50 of the Most Delicious Types of Bread From Around the World

We’re originally from Asia so when it comes to starchy food, rice is king. We’ve eaten it with almost every meal since childhood.

However, we do have a passion for other high-carb staples as well, especially bread. Renée loves baking bread and making pizzas from scratch. Like sausages, sandwiches, and exotic ice cream flavors, new and unfamiliar types of bread are something we look for on every trip.

From Vietnamese banh mi to Ethiopian injera, here are fifty types of bread from around the world that every dough lover needs to try.

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Bread refers to a vital staple food made with dough (or batter). It’s usually baked and can be made using just two ingredients – flour and water. Bread has existed throughout the world since Neolithic times and is recognized as one of the earliest human-made foods.

Flour is the heart and soul of bread. It’s a powder that can be made from a variety of finely ground grains, tubers, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Bread can be made with different types of flour though grain-based flours – especially wheat flour – are most commonly used.

Flour and water are the most important ingredients in bread though it’s commonly made with yeast, salt, baking powder, and baking soda as well. It can be leavened or unleavened and enriched with other ingredients like eggs, milk, butter, sugar, spices, nuts, and seeds.

Photo by Gabbiere


As with many foods that are quite similar to each other (like soups and stews), there’s a fine line between breads and pastries. They’re made with similar ingredients but the main difference is in the amount of fat and gluten in the dough.

Pastry has a higher fat content than bread. Adding fat or oil to pastry dough and manipulating it as little as possible slows down the production of gluten. This leads to a product that’s flakier and crumblier in texture.

Pastries are also made with pastry flour which typically has a lower level of gluten than all-purpose flour or bread flour.


The line between bread and cake is even hazier.

Both products are made from similar ingredients but bread is made predominantly with flour and water while cakes are enriched with additional ingredients like sugar, milk, butter, and eggs. Bread also uses yeast as its primary leavening agent while cakes are made with chemical leaveners like baking powder and baking soda.

By that definition, it seems clear that “quick breads” – breads leavened with a non-biological agent like baking soda or baking powder – are actually cakes instead of bread. Labels make everything so confusing.


There are hundreds of known bread recipes from around the world. There are many ways you can categorize bread but one of the simplest is to put them into one of two main categories – leavened or unleavened.

Leavened Bread

Leavened bread refers to any type of raised bread made with yeast or another leavening agent like baking powder or baking soda. When added to dough (or batter), the yeast or chemical leaveners release carbon dioxide that makes the dough rise.

Leavened bread is best made with flour that contains high levels of gluten, like whole wheat flour or rye flour. These types of flour contain two proteins that give raised bread its structure – glutenin and gliaden. Glutenin creates elasticity and chewiness while gliaden enables the bread to achieve a higher rise.

When mixed with water, these proteins connect and form gluten, the supporting structure of raised bread. Carbon dioxide bubbles produced by the leaveners are held together by these gluten strands which allow the dough to rise and retain its shape before baking.

Some common examples of leavened bread include white bread, whole wheat bread, rye bread, potato bread (made with potato flour or mashed potatoes), multigrain bread (made with several types of grain), and quick bread (leavened with a non-biological agent like baking soda or baking powder).

Photo by manyakotic

Unleavened Bread

Unleavened bread refers to any type of bread made without a rising agent, so they’re flat in shape. Tortilla, chapati, roti canai, and matzah are popular examples of unleavened bread.

It’s a common misconception that all types of flatbread are unleavened, but that isn’t the case. Some well-known flatbreads like naan bread and pita bread are made with yeast.

Photo by bhofack2


This is a big list of bread types. To make it easier to go through, I’ve organized it by continent. Click on a link to jump to any section of the guide.

  1. Europe
  2. Asia
  3. Africa
  4. North America
  5. South America
  6. Oceania


1. English Muffin (England)

Fans of eggs benedict and Egg McMuffins are no strangers to the English muffin. Known simply as a “muffin” in England, it refers to a small and round yeast-leavened type of flatbread that’s commonly eaten for breakfast.

Muffins are typically sliced horizontally and toasted before being spread with butter and/or jam. They can also be filled with various breakfast ingredients like eggs, sausage, bacon, and cheese to create a portable sandwich version of the classic English breakfast.

I absolutely adore Sausage McMuffins from McDonald’s. It’s one of my favorite breakfast sandwiches and a lot of that has to do with the texture of the bread. It’s soft, spongy, a little crusty, and just perfect with the breakfast ingredients.

Photo by chasbrutlag

2. Bannock (Scotland)

Bannock refers to a family of quick breads that originated in Scotland. Traditionally made from grain-based flours like barley, oatmeal, or wheat, they’re round and flat and usually cut into pie-like wedges before serving.

Bannock can be prepared in a number of ways. They can be leavened or unleavened, baked or fried. Depending on the recipe and where they’re from, they can contain special ingredients and be made to celebrate holidays and special occasions.

In Scotland, bannock from the town of Selkirk is especially popular. It’s made from wheat flour and raisins and has a buttery, sponge-like texture that’s reminiscent of fruitcake.

Photo by melastmohican

3. Crumpet (Wales)

The crumpet is a type of griddle cake that originated in Wales. Small, round, and bespeckled with holes, they’re very similar to English muffins except they’re made from milk batter instead of a stiffer dough. They’re also leavened with baking soda while English muffins are made with yeast or sourdough.

Unlike muffins that are sliced horizontally and toasted, crumpets are cooked only on one side.

Photo by eelnosiva

4. Barmbrack (Ireland)

Barmbrack refers to a type of Irish yeast bread made with raisins. Often referred to as “brack”, it’s usually toasted with butter and served with tea.

Interestingly, making and serving barmbrack has long been a Halloween tradition in Ireland. Traditionally, it was made with various items inside like a pea, a stick, a coin, and a ring. Each item carried a symbolic meaning which bestowed a fortune (or misfortune) upon the person who received it in their slice.

Photo by ganzevayna

5. Soda Bread (Ireland)

Soda bread is a type of quick bread made from baking soda, white flour, salt, and buttermilk. Originally from Ireland, it’s a slightly sweet bread that’s often made with additional ingredients like eggs, butter, raisins, and nuts.

Photo by starstock

6. Brown Bread (Ireland)

Irish brown bread is basically a type of soda bread made with whole wheat flour instead of white flour. Thanks to the wheat flour and wheat bran in its recipe, it’s typically nuttier and more savory in flavor compared to traditional soda bread.

Photo by bhofack2

7. Rugbrød (Denmark)

Rugbrød refers to a type of rye bread from Denmark. Dense, dark, and a bit sour in flavor, it’s an everyday type of bread in Danish cuisine and is used as the base for smørrebrød open-faced sandwiches.

Rugbrød is typically made with dark rye flour, wheat flour, cracked rye, and a sourdough starter. Depending on the baker, it can be made with additional ingredients as well like pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, flaxseeds, and beer.

Photo by fanfon

8. Lefse (Norway)

If you like tortillas, then you’re going to enjoy lefse, a type of Norwegian flatbread made with wheat flour, butter, milk, water, salt, and sometimes potato. It’s a staple food that can be eaten plain or filled with a variety of sweet and savory ingredients.

Different types of lefse are consumed throughout Norway and in the Norwegian diaspora in America. Some of the most popular varieties include potetlefse (made with potatoes), møsbrømlefse (made with brunost brown cheese), and kjøttlefse (made with meat).

In America, lefse is always made with potatoes. It’s considered a holiday dish that’s traditionally eaten around Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Photo by bhofack2

9. Baguette (France)

No list of the world’s most delicious bread can ever be complete without mentioning the baguette. Meaning “wand” or “stick” in French, this iconic French bread known for its elongated shape and crisp chewy crust is an icon of French cuisine and an important symbol of French culture.

A baguette is made from a basic lean dough and measures around 65 cm (26 in) in length and 5-6 cm (2-2.5 in) in diameter. Its exact origins are unclear though one colorful account claims that it was the brainchild of Napoleon Bonaparte. The former Emperor wanted bread that soldiers could more easily carry so he asked that bread be made in a long and narrow shape so it could easily be slid into a soldier’s uniform.

Whatever its true origins, bread lovers are grateful for its invention because it truly is one of the most delicious types of bread in the world. Crusty on the inside but soft and pillowy on the inside, bread doesn’t get any better than this.

Photo by VitalikRadko

10. Brioche (France)

Brioche is a great example of a dough-based product that straddles the line between pastry and bread.

Because of its high butter and egg content, brioche belongs to a family of baked goods known as Viennoiseries. These are yeast-leavened French pastries that are made in a manner similar to bread, but enriched with additional ingredients like eggs, milk, butter, and sugar.

Photo by studioM

11. Fougasse (France)

Fougasse is a type of French bread that’s traditionally associated with the southeastern region of Provence. It’s the French descendant of an ancient Roman flatbread that evolved to become focaccia in Italy, pogača in the Balkans, and hogaza in Spain.

Fougasse is sometimes made to look like an ear of wheat and is often prepared with additional ingredients like olives, garlic, cheese, and anchovies.

Photo by Anna_Shepulova

12. Pumpernickel (Germany)

Pumpernickel refers to a type of rye bread from Germany. Heavy and slightly sweet, it’s made with coarsely ground rye flour, rye berries, and a sourdough starter.

According to one folktale, pumpernickel gets its name from Napoleon Bonaparte. Legend has it that the former French Emperor asked for bread while invading Germany and was given this dark rye bread.

He declared it unfit for consumption and demanded that it be given to his horse Nickel (or Nicole) instead: “C’est du pain pour Nickel/Nicole!

Photo by Komar.

13. Pretzel (Germany)

Like bratwurst and schnitzel, the brezel or pretzel is one of the most popular German foods. Traditionally made from wheat flour or rye flour, they can be made into various shapes though the symmetrical knot form is the most iconic and recognizable.

Pretzels have a characteristic color, texture, and flavor that’s derived from being immersed in a lye solution (or washing soda) before baking. They’re traditionally seasoned with coarse salt though they can be flavored with other ingredients as well like mustard, cheese, sugar, seeds, and nuts.

Photo by bhofack2

14. Kipferl (Austria)

If you’re a fan of croissants, then you may want to try these similarly-shaped bread rolls from Austria. Known as kipferl or kifli, these crescent-shaped bread rolls are believed to be the inspiration for French croissants.

Unlike croissants which are made from laminated pastry dough, kipferl are made from a soft yeasted dough. The dough is flattened into a thin sheet and then cut into triangular wedges before being rolled into crescent shapes and baked.

Photo by myviewpoint

15. Tiger Bread (Netherlands)

Known for its cracked crust, this appetizing-looking bread from the Netherlands is known as tijgerbrood or tiger bread.

Tiger bread is made by painting rice paste onto the surface of the dough before baking. The paste dries and cracks while baking, giving the bread its characteristic mottled appearance.

Photo by artistrobd

16. Lángos (Hungary)

Lángos was one of our favorite street foods in Budapest. It refers to a deep-fried Hungarian flatbread that can be eaten plain or topped with a variety of ingredients like garlic butter, sour cream, grated cheese, ham, sausage, and mushroom.

Lángos is most often eaten plain with garlic, but we went to one innovative street food stall in Budapest that used them as hamburger buns. It was delicious!

Photo by [email protected]

17. Bagel (Poland)

If you’re from New York or Montreal, then the bagel is probably one of your favorite types of bread. This iconic ring-shaped bread has become ultra-famous in North America but it originated from the Jewish communities of Poland.

A bagel consists of yeasted dough that’s shaped into a ring by hand and then briefly boiled before baking. The preparation process results in a browned bread with a dense, doughy, and chewy interior. It’s usually topped with poppy or sesame seeds and sliced horizontally before eating.

Bagels in North America are often served with spreads and toppings like cream cheese, butter, jam, lox, and capers. They can also be used to make sandwiches with a variety of fillings.

Photo by bhofack2

18. Borodinsky (Russia)

Borodinsky refers to a dark sourdough rye bread from Russia. It’s traditionally made from a mixture of whole grain rye flour, wheat flour, and rye malt enriched with molasses, caraway, and coriander seeds.

Photo by gulya_shaina

19. Kalach (Eastern Europe)

Kalach refers to a type of bread popular in many Eastern European countries like Russia, Ukraine, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Serbia. Meaning “circle” or “wheel”, it’s a ring-shaped bread that’s traditionally prepared and consumed to celebrate Slavic rituals.

In Hungary and Romania for example, kalach is usually prepared for holidays like Easter. In Belarus and Poland, it’s traditionally baked for weddings and welcoming ceremonies.

Photo by fotoflow

20. Focaccia (Italy)

The Italians have many contributions to the world of bread, but when I think of Italian bread, the first thing that comes to mind is focaccia.

Focaccia refers to a popular leavened Italian flatbread that’s similar to pizza bread. But unlike pizza dough that’s baked immediately after flattening, focaccia is left to rise until it fills out the pan. It can be served as a side dish or used as sandwich bread.

Focaccia can be made in many different ways but one of the most popular is Genoese focaccia. It’s topped with olive oil and coarse salt and has finger-sized indentations on its surface.

Photo by monkeybusiness

21. Ciabatta (Italy)

Ciabatta is another well-known type of bread from Italy. Meaning “slipper” in Italian, ciabatta refers to a type of Italian white bread made from wheat flour, yeast, salt, water, and olive oil.

I was surprised to learn that ciabatta was invented as recently as 1982. Not to be outdone by the French, it’s said to have been created as a response to the popularity of the baguette.

A large volume of French bread was being imported into Italy to make sandwiches, so a local baker from Polesine created the recipe for ciabatta as a local alternative.

As you can probably guess, ciabatta gets its name from its flat and elongated, slipper-like shape.

Photo by AntonioGravante

22. Bread Sticks (Italy)

Known as grissini in Italy, bread sticks are pencil-sized sticks of crispy baked bread. They were invented sometime in mid-17th century Italy, but they’ve become equally popular in the US where they’re often served as crispy or soft appetizers at Italian-American restaurants.

Photo by fudio

23. Piadina (Italy)

Piadina refers to a type of flatbread traditionally associated with the Romagna region of Italy. Made with white flour, olive oil, salt, and water, it can be eaten with savory or sweet fillings like cheese, cold cuts, vegetables, and jam.

Photo by lenyvavsha

24. Michetta (Italy)

This Italian white bread with an interesting bulged shape is known as the michetta. It’s a descendant of the Austrian kaiser roll that was brought to Milan sometime in the 19th century.

Michetta are highly leavened bread rolls with a hard crust and an extremely airy, almost hollow interior.

Photo by marmo81

25. Pita (Greece)

When I think of flatbreads, pita is the first thing that comes to mind. It refers to a family of yeast-leavened flatbreads that’s been a staple of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisines for thousands of years.

Pita is a versatile type of wheat flour bread that’s often made with an interior pocket. Baked at high temperatures, the water in the dough turns into steam which causes the pita to puff up and form a pocket.

After baking, pita bread is often used as a vessel to make wrap or pocket sandwiches. It can also be used as a scoop for dips or cut into smaller pieces and then baked into crispy pita chips.

Photo by chudo2307

26. Tsoureki (Greece)

If sweet bread is your jam, then you’ll probably enjoy tsoureki. Popular in Greece and Armenia, it’s a type of sweet holiday bread that’s traditionally prepared to celebrate Easter.

Tsoureki is made from a sweet yeasted dough consisting of flour, butter, eggs, milk, and sugar. The dough is brushed with egg wash before baking and often enriched with additional ingredients like orange zest, almond extract, mastic, and cinnamon.

Because tsoureki is traditionally baked for Easter, it’s often made with dyed red eggs pressed into the dough.

Photo by gioiak2


27. Naan (India)

Indian food is one of my absolute favorite cuisines in the world. I love dipping shreds of freshly baked naan bread into bowls of curry. For me, it’s one of life’s great simple pleasures.

