30 Best Foods in the World Ranked have you ever eaten something that you absolutely loved and declared it to be the best thing you’d ever eaten? You have, of course!
Food has a way of making us exaggerate, which is appropriate for TasteAtlas’ ranking of the best foods in the world, a website dedicated to cataloging and promoting global cuisine in all its forms. The list is compiled using user ratings that are constantly changing, so these are the views of regular people, not restaurant critics who raise their pinky fingers while sipping tea.
We decided to examine the food ranking to see if we agreed. Some of the entries shocked us, while others pleasantly surprised us. Many foods were omitted, and there are some popular dishes that should not be included.
We can’t sleep at night because the flavor of sweetened, deep-fried dough dusted with cinnamon sugar is so enticing. Add a cup of thick melted chocolate and you’ve got the stuff of nightmares. Churros are crispy, crunchy, sugary, and chocolatey, and they appeal to all the pleasure centers.
These treats were brought to the New World by Spanish explorers, and they are now particularly popular in Mexico but can be found throughout Latin America.
Yes! Despite being the first, churros are the evolution of doughnuts. We’re confident Charles Darwin would concur.
And if doughnuts appear later in this list (you know they will), we will bemoan whatever high ranking they receive.
A griddle pan, cheese, and flour tortillas That’s all it takes to make one of the world’s best snacks. Mexicans know how to cook like few other cultures, but they also know when to slow down and enjoy the simple pleasures of life. Melted cheese is ideal for this.
Quesadillas, of course, can be topped with a variety of ingredients such as meat, beans, sour cream, salsa, and vegetables, but they must always include cheeses that melt well.
Yes! Quesadillas are a perfect food, and we’ve been eating them in all shapes and sizes since we were kids, and we have no plans to stop anytime soon.
Another reason to admire the Aztecs and their contributions to modern society: is the tamal, or tamales if you have more than one. These are made from a cornmeal dough called masa, which is pressed into a dried and rehydrated corn husk, then filled with something sweet or savoury, wrapped up, and steamed.
It all works well together and is best served with some sort of salsa.
Yes! There’s a reason tamale is sold fresh, frozen, on street corners, and in bars from large coolers that have been converted into heaters.
They’re cheap, tasty, and filling, and can be topped with pretty much any flavour you want at the time.
This Korean dish translates to “fire” and “meat,” which is perfectly appropriate for something that is indeed meat and is cooked over a grill.
While that may appear to be too simple to be considered one of the world’s finest foods, it’s the marinade of honey, sesame, soy sauce, garlic, and scallions, as well as the interesting sides, that make bulgogi memorable.
Yes! We believe this is the best placement on the list so far.
It’s difficult to go wrong with grilled meat (salt, acid, heat, and fat), and bulgogi is as delicious as it gets.
If you go to a Korean restaurant, you’ll notice how many plates are on the table. Koreans have over 1,000 different condiments, all of which play an important role in the overall meal. They range in flavour from mild to spicy to funky to… whoa, is that even edible?
Bibimbap, which literally translates to “mixed rice,” is the take-out version of this restaurant experience. Meat, vegetables, rice, egg, and gochujang, a red pepper paste sauce, combine to make a blissful lunch or casual dinner.
Yes! Bibimbap is a great example of controlled culinary chaos and is like Korea in a clamshell box.
True Parmigiano Reggiano comes from a few places in Italy and is aged from a year to several years. It is not to be confused with inferior parmesan cheese, which can be made anywhere.
Aging this cow’s milk cheese gives it a nutty flavour and a gritty texture, making it ideal for grating. That’s why it’s so popular with Italian foods, but it should be able to share space with any of the other common cheeseboard occupants.
Yes! Parmigiano Reggiano is underappreciated, and people are often put off by its high price tag, opting instead for something “domestic.” Poor decision.
Spend a few extra dollars to get one of the world’s best cheeses.
