Some of Our Favourite Cuisines of the World

Many people travel to explore the sights and sounds of a destination. Many people travel to make friends and seek new connections. And many people travel to experience something culture-worthy or educational, but there are also many people who love to travel to EAT! How many times have you been in a conversation talking about a destination and you refer to the cuisine as a highlight? We are guilty of this and we believe many of you would be similar. Dining in restaurants to sample the local cuisine in a unique atmosphere is one of our favourite parts about travelling, and food, in some cases, can make or break your travel experience. Below are some of Trip Merchant’s top cuisines worldwide. We want to warn you though…you will be hungry after reading this!


Greek food is amongst one of the most recognized cuisine’s in the world and a favourite for many. This Mediterranean cuisine dates back to thousands of years ago to Ancient Greece, with influences from the Ottoman era, Middle East, and Italian cuisine. Greeks love their meats; whether spit-roasted or charcoal-grilled. How delicious are Gyro’s?? Pita bread, tzatziki, chopped onions and tomatoes, and either lamb, beef, chicken or pork – simply put, delicious!

Typical Greek Food Items/Dishes:

  • Moussaka (eggplant or potato-based dish, frequently including ground meat)
  • Souvlaki
  • Gyro
  • Dolmades (cabbage or grape leaves, stuffed with rice, herbs)
  • Courgette balls (kolokythokeftedes – zucchini and feta fritters)
  • Olives / Olive Oil
  • Taramasalata (a salad of tarama – salted and cured fish roe)
  • Tzatziki (yogurt, cucumber and garlic)
  • Greek Salad
  • Fresh Fish/Octopus


Poland’s history, and ultimately, its cuisine has changed over hundreds of years due to its turbulent history, but also because of its neighboring countries and their culinary traditions. Polish cuisine offers a hearty meal including butter, cream, eggs, and of course, the cuisine is rich in meat (pork, chicken and beef). In addition they offer a variety of vegetables, herbs and spices to provide flavorful meals.

Typical Polish Food Items/Dishes:

  • Sauerkraut
  • Bigos (Hunter’s stew – pork, cabbage, sauerkraut and mushrooms)
  • Pierogi (Polish dumplings)
  • Kiełbasa (meat sausage)
  • Schabowy (breaded pork cutlet)
  • Gołąbki (cabbage roll)
  • Zrazy roulade (beef roulade which includes mushrooms, sauerkraut, herbs, and bread crumbs with horseradish)
  • Sour cucumber soup / Mushroom soup / Rosół (broth/chicken soup)
  • Rolskie naleśniki (Polish pancakes)


What comes to mind when you think of Italian food? Too many options, right?? Italian cuisine has an influence everywhere in the world and truly is one of, if not the most popular cuisine in the world. It is hard not to find a city, town or country that does not have an Italian restaurant or Italian cuisine available on a restaurant menu. This Mediterranean cuisine is well known for its for its regional diversity. It has evolved over centuries and even traces back to the 4th century BC. But Italian cuisine really started to grow after the demise of the Roman Empire where cities separated from one another and created their own traditions. Variations of bread, pasta, risottos, tortellini, spaghetti were made and of course, and the infamous Pizza’s from the “capital of Pizza’s”, Naples! Pizza anyone?

Typical Italian Food Items/Dishes:

  • Pizza
  • Bottarga (cured fish roe)
  • Spaghetti / meatballs
  • Lasagna
  • Fiorentina Steak (Tuscan steak)
  • Ribollita (Tuscan bread/vegetables soup)
  • Polenta (ground cornmeal)
  • Ossobuco (cut veal shanks braised with vegetables, white wine and broth)
  • Risotto


Another cuisine that seems to be everywhere you travel in the world, is Vietnamese cuisine. Their dishes include ingredients such as lemongrass, ginger, mint, fish sauce, coriander, basil leaves, rice, fresh herbs, spices, rice noodles, rice papers/flour, meats (such as pork), vegetables and many fruits. Vietnamese cuisine has been inspired by French cuisine due to the French colonization in the country where the French were settled there for over 60 years. This cuisine is considered one of the healthier food options in the world (in most cases, naturally gluten-free and low in sugar) and to add to this, it is also very tasty.