The curries in an Indian meal will always be the star but naan bread makes them even more enjoyable. Naan refers to a type of leavened flatbread that’s popular in South Asian cuisine. It’s made with white or whole wheat flour and is usually leavened with yeast before being baked in a tandoor (clay oven).

At Indian restaurants, you can usually get them plain or brushed with butter and/or garlic.

Photo by odua

28. Paratha (India)

The Indian subcontinent is famous for its flatbreads. Outside of India, naan is perhaps the most well-known but you should definitely try paratha as well. It’s one of the most popular types of unleavened flatbread in Indian cuisine.

Paratha translates to something like “layers of cooked dough”. Using a laminated dough technique, it’s made by repeatedly folding and brushing layers of whole wheat dough with ghee or oil to create its characteristically flaky layers. The discs are then cooked on a tava before being finished off with shallow frying.

Paratha can be made plain or filled with a variety of ingredients like dal (lentils), spiced potatoes, vegetables, and paneer (Indian cottage cheese).

Photo by lenyvavsha

29. Khobz Al Khameer (UAE)

In Standard Arabic, the word “khubz” refers to any type of bread. There are many different types of khubz in the Middle East, but if you visit Dubai, then you need to try khobz al khameer. It’s a popular yeasted Emirati flatbread that’s typically eaten for breakfast in the UAE.

Khobz al khameer is usually enjoyed with various accompaniments like date paste, jam, honey, and cheese. Like pita bread, it has a hollow center that can be stuffed with date paste and other fillings.

Photo by Wirestock

30. Barbari Bread (Iran)

Barbari bread refers to a thick, yeast-leavened Iranian flatbread topped with sesame seeds or black caraway seeds. Like pretzels, it’s known for its distinctive skin that gets its color and texture from being brushed with a mixture of baking soda, flour, and water before baking.

Photo by VictorJiang

31. Challah (Israel)

Challah is a type of braided bread with Ashkenazi Jewish roots. It’s an important ritual bread that’s typically prepared for ceremonial occasions like Shabbat and other major Jewish holidays.

Challah can be made in many ways. Traditional Ashkenazi challah is a brioche-like bread that’s made with a large number of eggs, white flour, yeast, water, sugar, salt, and oil. After rising, the dough is rolled into rope-like shapes and braided before being sprinkled with sesame or poppy seeds. The dough is then brushed with egg wash before baking to give it its characteristic golden brown color.

Interestingly, a portion of dough must be separated as an offering to make the bread ritually acceptable. The term challah can refer to both the bread and this portion of dough.

Photo by OlgaBombologna

32. Bazlama (Turkey)

We absolutely love Turkish cuisine. From its colorful meze platters to its doner kebabs and breads-based dishes like lahmacun and pide, we couldn’t get enough of Turkish food.

There are many delicious types of bread in Turkey but bazlama is one of our favorites. It refers to a soft, leavened Turkish flatbread that’s similar to naan, but thicker and heavier. Also known as “village bread”, it’s traditionally cooked over an open wood fire and is usually eaten fresh for breakfast or stuffed with various ingredients like a sandwich.

Photo by sriba3

33. Shotis Puri (Georgia)

Shotis puri, or simply shoti, refers to an interesting, canoe-shaped type of Georgian bread. Like naan, it’s cooked in a tandoor-like clay oven called a tone.

Shoti can be made at any time of the year though it’s especially popular during holidays and special celebrations like weddings and birthdays.

Photo by [email protected]

34. Lavash (Armenia)

Lavash is another type of bread that’s cooked in a clay oven. Popular in many South Caucasian and Western Asian countries like Armenia, Iran, Turkey, and Kazakhstan, it’s a versatile flatbread that can be used as a wrap for meats or eaten for breakfast with eggs, cheese, jam, or butter.

Lavash can be leavened or unleavened. Traditionally, it’s baked by slapping the dough on the side of a tonir clay oven but it can also be cooked on a saj or pan.

Photo by maxsol7

35. Obi Non (Uzbekistan)

Obi non is perhaps one of the most beautiful types of Asian flatbread. It’s an important Uzbek staple food that’s similar to naan, except it’s adorned with a decorative pattern on its surface.

Like many of the flatbreads from this part of the world, obi non is baked in a traditional clay oven called a tandyr.

Photo by Fascinadora

36. Mantou (China)

Mantou is a type of bread bun from northern China. It’s different from most other types of bread in that it’s steamed and not baked.

Mantou is a staple food in parts of China where wheat, instead of rice, is the primary crop. It’s made with milled wheat flour, water, and leavening agents and can range in size from 4-15 cm (1.6-5.9 in).

Steamed mantou buns are delicious but in Singapore, you can try a fried version that may be even better. They’re typically served as a side dish with chili crabs.

Aumrino970, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons / Processed in Photoshop and Lightroom

37. Shokupan (Japan)

Japan is our favorite country in the world to visit, and a lot of that has to do with Japanese food. Sushi and ramen are amazing but the Japanese make awesome baked goods as well, one of our favorites being shokupan or Japanese milk bread.

Shokupan is just white bread but it’s probably the softest and most delicious white bread you’ll ever taste in your life. As its name suggests, it’s a slightly sweet and milky type of bread made with white flour, milk powder, butter, yeast, salt, and sugar. Soft, buttery, and fluffy, it’s basically the Japanese version of a Pullman loaf.

From focaccia bread to banh mi and hoagies, Renée bakes amazing breads but her shokupan may be my favorite. It’s amazing on its own but even better when used for sandwiches.

In Japan, you’ll find two types of shokupan – one with a rounded top (pictured below) and another with a flat top.

ChrisHamby, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons / Processed in Photoshop and Lightroom

38. Banh Mi (Vietnam)

I’m starting to sound like a broken record but banh mi is another of my favorite types of bread in the world. It’s a French-influenced Vietnamese baguette that’s basically a miniature version of the iconic French bread.

Banh mi is made with a dough consisting of both wheat flour and rice flour. Like the baguette, it’s known for having a crispy crust and a soft airy crumb that sort of crumbles in on itself when you take a bite. It’s so incredibly delicious.

The term banh mi can refer to both the Vietnamese sandwich and the bread used to make it.

39. Pan de Sal (Philippines)

The Philippines isn’t really known for its bread but since we’re originally from Manila, I had to include pan de sal. It’s a soft bread roll that’s typically eaten for breakfast in the Philippines.

Pan de sal is a small bread roll that’s made with wheat flour and/or bread flour, yeast, sugar, salt, and oil. The dough is shaped into logs and then rolled in bread crumbs before being portioned and baked.

Filipinos love sweet food and pan de sal is an example of that. I wouldn’t call it a sweet bread, but it’s definitely on the sweeter side. It can be eaten as is, dipped into coffee, or eaten with fillings like a small sandwich.

Photo by junpinzon

40. Roti Canai (Malaysia)

Roti canai (or roti prata in Singapore) is a Southeast Asian variation of Indian paratha. Like paratha, it’s made with a dough that’s repeatedly kneaded, oiled, and folded to create a soft and flaky layered flatbread.

Roti canai can be made in many variations but I like plain roti the best. It’s usually served with a curry dipping sauce and makes for a great appetizer at Malaysian restaurants.

Photo by tehcheesiong


41. Biscuit (USA)

The word “biscuit” may mean something else in other parts of the world but in the US, it refers to a type of quick bread that’s like a denser and crumblier version of a dinner roll.

About the size of a hockey puck, American biscuits have a firm exterior and a soft, crumbly interior. They’re typically eaten for breakfast or as a side dish with butter, jam, or honey. Like English muffins, they can also be sliced horizontally and eaten with breakfast ingredients like a sandwich.

Photo by HHLtDave5

42. Cornbread (USA)

Cornbread is another type of quick bread that’s popular in the US. Made with cornmeal, it’s especially popular in southern cooking though its roots are in Native American cuisine.

Cornbread is usually baked or fried. It can be eaten for breakfast or served on the side with southern staples like barbecue, pinto beans, and chili con carne. It can be slightly sweet or neutral in flavor and has a distinctively grainy texture that’s different from other types of bread.

Photo by bhofack2

43. Tortilla (Mexico)

We currently live in Mexico so we’ve had our fair share of corn tortillas. Wheat tortillas are available in Mexico as well though the corn tortilla is definitely king.

A tortilla is a Mesoamerican type of unleavened flatbread. Traditionally, it’s made with nixtamalized corn but it’s now commonly made from wheat flour as well. Because corn masa is gluten-free, corn tortillas are noticeably crumblier in texture than their wheat counterparts.

In Mexico, tortillas are often served on the side or as a vessel to make tacos and quesadillas.

Photo by bhofack2

44. Cemita (Mexico)

We spent a lot of time in Puebla where cemita sandwiches reign supreme. Like banh mi, the term cemita can refer to both the sandwich and the bread used to make it.

The cemita is a type of Mexican bread roll that’s traditionally associated with Puebla. It’s an eggy, brioche-type bread that’s made with wheat flour, eggs, butter, yeast, salt, and sugar. They’re topped with sesame seeds and have a distinctively crunchy exterior and a soft rich interior.

Like banh mi, cemitas poblanas are among my favorite sandwiches in the world, and a lot of that has to do with the bread.


45. Arepa (Venezuela, Colombia)

The arepa is an important staple food in Venezuelan and Colombian cuisine. You can think of it as the South Amercian equivalent of naan or pita bread, but instead of wheat flour, it’s made with ground maize dough.

Whether in Colombia or Venezuela, arepas are eaten throughout the day. They can be enjoyed plain or filled with various ingredients like cheese, eggs, and meat.

Photo by anamejia18

46. Marraqueta (Chile)

It was interesting to learn that Chile is one of the biggest consumers of bread in the world. The average Chilean is estimated to eat over 90 kg (200 pounds) of bread per year, and there’s no doubt that marraqueta accounts for a significant part of that total.

Marraqueta is the most popular type of bread in Chilean cuisine. Easily recognizable for its distinctive shape that can be broken up into four segments, it’s also referred to as pan francés thanks to its crusty and crunchy baguette-like texture. It’s typically eaten for breakfast, enjoyed with pebre salsa or mashed avocado, or used as sandwich bread.

Marraqueta is such an important part of Chilen culture that a local saying goes: “Nació con la marraqueta bajo el brazo”, which literally means “to be born with a marraqueta under his/her arm”.

This saying describes a child that has their future secured, much like the English phrase “to be born with a silver spoon in one’s mouth”.

Photo by Blinovita

47. Hallulla (Chile)

After marraqueta, hallulla is perhaps the second most consumed bread in Chile. It refers to a round flatbread made with wheat flour, vegetable shortening (or lard), milk, water, yeast, sugar, and salt.

Popular in South American countries like Chile, Bolivia, and Ecuador, hallulla is commonly eaten as a sandwich or served as a side dish with larger meals.

Photo by PantherMediaSeller


48. Aish Baladi (Egypt)

Staple foods like bread, corn, and rice are defining elements in many cultures and aish baladi is an example of that. It refers to the Egyptian version of pita bread made with whole wheat flour baked at extremely high temperatures.

Aish baladi is a cornerstone of Egyptian cuisine and a vital part of their culture. In fact, you can tell just how important it is to Egyptian culture by its name – aish means “life” while baladi means “traditional” or “authentic”.

Consumed across all social classes, aish baladi is baked several times a day in Egypt and eaten with every meal.

Photo by Iggib00

49. Injera (Ethiopia)

Injera isn’t one of my favorite types of bread but it’s definitely one of the most interesting and memorable. A staple in Ethiopian cuisine, it’s a spongy sour fermented flatbread that functions not just as food, but as a plate and eating utensil. If you’ve had Ethiopian food, then you’ll know what I mean.

Injera is made with tef, the world’s smallest grain. Tef dough is mixed with ersho (starter) and left to ferment to give it a mild sour taste. After a few days, the dough is flattened and baked into round pieces on a large circular griddle called a mitad.

Injera has a spongy and absorbent texture that makes it an ideal accompaniment to Ethiopian food. Various stews and curries are served on a “tablecloth” of injera along with several rolls. To eat, you tear pieces of injera and use them as scoops to pick up the food.

It’s an interesting experience that’s sure to stay with you long after the last piece of injera is gone.

Photo by artush


50. Damper (Australia)

Last on this long list of bread is damper, an Australian version of soda bread. It’s made from a wheat-based dough that’s lightly kneaded and then baked in the coals of a fire.

Damper is an iconic Australian bread that was consumed by stockmen who traveled to remote parts of Australia for long periods of time. They often carried just basic rations so they needed food that was easy to make. Damper can be made with just flour, water, salt, and a leavening agent like baking soda or beer.

Photo by SherS


When I started this list, it was considerably longer than it is now. It included many batter-based breads like waffle, baghrir (Moroccan pancake), crepe, dosa (Indian pancake), and palachinka (Bulgarian pancake). Personally, I consider all those dishes to be types of bread but other people may not, so I left them out (for now).

After doing research for this article, I found that the line separating bread, cake, and pastry is thin and often debatable. There really is no definitive definition that distinguishes one from the other so “tweener” products like pancakes, banana bread, and croissants can fit in more than one category.

In any case, I hope you enjoyed reading this article as much as I enjoyed writing it. Being Asian, rice and noodles will always be king for me but I can never say no to a loaf of good bread.

Cover photo by AntonMatyukha. Stock images via Depositphotos.

12 of the Best Restaurants in Marrakech, Morocco

When I think of destinations with the most interesting food, Morocco is one of the first places that comes to mind. It’s a fascinating blend of Berber, Mediterranean, and Andalusian cuisines with hints of European and sub-Saharan influences. Thanks to emblematic dishes like tagine and couscous, I’m like Pavlov’s dog – I can’t think about Moroccan food without salivating.

The food is incredible everywhere in Morocco but especially in the tourist capital of Marrakech. In fact, we took a cooking class in Marrakech and one of our instructors told us that she moved to this city specifically for its food!

Spend a couple of days exploring the many colorful souks in the medina and you’ll find dozens of Moroccan restaurants luring you in with their aromatic tagines, exotic spices, and bubbling hot pots of mint tea. With limited time and only a few meals to enjoy in Marrakesh, how do you find the best places to eat?

We travel for food so we spent a month in Marrakesh looking for the best restaurants to find standout Moroccan dishes like lamb tagine, royal couscous, briouat, and mechoui. We visited over two dozen restaurants but these twelve are our favorites.


To help you plan your trip to Marrakech, we’ve compiled links to recommended hotels, tours, and other travel-related services here.


Top-rated hotels in the medina, the best area to stay for first-time visitors to Marrakesh.

  • Luxury: Les Jardins De La Koutoubia
  • Midrange: Riad Matins De Marrakech
  • Budget: Riad Dia


  • Food Tour: Street Food Tour by Night
  • Souk Tour: 3-Hour Colorful Souks Tour
  • Sahara Desert Trip: Merzouga 3-Day Desert Safari with Food
  • Cooking Classes: Marrakech Cooking Classes


  • Travel Insurance (with COVID cover)
  • Airport Transfer

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1. Cafe des Epices

When I was doing research for the best restaurants in Marrakech, this cafe was on almost every list. I usually shy away from those places but everyone was waxing poetic about this cafe’s rooftop views so we went. As it turns out, everyone was right.

Cafe des Epices is a lovely cafe overlooking Place des Epices (spice square). They serve traditional Moroccan breakfast, sandwiches, salads, tajines, and dessert.

Pictured below is my delicious Moroccan breakfast consisting of an omelette, fruit salad, a basket of Moroccan bread, fresh orange juice, and either coffee or mint tea.

Morocco is known for many types of bread and you can try a few of them in this breakfast set. In this basket are msemen (Moroccan crepe), khobz, harcha, amlou, and barley bread. They come with four different types of dips and spreads – olive oil, honey, strawberry jam, and some type of peanut-based sauce.

