reached Japan in the 8th century, sushi is synonymous with raw fish, but that’s only partially correct. Yes, the Japanese dish features raw fish, but the term sushi refers to vinegared rice. There are seven main types of sushi, each boasting its subvarieties, so you can experience all kinds of flavors. Order a glass of traditional sake when you’re having this popular dish. The pairing is unbeatable!
- Find this dish in Turkey
- Main ingredients: Filo pastry is a core ingredient. Meat, vegetables, potato, cheese, or some combination might be fillings
Borek is one of the best dishes in the world, originating from Turkey, though the original recipe shows traces as early as 160 BC. The dish is wrapped in yufka, a thin dough sheet brushed with butter.
The dish, also known as burek, is famous in Balkan countries, though it rarely tastes sweet. It’s typically made with minced meat, cheese, or spinach and paired with yogurt, making up a hearty breakfast meal that will surely put you in a good mood!
10. Butter Garlic Naan
- Find this dish in India
- Main ingredients: Water, honey, dry yeast, flour, plain yogurt, fine sea salt, baking powder, and eggs
Finishing off our list of the best dishes in the world is a delicious Indian flatbread, commonly known as Naan. Made of flour, yeast, salt, and yogurt, this oven-baked dish is served with a variety of Indian dishes, and the minced garlic on top gives it a special kick that greatly opens up your appetite!
These are only a handful of the most famous dishes worldwide! They taste best in their origin countries — and ZenHotels will get you there to try your best dish ever.