From A to Z: 26 Foods And Dishes Worth Traveling For In 2024

What better way to travel the world by eating our way through it! 

I feel like I spent 2023 indulging in some of the best foods in the world, and it was marvelous to say the least. From white truffle-tasting in Italy to munching on crispy panuchos at a street stand in Polanco’s swanky neighborhood in Mexico City. Not to mention, I live in two cities known for their incredible food scenes: Paris and Taipei. It got the idea going, how about trying different types of worldly dishes from A all the way to Z, these are foods that are definitely worth traveling for in 2024.

Al pastor tacos in Mexico.

One of the best dishes to devour in Mexico has to be al pastor tacos, which is slowly-cooked pork prepared in adobada, or marinade made from spices, pineapple, achiote paste, chilies. In Mexico City, one of the best places to taste a late-night al pastor is undoubtedly at El Califa. SEE ALSO: 16 Of The Best Places To Eat & Drink In Mexico City (CDMX)

Al Pastor Tacos in Mexico
Al Pastor Tacos in Mexico. Photo by Dennis Schrader on Unsplash

Baklava in Turkey.

Baklavas are one of the most popular desserts in the Middle East, these layered treats are made from filo pastry sheets filled with nuts, then glazed with syrup or honey. These sweet treats derive from the pre-Ottoman Empire era. Today, baklava is widely consumed in Turkey, Iran, Greece, even Somalia and many more.

Baklava in Turkey
Baklava in Turkey. Photo by Encal Media on Unsplash

Curry in India.

It’s no question that curry is synonymous with India. The wide varieties of curry is differentiated by regions and traditions in each unique area which can altar from ways of cooking to spices. Curry dishes can be cooked with chicken, seafood, vegetables and other types of meats. Normally, it is also served with Basmati rice.

Curry in India.
Curry in India. Photo by Sanket Shah on Unsplash

Dolmades in Greece.

In Turkey, stuffed grape leaves are called dolma. Meanwhile, in Greece, these tasty appetizers are called dolmades. Certainly popular in the Middle East, dolmades stuffings can alter by region. Inside them, there are typically: rice, raisins, nuts, and herbs.

Dolmades in Greece.
Dolmades in Greece. Photo by Jamal Yahyayev on Pexels

Escargot in France.

In French, escargot means snail. It’s an iconic dish especially on menus at traditional brasseries where escargots are served as a starter dish; cooked with aromatic garlic butter, chicken stock and sometimes, wine. Prior to cooking, the escargots are removed from shells, cleaned well. When they arrive sizzling hot at the table, use a two-pronged fork to pull the meat out of each shell. Then pair it with toasted bread. The combination is truly phenomenal.

Escargot in France
Escargot in France. Photo by Nadin Sh Pexels

Falafel in Egypt.

It’s been said that the first falafel to have ever existed was made with lava beans and came from Alexandria, Egypt. These deep-fried balls have become a common street food in many Middle Eastern countries. They’re served with pita, flatbreads, samoon, and laffa. Once wrapped, falafels are glazed with sauces and pickled vegetables. Different countries use other types of ingredients, for instance: Egyptian falafels contain lava beans while Jordan, Lebanon and Syria use solely chickpeas.

Falafel in Egypt.
Falafel in Egypt. Photo by Ludovic Avice on Unsplash

Goulash in Hungary.

The signature dish in Hungary must be goulash, which is a meat stew that typically features beef, veal, lamb or pork. The most important spice is paprika, then cooked with vegetables. Originally consumed by Hungarian shepherds back in the 10th century, since then, goulash has been often considered as the national dish of Hungary. Today, it can be found throughout other parts of Central Europe.

Goulash in Hungary
Goulash in Hungary. Image by -Rita-👩‍🍳 und 📷 mit ❤ from Pixabay

Hot pot in China.

There’s nothing better than hot pot in Asian during cold winter nights. Hot pots are meant to be shared. It traditionally starts with a base broth placed in the middle of the table, then other ingredients are slowly added in: vegetables, thinly sliced meats, fish balls, tofu, noodles…and more. On the side, there’s also a customized dipping sauce that usually combines: soy sauce, sesame oil, parsley, chopped garlic, chilis, spicy oils…etc.

Hot pot in China.
Hot pot in China. Photo by Xiong Gordon on Unsplash

Ikura in Japan.