We enjoyed this cafe so much that we wound up eating here twice, once for breakfast and another time for mint tea and dessert. Mint tea is an important part of Moroccan culture and something you’ll probably have often in Marrakesh.

When you see a dish or dessert with the restaurant’s name on it, then chances are, it’s going to be good. This is the Cafe des Epices cake made with Arabica coffee, Atlas walnuts, and noss noss icing. “Noss noss” refers to a Moroccan coffee drink made with equal parts coffee and milk.

As described, Cafe des Epices is located right next to the Place des Epices spice market.

This is the view from the second floor. The third-floor view looks pretty similar to this.

A good majority of restaurants in Marrakech offer rooftop seating. However, aside from the restaurants immediately surrounding Jemaa el-Fnaa, most don’t offer great views. This cafe does.

Here we are sitting on the rooftop. Marrakesh can get brutally hot so there are parasols to keep you shaded and a misting system to keep you nice and cool.

Cafe des Epices

Address: 75 Derb Rahba Lakdima, Marrakech 40000, Morocco
Operating Hours: 9AM-11PM, daily
What to Order: Moroccan breakfast, sandwiches, traditional dishes

2. Henna Cafe

We wanted to visit Henna Art Cafe but we found this restaurant’s menu to be more interesting so we went here instead. As its name suggests, they offer henna tattoos but we were here strictly for the food.

Instead of serving a full Moroccan menu of traditional food, Henna Cafe offers just a handful of dishes that you can order in small or large plates. It’s like having a Spanish-inspired Moroccan tapas meal right here in Marrakesh!

We ordered all six dishes on their menu but they started us off with some khobz, olives, harissa (Moroccan chili paste), and yogurt sauce.

We’ve had falafel a few times in Morocco but the version at Hena Cafe was one of the most delicious. Served with a side salad of fresh tomatoes and onions, they had a slightly bouncy texture that reminded me a little bit of chewy bread like Colombian pandebono.

Pictured below is a plate of loubia or warm butter beans cooked in a spicy tomato sauce.

What you’re looking at here is the Henna Cafe house salad made with fresh shredded cabbage, sliced apples, and raisins.

I love hummus but this was easily my least favorite dish from today’s meal.

This veggie tortilla, on the other hand, was delicious. It’s basically Henna Cafe’s take on tortilla de patata, one of my favorite Spanish tapas.

People who like eating meat need to order this dish. It’s lamb kefta meatballs slow-cooked with egg and onions.

Unlike most cafes and restaurants in Marrakech that serve just one type of mint tea, Henna Cafe offers about seven different types of Amazigh tea. Aside from classic Moroccan spearmint, they make them with different ingredients like wormwood, wild thyme, and geranium leaves.

Henna Art Cafe is more popular but I’m happy to recommend Henna Cafe as well. The tapas concept was fun and not something we saw at any other restaurant in Marrakesh.

As described, we were here strictly for the food but every other table at the time was getting henna tattoos. Getting a plate of Moroccan tapas and tea is a great way to while away the time while getting your tattoo done.

Henna Cafe

Address: 144 Arset Aouzal Rd, Marrakesh 40000, Morocco
Operating Hours: 11AM-7PM, daily
What to Order: Moroccan tapas

3. Mazel Cafe

Bahia Palace is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Marrakesh. The perfect time to go is early in the morning when there are fewer people, and a great place to have lunch after your visit is Mazel Cafe.

Located in Tinsmiths Square, about a 5-minute walk from Bahia Palace, Mazel Cafe offers elevated street food in a lovely cafe setting. They don’t advertise themselves as a healthy restaurant but you do get that sense from the dishes they offer and the fresh food they serve.

Pictured below is their Super Bowl made with falafel, hummus, red and white cabbage, cucumber, lentils, carrots, and tahini sauce. They serve food that tastes clean and not too heavy-handed on the seasoning.

Mazel Cafe serves a few pita sandwiches. Called pitanjia, this one was made with lamb shank slow-cooked with eggplant and onion and then served with a refreshing pea mint sauce.

This pita sandwich is called the pita kefta. It’s made with meatballs served with Moroccan tomato sauce, onions, tomatoes, fresh cheese, and eggplant.

French fries aren’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think of healthy eating but these were delicious. They were light and crisp without being oily or too salty.

Mazel Cafe is located in Tinsmiths Square, a lively square with lots of outdoor restaurants. Mazel is an excellent choice but there are many other restaurants here that you can check out after a visit to Bahia Palace.

Mazel Cafe

Address: 8 Place des Ferblontiers, Marrakesh 40000, Morocco
Operating Hours: 10AM-8:30PM, daily
What to Order: Healthier Moroccan food

4. Snack Adam

You’ll find many of these Moroccan comfort food restaurants with the word “Snack” in the name. For lack of a better term, they’re basically casual restaurants that serve comfort food like sandwiches, hamburgers, pizza, and the Moroccan version of “tacos”. More on that later.

These snack restaurants were some of our favorite places to eat in Marrakesh. We went to many throughout the city but in the medina, our favorite was Snack Adam.

Pictured below is their version of salade Marocaine (Moroccan salad). Recipes vary but it’s a type of fresh salad made with diced tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, and other ingredients dressed in a light vinaigrette.

If you love comfort food like I do, then you need to try these Moroccan tacos. I know they look nothing like American or Mexican tacos but they’re absolutely delicious and something I couldn’t get enough of in Marrakesh.

A taco in Morocco is basically a burrito or wrap filled with different types of meat, poultry, cubed potatoes or french fries, cheese, and some type of sauce like bechamel or a mixture of ketchup (or harissa), mayo, and mustard. The fillings are neatly wrapped in a tortilla before being lightly grilled and served with a side of fries.

I don’t know why they’re called “tacos” but the origin of this popular Moroccan fast food dish seems to point to a shop called Tacos de Lyon in southeastern France. Owned and operated by a pair of Moroccan siblings, they introduced the dish in the mid-2000s before moving their shop to Casablanca in 2011. Today, you’ll find a snack shop serving Moroccan tacos on nearly every block in Marrakesh.

Tacos aren’t the healthiest Moroccan dish but they’re absolutely delicious and something you need to try at least once in Marrakech.

Another interesting dish you may want to try in Marrakech is the pastilla. Also known as bastilla or b’stilla, it refers to a savory pie made with crispy warqa dough typically filled with either poultry or seafood.

What makes pastilla interesting is that the baked pie is usually dusted with powdered sugar and cinnamon before serving. Crunchy in texture thanks to the warqa dough, it’s sweet on the outside but savory on the inside which leads to quite a memorable taste experience.

Here’s what the filling of our pastilla looks like. It’s commonly made with chicken that’s first browned in butter and then simmered with onions, parsley, and a mix of spices.

Snack Adam serves some of the best tacos we had in Marrakech so I recommend trying it here.

Snack Adam

Address: Riad Zitoun kedim n 197, 50 m of, Avenue Jamaa El Fna، Marrakech 40000, Morocco
Operating Hours: 10AM-11PM, daily
What to Order: Moroccan comfort food

5. Snack Grand Atlas

Snack Grand Atlas is another “snack-type” restaurant that we enjoyed in the medina. But instead of serving tacos, pizzas, and the usual Moroccan snack fare, they specialize in seafood which isn’t as common at Marrakesh restaurants.

Before we get into our seafood feast, they started us off with a basket of khobz and these delicious little plates of stewed lentils.

As previously mentioned, whenever we see the name of the restaurant on a dish, then we usually order it. What you’re looking at below is the Salad Grand Atlas. It’s a cold starter made with shrimp, squid, tuna, hard-boiled egg, vegetables, fruits, and cheese.

You can get different types of fried seafood or whole grilled fish at this restaurant but today, we felt like trying their fish tagine.

Here’s a closer look at those succulent chunks of fish swimming under all that tasty tomato sauce. This was delicious and a great tagine to try if you want something different from the usual lamb or chicken tagine.

These grilled fish kebabs were equally delicious. So moist and tender!

These were some of the best fish brochettes we’ve had in Morocco thus far, and that includes restaurants in coastal cities like Tangier, Casablanca, and Essaouira. We’re definitely getting these again on our next trip back to Marrakech!

Snack Grand Atlas is conveniently located just a few minutes walk from Jemaa el-Fna so it shouldn’t be hard to find.

Snack Grand Atlas

Address: Rue ibn marine, Marrakesh 40000, Morocco
Operating Hours: 9:15AM-10:30PM, daily
What to Order: Seafood dishes, Moroccan comfort food

6. Dabachi Chez Cherif

Dabachi Chez Cherif is a gem, especially if you’re traveling on a budget. They serve a full Moroccan menu of traditional dishes but we were here specifically for their set menus. At the time of our visit in May 2022, you can get one of two set menus for just MAD 60.

I ordered the chicken brochette set menu which started with this bowl of soup de legumes or vegetable soup.

How beautiful does this look? Both set menus come with salade mixte and olives so the spread you see below is good for two people. It was comprised of different types of Moroccan salads and side dishes, all of which were delicious.

These were my tasty chicken brochettes. To rehash, this set menu came with vegetable soup, Moroccan salads and side dishes, grilled chicken skewers, olives, bread, and a drink of your choice. All for just MAD 60!

My better half went with this equally delicious tajine kefta. It had all the same inclusions as the chicken brochette set menu except the bowl of vegetable soup.

We ate at many restaurants in Marrakech and these set menus at Dabachi Chez Cherif were among the best deals we could find. Don’t miss it!

Dabachi Chez Cherif is located in the heart of the medina. You can refer to the location map at the bottom of this article for its exact location.

Dabachi Chez Cherif

Address: Derb Dabachi Medina, Marrakech 40000 Morocco
Operating Hours: 10AM-11:30PM, Sat-Thurs (closed Fridays)
What to Order: Set menus

7. Amal Women’s Training Center

This place is interesting. Not only will you enjoy a delicious Moroccan meal for lunch, but you’ll be supporting a good cause as well.

Amal Women’s Training Center is a non-profit organization that uplifts disadvantaged women by giving them the necessary skills to find employment in the restaurant industry. Around 30-40 women are trained for 4-6 months every year to prepare Moroccan and international cuisine which you can enjoy at the center’s restaurant in Gueliz.

From what I understand, the menu at Amal changes daily. We went on a Friday so we had a good feeling what would be on the menu – couscous. Couscous dishes are traditionally eaten only on Fridays in Morocco. Friday is a holy Muslim day and is equivalent to Sundays in Christian cultures.

Couscous is the country’s national dish so there’s no better way to experience Moroccan flavors than with this dish. It’s served with seven different vegetables and some type of meat, in this case chicken and lamb.

I believe the drinks served at Amal change daily as well. If I remember correctly, the one in the foreground was made with watermelon while the one behind it was made with cucumber and lime.

The Amal Centre is only open for lunch from Monday till Saturday.

We didn’t make reservations but it may be a good idea to do so. We were the first people there so we were lucky to get the only table available.

Amal Women’s Training Center

Address: Rue Allal Ben Ahmed, Marrakesh 40000, Morocco
Operating Hours: 12NN-3:30PM, Mon-Sat (closed Sundays)
What to Order: Daily Moroccan menu

8. Dar L’hssira

If you’d rather not wait till Friday to eat couscous, then you can go to one of the many great restaurants in the medina like Dar L’hssira. This highly-regarded restaurant offers a good selection of traditional dishes like tagine, tanjia, brochette, and couscous.

Before we get to the mains, we started with this delicious bowl of harira. It’s a traditional Moroccan soup made with lentils, chickpeas, tomatoes, herbs, spices, and other ingredients.

If you like Indian samosas, then you need to order this Moroccan appetizer called briouat. Made with the same warqa dough used to make pastilla, they’re fried triangular pastries stuffed with a variety of different ingredients like meat, onions, vermicelli noodles, cheese, herbs, and spices.

Here’s an inside look at the briouat’s stuffing. These are a popular street food in Marrakech and available at many food stalls throughout the medina.

You can get many different types of couscous dishes in Marrakech but the one couscous that rules them all is rightfully named royal couscous.

Unlike ordinary couscous dishes that contain just one type of meat, royal couscous is made with a combination of different proteins like lamb, beef, chicken, and sausages.

Dar L’hssira is located about a 5-minute walk from the House of Photography museum in the medina.

Cute dining room right? I just love the interiors of these Marrakesh restaurants.

Dar L’hssira

Address: 15-12 Rue Tachenbacht, Marrakech 40000, Morocco
Operating Hours: 11AM-5PM, 6-11PM, Wed-Mon (closed Tuesdays)
What to Order: Traditional Moroccan dishes

9. Fine Mama

If you’d rather not get lost in the labyrinth of souks in the medina, then a good restaurant to go to is Fine Mama. It’s located just a short walk south of Jemaa el-Fna and offers a wide range of traditional dishes, mezzes, sandwiches, and Moroccan pastries.

What you’re looking at below is a mrouzia sandwich. Mrouzia is a savory-sweet lamb tagine made with raisins, almonds, honey, ras el hanout (spice mix), saffron, and other spices. It isn’t something you find at every Moroccan restaurant and Fine Mama was the only place we went to that served it in sandwich form.

To be honest, I wasn’t sure about Fine Mama at first. It seemed to be one of those touristy restaurants we tend to avoid but what drew us to it were their specials – like the mrouzia sandwich – and these mezze platters. The term mezze refers to a selection of starters commonly found in Turkey, the Levant, the Balkans, Greece, Egypt, the Caucasus, and the Middle East.

Fine Mama offers different types of mezze platters but we went with the mezze Marocain which came with briouates, zalouk (tomato eggplant dip), lentils, chickpeas, olives, beans, kefta and chicken skewers, and Moroccan salad. If you’d like to try many Moroccan specialties all at once, then this is a good platter to go for.

Fine Mama is located in a popular part of the medina with many shops and restaurants so it shouldn’t be hard to find.

We sat outside but they have a lovely dining room as well.

Here’s what their rooftop seating looks like. Like I said, nearly every restaurant in the medina will have something like this.

Fine Mama

Address: 89 Pass. Prince Moulay Rachid, Marrakech 40000, Morocco
Operating Hours: 9:30AM-12MN, daily
What to Order: Traditional Moroccan cuisine, mezze platters

10. Dar Chef

Dar Chef is another great restaurant in the medina that offers a few less common dishes. They started us off with some olives and khobz before serving us our tangia and tagine.

Are you a fan of Turkish testi kebab from Cappadocia? If you are, then you’re probably going to enjoy tanjia as well. It refers to both the slow-cooked meat dish and the clay urn-like pot used to cook it.

Here’s our lamb tangia after it’s been transferred to a shallow clay pot. Tangia is cooked for several hours at a public oven so the meat is always fall-off-the-bone tender.

Tangia is a communal dish that’s traditionally associated with working Moroccan men.

Speaking of dishes that are harder to find, Dar Chef is a great restaurant to visit if you’d like to try mrouzia tagine and other Moroccan specialties like pigeon pastilla and camel tagine. Mrouzia is always readily available but the other two dishes need to be ordered in advance.

If you like lamb and don’t mind some sweetness in your food, then you should definitely try mrouzia.

Dar Chef is a hidden gem tucked away in the medina. It’s easy to miss unless you were looking for it so be sure to check our location map to see exactly where it is.

They weren’t conducting any that day but I believe Dar Chef offers cooking classes as well. That’s another thing you may want to do in Marrakech. We took a cooking class and aside from learning how to make tagine, we learned a lot about Moroccan culture and cuisine as well.

