Across the globe, countless cuisines offer flavors that are uniquely their own. From Lima, Peru, to Osaka, Japan, the mouthwatering possibilities are nearly endless. With all those choices, putting together a list of 5 is a challenging—and hunger-inducing—task. That said, here’s a list of 5 regionally inspired dishes that very well may be worth traveling across oceans for.
1. Lima, Peru: Ceviche
Spanish conquistadors meet Peruvians in the 16th century, mix ingredients to create a refreshing blend of raw fish, salt, red onions and aji (a pepper unique to Peru)—and ceviche is born. The special touch? Lime, which “cooks” the fish—a technique used since the Middle Ages. Since the technique has been around a while, several countries claim ownership of this dish, but each one serves it up in a different way. In Lima, expect some cold potatoes on the side or maybe an ear of corn.
2. Jakarta, Indonesia: Martabak
While the origins of this dish—a sort of stuffed pancake—may be unclear, it’s a delicacy that has taken over street food in Indonesia. You can enjoy a savory version or warm up to Indonesia’s sweeter side (butter, chocolate and goat cheese included) while taking in the 433-foot-tall National Monument, a tower built in Merdeka Square.
3. Osaka, Japan: Kitsune Udon
Said to have originated in Osaka, Kitsune translates to “fox.” The name derives from an old Japanese tale that says the fox enjoys deep-fried tofu—which happens to be the star of this noodle and sweet broth dish. Affordable and delicious, you’re bound to find it made best at a local, family-owned shop. As a beloved Japanese dish, it’s popular everywhere from small villages to the fast-paced streets of Tokyo, which also serve as one of the world’s most unique shopping destinations.
4. Córdoba, Argentina: Asado
If you thought this list was lacking meat, welcome to Córdoba. Nicknamed “La Docta,” or “the learned one,” because it houses the oldest university in the country, it’s also famous for its asado. As the Argentinian word for barbecue, asado refers to open-flame-cooked meat, as well as the gathering that goes along with it. Cuts include beef, poultry, pork and lamb, which are often served with potatoes, corn, onions and eggplant—also grilled.
So what makes asado such an important part of Argentinian culture? It’s all about the age-old process. The meat is rubbed with salt and then grilled on a parillo (an adjustable-height grill), which includes an open fire that’s a specific distance from the meat. This provides a low and slow cook that keeps the meat tender, savory and worth throwing a party for.
5. Ruse, Bulgaria: Garash Cake
Enjoy a chocolate indulgence in the city known as “Small Vienna” because of a cityscape that was heavily influenced by the famous architects of Bulgaria, Austria, Germany and Italy. This cake is flourless and flawless with 4 layers of walnut, chocolate cream and dark chocolate ganache. Gluttony never looked so gluten-free, and you can find it at almost any local bakery.
When you’re following your nose across the globe looking for the top food in the world, using credit cards with no foreign transaction fees is helpful to avoid paying extra. And if you’re using a travel rewards card that’s earning miles along your journey? Even better.
Enjoy your travels, and may they be safe and delicious.
Find a Travel Card
Earn unlimited miles on every purchase, everywhere with a Capital One travel rewards credit card.
Free 24/7 Credit Monitoring
CreditWise® from Capital One makes it easy for you to manage your credit score and track changes, right from your phone.