19 Most Popular Foods Eaten Around the World

Written By Jill Taylor

There’s nothing better than cheering yourself up with your favorite dish after a hard day, but which do you think are the world’s most popular dishes? It varies depending on the place, so here are the planet’s top 19 favorite foods to drool over!


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Kimchi is a Korean fermented vegetable dish traditionally made from cabbage to complement meat or cheese. Research from Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition shows that kimchi is packed with probiotics that boost your gut health, so it’s worth tucking in, even if you’re not a fan!


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Feeling down and in need of a simple comfort meal? Look no further than tacos. This Mexican street food is an easy-to-make tortilla filled with seasoned meat, beans, and grilled veggies. Why not add salsa, cilantro, and guacamole and eat that taco like a pro?


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Sushi isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s a hugely trendy food and one that’s topped popular food lists since time began. Many people associate sushi with raw fish, but that’s not the only ingredient involved here because vegetarian and vegan sushi parcels are just as good.


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Ah, pasta. Can food possibly get more comforting? It’s super easy to cook and tasty with a range of sauces, and we love the fun shapes that it comes in! New on the market is gluten—and dairy-free pasta, which is great news for those of us with intolerances because lasagna is life.


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The humble burger is easily one of the most popular foods around the world. It’s just hard to beat tasty meat or a vegetable patty between a bun and some salad! Burgers are also super versatile, as you can customize them with different sauces and toppings that totally change up the flavors.


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According to History Today, pizza was first made in Naples, Italy, but it’s now a much-loved food across the globe that most people regularly enjoy. Some of the most popular toppings are margherita, pepperoni, and roasted vegetables, but one question remains unanswered – does pineapple belong on a pizza?


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Originating in India, curry has taken the world by storm. It can be mildly zingy or blow your head off with spice, providing something for everyone. Some of the most popular dishes include korma, chicken tikka, and the moreish side dish samosa, but there are simply too many combinations to list!


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Last but not least, seafood is loved worldwide, but Japanese deep-fried or battered tempura prawns are easily one of the best on the menu. The New York Times suggests Portuguese sailors actually brought tempura to Japan in the 16th century, but no matter its origins, we have to give the Japanese credit for popularizing it.


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Japanese ramen is a low-cost noodle-based soup with deep, rich flavors and barely any saturated fat content. Miso is probably the best known variety for its deep umami tastes, but don’t forget tonkotsu and shoyu ramen for a tastebud treat. Fans of ramen suggest adding a boiled egg to garnish!


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Here’s another popular noodle soup, but this one originates from Vietnam. Typically served with beef or chicken strips, this rice-noodle herb-filled broth is filling and comforting but full of zingy mixed flavors. Eat pho with chopsticks, and then drink the broth for an authentic experience.

Dim Sum

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Dim sum is a variety of dishes, including buns and stuffed dumplings, all cooked in a bamboo steamer and served with flavored tea. Often called the Chinese version of tapas, it’s a classic communal Asian meal that has quickly become well-loved by folks across the world.


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The first dessert on our list, and for very good reasons, tiramisu is a coffee-soaked sponge finger and mascarpone cheese delight topped with cocoa powder and served cold. National Geographic suggests it was first made in 1970s Italy and translates as “pick me up.” We’ll certainly do that.


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Spanish paella is so versatile, so it’s no wonder people love it so much. This tasty meal is rice-based and filled with meats, veggies, or shellfish; in fact, seafood paella is one of the most popular versions. Fun fact–Spanish people frown upon eating paella alone, as it’s a dish designed to share!


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Say “Bonjour” to the popular croissant, a tasty layered pastry cooked with butter that flakes and crumbles as you eat it. In France, it’s a warm breakfast food that’s best with hot black coffee, but it’s widely eaten on the go worldwide.


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Mouthwatering Middle Eastern falafel is a deep-fried chickpea or fava bean snack most often served as a meze. It’s a particularly popular pick for vegetarians! One of the best things about falafel is the crunchy outside that gives way to the soft, tasty inside; who can resist that combination?


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Not long ago, few people had heard of gyoza outside of Japan, but it’s rapidly becoming a global phenomenon. Gyoza is a type of Japanese dumpling filled with vegetables or meat that’s either steamed or pan-fried. Though it’s usually an appetizer, gyoza is great for snacking, too, especially with a soy dipping sauce.

Fish and Chips

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Traditional British staple fish and chips scoffed on the seafront is hard to beat, and bizarrely, the BBC even suggests it’s best eaten from a newspaper! While any thick white fish that holds together when battered is suitable, cod and haddock are the most popular, along with a serving of thick-cut fries.

Pad Thai

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Pad Thai is one of the most popular Thai-based dishes around, in no small way due to its sweet, sour, and savory tamarind sauce. Coupled with tofu, prawns, chicken, or veggies, this stir-fried noodle dish is best served with a generous sprinkle of chili flakes.


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With layers of eggplant, bechamel sauce, and beef mince, oven-baked Greek moussaka is a popular choice on cold evenings. If you’re not into eggplant, simply swap it out for thinly sliced potato and bake it a little longer. Don’t forget the garlic bread to mop up the sauce!

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