Dar Chef

Address: N°123 Bis Rue Kennaria, Marrakesh 40000, Morocco
Operating Hours: 9AM-11PM, daily
What to Order: Moroccan dishes

11. Chef Lamine Hadi Mustapha

This was the very first restaurant we visited in Marrakech, and there was one reason for that – mechoui. It refers to a whole lamb or sheep that’s spit-roasted in an underground pit. It’s slow-cooked for several hours and results in some of the most meltingly tender meat that you can taste in Morocco. This is seriously delicious.

Mechoui is traditionally eaten by hand with khobz and a salt-cumin mix. If you like lamb, then you absolutely need to try mechoui in Marrakesh.

Of course, we needed fiber to help break down all that meaty mechoui goodness so we paired it with this vegetable tagine.

Chef Lamine Hadi Mustapha is a popular restaurant so it’s best to go early, shortly after they open.

Chef Lamine Hadi Mustapha

Address: Derb Semmarine, Marrakech 40000, Morocco
Operating Hours: 10AM-1AM, daily
What to Order: Meshoui

12. Terrasse Bakchich

In our opinion, this hidden gem is one of the best restaurants in Marrakech. We loved it for its food, affordable prices, excellent service, and charming setting.

Terrasse Bakchich is a Moroccan restaurant that serves the usual dishes like tagine, couscous, brochette, and tangia. They serve different types of tagine but I read that the rabbit tagine is one of their specialties so that’s what we went for.

Cooked with tomatoes and onions and glistening with olive oil, it was absolutely delicious and one of the most enjoyable meals we’ve had in Morocco thus far.

We also tried their lamb tangia which was very good as well.

And like the mechoui from the previous restaurant, we needed some vegetable couscous to pair with all that meltingly tender meat.

Lastly, there’s no better drink to pair with your Moroccan meal than mint tea. I enjoy it so much that I’ve stopped ordering coffee altogether!

Terrasse Bakchich is tucked away in an alley in the medina so be sure to check our map for its location.

This is what the restaurant’s rooftop terrace looks like. It’s small and simple but charming.

Here’s a picture of my better half reading the article from The Guardian describing Terrasse Bakchich as one of the “10 best places to eat in Marrakech, Morocco”.

Terrasse Bakchich

Address: 294 rue Talâa, Marrakesh 40000, Morocco
Operating Hours: 10AM-10PM, daily
What to Order: Rabbit tagine, traditional Moroccan cuisine


To help you navigate to these restaurants in Marrakech, I’ve pinned them all on the map below. Click on the link for a live version of the map.


There’s much to love about Morocco and Marrakesh but for us, Moroccan food is one of the best reasons to visit this country on the northwestern tip of Africa.

Tagine and couscous are emblematic dishes that you can find pretty much anywhere in the medina. We hope this article helps you narrow down your restaurant choices and leads you to many memorable meals in Marrakech.

Aside from restaurants, Moroccan pastries and street food are delicious as well so I’ll probably write another article on our favorite food stalls in Marrakech. As already advised, cooking classes are a great way to learn about Moroccan cuisine so that’s something you may want to do as well.

Lastly, as enchanting as Marrakech can be, it can also be annoying. By that, I mean you may encounter a fair number of locals trying to scam you. They’ll either try to divert you to a shop or take you to the tanneries (not worth it).

So if someone stops and tells you there’s a mosque up ahead – meaning you supposedly can’t go that way – or offers their guide services, then just politely say no and keep walking.

In any case, thanks for reading this article on the best restaurants in Marrakech. Have a safe and amazing time in Morocco!


Some of the links in this article on the best restaurants in Marrakech are affiliate links, meaning we’ll earn a small commission if you make a booking at no extra cost to you. We really appreciate your support as it helps us make more of these free travel and food guides. Thank you!

12 of the Best Restaurants in Manila, Philippines

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Balai Palma: Is This the Best Tasting Menu in Manila, Philippines?

We couldn’t get reservations at one of our favorite fine dining restaurants in Manila – Toyo Eatery – so a well-traveled gastronome friend suggested something else, a restaurant we had never heard of – Balai Palma. In her opinion, this restaurant offered the best tasting menu in Manila. Naturally, we were intrigued.

We were lucky enough to secure a reservation and what followed was a meal that all four people in our group felt was the best we’ve enjoyed in years. Needless to say, we were blown away.

This was our experience at Balai Palma.

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Balai Palma is a private dining concept by Chef Aaron Isip. Open since August of 2022, it’s located in a townhouse along Palma Street in trendy Poblacion, Makati. Balai in Illongo (Chef Aaron’s mother is from Iloilo) means “house”, hence the name.

Balai Palma is open only for dinner, at 7:30PM, from Tuesday till Saturday. Reservations are a must and can be made through their Instagram page.

Tasting menus may vary but our two-hour degustation included sixteen or so dishes spread out over eight courses. It consisted of mostly seafood dishes made with ingredients sourced every morning from the local dampa (fresh seafood market).

At the time of our visit, Balai Palma’s tasting menu cost PHP 7,500 per person. Full payment must be made in advance, which we did via bank transfer.

Balai Palma

Address: 6081b R Palma, Makati, Metro Manila, Philippines
Operating Hours: 7:30PM dinner, Tue-Sat (closed Sun-Mon)
Reservations: 10AM-5PM
What We Paid: PHP 7,500 per person
Instagram: balaipalma


At the end of the degustation, Chef Aaron visited every table and we learned quite a bit about this talented young chef.

After graduating with a degree in Marketing Management from De La Salle University, he pursued his passion for food and left Manila in 2004 to attend Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. He toiled in the demanding kitchens of Paris for years before earning his stripes. He would become Chef de Cuisine at Dix-Huit, which was named one of the best restaurants by Le Figaro in 2014.

In 2015, he received the Trophée Espoir for the Île de France region from renowned French restaurant guide Gault et Millau. If I understand correctly, the Trophée Espoir is awarded to promising young chefs in France, a distinction that can catapult a chef from relative obscurity to culinary stardom.

In Chef Aaron’s words: “I was the only Filipino who’s ever gotten such an award by such a well-respected guide. It was just the stuff of dreams.”

After vacationing in El Nido, Chef Isip decided to leave Paris and return to the Philippines in 2016. He planned on opening a restaurant in Palawan because “[he] saw the potential of El Nido and how it drew a lot of global tourists. The thought of living the island life became a dream [he] wanted to realize.”

Unfortunately, his dream would have to wait because of COVID. To keep himself busy, he launched Gastronômade, an online venture featuring small batch artisanal sauces made from locally sourced organic ingredients. Gastronômade is a portmanteau word for “gastronomic nomad”, and is a reflection of Chef Aaron’s love for food and travel.

In August 2022, he inched closer to his dream when he opened Balai Palma. The private dining restaurant is set in his residence – a 70-square meter Poblacion townhouse where he continues to reside to this day (at least as of this writing).


Aside from Chef Aaron’s stellar tasting menu of mostly seafood dishes prepared using French culinary techniques, Balai Palma is interesting because of the space itself. It isn’t common to enjoy a meal of this caliber in what essentially is still the chef’s home.

Inspired by wabi-sabi, he told us that Balai Palma is decorated with furniture, accessories, antiques, and carvings that he meant to use in his El Nido restaurant. The majority of his pieces were either collected through the years during his travels or produced by local designers and craftsmen.

Chef Isip has a highly developed palate, but as you can see from Balai Palma’s living room, he has a refined eye as well.

Chef Isip is especially attached to this hammock which he bought in Tulum, Mexico. He’s been going to Tulum every year since 2014 and considers the Mexican coastal town his second home.

Balai Palma consists of five dining areas – the Main Dining Room, Lounge & Cinema Room, Speakeasy, Alcove Patio, and Roofdeck Terraza – and can accommodate up to thirty people a night. Our group of four was seated on the Roofdeck Terraza but you’ll be seated in different rooms depending on the size of your group. Unless I’m mistaken, the Main Dining Room is the biggest.

This picture was taken just off the Main Dining Room and offers a glimpse into the kitchen. Aside from the food and decor, what I loved about Balai Palma is that it doesn’t feel like a restaurant. It feels like you’re having dinner as a guest in the chef’s home, which is basically what this experience is.

This is the stairwell leading up to the third floor and Roofdeck Terraza dining area.

This is the Roofdeck Terraza. Isn’t it beautiful? We had a great view of the Poblacion skyline from here.

There were just four people in our group but I believe this al fresco space can accommodate up to six.

Have you ever seen a wooden bathtub before? And on a roofdeck?

Don’t you just love the textures in this space? Chef Isip has a great eye for detail.


At the start of your meal, you’ll be offered a welcome drink, either alcoholic or non-alcoholic. I don’t remember what this drink was but it was delicious.

Hors d Oeuvres

The first course consisted of three hors d oeuvres, starting with local escargots dressed in a light sauce made from white wine, herbs, and butter.

The second hors d oeuvre consisted of three parts, the first being this bowl of mantis shrimp prepared with guava leche de tigre and cilantro.

The second component of hors d oeuvre number two was this Pacific sea bream crudo with guyabano aguachile.

If I remember correctly, these were prawn tapioca crackers.

To eat the second hors d oeuvre, you put a little bit of the mantis shrimp and sea bream crudo onto the prawn cracker.

The first two hors d oeuvres were delicious, but this crispy chicken skin with amaebi spot prawn, kamias, and grilled calamansi was my favorite.

Ube in Three Textures

This next course was amazing. As its name suggests, it consists of ube prepared in three ways with the freshest halaan clams, Oscietra caviar, and clam emulsion.

Halo Halo del Mar

This next course aptly named Halo-Halo del Mar (halo-halo of the sea) was an interesting blend of flavor, texture, and temperature. You can see three types of shellfish in the picture below but this course actually consists of four dishes.

On the half shells are raw Irish Gallagher oysters with green mango and bone marrow warm relish; Hokkaido scallop with suahe shrimp, ikura, and tamarind anchovy sauce; and giant clams with Joselito papada Iberico and mangosteen ceviche.

In the spirit of the iconic Filipino dessert, the shells are sitting on tamarind shrimp sinigang shaved ice with crab fat curry sauce. So interesting!

Giant Mangrove Crab Cold Somen

The first of our main courses were these cold mangrove crab somen noodles tossed in an aligue (crab roe) and tarragon sauce. The noodles were topped with Chilean uni and fried soft shell crab.

Boudin Noir Soup in Cuttlefish Ink

This was one of my favorite courses. A play on Filipino dinuguan, it consists of sauteed squid, pork chicharron, white beans, and sigarilyas (wing beans) served in a bowl with cuttlefish ink and a side of puto (rice cakes). If I remember correctly, the tuille was made from squid ink.

Puto and dinuguan is one of my favorite Filipino food pairings. These leveled up rice cakes look to have been topped with uni, microgreens, and caviar.

Here’s a shot of our server pouring cuttlefish ink into my bowl. Such a fun and tasty dish!

Lapu Lapu a la Meuniere

This next course was good, though perhaps not as interesting as the others. It consisted of lightly floured lapu-lapu (grouper) fried in butter and served with marble potatoes and yuzu.

Okan Wagyu

The last main course consisted of Okan wagyu wrapped in mustard leaf with buro (fermented rice paste), mushrooms, and grilled vegetables. It’s served with housemade chimichurri and microgreens.


We don’t usually expect too much from tasting menu desserts but Chef Isip knocked these out of the park as well.

We were served three desserts, starting with this longan sorbet with compressed longan in olive oil served over a bed of crushed polvoron.

The second dessert consisted of chestnut ice cream served in a sweet potato chilled soup with miso dulce de leche.

Here’s what the dessert looks like poured over with the sweet potato soup.

The last of the three desserts was this cup of dark chocolate sablé with gianduja gelato, jasmine crème, and hazelnuts. What a decadent end to an extraordinary meal!


At an additional cost, Balai Palma offers two supplementary dishes – lobster lechon and foiesilog. Lobster lechon consists of a roasted spiny lobster wrapped in Kurobuta suckling pig belly confit. It goes for an additional PHP 7,500 and is good for four people.

We went with the foiesilog, which refers to a spoonful of pan-seared French foie gras served with koshihikari garlic rice, a quail egg, daikon-onion light soubise, pickled green papaya atchara, and spring onions. It goes for an additional PHP 450 per order.


We loved chatting with Chef Isip at the end of our meal. Joyful and unpretentious, he seemed to be a genuinely humble guy with a sincere love for food.

He told us that a second restaurant, a bigger Balai, was in the works. I don’t know when it’s scheduled to open but the new place will serve tasting menus while this existing restaurant will transition into an ala carte type of establishment.

As for his dream of opening a restaurant in El Nido, I guess that will have to wait. When it finally does open, we’ll be among the first to enjoy his food and the restaurant’s views, which he so enthusiastically described to us on this night.

We’re looking forward to it Chef Aaron.

Pakistani Food: 20 Traditional Dishes to Look For in Karachi

EDITOR’S NOTE: Traveleater Elise Ofilada shares with us 20 traditional Pakistani dishes you need to try on your next trip to Pakistan.

From the highest peaks of the Himalayas to the sandy coasts of the Arabian Sea, Pakistan is a country in South Asia known for its extraordinary natural wonders. Whether it’s a historically significant mountain pass or a stretch of river that nursed an ancient civilization, this Islamic republic’s beautiful landscapes paint a vibrant portrait of human development.

As such, people who travel for food are sure to marvel at the diverse cultures the nation has to offer. With an immense population of nearly 243 million people, Pakistan is said to be the 5th most populous country in the world.

Because of that, it would be a grave injustice to describe its people and their social customs in a homogenous manner. In fact, Pakistani culture shares many similarities with its neighbors, Afghanistan and India.

That said, traveling to Pakistan is a one-of-a-kind experience. Over time, the country has become popular amongst tourists, with millions of travelers flocking to Pakistan every year.

Furthermore, it’s impossible for their people not to have acquired a taste for great food, given the nation’s long and elaborate past. That’s how all the best culinary traditions are born, after all.

With that, pack your bags and hop on a flight to the country as soon as possible! Traveleaters will be pleased to learn that the sensational aspects of Pakistan’s scenery and history translate into their expansive cuisine as well.

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Pakistani cuisine takes its cues from a variety of sources. Empires, such as the Mughal Empire and the British Empire, have made their mark on the kinds of food that the nation commonly serves.

Several countries in Southern and Central Asia have also shared their recipes with Pakistan throughout history. Regional variations of popular Pakistani dishes have become quite abundant as well.

Pork, you might notice, is not present in Pakistani cooking, as a majority of Pakistan’s population is Muslim. As such, the meats used in their dishes will often be a choice among chicken, lamb, or mutton.

Alcohol, too, is considered haram (forbidden) and is scarcely served with any meal. Pakistanis are more likely to enjoy beverages like yogurt-based lassi or hot tea.

Be it spicy curries or unleavened wheat bread, Pakistan has a spectrum of flavors just waiting to be explored. When presented with the country’s most famous dishes, Traveleaters won’t be able to resist digging into all the delicious foods that the nation has to offer.

With a name that means “land of the pure”, Pakistan guarantees that its cuisine is simply too good to pass up.


This article on the best Pakistani foods has been organized by category to make it easier to digest. Click on a link to jump to any section of the guide.

  1. Starters / Sides / Snacks
  2. Curries / Stews
  3. Mains
  4. Rice / Bread
  5. Desserts

With Pakistan being a melting pot of cultures, it’s no surprise that its people take pride in serving meals of varying influences. As you book your next trip to the country, remember to look out for these 20 phenomenal Pakistani dishes!


1. Samosa

Stuffed to the brim with savory fillings, samosas make for a great appetizer or snack. It’s an especially popular food during the month of Ramadan when it’s eaten at the end of the day to break the daily fast, otherwise known as iftar.

The dish is typically made with potatoes, peas, and ground meat – usually lamb, beef, or chicken. Whether triangular or cone-shaped, the pastry is meant to have a nice, crispy quality.

