The Best Food by Country that I’ve Tasted

Cao Lầu in Vietnam - best food by country

Have you ever wondered what kind of food you would find when you travel to a different country? Each country has its delicacies and traditional meals that are common to that part of the world. I probably could add hundreds to each of these places, but here is some of the best food by country that I’ve tasted on my travels. And if you want to try to make it home, I added recipe links for each dish. If you can’t travel to these countries, there is no reason you can’t enjoy this food by making it in your kitchen. Enjoy and make sure you don’t read this on an empty stomach!

AustriaWeinerschnitzel in Austria - best food by country

When you are visiting Austria and have a stop in Vienna, the food choices are endless. From the amazingly delicious sausage at Bitzinger Würstelstand Albertina to the decadent chocolate Sacher-torte at Cafe Sacher, you won’t go hungry in Vienna. But, when you are in Austria, you have to try the Weinerschnitzel. Weinerschnitzel is a thin-breaded veal cutlet and is traditionally garnished with a slice of lemon and either potato salad or potatoes with parsley and butter on the side.

If you would like to try to make this at home, check out this recipe for Weinerschnitzel.

BelgiumBelgian Fries and Andalouse Sauce in Belgium - best food by coutnry

Now, to be truthful, I haven’t been to Belgium yet. But, the Belgium Frites are too good to pass up in whatever country you can find them. I have eaten them in the Netherlands and Italy, and they are lovely. What makes Belgium frites so unique is that they are thickly cut and fried TWICE. Extra goodness that makes the outside crunchy and the inside of the fries soft. And don’t forget the sauces to add on top of the cone filled with fries. My favorite is called Andalouse Sauce, which consists of mayonnaise, tomato paste, and peppers (such as pimientos or (roasted) bell pepper). Yum!

If you would like to make this at home, check out this recipe for Belgium Frites and Andalouse Sauce.

Czech RepublicVepřo knedlo zelo in Czech Republic

Traveling in the Czech Republic reminded me of my Grandma’s cooking, as I was visiting an area that was close to the Polish border and was once part of the Prussia where my ancestors came from. There are German and Polish influences in the Czech’s dishes. One of these Czechia’s national dishes is Vepřo knedlo zelo. This meal is made of pork loin roasted in onion and caraway gravy and served over sauerkraut with a side of the Czech stapled boiled bread dumplings called knedlíky. With a little bit of whipped cream and cranberries added to the top, it adds the perfect amount of sweetness to this dish.

If you would like to make this at home, check out this recipe for Vepřo knedlo zelo.

EnglandFish and Chips in England - best food by country

Okay, you can’t go to England and not have fish and chips in a pub. This has got to be a must-have on every person’s bucket list. Each time I visit England I stop into a pub and order a fish and chips and if I’m lucky it comes with a side of mushy peas. Don’t knock it until you try the mushy goodness along with the crispy, flaky fresh fish and the hot fries. You just can’t beat that!

If you would like to make this at home, check out this recipe for England’s Fish and Chips.

FranceCroissants in France

I love traveling to France. Whenever I’m there, the first thing I do in the morning is to find a bakery to buy fresh, warm croissants for breakfast. I love that when taking a bite of these it flakes apart, and then you try drastically capture all of the flakes before they are gone forever.Strawberry Crepe in France

Another of my favorites is the French Strawberry Crepe. The warm sweetness of the strawberry and crepe is an excellent snack for the middle of the day while exploring the streets of Paris. I’ve tried Strawberry Crepes in other countries, but they don’t seem to have the magic as they do while you are in France.

If you would like to try to make these at home, check out these recipes for Croissants and Strawberry Crepes.

GermanySausage and Sauerkraut in Germany

How can you not order sausage and sauerkraut when you are traveling in Germany? Bratwurst and Rostbratwurst is a sausage made from finely minced pork and beef and usually grilled and traditionally served with sweet German mustard and a piece of bread or hard roll. My Grandma taught me the whole process of making sausage from mixing the meat to adding it inside the casing. She even made her sauerkraut in large pottery crock that she left in the basement for days so the sauerkraut could ferment. I genuinely miss spending time with her and wish I could have spent more learning all of her recipes. Loved, loved her food!