Typical Vietnamese Food Items/Dishes:

  • Pho (steaming noodle soup dish)
  • Cao Lau noodles
  • Goi cuon (Vietnamese spring rolls)
  • Bun Cha (dish of grilled pork and noodle)
  • Bánh mì (baguette sandwich filled with various savory ingredients)
  • White Rose dumplings
  • Banh Xeo (fried pancake made of rice flour, water, and turmeric powder)
  • Egg Coffee


Gastronomy is a huge part of Spain’s culture and identity. Based on Spain’s location – geography, and climate, this has shaped how the Spaniards cook their food along with the ingredients available. Because of historic invasions the Spanish cuisine and ingredients available, have been influenced – today it includes a mix of old and new traditions. Spain used to be divided into three territories – Celts, Iberians, and the Tartessos. Celts were in the North of Spain and known for farming and fishing (seafood). Iberians were focused on hunting and cattle keeping – being in the center of Spain it is well known for its high-quality meat. Tartessos were in the South and dealt with trading as they were goldsmiths. The “tapas culture” is well known in Spain – tapas being a small snack or appetizer, hot or cold, of any type of Spanish cuisine. In terms of the most famous cuisine in Spain, paella would top the list as one of the favourites.

Typical Spanish Food Items/Dishes:

  • Paella Valenciana (rice dish with chicken, vegetables and other variations)
  • Patatas bravas
  • Gazpach (cold soup with assortment of vegetables)
  • Pimientos de Padron (small green peppers)
  • Fideuà (pasta noodles, fish, and shellfish)
  • Jamón (Iberian Ham)
  • Spanish tortilla (or Spanish omelette – made of eggs and potatoes)
  • Churros (fried-dough pastry, typically served with chocolate)


French cuisine, what can we say…deliciousness! This cuisine has developed immensely over the centuries and has been influenced by many of its neighbors in Europe, including Belgium, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and Germany. Interestingly enough, UNESCO added French gastronomy to its list of the world’s “intangible cultural heritage of Humanity”. As you can imagine, cheese and wine play a big part in their cuisine. Different regions throughout the country offer various food options. France is recognized at number two in the world for the most Michelin star restaurants – fine dining at it’s finest.

Typical French Food Items/Dishes:

  • French Onion soup (traditional soup made of onions, beef stock, usually served with croutons and melted cheese)
  • Coq au vin (dish of chicken braised with wine, mushrooms, and optionally garlic)
  • Cassoulet (slow-cooked casserole containing meat, pork skin and white beans)
  • Beef bourguignon (beef stew braised in red wine)
  • Flamiche (puff pastry tart made with leeks and cream)
  • Confit de canard (duck confit)
  • Nicoise salad
  • Steak/mussels and frites
  • Chocolate soufflé
  • Crème brûlée (my favourite dessert)


Mexican cuisine dates back to 9,000 years ago. Mexican cuisine plays an integral part of their culture and traditions. That is why this cuisine is also recognized by UNESCO as an “intangible cultural heritage of Humanity”. After the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire, in the 16th century, and the Maya area, the Europeans introduced a variety of foods – including meats, dairy products and rice. What else comes to mind when you think of Mexican food? – beans, corn, tomatoes, avocado, squash, sweet potato, vanilla, cacao, agave, chili pepper, cactus and more!