Samosas are highly popular in many countries throughout Asia and Africa like Pakistan, India, Nepal, Myanmar, and Ethiopia. It’s an extremely versatile dish that exists in many different versions throughout Pakistan.

In the eastern and southern regions of the country, samosas tend to be spicier and contain mostly potato or vegetable fillings. In the western and northern parts of Pakistan, they’re less spicy and more often made with minced meat fillings.

As such, samosas are a good example of why Pakistani cuisine is known to be culturally diverse. No matter the form, they’re best enjoyed with a side of tasty green chutney.

“Samosa” by Avinash Bhat, used under CC BY-SA 2.0 / Processed in Photoshop and Lightroom

2. Pakora

Pakora is another classic iftar staple and a popular street food in Pakistan. It essentially refers to any type of fritter that’s been coated with a batter of chickpea or gram flour. Spices like cumin and turmeric are added to give the deep-fried snack a little kick. A perfect batch will have a texture that’s just fluffy enough, and not too flat.

Only served once golden brown, pakoras can be composed of various ingredients. A number of recipes will call for vegetables like onions, eggplant, and potatoes. Many vendors, however, cook it using chicken meat. It’s also possible to make the snack with mushrooms, plantains, and taro roots.

Commonly consumed with tea, pakora is a delicious and highly addictive Pakistani street food dish that’s difficult to resist. I dare you to stop at just one!

3. Gol Gappa

A true feast for the senses, gol gappa is an interesting Pakistani street food dish. Originally from India, it exists in many varations and is known by different names like pani puri, gupchup, or puchka. This beloved street food dish has a flavor profile that ranges from sour to spicy to sweet.

In essence, gol gappas are crispy fried hollow balls of dough (puri) loaded with a variety of fillings like boiled potatoes, chopped onions, chickpeas, tamarind paste, and mint chutney. They’re usually topped with a sprinkling of chaat masala and red chili powder and often accompanied by a tangy yogurt dip.

What makes gol gappa even more interesting is that each stuffed puri is filled with a spicy-sour liquid before being eaten whole. A beloved street food dish, especially among women, it needs to be eaten quickly before the delicate puri crumbles from the liquid.

Photo by Arfa talib


4. Lobia Ka Salan

Though Pakistani cuisine offers many exciting meat dishes, lobia ka salan is a vegan option that will entice even the staunchest carnivores. It’s a Pakistani curry made primarily with black-eyed peas and a base of garlic paste, onions, and tomato sauce.

The peas give lobia ka salan its nutty flavor while the various spices used to flavor the dish make for an aromatic gustatory experience. The stew is often topped with either green chilies or coriander and served hot for the whole family to enjoy.

Photo by GR.Stocks

5. Aloo Gobi Matar

If you’re in the mood for a hearty Pakistani dish, then look no further than a simple but satisfying bowl of aloo gobi matar. Like many comforting Pakistani foods, it’s a meal that reminds people of home.

Aloo gobi matar is a healthy cauliflower and potato curry that consists mainly of potatoes, cauliflower, and peas. The dish can be cooked dry (similar to a plate of steamed vegetables) or served swimming in a spicy sauce. Both are delicious but personally, I prefer the latter.

Photo by Santhosh Varghese

6. Haleem

Haleem (or daleem) refers to a type of Pakistani stew that’s widely consumed throughout the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East, and Central Asia. Originally from Iran, it can be found in different variations in countries like Pakistan, India, Afghanistan, Turkey, Uzbekistan, and Armenia.

Haleem typically consists of grains, legumes, meat (typically either chicken, lamb, or beef), spices, and a cooking liquid. The dish is slow-cooked for several hours until a smooth, paste-like consistency is achieved.

In Pakistan, haleem is a celebratory dish that’s often reserved for special occasions. Sour and tangy in flavor, it can be eaten with a spoon or some type of flatbread like naan bread.

Photo by ahmer shahid

7. Nihari

Though nihari is mostly known as a traditional food that originated from the Indian subcontinent, its prominence in Pakistani cuisine can’t be overstated. Given how frequently it’s served in the country’s most populous cities, this tasty main dish strikes a balance between nourishing and appetizing.

Nihari is composed of tender beef shanks that sit in a stew thickened by durum whole wheat flour (atta). This Pakistani beef stew is delicious any which way but the most decadent versions are made with buttery bone marrow seeped into the stew.

Garnished with ginger and coriander and served with a side of naan bread, nihari is best when finished off with a good squeeze of lemon juice.

Photo by bonchan


8. Chicken Sajji

Not all chicken dishes can compare to the most famous meal from Pakistan’s province of Balochistan – sajji!

Sajji, or Balochi sajji, refers to a style of cooking that entails rubbing a whole chicken with salt, skewering it, and then cooking it over an open fire. It’s traditionally made with goat or lamb but in modern times, chicken has become just as popular as well.

Though chicken sajji is similar to rotisserie chicken in that it’s also skewered and roasted, the meat is uniquely spiced with both chaat and garam masala. The chicken is meant to be extra juicy and soft as it’s traditionally cooked over an open fire through the night.

With a crispy skin that exudes a smoky flavor, chicken sajji is a delectable addition to Pakistan’s rich food culture.

Photo by Fookis Labs

9. Chicken Karahi

Chicken karahi gets its name from the wok-like, cast-iron pan it was originally cooked in. It’s one of the most popular types of Pakistani curry and is said to have originated from the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa region of the country.

Karahi is known for its fragrant base made from fresh ginger, tomatoes, and garlic. Though modern recipes often include onions, the most traditional versions of chicken karahi are made without them.

Chicken is arguably the most popular but it’s worth noting that karahi can be made with other types of meat as well like lamb, beef, or fish. Like many other Pakistani dishes, it’s often topped with green chilies and coriander to amplify its inherently pungent flavors.

Whether found at Pakistani street restaurants called dhaba or cooked at home, the meal is most complete when served with a choice of basmati rice or naan.

Photo by highviews

10. Chicken Tikka

This popular Pakistani dish dons an orange color that’s just as bright as its flavors. Though traditionally grilled over hot coals or cooked in a tandoor oven, modern versions can be cooked on top of a stove or baked inside an oven.

Marinated with spices like garam masala, cumin, and turmeric, chicken tikka sports a robust piquant flavor. Once nicely charred, it’s served with a spritz of lemon juice, in addition to either a mint or tamarind chutney.

Photo by bhaskar deb

11. Seekh Kabab

Seekh kebab literally means “skewered meat cooked over fire”. In spite of its rather uninspiring name, it’s the kind of dish that’s guaranteed to exceed your expectations. After all, it’s hard to be disappointed by a grilled meat dish that promises fatty juiciness, a dash of heat, and a distinctly smoky flavor!

Indian-style seekh kebabs are typically made from ground lamb or chicken but the Pakistani version is most often made with beef. The minced beef is seasoned with garlic, onions, ginger, green chili peppers, spices, and herbs before being shaped into logs, skewered, and then grilled.

While seekh kebabs can be baked in an oven or pan-fried, they’re best when grilled or cooked over an open fire.

Photo by highviews

12. Chapli Kabab

Outwardly crispy yet soft once bitten into, chapli kababs are a signature dish of Pashtun cuisine. Originally from Peshawar in northern Pakistan (hence the alternate name peshawari kabab), they’re a popular street food in South Asian countries like Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan.

Chapli kababs are flavorful patties made from minced meat (usually beef, mutton, or chicken) seasoned with a blend of coarsely ground herbs and spices like anardana (dried pomegranate seeds), coriander leaves, chili powder, and cumin. They’re shaped into patties before being shallow- or deep-fried in ghee (Indian clarified butter) or tallow (animal fat).

After cooking, this specialty of Pashtun cuisine can be served with various chutneys and yogurt and is often enjoyed with a side of rice or naan, or eaten like a sandwich (bun kebab).

Photo by highviews


13. Sindhi Biryani

Biryani is one of the most well-known rice dishes in the world, being a staple of both Pakistani and Indian cuisine. It can be topped with all sorts of viands (like chicken, fish, or goat meat) and is commonly eaten with a side dish of either eggs or spiced potatoes.

Biryani can be prepared in a number of ways using various ingredients. When cooked properly, the basmati rice should be fluffy with grains that don’t clump together.

You’ll find many different versions of biryani throughout the Indian subcontinent but sindhi biryani, which makes use of mutton, is the variation Pakistan is best known for.

Prepared for all kinds of events and special occasions, biryani is likely to be served hot after a round of Pakistani appetizers. Given its complexity and many variations, trying sindhi biryani or any other type of biryani is a must when visiting Pakistan.

Photo by StockImageFactory.com

14. Halwa Puri

In the midst of all the bread and rice dishes that have been listed in this Pakistani food guide, halwa puri (or halwa poori) is a stand-out. This sweet dish has two main components – semolina pudding and fried flatbread. It’s typically eaten for breakfast though it can also be served during religious festivities.

With just the right amounts of sugar and milk, the semolina pudding is delectably soft and creamy. Nuts like pistachio and almonds are optional but they can be included to impart texture to the dish.

Photo by Indian Food Images

15. Paratha

Paratha is a type of unleavened flatbread that can be eaten as is for breakfast or paired with curries and stews for lunch.

Popular in Pakistan and throughout the Indian subcontinent, the word paratha literally means “layers of cooked dough”. It’s largely associated with South Asian cuisine though versions of it have become popular in many other countries as well like Singapore, Malaysia, and Myanmar.

When done right, this tasty Pakistani flatbread made with finely ground whole wheat flour is both crispy and flaky in texture. Pan-fried till toasty, it’s an easy-to-like dish that every visitor to Pakistan will surely appreciate.

Photo by StockImageFactory.com


16. Kheer (Pakistani Rice Pudding)

Kheer gets its name from the Sanskrit word for “milk”. A creamy and sweet dish, this Pakistani rice pudding is commonly served during Eid al Fitr.

Properly made kheer has a consistency that’s neither too runny nor too thick. It’s spiced with a variety of fragrant ingredients like cloves, saffron, and nutmeg before being garnished with toppings like cashews, dried fruits, and green cardamom.

Photo by highviews

17. Falooda

You can’t talk about the best Pakistani desserts without including this summertime delicacy. Whether consumed as a beverage or eaten with a spoon, falooda is an ice cream dessert that’s delightfully refreshing and unapologetically sweet.

Falooda is made with a plethora of ingredients like vermicelli noodles, jellies, and chia or basil seeds soaked in milk. Often served with ice cream, its use of rose-flavored sugar syrup acts as a food coloring that gives the dessert its distinct pink hue.

Photo by Indian Food Images

18. Zarda

Zarda is another tantalizingly sweet dessert that Pakistan shares with the rest of the Indian subcontinent. Known for its inviting yellow-orange hue, this sweet rice dish is prepared by cooking long-grain rice in clarified butter and then coating them in sugar syrup.

Eaten with an assortment of dry fruits, nuts, and a generous amount of raisins, zarda is an explosion of color and texture. It should come as no surprise then that this memorable treat tastes just as lovely as it looks.

Photo by SooperChef

19. Gajrela

If you’re looking for a dessert that’s both satisfying and healthy, then look no further than gajrela. It’s also known as “gajar ka halwa”, with gajar meaning “carrot” in Hindi and halwa being the Arabic word for “sweet”.

Gajrela is essentially a carrot-based pudding that’s made with an abundance of khoya (dried milk that’s been thickened in an iron pan), sugar, and nuts. It’s best enjoyed during winter though it’s also traditionally prepared for religious events.

Photo by StockImageFactory.com

20. Gulab Jamun

A dessert fit for only the most joyous of celebrations, gulab jamun is bound to impress anyone with a sweet tooth.

Gulab jamun means “rose water berry” in Hindi. Popular throughout the Indian subcontinent, this delicious dessert consists of little fried dough balls traditionally made from khoya. The fried dough balls are doused with simple syrup and garnished with almonds or cashews before serving.

Gulab jamun has a floral flavor that’s sure to entice even the most dessert-averse travelers. It can be served cold, hot, or at room temperature. When served hot, it’s often enjoyed with a scoop of ice cream or kulfi (cold dairy dessert).

Photo by Najib Habib


As previously mentioned, Pakistan is a country full of picturesque and historically significant attractions. You could easily lose yourself in the presence of its many breathtaking natural wonders.

On top of that, the nation is home to an enormous population that prides itself on its rich and diverse cultural identity. Given the sum of these favorable aspects, no one can deny that Pakistan is a destination that’s worth visiting sooner rather than later.

That said, with dishes ranging from spicy curries to sweet rice desserts, the gustatory experience offered by Pakistani cuisine is a draw on its own. Combining ingredients like rose water and jellies, or mutton with potatoes, every dish is a masterclass in flavor and balance.

Despite some dishes being similar to its neighbors, the Pakistani gastronomic experience as a whole is unlike any other. The country’s mountainous landscapes and stunning views are major draws, but so is its amazing food.


Some of the links in this article on popular Pakistani foods are affiliate links, meaning we’ll earn a small commission if you make a booking at no added cost to you. We really appreciate your support as it helps us write more of these free travel and food guides. Thank you!

Cover photo by Indian Food Images. Stock images via Shutterstock.

French Food: 25 Traditional Dishes to Look For in France

EDITOR’S NOTE: Traveleater Claire Ngonga-Gicquel – a French food expert from Nogent-sur-Marne – shares with us 25 dishes you need to try on your next visit to France.

French food is one of the greatest cuisines in the world. It’s almost a way of life for French people and a passion for those who have tried it and fallen in love with it.

French cuisine is a mix of using all kinds of food products – some of them can be surprising at times – and experiencing great flavors while still having a balanced diet.

If you like French food or if you’re simply curious to know more about the cuisine, then you’ll want to try all these famous French dishes that have made Paris and the rest of France a place to eat fancy, tasty, and highly varied food.

These French dishes are all amazing and will give you a real taste of France.


If you’re visiting France and want to learn more about French cuisine, then you may want to go on a food tour or take a French cooking class.


  • French Food/Drinking Tours: Food and Drinking Tours in France
  • French Cooking Classes: Cooking Classes in France

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French food is famous worldwide for its amazing variety, often mixing different types of ingredients together. Did you ever think that snails were edible?

However, French cuisine is also recognized for its plating and visual appeal – offering a healthy, tasty, and fun combination that’s just as much a feast for the eyes as it is for the stomach.

The French style of cooking is a tradition that’s deeply embedded in French culture and history. French kings used to spend days banqueting. French people are proud of their cuisine and are keen on helping people discover it.

The French culinary arts is a passion that’s shared and exposed. With all the media programs about French cuisine and French pastries, it’s a passion that even young people can invest in.

It is indeed a real way of life to share food at home or have great meals at French restaurants offering a variety of traditional French specialties with an abundance of flair and flavor.


This guide on famous French foods has been organized by category to make it easier to go through. Click on a link to jump to any section of the guide.

  1. Soups / Salads
  2. Starters / Sandwiches / Sides
  3. Mains
  4. Bread / Pastries / Dessert


1. Soupe à l’oignon (French Onion Soup)

Soupe à l’oignon is an onion-based soup “au gratin” and a real tradition in French cuisine. It’s a popular dish to warm yourself up with on cold winter evenings, but it can also be part of a festive meal on special occasions and holidays like weddings or New Year’s Eve.

When ushering in the new year, soupe à l’oignon can be eaten well after dinner! But in my opinion and in the opinion of many French people, it’s best to have it as a starter.

Soupe a l’oignon needs to be cooked slowly and gently to get the desired taste. It’s made with a bulk of onions, meat broth, a bit of butter, and Emmental cheese. If desired, you can impart more flavor by adding a pinch of grated nutmeg and eating the soup with bread.

Photo by zi3000

2. Bouillabaisse

This fish recipe was once a traditional fishermen’s dish made from unsold fish. Today, the bouillabaisse from Marseille is a French classic made with all sorts of cooked seafood that can be found in the south of France.