If you would like to try to make this at home, check out this recipe for German Sausage and Sauerkraut.

IrelandBeef Irish Stew in Ireland

What is the most traditional dish that you can think of in Ireland? Does Irish Beef Stew come to mind? When I was traveling in Ireland, I had the most amazing Irish Beef Stew in Killarney. The stew was cooked in Guinness and served over mashed potatoes mixed with vegetables. This is comforting food as it was warm, tasty, and the perfect complement to a cold, windy day in Ireland.

If you would like to try to make this at home, check out this recipe for Irish Beef Stew.

ItalyPasta in Italy

Pasta from Italy! What else can I say? The one thing I have learned during my five weeks touring around Italy last summer is that you don’t need to add a lot of stuff to the pasta for it to be good. My most favorite meals were ones that were noodles with a little bit of olive oil, garlic, and a little slice of parmesan cheese on top. Simple, but so delicious!

If you would like to try to make these at home, check out these recipes for Italian Pasta.

LaosPork Sausage and Steamed Sticky Rice in Laos

When I traveled to Asia and specifically Laos, I was nervous that I might not find food that I would like. I was wrong! I had hamburgers, pizza, and lots of sausages. I tried sausages in the market and enjoyed a great meal at one of the restaurants in Luang Prabang. The spicy pork sausage and sticky rice filled me up for the rest of the day, which was spent exploring more of the country.

If you would like to try to make this at home, check out this recipe for Spicy Pork Sausage and Sticky Rice.

LatviaLatvian Meatballs in Latvia

My experience in Latvia was memorable, emotional, and utterly inspiring. Visiting a country that recently used to be under Russia and to see it trying to thrive and embrace modern culture is impressive. Even with progress, it is still keeping true to its roots, and nothing showcases it more than the food. I had many great dishes, but the most memorable was eating Latvian meatballs served with sauerkraut and thick-cut fries. The meatballs are enormous, and this meal was so filling that I didn’t even need to get a snack later.

If you would like to try to make this at home, check out this recipe for Latvian Meatballs.

MyanmarBurmese Tea-Leaf Salad in Myanmar

One of the exciting meals I enjoyed was in Tachileik, Myanmar. One of the things that are common for Asia is that you will find plenty of fresh vegetables. And what is impressive is how they can mix all the ingredients to make simple salad extraordinary. The Burmese Tea-Leaf salad or Lahpet Thoke is a crunchy, juicy dish full of sweet, salty, sour and nutty flavors all mixed harmoniously together. Lahpet, which means “green tea,” and thoke, which means “salad,” includes soft, pickled tea leaves, crisp, roasted peanuts, and other crunchy beans, toasted sesame seeds, fried garlic and, sometimes dried shrimp and chopped tomato.

If you would like to try to make this at home, check out this recipe for Burmese Tea-Leaf Salad.

NetherlandsKibbeling in Netherlands

The Netherlands has a quite eclectic mix of food choices. I had an excellent opportunity to go on a food tour in Rotterdam. I was able to taste several of their delicacies, such as herring, Stroopwafel, and Poffertjes, to name a few. But, the favorite that I kept going back and getting more was Kibbeling. Kibbeling is a Dutch snack consisting of battered chunks of fish (cod, pollock, hake, whiting, or haddock) served with a mayonnaise-based garlic sauce or tartar sauce.

If you would like to try to make this at home, check out this recipe for Kibbeling.

ScotlandBangers & Mash in Scotland -best food by country

I know that Bangers and Mash is a British and Irish dish, but I ate this in Scotland. So, here it is placed. The name bangers come from the habit of sausages bursting in the pan with a bang when it is cooked too quickly. You can make this with a multitude of different sausages. The one restaurant where I had this dish changed their sausage selection frequently. So, you could choose pork, beef, etc. One of my comfort foods while I travel.

