It’s not a secret that I love to travel and for those who know me, it’s not a secret that I love food…maybe even a little too much. It goes without saying that tasting local food is a major part of travel for me. It’s probably not a coincidence that some of my favourite countries also serve my favourite food, so I figured I would write about my favourite cuisines from around the world.
This ranking of my favourite cuisines is based entirely on countries I have travelled to. There are surely many other dishes that I have yet to discover, so I hope that maybe some day soon I’ll be able to make a sequel to this article.
1. Italian Cuisine
You can try to argue with it, but at the end of the day there is no better food than Italian food. Cooking runs through these people’s blood and the diversity of the country makes for a huge range of different dishes.
Pasta, pizza, hams, cheeses, wine, seafood and all sorts of amazing meats make Italy top the list of my favourite cuisines. Anyone who knows an Italian will know how much pride they take in their food. It definitely reflects in the amazing dishes served across the country.
The only thing the Italians don’t impress in is bread and cakes. Not that it matters, the rest easily makes up for it.
2. Indian Cuisine
If I wasn’t such a pasta addict, I might even say that Indian cuisine is my favourite. Indian food is all about one thing: flavour; something often missing in western food.
I’m a huge fan of curries and once again, the diversity of the country makes for a huge range of amazing dishes. Indian cuisine also stands out for its amazing vegetarian dishes, full of texture and flavour. Paneer butter masala is a personal favourite.
Karim’s in New Delhi served the best food I have ever eaten in my entire life.
3. Thai Cuisine
When I first travelled in South East Asia, I had all sorts of expectations for the food. The only country that really outdid my expectations was Thailand.
The amazing thing about Thailand is that you can get great food everywhere, whether you’re in a secluded northern village or on the infamous Khao San Road in Bangkok. Yellow, green and red curries and pad thai are some of my favourite foods in the world.
Chote Chitr in Bangkok serves some of the best food I’ve ever had.
4. Indonesian Cuisine
Indonesian food is often underrated or surprisingly unknown, but anyone who loves chicken satay will be able to relate.
Indonesian cuisine offers a nice mixture of oriental and south Asian influences with various noodle, rice and curry dishes that are a must-try.
Chicken satay is a personal favourite of mine and the heavy use of peanuts in various dishes is perfect. Indonesian is definitely one of my favourite cuisines.
5. Mexican Cuisine
Health freaks might disagree with me, but I love Mexican food. Mexico is the most obese country in the world and one look at their cuisine will tell you why.
Tacos, mole, burritos, fajitas, enchiladas, quesadillas, gringos, sopa azteca…it’s a total carb and cheese fest. Not to mention delicious tequila and mescal.
When people ask me about my favourite cuisines, Mexico always comes up. The only thing I could live without is all the refried beans.
6. Spanish Cuisine
The thing I love most about Spanish cuisine is the people’s culture towards food. The concept of tapas is perfect for someone like me who is completely unable to choose what to order.
Great cheeses like manchego, amazing hams like Serrano and Iberico and beautiful olive oil are enough to keep me going. Then there are all the other great seafood dishes from calamares to king prawns.
Spain is another diverse country and it’s important to know what to eat and where. There’s always plenty of choice!
7. Greek Cuisine
When I travelled to Greece, I had high expectations for the food. I love feta, moussaka, souvlaki, gyros, pita bread, Greek olives and tsatsiki. The country didn’t disappoint.
I love the freshness of the food and the amount of flavour and spices that go into every dish.
Thessaloniki made for the best meal I had whilst in Greece.
8. Malaysian Cuisine
Malaysia loses out to the fact that Malaysian food is in many ways a less-good version of Indonesian food. Nonetheless, it does have its own unique features thanks to the heavier influence of Chinese and Thai cuisine.
The best place to enjoy Malaysian delicacies is the northern half-island of Penang. There you can find a huge variety of noodle and rice dishes, especially in local markets.
9. Turkish Cuisine
If it wasn’t for the fact that it lacks certain variety, Turkish food would definitely qualify as one of my favourite cuisines.
Kebabs, salads, olives, kofte and the country’s own signature style of pizza are all worth trying. The famous Turkish ice cream might just be the best ice cream in the world.
The best dishes I had were a lamb kofte at Fat Boys in Goreme, Cappadocia and a beautiful tandir kebab in Denizli.
As a big fan of doner kebab, I was a little disappointed by the standard doner kebabs in Turkey. Germany still is the true home of the world’s best doner kebabs.
10. Vietnamese Cuisine
Before going to Vietnam, I would have thought that Vietnamese food would rank higher. The food is great, but it was a tad disappointing. Over long stretches, some dishes are repetitive. Vietnamese food just isn’t as good as some other cuisines in the region.
The best thing about Vietnamese cuisine is that it offers a great mixture of Asian and French influences. Noodles, spring rolls and the famous ban mi sandwiches are the way forward when in Vietnam.
11. German Cuisine
Some might call me biased, but I think that German cuisine is hugely underrated.
Bread, beer, pork and potatoes form the basis of German food. Granted, it is not the kind of food I could or would want to eat every day, but a trip to Germany always makes for culinary delights. Curry wurst, schnitzel and potato salad are foods that anyone can enjoy.
Amazing doner kebabs, great sausages and the world’s best beer make German one of my favourite cuisines. One other thing that Germany can do that many of the countries on this list can’t, is cakes and pastries. Germany is famous after all for its great bakeries.