Typical Mexican Food Items/Dishes:

  • Burritos
  • Chicken Quesadillas
  • Tacos
  • Tostadas
  • Chilli Con Carne (meat)
  • Tomato salsa
  • Mole sauce
  • Chilaquiles (lightly fried corn tortillas cut into quarters and topped with green or red salsa)


Moroccan cuisine is trending more than ever, especially as more tourists fall in love with this country and its food after traveling there. The food is made up of delicious textures, spices and the flavours are sweet-and-savory. Moroccan cuisine comprises of various cultural influences, including interactions over the years with other international countries. Their cuisine is a mix of Arab, Berber, Andalusian (Moorish) and Mediterranean cuisines with a bit of European (French). Moroccan’s enjoy their bread and is always served with their meals – such as baguettes and flatbreads. There are a variety of Mediterranean fruits, vegetables, seafood by the coast and and they enjoy other meats such as beef, goat, lamb, chicken (beef and chicken being the most popular, eaten out of a tagine). If you use spices like cumin, saffron, turmeric, ground ginger, paprika (and others) you’ll be cooking like a Moroccan!

Typical Moroccan Food Items/Dishes:

  • Couscous (National Dish of Morocco – typically served with meat or vegetable stew)
  • Chicken tagine (traditional Moroccan dish of chicken pieces braised with spices, garlic, onion, olives, and preserved lemons)
  • Zalouk (Moroccan salad – eggplant is first grilled and then mixed with the tomatoes and the mix is seasoned with garlic and spices)
  • Fish Chermoula (marinade and relish to flavour fish)
  • Harira (soup – tomato, lentils, and chickpeas, but also includes meat)
  • Bastilla (chicken or pigeon Pie)
  • Makouda (potato cakes or fritters)
  • Moroccan Samosas
  • Khobz (bread)


Peruvian cuisine has been influenced over the years by various groups, the indigenous population, such as the Incan civilization, as well as immigrants who colonized here from Europe, like the Spanish. There are also Italian, German and Asian cuisine influences throughout the country. Due to the multicultural history over the years it is a great example of what they call “fusion cuisine”. Traditional cuisines have been modified due to the many available ingredients available in Peru. In Peru, they love their corn, potatoes, quinoa, legumes and because of the Spanish, they’ve introduced rice, wheat, and a variety of meats have been made available. Fish ceviche is a very popular dish in the country and did you know that Peru has the widest variety of potatoes in the world?

Typical Peruvian Food Items/Dishes:

  • Ceviche
  • Chupe de Camarones (Peruvian shrimp chowder)
  • Papas a la huanciana (boiled yellow potatoes in a spicy, creamy sauce called huancaína sauce)
  • Pollo a la Brasa (grilled chicken or roaster chicken)
  • Anticuchos (meat dish)
  • Lomo Saltado (marinated strips of sirloin with onions, tomatoes, french fries, served with rice)
  • Cuy Chactado (traditional meat as part of the Andean culture)
  • Causa (mini-casserole)


Colombia may not be a destination where you correlate food to, but you would be surprised! In our opinion, its food is a best kept secret. Colombia is one of the most multi-ethnic / multicultural countries in the world so as you can imagine there are many variations and influences of what they eat – indigenous, Spanish, African. One would say the food is a blend of indigenous and European traditions with an Afro-Caribbean twist. However, Colombian cuisine differs from one region to the next (from the Amazon to the Caribbean). Additionally, compared to other countries worldwide, it is one of the most biodiverse countries, so they have a vast amount of ingredients available. Arepas, made from ground corn, is one of the most popular dishes enjoyed in Colombia.

Typical Colombian Food Items/Dishes:

  • Arepas (flatbread made from cornmeal)
  • Bandeja Paisa (Colombian sausage, ground beef, rice, red beans, a fried pork rind called chicharrón, an arepa, a plantain, a slice of avocado and a fried egg)
  • Pandebono (Colombian bread – corn flour, cassava starch, cheese, eggs)
  • Buñuelos (fried dough fritter)
  • Arroz con pollo (rice and chicken)
  • Empanadas
  • Patacones (fried green plantain slices)
  • Fritanga (fried meats and vegetables / typically find grilled beef or chicken, sausage, pork rind, arepas, patacones, corn and potatoes)

Hungry now??

What’s your favourite cuisine? Leave a reply or comment below!


By Ryan Mikucki, Co-Founder of Trip Merchant

May 9, 2020

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