If you would like to try to make this at home, check out this recipe for Bangers and Mash.

SlovakiaBryndzové halušky in Slovakia

When visiting Bratislava in Slovakia, it was a treat to try new foods. On my first night, I went to a pub and wanted to order a national dish. Bryndzové halušky is a traditional Slovakian dish made of potato dumplings with sheep cheese and roasted bacon. It might not look appealing, but let me tell you it was fabulous! But, anything tastes fabulous when you add bacon to it!

If you would like to try to make this at home, check out this recipe for Bryndzové halušky.

SwedenSwedish Meatballs and Mashed Potatoes in Sweden

I happened to be in Sweden on layover to Thailand. So, I only had one night to grab a traditional Swedish meal. Luckily, the hostel I stayed at was right next door to a restaurant, and they served Swedish meatballs! I stuffed my face with these delicious meatballs and mashed potatoes with a little bit of cranberry sauce on them. I think that a little bit of sweetness made this dish even more enjoyable to me.

If you would like to try to make this at home, check out this recipe for Swedish Meatballs with Cranberry Sauce.

ThailandKhao Soi in Thailand - best food by country

I have to say that I ate very well when I lived in Thailand for four months in 2019. There was never a shortage of good food. You could go to the night markets, grab groceries and make something on your hot pot, or visit the many restaurants and cafes around town. I have a couple of favorites that includes the Kai Jeow (Thai Omelete) and Khao Soi. Khao Soi is a spicy coconut-curry-based noodle soup that is topped with crunchy noodles and fresh cilantro. It is served with pickled cabbage, raw red onion, and lime wedges on the side. You can add Chicken, Beef, and even a Kai Jeow to the soup mixture. The combination of the spices and rice noodles and crunchy noodles makes this dish enjoyable to eat, but I have to say it is messy. I don’t think I ever got out of eating this without something being splashed on my shirt. But, who cares. It is THAT GOOD!

If you would like to try to make this at home, check out this recipe for Khao Soi.

VietnamCao Lầu in Vietnam - best food by country

Vietnam has some fantastic dishes, and the ones I’ve found in Hoi An are at the top of my favorite list. I took a cooking class and made an amazing Pomelo salad with Prawns. Fried wonton, catfish grilled in a banana leaf, and a banana flambe with coconut cream. But, the top of my favorite foods in Vietnam has to be Cao Lầu. The brown noodles are mixed with slices of pork, fresh vegetables, and crunchy croutons and include a homemade sauce made from pork, shallot, and soya sauce, creating a fusion of flavors that is hard to forget. I enjoyed it so much; I kept going back to restaurants that made this dish that is directly tied to the Hoi An area.

If you would like to try to make this at home, check out this recipe for Cao Lầu.

Best Food by Country Summary

These dishes are all unique to their countries. If you can’t travel the world or visit these places, go ahead and try some of these recipes and make these dishes in your kitchen. I hope they come out as good as they were when I ate them on my travels. Let me know in the comments what you think of my list, if you tried any of these recipes or if you have any new countries that I should add to my future bucket list. Happy Eating!

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Further Reading

If you are coming to Europe or Asia for a visit, check out these posts for further inspiration:

2 Comments

  • Andrea 24June2020 at 10:44 PM Reply

    You were right… this list made me so hungry! Thanks for sharing your favorites. I especially want to try Bryndzové halušky and Khao Soi ASAP!
    One favorite I would add from Italy is pizza! I loved that I could eat a whole pizza myself in one sitting.
    In China, I loved Hot Pot, Peking Duck, and all of the dumplings! In Switzerland, the Rosti (basically amazing hash browns) and the chocolate!!!

    • Heather 25June2020 at 9:18 AM Reply

      Thanks, Andrea! Those sound fabulous as well. Now, I have more places I have to visit to try the food. And you will love the Khao Soi! It is definitely one of my top favorite dishes.

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