Equally preferred in Russia, salmon roe is fresh and delicious in Japan. Ikura, as the locals call it, is a topping for sushi, hand rolls and many other dishes. The caviar is from salmonid fish, marked by its gorgeous deep and vibrant orange color. In Japanese style of preparing, ikura is normally marinated in salt and sake. 

Ikura in Japan.
Ikura in Japan. Photo by Takaharu Osanai on Unsplash

Jamón ibérico in Spain

In Spain, jamón ibérico literally melts like butter in the mouth. These hams specifically come from black Iberian pigs that sometimes are fed with a restricted acorn diet to produce high standards of Jamon Iberico de Bolleto. Other types of cured hams need to be made by cross-bred pigs with at least 50% Black Iberian mixed with Duroc pigs.

Jamon Iberico in Spain
Jamon Iberico in Spain. Photo by Z S on Unsplash

Kimchi in South Korea.

Just as a meal in Spain isn’t complete without jamón ibérico, the same can apply for kimchi in South Korea. The story of the dish can be traced back to 2,000 years ago during the Shilla Dynasty. Kimchi is essentially fermented cabbage and radish made with ginger, scallion, garlic, and a lot of chili powder. It can be enjoyed either by itself as a side or a starter, with rice or as a topping on other dishes.

Kimchi in South Korea.
Kimchi in South Korea. Photo by Portuguese Gravity on Unsplash

Lumpia in the Philippines.

Lumpias are quintessential to Filipino culture, as they’re spring rolls made from a thin pastry wrapper. They can be stuffed with either sweet or savory fillings. In the case of the latter: ground pork, cabbage, and vegetables. Most importantly, they’re deep fried then dipped in sauce. Lumpia is also popular in Indonesia, and other parts of Southeast Asia. But in the Philippines, don’t be surprised if lumpias make an appearance during dinner parties and festivities.

Lumpia in the Philippines
Lumpia in the Philippines. Image by 9972129 from Pixabay

Maghrebi mint tea in Morocco.

In Morocco, drinking Maghrebi mint tea is as common as eating couscous. Spearmint leaves, sugar cubes, then a pot of hot water is poured from high up. Moroccans drink their mint tea everyday for health reasons since it aids digestion, sleep oral health and detox. Even if the tea is served piping hot on a sweltering day in Morrocco during summertime, sipping on a glass of mint tea somehow quench the thirst with utmost fragrance.

Maghrebi mint tea in Morocco
Maghrebi mint tea in Morocco. Photo by Massimo Adami on Unsplash

Nasi Lemak in Malaysia.

Many consider nasi lemak as the national dish of Malaysia. It is often accompanied by perfumed rice cooked in coconut milk and pandan leaf. Normally, it’s paired with a choice of meat, either chicken or beef. Then, a fried egg is placed on top of a stack of fluffy rice. Bite after bite in the morning, what an appetizing way to start the day!

Nasi lemak
Nasi lemak. PHOTO WENDY HUNG

Oysters in Australia.

Of course, there are many places around the world to consume oysters, but the ones in Australia are famously fresh. Especailly Sydney Rock Oysters and Angasi oysters can only be found in the land of Down Under. Sydney Rock Oysters, particularly, grow in the coastal area between Brisbane and the Victorian border with the quality of water meticulously protected. Highly regulated practices allow oysters in Australia to be certified organic, slow-grown and cultivating their tastes to be creamy and refreshing.

Oysters in Australia
Oysters in Australia. Photo by Anima Visual on Unsplash

Pho in Vietnam.

Pho is so good that many foodies will travel for a good bowl. There’s a massive array of noodles in Vietnam, but Pho takes the top spot for its classic roots of rice noodles, meats, bean sprouts, basil, mint, cilantro, onions and lime. Dip each bite in either chili or fish sauce. But don’t forget, the magic resides in the broth! In northern regions, the broth is more transparent while southern broths lean toward complex flavors.

Pho in Vietnam
Pho in Vietnam. Photo by Jennifer Schmidt on Unsplash

Quinoa in Peru.

In Peru, quinoa is the queen of all grains, especially according to the Incas. Quinoa has been the constant food available especially in the Andes where Chenopodium quinoa plant is prevalent, hence quinoa is viewed as sacred source of health and energy. Since it can grow in lands with high altitudes of 2,800 up to 4,000 meters; it can also withstand extremely cold weather to incredibly high temperatures.

Quinoa in Peru
Quinoa in Peru. Photo by Vie Studio on Pexels