Traditional food has for the longest time defined cultures around the world. There’s nothing more unifying than people getting together to share a meal.
You probably have a good understanding of the traditional food from your specific country/culture, but it’s always a good idea to branch out and try others.
But what are some of the best traditional foods to try? If you’re looking for these, then you’ve arrived at the right place! In this article, we’re going to guide you through a list of 35 traditional foods from across the globe.
We’ve included recipes for each one that stick close to the original way that the dish is prepared, and have made sure to include meals from a wide variety of different cultures and countries.
If you have any questions at the end—be sure to check out our short Frequently Asked Questions section for answers to some of the most common questions around this issue.
Let’s get right into it and experience the most incredible tastes our world has to offer!
Are there any traditional American recipes included in the list of 34 Classic American Recipes We Love?
Yes, the list of 34 classic american recipes We Love includes a number of traditional American recipes. From the mouthwatering apple pie to the iconic hamburger and the beloved macaroni and cheese, these classic American recipes celebrate the rich culinary heritage of the United States. So, whether you’re craving Southern fried chicken or a comforting bowl of clam chowder, this list has you covered.
What Is Traditional Food?
Traditional food refers to dishes that are cooked frequently over the course of time within a country, culture, or religion.
Some of these foods might be specific for certain times of year—for example, warming soups or pastries to help comfort people through harsh winter nights. Others could be cooked to commemorate specific traditional dates.
Let’s take the candy apple, for example. This is a food that is closely linked to Halloween. The tradition of this spooky festival leads people to create candy apples and eat them throughout the autumn season.
There are also traditional foods that are deeply rooted in a specific culture.
National pride often links to some of the most important foods in that culture, and it can be a way for people to express their nationality and where they come from.
The sharing of cultural foods is a great way for people of different races and religions to connect with one another, so that’s why we’ve written our long list of traditional foods in the following section.
This can be a great way to experience other cultures without ever leaving the comfort of your own home, so we suggest testing different recipes to see what you like, and what foods others around the world enjoy!
The 35 Best Traditional Foods From Around The World
We’re going to be taking you through some traditional Italian Recipes first of all. Carbonara is a deceptively simple recipe that requires precise ingredients and a lot of fast cooking skills to get perfect.
Make sure you use pancetta for the meat as this is the traditional way that this recipe is made!
Bolognese is a worldwide favorite, but one downside of its popularity is that recipes often stray from its original method.
This is a traditional recipe that rewards time invested and will give you the most gorgeous bolognese sauce. Serve with a pasta of your choice, but spaghetti is the most beloved!
Another favorite of Italian cuisine, this Tortellini recipe is going to give you gorgeous pasta pouches that will transform your weekday dinner into something divine.
It may take a bit of time to get right, but Italian cooking rewards patience and mastery of its simple ingredients.
Pizza is another dish that has been changed so much over the years. You can get a pizza now with practically any topping you want—but what about an authentic Italian version?
If you’re looking to make this, then check out this recipe for something crispy, gorgeous, and packed with flavor.
Spanish food is another worldwide favorite, and the king of this type of cuisine is Paella. This is a simple and fast dish to make, that combines a choice cut of meat with green/butter beans, paprika, saffron, and garlic.
Papatas bravas are traditional Spanish potatoes. They’re very simple to make and you’re going to have something decadent and packed with flavor.
If you find yourself bored with usual potato recipes, this is a great way for you to create something incredible with a few cheap ingredients.
One of the most iconic foods to come out of the United Kingdom is classic Fish and Chips. This is a simple dish but one that has been a comfort food for countless generations.
All you’ll need is a good cut of fish, some potatoes, and mushy peas to serve. Make sure to use thick-cut chips for added authenticity.
Another classic British dish here, consisting of mashed potatoes and a few thick sausages. This is another great choice if you’re looking for something simple, easy, and delicious.
Making the perfect mashed potato is the hard part of this recipe, so make sure you give it some extra care and attention. The onion gravy is the cherry on top, so make sure you follow this recipe closely.
For our final british dish here, we have something that contains neither toads nor holes. The ‘toad’ in this recipe is just a few sausages, and the ‘hole’ is a bed of Yorkshire pudding.
This is a very simple recipe to make but is the perfect meal for a rainy day.
A favorite of Dutch chip shops, this is a sausage snack that’s incredible and a beloved favorite from the Netherlands. It’s commonly eaten with mayonnaise and chips on the side!