The baguette, as iconic to France as the Eiffel Tower and arrogance, is an understated masterpiece that Monet and Matisse could only dream of. Its name, which dates back to the 1800s, is derived from the Latin word for “stick.”
Its distinctive shape is the result of labor law and the need to bake bread faster in the morning. It appears to be very French to be concerned about human rights while also demanding a proper breakfast.
No, it should be significantly higher! Few things are more perfect than butter and brie on a baguette.
We’re interested to see what other bread styles make the top 68, but we believe baguettes are being overlooked.
Finally, we return to something edible. Thai curry is so much more than your typical Uber Eats order on a Wednesday night. Whereas other curries are thick and stew-like, Thai curry is more soup-like, owing to the use of coconut milk or water (for super-spicy versions).
Fresh herbs like Thai basil and cilantro, as well as aromatics like lemongrass, boost the umami factor significantly. Thai families eat curry on a daily basis for a good reason: it’s delicious.
Yes! Even the worst Thai curry is delicious.
And the best is transcendent in the way that only expertly crafted food can be.
It’s easy to forget that a warm and hearty stew is one of Japan’s most beloved foods among the smorgasbord of chilly and raw seafood dishes.
Curry was introduced to this Asian island nation in the 1800s as a result of Britain’s superiority complex. It’s a simple curry that’s usually served over rice or noodles or tucked into a pastry shell.
Sure! We’re neither offended nor excited by this ranking, owing to the fact that we almost never eat kare?
But, let’s be honest, there are a lot of better curries out there.
Few things are as straightforward and satisfying as skewered and grilled meats. Thank God for the Maillard reaction, which occurs when meat browns. It’s easy to understand why Indonesians love satay.
The national dish can be found anywhere from the dirtiest street vendor to the most upscale restaurant. It’s marinated with flavorful chilies and herbs, and instead of beef or chicken, they sometimes skewer crocodile and snake meat.
Yes! Meat on a stick is never boring. It helps if it’s well-seasoned and grilled.
We’ll also take a healthy cup of peanut sauce for dipping, please
bread of India frequently takes a back seat to whatever it’s served with — basically, any Indian food — and is thus easily overlooked. Naan is typically slightly charred and brushed with ghee after being cooked in a tandoor oven. It may contain fillings such as potatoes, onions, or garlic.
A Persian poet introduced it to India in the 1300s, and when it’s good, it’s epic.
Yes! We couldn’t imagine an Indian meal without plenty of naans to soak up the sauces.
Yoshoku is a Japanese term for foods that have been influenced by Western culture. Tonkatsu is the dish depicted in the definition. It’s a breaded and fried pork cutlet that resembles German schnitzel but has a different breading.
Tonkatsu’s versatility allows it to pair with almost anything — ramen, in a sandwich, with miso or rice noodles, or served alongside curry for katsu kar?
Yes! It is breaded and fried meat.
It’s difficult not to enjoy this dish.
Whoever coined the phrase “big things come in small packages” must have been thinking of dumplings. Wontons are only one type of dumpling, but they are easily the most well-known.
Wontons, also known as Chinese “ravioli,” are a thin dough skin filled with meat, seafood, or vegetables, or a combination of all three, and scrunched into a small ball. They’re steamed briefly and served piping hot with a dipping sauce. It’s easy to consume 100 calories without realizing it.
Yes! We’re confident that other dumplings will appear on this list, so starting with the humble wonton is a wise choice.
They are one of the world’s most perfect foods, whether you call them Pommes Frites, Belgian fries, or French fries. When you deep fry a stick of potato twice, something extraordinary happens. Even if you only do it once, the outcome will be sublime.
This dish is credited to Belgians, but the French will argue otherwise. It doesn’t really matter because deep-fried potato sticks are available all over the world. The toppings — mayo, mustard, ketchup, gravy — don’t really matter; it’s all about the texture of the potato.
Yes! We struggled a little with this one because we thought fries should be ranked higher. Can anything, after all, ruin your day faster than a soggy fry?