Whenever I eat bouillabaisse, its bold ocean flavors and plethora of spices always make me feel like I’m on holiday.

Bouillabaisse is a delicious fish soup made with different types of fish and seafood like scorpion fish, red mullet, St. Pierre, galinette, conger eel, lobster, and mussels. It’s also made with non-seafood ingredients like potatoes, leeks, onions, and saffron that gives the broth its characteristic rusty color.

For the best experience, eat it with some bread. And take your time to enjoy it!

Photo by Yevgeniya Abayeva

3. Bisque

Like bouillabaisse, bisqueis a lovely fish soup with lots of flavor. It’s traditionally made with a base of seafood – mostly lobster or crab – along with white wine, herbs, and spices.

Bisque is rich and creamy but it doesn’t feel heavy in the stomach. It makes for a tasty starter so I highly recommend ordering it at French restaurants to start your dinner.

Photo by Foodio

4. Salade Niçoise

This salad is a typical French dish from the city of Nice. It can be eaten throughout the year and brings a burst of sunshine to your meal!

Salade niçoise is made with eggs, tomatoes, black olives, beans, radish and cucumber slices, tuna, lettuce, and a bit of lemon dressing with some olive oil. It’s very tasty and healthy and can be enjoyed as a starter or as a main course.

Photo by Mironov Vladimir


5. Escargots

You may not be used to eating snails, but many French people are. They may not be for everyone but you simply cannot have a list of famous French food without including escargots.

In France, snails are regarded as a dish to be served at some special occasions. They aren’t eaten everyday like many non-French people might think. They’re cooked in their shells with garlic butter which gives them flavor. Otherwise, they don’t have much taste.

Snails are a great source of iron, calcium, vitamin A, and other minerals. If you’ve never eaten snails, then escargots is something you should definitely try in France.

Photo by Mikhail_Kayl

6. Terrine

This French delicacy is a long-standing culinary tradition in many French households. In fact, almost every family has its own recipe!

Terrine can be made with different types of meat, poultry, fish, or vegetables. It’s gently cooked for hours before being eaten cold, typically as a spread on bread. It makes for a lovely starter or snack that almost everyone is sure to enjoy.

Terrine can be prepared in a number of ways but some of the most common are made with pork meat and mushrooms, chicken with wine, but also goose or duck meat. There are also vegetable versions of terrine made with broccoli or spinach.

Photo by Lyutik_Ryutik

7. Foie Gras

Foie gras is one of the most popular French foods. It’s a classic French dish that French people are quite proud of.

Foie gras is very tasty and rich. In France, it’s traditionally enjoyed cold but in other parts of the world, it can also be served hot. When served cold, it’s presented as a cold block that’s sliced and spread on toast or soft bread.

This classic French dish is viewed as a gourmet luxury dish that’s typically enjoyed on special occasions like Christmas, wedding parties, or special cocktail or dinner events. It’s delicious when paired with good toast, bread, and some white wine.

Photo by margouillat photo

Foie gras in France is typically eaten cold but in other parts of the world, particularly in the United States, it’s often pan-seared, often only on one side.

Photo by PhaiApirom

8. Ratatouille

Ratatouille is one of the most comforting French foods. Originally from the south of France, it’s a delicious and healthy mix of vegetables like onions, garlic, tomatoes, zucchini, peppers, and eggplant.

Many French people make it with a mix of aromatic herbs called “herbes de Provence”. Herbes de Provence is a multi-purpose spice blend that includes thyme, savory, marjoram, rosemary, fennel, and basil.

Ratatouille is a delicious French side dish that brings a lot of warmth and brightness to your meal. It’s also quite simple to prepare.

You can eat it with grilled meat or any kind of fish, along with a splash of olive oil and some rice, pasta, or potatoes for a truly delicious and comforting French meal.

Photo by Diana Sklarova

9. Croque Monsieur

If you like sandwiches, then you need to try croque monsieur. It’s a type of French sandwich with a delicious filling that’s as simple to prepare as it is to eat. This hot sandwich is classically filled with ham and gruyere cheese.

The recipe for croque monsieur is as simple as can be. It’s made with toast bread filled with layers of ham and cheese, and then topped with butter and cheese to make it just a little bit crunchy. Add a poached or fried egg on top and the sandwich becomes a croque madame.

If you’re a vegetarian, then the sandwich can also be filled with non-meat alternatives like spinach, mushrooms, and onions. No matter what it’s made with, the croque monsieur is always tasty.

Photo by Dpimborough via Depositphotos

10. Quiche Lorraine

Quiche lorraine is one of the most well-known French dishes. It’s a traditional type of quiche that’s delicious and very easy to prepare. Originally from the east of France, it can be enjoyed either as a starter or as a main course.

Traditional quiche lorraine is a delight for the whole family. It’s made of eggs, cream, lardons (not bacon but smoked pork belly), gruyere cheese, and a nice short-crust pastry.

Photo by Slawomir Fajer

11. Tartiflette

Tartiflette is one of the most delicious traditional dishes from the French Alps. It combines the amazing taste of a soft melted cheese called “reblochon” with fried onions, soft potatoes, and diced ham.

Tartiflette is a tasty French dish that can be enjoyed for dinner with a glass of white or red wine. It’s the perfect dish to eat in winter when the weather gets cold. In fact, it’s something French people love to eat when they go on a ski trip, to get their energy back after an exhilarating but exhausting day on the slopes!

Admittedly, tartiflette is quite rich and may not be the healthiest dish, but you must try it when you come and visit France.

Photo by from my point of view


12. Coq au Vin

Coq au vin is an important dish in traditional French cuisine. Coq means “rooster” in French and is considered a symbol of France. It’s a robust animal that becomes a delicious dish when simmered in another great French symbol – wine.

To fully appreciate coq au vin, it should be prepared and enjoyed with good red wine, preferably from Burgundy or the Rhone Valley. A traditional recipe and good wine will release all its flavors. In the end, you get a nice medley of flavors in a smooth, tasty, warm sauce.

This dish is made with a rooster (or chicken) that’s been cut into pieces and cooked with small onions, garlic cloves, bacon, a glass of liquor, red wine, herbs, carrots, mushrooms, and parsley. It’s usually served with steamed potatoes or fresh pasta.

Photo by BBA Photography

13. Confit de Canard

Confit de canard is an incredibly tasty culinary specialty from the southwest region of France.

The traditional recipe consists of frying or grilling the duck meat in a small amount of its own fat until the skin becomes brown and crispy. The remaining fat is then used to roast garlic-seasoned potatoes.  The potatoes prepared in this way are called pommes sarladaises and are delicious to eat with confit de canard.

Confit de canard is a delicious and filling all-in-one meal that you absolutely cannot miss when you visit France.

Photo by Anna_Pustynnikova

14. Boeuf Bourguignon

As its name suggests, boeuf bourguignon is a traditional dish from the Burgundy region of France.

Boeuf bourguignon consists mostly of beef that’s been cooked for quite some time with onions, wine, carrots, and a bit of wheat to make the meat tender. The longer you cook the meat, the tastier it gets. People often prepare the dish a day before serving to make sure the meat is tender enough.

For the best boeuf bourguignon experience, I highly recommend eating it with some rice, pasta, or potatoes to fully enjoy its delicious sauce. Of course, a glass of good red wine is the perfect match for it.

Photo by Stephanie Frey

15. Pot-au-feu

Pot-au-feu is a traditional French dish that’s best enjoyed in winter. It’s a hearty dish that’s sure to warm you up on the coldest winter days.

Pot-au-feu is a fun main course made with different cuts of beef (shank, chuck, rib steak, scoter) cooked with a variety of vegetables like carrots, potatoes, leeks, onions, turnips, and celery. Enjoyed with a bit of soup, it’s an ideal dish to share with family or friends.

For the best experience, I suggest eating pot-au-feu with some pickles and mustard. At the end of your meal, you can drink the broth as a soup. It’s incredibly delicious!

Photo by margouillat photo

16. Cassoulet

Cassoulet is a very traditional French dish originally from the southwestern part of France. It’s cooked in a specific pot that gives the dish its name.

Cassoulet can be prepared in a number of ways depending on where you are in France. Like many traditional dishes, cassoulet recipes can vary greatly as it’s typically made with whatever ingredients are available locally.

At its most traditional, cassoulet is a rich and hearty Toulouse dish made with sausages, duck meat, pork, lamb, and white beans in a delicious tomato-based sauce. It’s a tasty and filling dish that takes a long time to cook, so be sure to take your time and enjoy it.

For the most mouth-watering cassoulet experience, I suggest eating it with good French bread.

Photo by Foodio

17. Blanquette de Veau

Blanquette de veau is a type of French veal stew that’s often made at home. It’s made by slowly cooking veal in a bouillon with carrots, leeks, and onions. A variety of herbs are often added to impart even more flavor to the dish.

Once the bouillon is ready, it’s mixed with a bit of cream, butter, and cooked mushrooms before serving. It’s simple to make but absolutely loaded with flavor.

When cooked correctly, the veal should be nice and tender. Blanquette de veau is the type of dish that’s best enjoyed with some plain rice.

Photo by Sergii Koval


18. Baguette

Everyone knows about the French baguette, of course! When it comes to the world’s most famous types of bread, this iconic French bread has to be at the top of the list.

The French baguette is a light and long stick of bread that typically weighs around 250 grams. The most well-known is the regular baguette or baguette classique. It’s made with wheat, water, yeast, and a bit of salt.

The baguette classique may be the most famous but there are different types of baguettes depending on how they’re made and what type of wheat is used to make them. Aside from the baguette classique, some of my favorites include the baguette tradition and baguette de campagne.

No matter the type, the French baguette is delicious when you have it in the morning for breakfast with butter or jam. But it’s just as good when you eat it with terrine, various delicatessen meats, and French cheeses.

I love how the bread cracks when you take a bite out of it. It’s crunchy and soft at the same time and offers a gustatory experience like no other bread in the world!

Photo by VitalikRadko via Depositphotos

19. Croissant

Like the baguette, the croissant is famous worldwide. It’s one of the most iconic French pastries and is often used as a symbol of the French love for food and the culinary arts.

The croissant may be one of the most recognizable French foods but it actually originated in Vienna, Austria. It’s essentially the French version of the kipferl, which most people in France do not know.

Croissants are sold at every bakery in France. It’s something that you should experience for breakfast with a cup of good coffee or tea.

As you may already know, the name of this soft pastry is due to its crescent shape. Only in French can you find croissants that are so soft. It’s made with butter, wheat flour, sugar, salt, milk, and a bit of yeast. While baking, the laminated dough puffs up and is transformed into a lovely crescent shape.

People in France love them so much that they also make a savory version of croissants. When made with ham and melted cheese, it can become a tasty and filling main course.

Photo by Iuliia via Depositphotos

20. Crêpes

Crêpes or flat pancakes are originally from a specific region in the western part of France called Brittany. But today, you can find people selling them on the street in different parts of the world!

Aside from being sold as street food, you can find them at specialty French restaurants called “crêperies” where you can sit down and enjoy savory or sweet pancakes.

If you’re in the mood for savory crêpes, then you should try them with some ham and melted cheese. If you’d like something heavier, then you can order one with mushrooms and eggs and enjoy it as a main course.

Savory crêpes are delicious but personally, I prefer them to be sweet. One of the best ways to enjoy crêpes is to have them for breakfast topped with chocolate sauce or fruit jam. They can also be eaten as a dessert or snack with sugar.

Crêpes are so soft and fun to eat that you can become addicted to them quite easily. Bon appétit!

Photo by pitrs10 via Depositphotos

21. Eclair

The eclair is one of the most famous French desserts. It comes from the city of Lyon in the southeastern part of France. The word eclair literally means “lightning”. This classic French dessert is so delicious that it can often be eaten in a flash!

The eclair is a traditional French cake with a fun and easily recognizable design. It’s a type of elongated choux pastry that’s stuffed and glazed with a chocolate or coffee filling.

Today, you can enjoy eclairs in many different flavors like lemon, coconut, or pistachio. It’s a delicious French dessert that’s beloved by people of all ages.

Photo by eugeniashulim.gmail.com via Depositphotos

22. Macarons

Like crêpes and eclairs, macarons are among the most famous traditional desserts in France. We can eat them all day long!

Macarons look quite chic with their round shape and fun colors but they do have a reputation for being difficult to prepare. The macaron is essentially a type of cookie sandwich filled with ganache or a flavored buttercream. Light and airy, they have a soft center and a deliciously nutty flavor.

Parisian coffee and tea shops along the Champs-Elysées and around this area have made macarons super famous around the world. If you’re like me, then you’ll find it quite difficult to pick just one macaron. There are so many flavors and pretty colors that I never know what to choose!

Raspberry, strawberry, blackcurrant, lemon, chocolate, vanilla, salted caramel, pistachio, rose, apricot, coffee… there are so many delicious flavors that it’s almost impossible to pick a favorite.

Photo by 5seconds via Depositphotos

23. Mille-Feuille

Like macarons, mille-feuille is also a chic and trendy type of French dessert. It used to be called Napoleon so you can imagine how nice it needs to look! The word mille-feuille literally means “one thousand sheets” due to the number of layers it has.

In spite of its name, mille-feuille isn’t exactly made with a thousand layers. It consists of five layers – three layers of puff pastry and two layers of cream filling. It was originally made with vanilla custard but today, it can be made with other ingredients as well like chocolate or nuts.

Whatever it’s made with, mille-feuille is a rich and delicious French pastry that’s best paired with a cup of hot tea or coffee.

Photo by a-lesa-lesa via Depositphotos

24. Mousse au Chocolat

Airy, soft, and super chocolatey. Those are exactly the sensations we want when we tuck into the perfect glass of mousse au chocolat or French chocolate mousse.

This classic French dessert is one of the most popular in France. It’s a simple dessert made with just three ingredients – chocolate, sugar, and eggs. Some people may add butter or cream to make it even more soft and creamy.

For the most enjoyable experience, I suggest eating your mousse au chocolat with one or two biscuits. You’ll appreciate its rich, chocolatey taste even more.

Photo by Cris Canton

25. Crème Brûlée

If you like eating dessert, then you will love crème brûlée.

This is not just a simple custard. It’s made with vanilla custard that’s topped with sugar and then grilled in an oven or burnt with a torch. The sugar is transformed into a thin and crunchy caramel coating that imparts a special taste and texture to your dessert.

The custard itself remains soft and creamy while the top layer is crunchy and sweet. To eat, you crack the top layer with a spoon. The dessert looks fancy but it’s quite simple and easy to make.

Traditional crème brûlée is made with just vanilla custard but some people like to add other flavorings like pistachio cream or cinnamon. Personally, I like the original the best.

Photo by Ellen19


French food is an experience. It’s something you need to try for yourself, especially in Paris or any other city in France.

If you enjoyed reading this article and learning about some of the most delicious dishes in French cuisine, then you’ll have plenty to look forward to when you visit France.

I had to limit this list to just 25 so I left out many dishes, one of the most delicious being steak tartare. If you’ve never had it, it’s a popular French pub dish made with raw ground meat seasoned with spices and served with a generous amount of French fries. If you like interesting food, then you should definitely give steak tartare a try.

French food is complex and often takes a long time to prepare and cook. For the most enjoyable experience, you should take your time and savor it.

Bon appétit!


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Cover photo by Stephanie Frey. Stock images via Shutterstock.

Brazilian Desserts: 25 Traditional Sweets You Need to Try in Brazil

Brazil is the 5th largest country in the world. Because of its vast size and mix of native and immigrant populations, Brazilian food can vary greatly from state to state. But as diverse as Brazilian cuisine can be, one thing remains the same no matter where you are in the country – the Brazilian love for dessert.