It might take you up to an hour to make, but it rewards patience!
Ramen is one of the most popular Japanese dishes you’ll find, but it can be hard to create an authentic version. One thing we’d say here is that when it comes to ramen, the broth is everything!
You’ll need to make sure you take a lot of care and attention to create something perfect! Don’t skip out on any of the ingredients here, as each one plays its part.
This is one of those Japanese dishes where presentation is everything. Sushi is very difficult to make well, but follow this recipe to create something authentic and delicious.
It might take you a while to get right, but we suggest you keep practicing until you can get all the fine details down.
This is a traditional Japanese recipe that looks very easy but requires a lot of practice to get right. Onigiri has been a favorite, fast snack throughout much of Japanese history.
Once again presentation is everything here, so make sure you give this dish a lot of attention when plating!
For the first soup item on our list, we’ve gone with an authentic Japanese miso soup that you can easily make at home.
The hardest part of this recipe is the soup stock, otherwise known as dashi, but once you’ve got it right you’ll be able to add vegetables and tofu to taste! This is a great recipe to have in your cooking repertoire.
15. Mongolian Beef
This is a recipe that is by far the most beloved food to come out of Mongolia. It’s a simple recipe involving beef and simple spring onions.
We would recommend taking a lot of care with the sauce here, as it’s the binding agent that brings all the flavors together.
A favorite from Chinese restaurants around the world, this recipe will show you how to make a perfect chow mein.
Once you get the basic techniques down (as well as using a wok to its fullest potential) this is a meal you’ll be able to make in 30 minutes with little effort.
These are very easy to make and can be a perfect side dish to whatever meal you’re cooking. They are composed of nothing but shredded pork, a few simple vegetables, and crispy pastry!
Make sure to only use light, crispy vegetables that will fit the delicate textures of this treat!
18. Brot & Brötchen
Traditional german brotchen rolls are an incredible bakery item you can easily make at home.
You’ll need to follow the recipe carefully, but providing you do, you’ll create some gorgeous and firm bread rolls that will be perfect to serve with any dish you can think of.
Currywurst is a traditional German fast-food dish composed of sausage with a unique sauce. This one has a lot of variations, but we’d recommend following this recipe for something authentic and delicious!
This is a great dish if you’re looking to do something interesting with simple chicken. This recipe suggests crispy potatoes as a side, and we think this pairs perfectly with the tangy, delicious sauce.
An Irish classic that rewards patience! In order to get the meat tender and infused with countless layers of flavor, you’ll need to wait almost a week for this to be finished!
However, if you can take the time and care then you will have something that will wow dinner guests and gives you something authentically Irish.
Russian pancakes are a perfect starter or appetizer for a classy dinner. They are very a savory dish, including smoked salmon, or creme fraiche—or if you really want to get fancy—caviar!
There’s a lot you can do with them, so we’d recommend you really experiment and make something unique!
23. Russian Pelmeni
These meat dumplings are traditionally packed with ground meat, onions, and a very simplistic seasoning. We’d recommend these as a wintery treat to help warm and comfort you through cold nights in January.
They take a bit of time to learn to make, but once you have the skills down this will be a favorite for your household!
This is a classic middle-eastern food that is simple to make and can be stored to eat for later. It’s a dip consisting of chickpeas, lemon juice, a little bit of olive oil, and tahini.
It’s best served with something crispy and warm that you can dip into it!
This is a great recipe for those who want to get a lot of protein, but don’t want to consume animal products!
Falafel can be a little difficult to make sometimes, but once they’re done you can easily make them in large batches and dip into them whenever you feel like it!
Chickpeas are the base here, so make sure you’re a fan before you commit to making this recipe!
Losh Kebabs are essentially lamb and beef burgers served over flatbread.
It’s quite a unique dish that you may not have come across before, but they’re delicious when made right and a beautiful combination of 50% lamb and 50% beef.
Another classic from China here, and comfort food for many people across the world. Egg-fried rice is a great dish because it is very simple and fast to make.
This can work for a quick lunch or an elaborate breakfast if you want something that combines egg and rice.
28. Murgh Kari
Curry is without a doubt the most famous food to come out of India. This is a chicken curry recipe that you can make in one pot without much difficulty.
This dish can be created in around 1 hour (including prep time) and is best served with basmati rice.
Make sure to not skip on any of the spices, as the mixture of garam masala, turmeric, cayenne pepper and coriander blend together to make something divine.