Shabu-shabu is a refined version of Mongolian one-pot cooking that originated in China but is now widely popular throughout Japan. It is named after the sound thin slices of meat make when dipped into the cooking liquid (swish, swish).
This is a communal dish that can be made with any type of meat or seafood, though beef is the most commonly used. It’s served with rice and a variety of spicy sauces and sides.
Yes! Food, more than anything else, is about community, and this is a dish to be enjoyed by a large group of friends or family who enjoy each other’s company.
It also helps that it tastes good.
A top 100 canapé list could be created, but it would only cover a small portion of the vast world of these miniature French appetisers.
They must have a bread base and be able to be consumed in a single bite. The rest is up to you — put whatever you want on top, and the options are endless.
Sure! Canapés don’t excite us, but there’s nothing inherently wrong with them.
This is one of those simple, comforting dishes that Mexicans seem to excel at. To make enchiladas, soak a corn or flour tortilla in chili sauce. Then stuff it with meat, veggies, cheese, or all of it, roll it up, and tuck it into a casserole dish with a sauce layer on the bottom.
Once full, drench the entire thing in chili sauce and top with cheese before baking and devouring. When necessary, repeat.
Yes! If you haven’t guessed by now, we love Mexican food (and you should, too!). Mexican food is frequently overlooked or simply dumbed down by Americans, and it deserves to be recognised as one of the world’s greatest and most intricate cuisines.
Enchiladas are not difficult to make, but when done correctly, they are divine.
Yufka can be found somewhere between tortillas and phyllo sheets. It’s a thin (but not phyllo-thin) dough that forms the base of börek (also burek, byurek, byrek, or böregi), a savoury or sweet pie popular throughout the Balkans that originated during Ottoman rule.
A slice of börek with drinkable yogurt is a traditional Balkan breakfast. If that’s peasant food, get us some farmland.
Yes! Börek’s crust is flaky, oily, and crunchy in ways that a pie shell will never be.
Round pies are delicious, but börek is something else entirely.
There are numerous variations of this dish, but the Turkish version has a distinct flavour profile that makes it truly memorable as a simple meze component. The level of spice varies, and some köfte are fried after being coated with egg. Other variations include obscene amounts of butter, and yet another is named after the sound the meat makes when it hits the hot grill.
Köfte also gets points for one of its beverage pairings, turnip juice, which is an acquired taste.
Yes! Heat, salt, acid, and fat are all present. It simply works.
There’s no pizza without Naples, ItalyThis is where the genius of this dish was born, and where it remains the best in the world.
Pizza is a study of time and heat. To bring the dough to fruition, one must be patient and careful. And the oven into which the dough is placed must be extremely hot in order to achieve a blistered crust with a soft interior. At this point, the toppings are secondary, which is why a traditional Neapolitan pizza consists of only dough, cheese, and tomato sauce.
Both yes and no! Although we believe “pizza” will appear alone high on this list in due time, we believe this could easily be in the top ten.
However, the Neapolitan preparation is by far the best.
Sometimes the simplest and most unexpected meals are the most delicious. Spaghetti, guanciale (cured pig jowl; similar to pancetta), egg yolks, and Pecorino Romano all fit the bill. That’s all it takes to make one of the best noodle dishes in the world.
There is some debate as to whether this is a Roman dish or something that arose out of necessity after World War II. We’ll take seconds either way.
Yes! It’s creamy, salty, chewy, and filling all at the same time.
It’s a warm blanket, a roaring fire, and a rom-com all rolled into one bowl of pasta.
Fortunately, we’re back to skewered and grilled meat, this time chicken pieces on bamboo or metal rods that can be seasoned salty or salty-sweet and cooked over charcoal.
There are special shops in Japan that only sell this one item. It’s also popular at izakayas, Japan’s equivalent of a gastropub. This makes sense given that each bite should be washed down with a gulp of beer.