If you have a sweet tooth, then we hope this article on traditional Brazilian desserts gives you much to look forward to on your next visit to Brazil.

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1. Brigadeiro

There’s no better way to start this article on traditional Brazilian desserts than with brigadeiro. Considered by many to be a Brazilian national dessert, it’s a common sight at children’s birthday parties in Brazil and is something that many locals grew up eating.

Brigadeiros are Brazilian fudge balls made with sweetened condensed milk, chocolate powder (or cocoa powder), and butter. Similar to chocolate truffles or bon-bons, they’re rolled into balls and coated in chocolate sprinkles before being served in individual paper cups.

The name brigadeiro means “brigadier” and is reference to Eduardo Gomes, a Brazilian brigadier who ran for president in 1946. In support of his campaign, a woman by the name of Heloísa Nabuco de Oliveira created this dessert and named it doce do brigadeiro (“brigadier’s sweet”). It quickly became popular throughout Brazil with the name eventually being shortened to just brigadeiro.

This popular sweet dish and birthday party treat is traditionally made with chocolate or cocoa powder, but more modern versions can be made with other ingredients as well like pistachio, white chocolate, passion fruit, and Nutella.

Photo by MKPK

2. Beijinho de Coco

Like brigadeiros, beijinho de coco is one of the most popular Brazilian desserts and a common sight at birthday parties in Brazil. Meaning “little coconut kiss” in Portuguese, it refers to a popular dessert made with grated coconut, condensed milk, butter, and granulated sugar. It’s essentially a coconut brigadeiro rolled in sugar or shredded coconut and topped with a single decorative clove.

Beijinhos are almost as popular as brigadeiros and can be found at nearly every birthday party in Brazil. They’re typically made with coconut but they can be made with other ingredients as well like passion fruit, cocoa powder, and strawberry gelatin. They can also be referred to as branquinhos, meaning “little white ones”.

Photo by diogoppr

3. Surpresa de Uva

If beijinho de coco is a coconut brigadeiro, then you can think of surpresa de uva as a grape brigadeiro. Also known as uvinha, surpresa de uva literally means “grape surprise” and refers to brigadeiro balls made with sweetened condensed milk, butter, vanilla, green food coloring, and whole tart grapes.

Like brigadeiros and beijinhos, uvinhas are one of the most popular Brazilian desserts and a common sight at birthday parties, baby showers, weddings, and other celebratory occasions.

Photo by kleberpicui

4. Cajuzinho

Like the previous sweet treats, cajuzinho is one of the most popular Brazilian desserts served at children’s birthday parties. Its name literally means “little cashew” and refers to a dessert made with ground peanuts, sweetened condensed milk, cocoa powder, butter, and granulated sugar.

Cajuzinhos are commonly made with peanuts but they were traditionally made with cashews and molded into the shape of a cashew fruit, hence the name.

Photo by rodrigobellizzi

5. Rabanada

Who doesn’t like French toast? If you have a sweet tooth, then this delicious dish has probably graced your breakfast plate on many occasions. It’s enjoyed in many parts of the world and Brazil is no exception.

Rabanada refers to Brazilian-style French toast. Similar to Spanish torrijas, it’s originally a Portuguese dish that’s become a popular dessert in Brazil. Unlike American French toast that’s typically enjoyed for breakfast, rabanadas are usually eaten for dessert or as an afternoon snack . They’re traditionally associated with Christmas in Brazil though they’re so delicious that you’ll probably want them throughout the year.

Another key difference between rabanada and its American cousin is that it’s usually made with crusty bread. This gives it a crispier exterior and a soft, custard-like interior. The bread is soaked in sweetened condensed milk before being dipped in beaten eggs and deep-fried in oil. After frying, it’s given a nice coat of cinnamon sugar before serving.

Rabanada is such a popular Christmas treat in Brazil that a special bread called pan de rabanada is commonly sold around the holidays, just to make this dessert.

Photo by bisagraph.gmail.com

6. Açaí na Tigela

No list of popular Brazilian desserts can ever be complete without mentioning açaí na tigela. Açaí na tigela literally means “açaí in the bowl” and refers to a Brazilian dessert made with frozen and mashed acai berries.

Açaí berries are an indigenous fruit produced by the açaí palm, a species of palm tree native to Brazil and other South American countries like Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, and Guyana. In the west, it’s often marketed as a superfood rich in antioxidants, healthy fats, calcium, and fiber.

Açaí berries can be prepared and consumed in many ways but in Brazil, it’s commonly eaten in an acai bowl. Acai bowls are often artfully topped with various ingredients like granola, guaraná syrup, banana slices, strawberries, blueberries, and other fruits. If you’re active on social media, then pretty acai bowls are no strangers to your Instagram feed.

Açaí na tigela is consumed throughout Brazil but it’s especially popular in Rio de Janeiro, Pará, São Paolo, Goiás, Florianópolis, and along the northeastern coast. Sweet versions traditionally served cold are what many non-Brazilians think of when they think of the acai bowl, but savory versions made with cassava, fish, shrimp, or farofa are just as common in Brazil.

Photo by diogoppr

7. Mousse de Maracujá

Passion fruit is a common ingredient in many Brazilian desserts and mousse de maracujá or Brazilian passion fruit mousse is one of the most popular. It’s a simple dessert made with just three ingredients – condensed milk, creme de leite (Brazilian heavy cream), and frozen passion fruit juice. It can be made with additional ingredients like egg whites, whipped cream, gelatin, and sugar but at its most basic, it can be made with just those three ingredients.

Mousse de maracujá is a light and creamy tropical dessert that’s a favorite among dessert lovers in Brazil. Enjoyed for its tart and sweet taste, not only is it delicious, but it’s super easy to make!

Photo by diogoppr

8. Creme de Papaya

Creme de papaya literally means “papaya cream” and refers to a simple but delicious Brazilian dessert of papaya blended with ice cream. Like mousse de maracujá, it’s a light and tropical dessert that can be made with just a handful of ingredients – fresh papaya, vanilla ice cream, condensed milk, and crème de cassis (blackcurrant liqueur).

Photo by Paulovilela

9. Pamonha

Pamonha is one of the many Brazilian desserts traditionally associated with Festa Junina, an annual Brazilian celebration that commemorates St. Anthony, St. John the Baptist, and St. Peter. It’s celebrated from mid-June till around the end of July and marks the end of the rainy season and the beginning of the harvest.

During this time, a host of Brazilian sweets are made to celebrate the festival like curau, canjica, paçoca de amendoim, and this Brazilian version of tamales known as pamonha. Traditionally sold as street food in Brazil, it’s made with boiled and mashed sweet corn wrapped in corn husks.

Depending on what it’s made with, pamonha can be savory or sweet. Sweet versions are typically served plain or made with coconut milk mixed into the mashed corn.

Photo by Paulovilela

10. Paçoca de Amendoim

Like pamonha, paçoca de amendoim is a dessert traditionally prepared for Festa Junina. It’s a Brazilian peanut candy made with ground peanuts, sugar, and salt. Its name literally means “to crumble” or “to smash” and is in reference to how these Brazilian sweet treats were traditionally made with a mortar and pestle.

Photo by jantroyka

11. Pe de Moleque

Like cajuzinho and paçoca de amendoim, pe de moleque is one of the most well-known Brazilian desserts made with peanuts. It’s a type of Brazilian brittle candy made with peanuts and melted sugar (rapadura) or molasses.

Photo by jantroyka

12. Cuscuz Branco

Cuscuz branco (or cuscuz de tapioca) is a Brazilian dessert made with North African couscous and shredded coconut. It’s popular in the northern and northeastern regions of Brazil – especially in Bahia – and in Rio de Janeiro where it’s often sold by street food and beachside vendors as a snack.

Photo by jantroyka

13. Cocada

Cocada refers to a traditional coconut candy made with freshly grated coconut, sugar, and sweetened condensed milk. It’s typical to northeastern Brazil though it’s also popular in many countries throughout Latin America like Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Panama, Colombia, Peru, and Ecuador.

Cocada can be made in three different ways in Brazil – cocada de corte (or cocada de leite condensado), cocada de forno, and cocada cremosa. Cocada de forno is a baked coconut dessert while cocada cremosa is a type of Brazilian coconut pudding.

Pictured below is cocada de corte or Brazilian coconut bars. Slightly chewy or crisp in texture, they’re commonly sold as street food in Brazil and can be made in different flavors. Common versions include cocada branca (white cocada) and cocada prieta (burnt cocada), as well as variations made with banana, guava, and other fruits.

Photo by jantroyka

14. Bolo de Fubá

Brazil is no stranger to scrumptious cakes and bolo de fubá is one of its most popular. It refers to a light and delicate Brazilian cornmeal cake.

Depending on the recipe, this traditional Brazilian cake can be enriched with different ingredients like coconut or cheese. It’s commonly eaten for breakfast or as a snack, often with coffee.

Photo by Paulovilela

15. Bolo de Rolo

Bolo de rolo is a popular Brazilian dessert made with a thin layer of cake rolled with guava jam. Originally from Pernambuco, it’s similar to a Swiss roll except it’s made with much thinner layers.

Bolo de rolo is an adaptation of a Portuguese almond sponge cake known as colchão de noiva. Almonds weren’t available in Brazil at the time so they used melted guava paste and sugar in lieu of the traditional colchão de noiva filling.

Over time, the cake’s layers became thinner and thinner with the most impressive rolls being made with sixteen or more layers. Bolo de rolo is traditionally made with guava jam but it can be filled with other ingredients as well like chocolate, hazelnut, or dulce de leche.

Photo by Guilherme Jófili, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons / Processed in Photoshop and Lightroom

16. Bolo de Cenoura

Bolo de cenoura refers to Brazilian carrot cake. Carrot cake can be found in many countries around the world but in Brazil, it’s a little different.

Unlike American-style carrot cake, bolo de cenoura is made in bundt cake pans. It also replaces the cream cheese frosting with chocolate icing that resembles a pourable version of brigadeiros.

But the biggest difference is in how the carrots are incorporated into the cake. Unlike chunky and spiced American carrot made with grated carrots, the carrots in Brazilian carrot cake are blended till smooth. This gives the cake its signature yellow color and just a hint of carrot flavor.

Photo by Paulovilela

17. Canjica

Like pamonha and paçoca de amendoim, canjica is a traditional Brazilian dessert associated with Festa Junina. It refers to a popular Brazilian porridge made with white corn, coconut, milk, cinnamon, cloves, and sugar.

Canjica is associated with Festa Junina but it can be enjoyed as a snack or dessert at any time of the year. It can be served warm or chilled and is often enriched with other ingredients like roasted peanuts, vanilla, nutmeg, and sweetened condensed milk.

Photo by jantroyka

18. Curau de Milho

Curau de milho is another Brazilian dessert that’s often served at Festas Juninas. It refers to a sweet, custard-like dessert made from the pressed juice of unripe maize kernels cooked with milk and sugar. Like canjica, it can be eaten warm or cold and is usually dusted with powdered cinnamon sugar before serving.

Photo by Paulovilela

19. Arroz Doce

Like many of these Brazilian desserts, arroz doce made its way to Brazil by way of Portugal. It refers to a Brazilian rice pudding made with short-grained arborio rice, milk, sugar, cinnamon, and lemon zest. It’s yet another Brazilian dessert traditionally associated with Festa Junina.

Photo by robynmac

20. Pudim de Leite Condensado

If you like flan, then you’re going to love pudim de leite condensado. It’s a simple dessert made with just four ingredients – eggs, whole milk, sweetened condensed milk, and sugar. Creamy and custard-y, it’s believed to be an adaptation of a traditional Portuguese dessert known as pudim abade de priscos.

Photo by paulbrighton

21. Queijadinha

The queijadinha is a type of Brazilian custard tart derived from the Portuguese queijada pastry. You can think of it as a creamy and custard-y version of muffins flavored with coconut and cheese.

Queijadinhas exist in many variations throughout Brazil. There are probably as many recipes for queijadinha as there are Brazilian grandmothers, but the most traditional versions are typically made with grated coconut, cheese, sweetened condensed milk, egg yolks, butter, and sugar.

Photo by romualdocrissi

22. Quindim

Quindim is a famous Brazilian baked dessert made with egg yolks, ground coconut, sugar, and coconut milk. Baked in a bain-marie, it’s a type of coconut egg custard known for its glistening surface and intense yellow color.

Quindins can be baked individually in ramekins or in larger ring-shaped pans. When baked in these family-sized pans, the dessert becomes known as quindão.

Photo by diogoppr

23. Romeu e Julieta

As you can probably tell from its name, this next Brazilian dessert is named after Shakespeare’s most famous play – Romeo and Juliet. Similar to Argentinian postre vigilante or Colombian bocadillo con queso, it’s a simple dessert consisting of a sliver of cheese and a slice of fruit paste.

It sounds easy enough to put together but romeu e julieta needs to be made with very specific ingredients to be considered authentic. True romeu e julieta consists of a soft and mildly salty cheese called queijo minas from Minas Gerais and a Brazilian guava paste known as goiabada. Put them together for a perfect pairing of salty and sweet.

Photo by betochagas

24. Bem casado

Bem casado literally means “well married” and refers to a popular Brazilian cookie sandwich often served at weddings and bridal and baby showers. Made with dulce de leche sandwiched between two small sponge cake discs, you can think of it as the softer Brazilian version of alfajor.

Like brigadeiros and children’s parties, bem casados and weddings go hand in hand in Brazil.

Photo by diogoppr

25. Fios de Ovos

Popular in Brazil and Portugal, fios de ovos or “egg threads”refers to a traditional Portuguese dessert made with egg yolk strands boiled in sugar syrup. It’s a popular and versatile ingredient that’s often used as a topping for vanilla ice cream and other Brazilian desserts like flan or chocolate cake.

Fios de ovos is a simple but time-consuming dish made by drawing egg yolks through a sieve and into a pot of boiling sugar syrup. It’s commonly paired with cakes and Brazilian sweets but it can also be enjoyed on its own with whipped cream. It can even be served as a side dish to Peru à Brasileira (Brazilian-style turkey) and other Brazilian ham and fish dishes.

Photo by Takeaway, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons / Processed in Photoshop and Lightroom


This is by no means an exhaustive list but we do hope it whets your appetite for all the traditional Brazilian desserts you can expect to have in Rio de Janeiro, São Paolo, and other parts of Brazil. As big as this country is, I’m sure you’ll be discovering a LOT more. Bom Proveito!

Cover photo by diogoppr. Stock images via Depositphotos.

Food in Bosnia and Herzegovina: 20 Traditional Dishes to Look Out For

When it comes to travel, there are two types of places in the world – popular hotspots and off-the-beaten-path destinations. Countries like Spain and Thailand guarantee a fun time while lesser known destinations pose more of a risk.

Bosnia and Herzegovina, a European country in the Balkan peninsula, is an example of the latter. You never know what to expect from countries untouched by mass tourism, but the rewards, as many people have found, can often be greater. For some people, this is real travel.

Relatively unexplored and overshadowed by the popularity of neighboring Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina is home to medieval villages, rolling hills, waterfalls, and centuries old ruins. It’s also home to fantastic food.

If you have a taste for the unknown and enjoy Balkan cuisine, then check out these twenty traditional Bosnian foods when you visit Bosnia and Herzegovina.


If you’re visiting Bosnia and Herzegovina and want to learn more about the cuisine, then you may be interested in joining a food tour.


  • Food Tours: Food and Wine/Drinking Tours in Bosnia and Herzegovina

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Traditional Bosnian food shares many similarities with its Balkan neighbors. It’s described as a balance between western and eastern influences and is closely related to Turkish and Mediterranean cuisines.

Bosnian cuisine makes use of many spices in moderate quantities. Dishes are often boiled and flavored with sauces made from the natural juices of vegetables.