This is a lesser-known food in many parts of the world, but Bolani from Afghanistan is one of the most gorgeous traditional street foods you’ll ever find.
These wraps are stuffed with green onions and potatoes and you will be hungry for more once you create them. Make this recipe for a midday snack or as part of a larger dinner.
America is still a very young country, but the combination of different cultures over time has created some unique and classic dishes. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the American Cheeseburger.
This recipe will give you the best there is to offer with a few simple ingredients and minimal cooking difficulty.
A classic for sports games across the nation, this is a great choice if you want to make something fast and decadent. There’s lots of room to experiment with this recipe, and you can make hotdogs to please whatever guests you’re hosting!
This one is perfect for important match days or family BBQs.
Another Indian favorite here, Naan bread is a recipe that seems complicated but is very simple in reality. You can make this recipe with nothing but a cast iron skillet and a few ingredients.
We’d recommend making a few, as this is a perfect addition to many curry dishes from around the world.
For our first Turkish dish we have Saksuka. It’s basically sauteed vegetables in a rich, garlic-infused tomato sauce. It’s a great choice for a side dish and goes perfectly with grilled lamb or chicken.
Make sure to get your sauteeing skills up to scratch to ensure your vegetables don’t go soggy!
This meatball soup from Romania is a classic recipe that has warmed the bellies of people across the world for many years. It’s simple to make and perfect for cold winter nights.
While meatballs might not sound like the perfect addition to a soup, we recommend you try this before you judge! A few simple flavors make this a great addition to your cooking knowledge.
Next up we have this incredible Swedish meatballs recipe. It is simple to make but will allow you to create one of the most iconic dishes in the world.
All you have to do is combine ground beef with pork, add some nutmeg and cardamon, then follow the instructions to make a creamy meatball sauce. This one is going to be better than Ikea meatballs—we promise!
This is a classic Swedish Christmas dish that is far more delicious than it sounds. Consider adding this to your seasonal celebrations by combining potatoes, cheese, and sprats.
After this, you simply baked it in an oven for up to an hour until it is melted, crispy, and delicious!
So there you have it, that was our comprehensive list of the 36 best traditional foods to try from around the globe. If you were to make each and every one of these dishes then you would gain a gigantic amount of cooking knowledge and skills.
We would recommend that you pay attention to each of these recipes, making sure all the specifications and steps are followed.
When it comes to cooking authentic dishes, you’ll want to make sure you listen to the original recipes and not experiment too much!
Although creative changes can yield great results, a lot of these recipes have been passed down through the generations and tweaked to become absolutely perfect.
We hope that this article has told you everything you wanted to know about some of the most popular traditional dishes from around the world.
If you have some questions, make sure to check out our extensive Frequently Asked Questions Section below.
We wish you the best of luck on your culinary journey and hope that you create some true delights for yourself, your friends, or for the family!
Frequently Asked Questions
Traditional foods or dishes are generally considered this when they have been cooked and enjoyed by a culture for a long period of time. Some of the dishes in our list have been passed down through generations.
Although many dishes will change over time, there is generally an origin that many chefs like to stick to. This is because specific flavor combinations work well together and contribute to the overall popularity of the dish.
It’s likely that there are some dishes created today that will one day be considered traditional. However, whether or not they become considered so will depend on traditions around the dish.
For example, foods that are eaten to celebrate specific traditions will become culturally engrained over the course of time.
This can be very important if you want to make something authentic. A good example of this is bolognese sauce traditionally made with 50% pork mince and 50% beef mince.
This combination is there for a reason—the pork gives a lot of the fatty flavor, while the beef gives a more delicate texture. Although this might seem like a small thing, it goes a long way in setting your bolognese sauce apart from others.
Almost every country in the world has a traditional food, however, some of these foods can be considered similar to the countries surrounding them.
This is because as borders and cultures have blurred over the years, many foods are exchanged. A really great example of this is the Classic American Cheeseburger we mentioned earlier in our list.
The Cheeseburger can be linked back to German Cuisine and was taken up by Americans as this country is a great mixture of different cultures and immigrants.
Religions are generally very involved with tradition. This is one of the ways that people express their faith, and as a result, there are certain foods that are considered traditional within a religion.
Often, traditional food can have important religious significance. For example, Sufganiyot is a food traditionally eaten in Judaism as a treat during Hannukah.