Food is how the world comes to us, as eaters. And occasionally, it’s the best reason for us travelers to explore the world. Here we’ve assembled their most extravagant, most essential, most sensual reasons to stamp your passport. These aren’t merely great foods — they’re foods that you simply must seek at their source. Meals like this are why even love and pray take a backseat to straight-up getting your eat on!
Aguachido (Playa del Carmen, Mexico)
Playa del Carmen is known for its seafood, and while you can get great options everywhere, all the locals go to a restaurant called Aguachiles.
Here you can find Aguachido: shrimp marinated in lemon juice with clamato and fresh vegetables. Unbelievably fresh and while it is only a few dollars it rivals anything I’ve eaten at high-end restaurants.
Nasi Lemak (Malaysia)
One of the dishes that you should travel across the world just to eat is the Nasi Lemak. Somehow, this combination of rice cooked in coconut milk, chili sambal anchovies, half a hard boiled egg, deep fried chicken, sambal squid, peanuts and cucumbers gives us the shivers just thinking about it.
No other meal quite cuts it, like the Nasi Lemak does.
The best way to serve Nasi Lemak is wrapped in or served on a banana leaf, as it lends an aromatic fragrance to the rice. When used to pack the steaming hot coconut milk rice, you just need to unravel the green, conical package and let your nostrils be assaulted by the most heavenly aroma on earth.
Turkish Hamsi (Turkey)
As the hamsi (anchovies) swarm the Black Sea towards the Bosphorus Strait each winter, Turkish fishermen drop their nets. On any winter arrival in Istanbul, the first thing people do is head for Karaköy fish market for the perfect street food, Hamsi Ekmek. The anchovies are deep fried and served with rocket leaves and thinly sliced onion in a fresh, crusty bread.
Truffle Extravaganza Meal (Tuscany, Italy)
Though all of the dishes in Tuscany are pretty much delicious, the one that makes us salivate even now was the perfect gnocchi that melted like clouds on our tongue, topped with a thick shaving of freshly found truffles.
Bao Zi 包子 (China)
These steamed filled buns can be easily found as a breakfast meal on the streets in China. They can be filled with lamb, beef, or vegetables and can be dipped in a sauce made with vinegar and spicy sauce.
White Pizza – Old Forge Pizza (Pennsylvania, USA)
The White pizza is the one. It’s not a regular pizza you know; Old Forge White Pizza is a creamy-cheesy-and-even-heartwarming heaven in the mouth. The white pizza has a double crust, on the bottom and the top, with cheese filling.
Khao Soi (Thailand)
It’s soft and yellow egg noodles bathed in a thick curry broth. Not soup. Broth. It is then topped with deep-fried, crispy egg noodles, and eaten with pickled greens on the side. The broth is coconut milk-based and the curry can either be cooked with chicken, pork, or beef.
Reuben Sandwich (Sherman’s Deli, California, USA)
The Reuben sandwich at Sherman’s Deli in Palm Springs, CA is one of those simple wonders we keep coming back to (literally and figuratively). They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but we think this picture is worth ten amazing mouthfuls.
Khinkali (Republic of Georgia)
Khinkali may look like simple dumplings, but the combination of herbs and spices with the freshly minced meat that creates a delicious broth inside makes them anything but simple.
Each dumpling is stuffed and then twisted over 20 times to get a little knob at the end. To eat, sprinkle with freshly ground pepper and pick up by the knob. Take a small bite and then suck out the broth (or else you can get burned!); then you eat everything else but the knob. At the end of the meal, you can count how many khingale you’ve had by the knobs on your plate.
Potato Wedges w/ Sour Cream & Sweet Chill Sauce (Australia)
Served either as an appetizer or side to a meal, potato wedges with sour cream and sweet chili sauce is exactly what it sounds like it is, seasoned potato wedges that you dip in a mix of sour cream and sweet chili sauce sounds slightly odd but so delicious!
This savory baked pastry gives Bolivia the prize for the best style of empanada in Latin America. The dough is thick like a pot pie crust in order to hold the hearty filling.
Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur (Reykjavík, Iceland)
Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur is a small hot dog stand in the middle of Reykjavík, Iceland that always has a line down the block. These hot dogs are like nothing you’ll find in America; they’re made with native Icelandic lamb and served with an assortment of condiments including fried onions and a mayonnaise-based sauce.
Delicious, right? Comment below what’s your favorite!