Yes! We don’t eat yakitori very often, but as you know, we’re obsessed with skewered and grilled meats.
Cheddar, like the infantry soldier, is frequently pushed out of the cheeseboard by dairy products with more exotic names. It does the grunt work in many dishes, often overshadowed by a more dominant flavour or a more pungent cheese, but it is always present and reliable.
It shines brightly in the form of Stilton, Fiscalini, or Kerrygold on occasion. It also ages well, with some versions reaching eight or ten years old.
Yes! We’re pleasantly surprised to see cheddar on this list.
Cheddar, you’re doing great. You’re finally getting the recognition you’ve deserved for a long time.
Durum flour, water, patience, and determination are all required to create this blank canvas of a dish. There are an infinite number of toppings and sauces to choose from. The end result is fantastic.
Spaghetti was invented in the 12th century when Sicily was under Arab rule.
Yes! The textural pleasure of a mouthful of spaghetti is difficult to match when made well and cooked perfectly.
Thailand’s national dish is a noodle stir fry with few equals. Its main ingredients are tofu, shrimp, bean sprouts, peanuts, and egg, each of which serves a specific purpose in contributing to the overall texture and flavour of the dish.
Finally, your pad Thai will be perfect if the salty, sweet, and sour flavours are harmoniously balanced in each bite.
Yes! Try their pad Thai if you want to know how good a Thai restaurant is.
There are a few foods that define Greek cuisine, and one of them is feta. There are strict regulations governing its production, and anything made outside of Greece is a forgery — especially if cow’s milk was used. The Greeks only use sheep milk and occasionally goat milk, but never more than 30%.
Feta is delicious in salads and with pasta, but it can also and should be eaten on its own with olive oil and oregano.
Yes! It’s one of the oldest foods on the planet and has withstood the test of time like no other
Mozzarella, the Italian equivalent of feta, is an ancient cheese and one of Italy’s defining foods.
It dates back to the fourth century BC and is best when fresh, soft, and stretchy. This cow’s milk cheese is a staple in many Italian dishes, such as Caprese salad and pizza.
Yes! We wouldn’t have pizza if it wasn’t for the mozzarella.
That’s a terrifying thought!
Nothing compares to the tortilla and its place in Mesoamerican history and modern-day Latin America when it comes to food and its impact on a people. Native Indian tribes continue to harvest and dry corn kernels for masa flour before mixing it with water and forming small balls that are pressed into thin tortillas.
The original tortilla ingredient is corn, and Spaniards are largely responsible for the wheat flour version we know today.
Yes! Tortillas are so important in Latin American cuisine, particularly Mexican cuisine, that they deserve to be ranked 28th.
They’re also delicious just warmed up and eaten plain.
Nothing says “you’re in England” like grease-stained newspaper sheets wafting around in Blackpool’s summer breeze. If you don’t have the newspaper, make sure you have something to soak up the oil, which is both the blessing and the curse of fish and chips.
If you use too much oil that isn’t hot enough, you’ll end up with a soggy mess for lunch. But when it’s done correctly, it’s everything. Don’t forget the malt vinegar and lemon juice to give the dish a much-needed flavour boost.
Maybe! Yes, top 100. The top 35.
We’re torn here, as we order fish and chips all the time, lusting after that perfect bite of shattered crust and fleshy Atlantic cod when everything seems to be going well.
A good biryani is so fragrant with cardamom, bay leaves, and coriander that you’ll be drooling long before the first bite hits your fork. Biryani, which was once reserved for the upper class of Indian society, is now a food for everyone.
It’s also one of the simplest, most flavorful dishes you’ll find anywhere. It all begins with basmati rice. Then there’s meat, eggs, or vegetables, and a plethora of other options like nuts, yogurt, or dried fruits.
Yes! While some may think that 30th place for biryani is a bit high, they simply haven’t had a truly wonderful version in which the rice was perfectly cooked and the ingredients married together flawlessly.