Common ingredients used in Bosnian cooking include potatoes, bell peppers, tomatoes, onions, cabbage, mushrooms, eggplant, and plums. Paprika is an often used seasoning while meat dishes are typically made with beef, lamb, and poultry.

In Bosnian cuisine, recipes for many traditional dishes have been passed down through the generations and remain relatively unchanged.


This Bosnian food guide has been organized by category to make it easier to go through. Click on a link to jump to any section of the guide.

  1. Soups / Stews
  2. Breads / Pastries
  3. Meats / Mains
  4. Desserts / Drinks
  5. Bosnian Food Tours


1. Bosanski Lonac

There’s no better way to start this Bosnian food guide than with bosanki lonac, the national dish of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Also known as “Bosnian pot”, it’s a popular type of vegetable stew that’s been consumed in the country for many centuries.

Recipes for this beloved Bosnian dish vary greatly from cook to cook and region to region, but it typically consists of a variety of vegetables and chunks of meat. Some of the most commonly used vegetables include bell peppers, potatoes, cabbage, carrots, tomatoes, garlic, and parsley. Different types of meat can be used though beef, lamb, and veal are the most popular.

Bosnian pot is a dish that’s enjoyed across all social classes in the country. Wealthy Bosnians enjoy it with more meat and other expensive ingredients while less affluent people make it with whatever’s available. Traditionally, it was made in clay pots that were cooked in a fireplace or buried in a pit underground, but these days, it’s common to cook it in a pot on a stove.

Photo by Wirestock

2. Buranija

Buranija (or boranija) refers to both the Bosnian stew and main ingredient used to make it – Romano beans. Romano beans are a variety of green bean similar to snapping beans.

Buranija is similar to goulash or paprikash but lighter. It’s often made with chunks of veal though it can be made with just vegetables as well like carrots, potatoes, onions, and garlic. The ingredients are seasoned with paprika, bay leaves, salt, and pepper and left to simmer for hours until the meat becomes very tender.

Photo by sirylok

3. Đuveč

Đuveč refers to a type of Bosnian vegetable stew similar to ratatouille. Popular throughout the Balkans, it’s made with a host of different vegetables, herbs, and spices like tomatoes, peppers, onions, carrots, peas, paprika, and summer savory.

The name đuveč is derived from the Turkish word güveç, meaning “earthenware pot”. It can be used to refer to the family of earthenware pots common in Balkan, Levantine, and Turkish cuisines, as well as to the various stews and casserole dishes cooked in them.

Đuveč is often vegetarian but it can be made with various meats like chicken, pork, and lamb as well. It can also be made with rice.

Photo by fanfon

When cooked with rice, đuveč resembles jambalaya or risotto.

Photo by OlgaBombologna

4. Prebranac

Prebranac is a staple Bosnian dish that’s also popular in Serbian and Macedonian cuisines. It’s a type of casserole made with white beans and caramelized onions seasoned with paprika, garlic, and bay leaves.

Pebranac is a cheap and filling dish that was originally made by farmers to get them through the long winters. Recipes vary from family to family as it’s the type of dish that’s passed down through the generations. A classic Balkan comfort food, it’s typically served at room temperature with warm crusty bread.

Photo by DariaKM


5. Lepinja va Cevapi

Lepinja (or lepinje, somun) refers to a type of flatbread popular in the cuisines of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, and Croatia. It’s an everyday type of bread that’s commonly served with cevapi, hence the name lepinje za cevapi which means “flatbread for cevapi”.

Soft and light, lepinja looks like pita bread but it’s closer in texture to focaccia. It’s made with milk which helps give it that soft texture and mild creamy flavor.

Photo by Wirestock

6. Proha

Proha (or proja) is a type of corn bread popular in the Balkans, particularly in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, and North Macedonia. Cheap and easy to make, it was originally regarded as peasant food as it helped sustain rural families during the hardships that followed the Second World War.

Proha was originally made with just cornmeal, water, and salt, but today’s versions are made with cornmeal, wheat flour, eggs, vegetable oil, and sparkling water which helps aerate and lighten the batter. It was traditionally made in large baking pans and cut into flat squares, but it’s also common to find them in the form of muffins and small balls.

Rich and dense, proha can be eaten on its own or as a side dish with soups, salads, and saucy Bosnian dishes like sarma. It can be topped or stuffed with cheese and garnished with a variety of ingredients like ham, bacon, spinach, or zucchini.

Photo by stevanovicigor

7. Burek

Burek refers to a family of baked filled pastries made with a thin flaky dough stuffed with a variety of ingredients like meat, spinach, potatoes, or cheese. It’s popular in the cuisines of the Balkans, the South Caucasus, Central Asia, and the Levant where it goes by different names like börek and bourekas.

Burek exists in many forms. It can be prepared in a large pan and cut into smaller portions after baking, or it can be made as individual pastries. The exact origins of the dish are unclear, though it’s believed to be a Turkish dish that originated from the kitchens of the Ottoman Empire.

In Bosnian cuisine, burek needs to be made with meat to be considered a true burek. Otherwise, it’s referred to as “pita”. It’s typically baked in spiral form before being cut and served in individual portions. It can also be filled with other ingredients like cottage cheese (sirnica) and potatoes (krompiruša).

Photo by Wirestock

Pictured below is zeljanica, a type of Bosnian “pita” filled with spinach and cheese.

Photo by igordutina


8. Dolma

Dolma refers to a family of stuffed vegetables dishes popular in Armenia, Georgia, Lebanon, and many other countries throughout the Balkans, the South Caucasus, Central Asia, and the Middle East. It means “stuffed” or “filled” in Turkish and was historically part of Ottoman palace cuisine.

Dolma is made with some type of vegetable that’s been hollowed out and stuffed with a seasoned filling of rice, meat, and other ingredients. Any type of vegetable like bell peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, onions, and eggplant can be stuffed and made into dolma.

One of the most common types of dolma is punjene paprike (pictured below). It’s made with roasted sweet peppers filled with a mixture of rice, ground beef, garlic, onion, paprika, and black pepper.

I’ll get to it in the next entry of this Bosnian food guide but it’s important to note that there exists a sub-type of dolma called sarma. It’s made with the same filling but instead of being stuffed in a hollowed out vegetable, it’s wrapped in a cabbage or vine leaf.

Photo by AndreySt

Originally from the city of Mostar, one type of Bosnian dolma that you need to try is sogan-dolma. It’s a type of dolma made with the layers of an onion filled with a mixture of minced beef, rice, tomato puree, paprika, strained yogurt, sour cream, and spices.

Photo by fanfon

9. Sarma

Sarma is a type of wrapped dolma. As described above, it’s made with the same ground meat and rice filling but instead of being stuffed in vegetables, it’s wrapped in pickled cabbage or vine leaves instead. Dolma means “stuffed” or “filled” while sarma means “rolled” or “wrapped”.

Photo by jabiru

Sarma made with stuffed grape leaves is one of the most popular versions of dolma. In Greece, they’re known as dolmadakia or dolmades. In Bosnian cuisine, they’re known as Hercegovački japrak or Herzegovinian japrak.

Traditionally, Hercegovački japrak is made with blanched raštika leaves – a local type of leaf cabbage – but it can be made with grape leaves as well. The stuffed leaves are cooked for hours and often served with mashed potatoes or sour cream.

Photo by lvssvl1

10. Klepe

Klepe (or kulaci) are Bosnian meat-filled dumplings. Traditionally made with flour, eggs, salt, and a seasoned meat and onion filling, you can think of them as the Bosnian equivalent of ravioli or manti.

To prepare, the dumplings are formed by hand and then boiled for about 10-12 minutes. They can be lightly sauteed in a pan before being baked in an oven with sauces made from sour cream, heavy cream, garlic, paprika, and butter.

Traditionally, klepe are made with a ground beef filling but more modern variations can be stuffed with a variety of ingredients like cheese, spinach, or chicken. They’re best enjoyed straight from the oven.

Photo by .shock

11. Ćevapi

No Bosnian food guide can ever be complete without ćevapi, a hugely popular dish of grilled minced meat. It’s considered a Bosnian national dish and is equally popular in the cuisines of neighboring countries like Serbia, Croatia, Albania, Kosovo, Montenegro, and Slovenia.

Variations of ćevapi (or ćevapčići) exist throughout the Balkans but the Bosnian version is typically made with two types of minced beef meat hand-mixed and formed using a funnel. They’re typically served in portions of 5-10 sausages with lepinja, chopped onions, ajvar (bell pepper relish), sour cream, kajmak (simlar to clotted cream), and cottage cheese.

Photo by igordutina

12. Suho Meso

Suho meso literally means “dry meat” and refers to a type of smoked beef or pork popular in Serbian, Montenegrin, Croatian, and Bosnian cuisine.

To make suho meso, meat is cured in coarse salt before being dried and smoked for several days or weeks over an oak fire. It’s typically prepared in winter to keep the meat from spoiling.

Similar to pastirma, suho meso is a staple dish in many Bosnian celebrations and feasts.

Photo by NedoB

13. Pljeskavica

Like ćevapi, pljeskavica is a grilled meat dish that’s extremely popular in many Balkan countries like Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, North Macedonia, and Montenegro. It’s especially popular in Serbia where it’s considered a national dish.

You can think of pljeskavica as the Balkan equivalent of a hamburger. The patty mixture is similar to ćevapi and it’s often served in lepinja flatbread with onions, ajvar, kajmak, and urnebes (spicy cheese salad).

Photo by OlgaIlinich

14. Musaka

As you can probably tell by now, many of the dishes in this Bosnian food guide are popular throughout the Balkans. Musaka is no exception. It’s a ground beef and potato casserole popular in the cuisines of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Croatia, and North Macedonia. You can think of it as the Balkan equivalent of moussaka.

Unlike Greek moussaka, Bosnian musaka usually isn’t made with eggplant or bechamel. Instead, it’s made with potato rounds and seasoned ground beef. The ingredients are layered, baked, and then finished off with a topping made from egg and sour cream.

It’s worth mentioning that Bosnian musaka can be made with eggplant as well, though this is usually the exception, not the norm.

Photo by Bennian

15. Peka

Peka doesn’t refer to a particular dish, but a cooking device used to prepare a variety of meat, seafood, and vegetable dishes. You can think of it as a primitive type of convection oven.

Also known as a sač, a peka is a cooking vessel with a bell-shaped lid made from cast iron or clay. It’s used outdoors to cook a variety of dishes over and under hot charcoal (see next picture). This dual heat source, together with the shape of the vessel, allows steam to recirculate so dishes are cooked slowly and more evenly. It also allows dishes to be lightly smoked.

Photo by psgt_123

Here’s a picture of the lid topped with live charcoal. Note the ring that keeps the charcoal in place.

The peka is popular throughout the Balkan peninsula and can also be used to bake bread and traditional pastries like burek. Bread can be baked on top of the lid or inside the vessel.

Photo by psgt_123


16. Baklava

If you like desserts, then chances are you’re already a fan of baklava. It’s a hugely popular dessert made with layers of phyllo pastry and chopped nuts sweetened with syrup or honey.

Baklava is a common dessert in many countries like Turkey, Lebanon, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Iran. It’s consumed throughout the Balkans, the South Caucasus, Central Asia, and the Levant. Its exact origins are unclear but the modern version of this beloved dessert is believed to have originated from the kitchens of the Ottoman Empire.

Because it’s so widely consumed, baklava exists in many variations. In Bosnian cuisine, it’s typically made with sheets of phyllo pastry, chopped walnuts, and agda – a simple syrup made from sugar, water, lemon, and vanilla.

You’ll also find a Bosnian version of baklava called ružice or đul-pita. It’s shaped into a roll and cut into portions that resemble roses or rosebuds.

Photo by mythja

17. Krofne

Krofne (or krafne, krofi) refers to a type of doughnut popular in the cuisines of many Balkan countries like Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Slovenia, Croatia, North Macedonia, and Albania. They’re similar to Berliners or beignets and can be filled with a variety of ingredients like marmalade, jam, chocolate, nutella, or cinnamon.

Photo by Melica

18. Knedle

Knedle is a type of dessert made from boiled potato dumplings filled with plums or apricots. It’s derived from the German knödel meaning “dumpling” and is popular in the cuisines of many Central and Eastern European countries like Bosnia and Herzegovina, Poland, Hungary, Romania, Czechia, and Slovakia.

To prepare, a dough made from mashed potatoes, eggs, and flour is flattened out and cut into squares. Plums or apricots are then wrapped in the sheets of dough and boiled. When ready, they can be sprinkled with sugar or cinnamon or covered in breadcrumbs and fried in butter.

Photo by karamba70

19. Tufahija

“How do you like them apples?” If you like them a lot, then you’re going to love tufahija, a Bosnian dessert made with walnut-stuffed apples poached in sugar water. Popular in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Croatia, and North Macedonia, these scrumptious poached apples are usually topped with whipped cream and enjoyed with coffee.

Photo by CreativeFamily

20. Bosanska Kafa

After a satisfying meal of traditional Bosnian food, what better way to punctuate your meal than with a hot cup of bosanska kafa or Bosnian coffee? Similar to Turkish coffee but slightly thinner, it’s a robust and intense cup of joe made with finely ground roasted coffee beans.

Bosanska kafa is traditionally prepared in a copper-plated pot with a long-neck called a džezva. Served in small espresso cups, it’s widely consumed throughout the Balkans, the Middle East, and North Africa.

Photo by mazzzur


Simply put, no one knows Bosnian food better than a local, so what better way to experience the best of Bosnian cuisine than by going on a food tour? Not only will a local take you to the city’s best spots, but they’ll be able to explain all the dishes to you in more detail. Check out Get Your Guide for a list of Bosnian food tours in Sarajevo and other destinations in the country.


People can often be wary of places they know little about. In spite of its war-torn past, Bosnia and Herzegovina is a safe country to visit and offers plenty to people willing to go the less beaten path. If you enjoy history, nature, and good Balkan food, then you’ll find that there’s much to be excited about in Bosnia and Herzegovina.


Some of the links in this Bosnian food guide are affiliate links. If you make a booking, then we’ll earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. As always, we only recommend products and services that we use ourselves and firmly believe in. We really appreciate your support as it helps us make more of these free travel and food guides. Thank you!

Cover photo by stevanovicigor. Stock images via Depositphotos.

Costa Rican Food: 12 Traditional Dishes That’ll Make You Say Pura Vida!

EDITOR’S NOTE: Traveleater Alejandro Regidor, a Costa Rican chef from San José, shares with us twelve traditional dishes to look for on your next visit to Costa Rica.

When you visit another country, an easy way to get to know the culture is through its food. Every dish can teach you a fascinating aspect of the culture and make people bond in a friendlier way.

Traditional Costa Rican food is a must-try if you visit this vibrant country located between Nicaragua up north and Panama in the south. It’s a great starting point to introduce you to the diversity of Latin American cuisine.

Sometimes, you don’t know where to begin and what you should do when you first visit Costa Rica. But no worries, the people in Costa Rica are well-known for their hospitality and their traditional cuisine. Food is a great way to connect with us Costa Ricans as it forms a lively and vibrant part of our day-to-day lives.


If you’re planning a trip to Costa Rica and want to learn more about the cuisine, then you may be interested in joining a food tour or taking a cooking class.


  • Food Tours: Food and Wine/Drinking Tours in Costa Rica
  • Cooking Classes: Cooking Classes in Costa Rica

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Photo by lenyvavsha


Despite being a small country, the foods in Costa Rica combine the diversity and richness of influences that have come together over thousands of years. 

As a volcanic country, you might feel a few small earthquakes during your visit to Costa Rica, but you’ll also find an amazing variety of fresh and delicious fruits and vegetables, most of which are available year-round. Some of Costa Rica’s most popular produce include tomatoes, plantains, potatoes, cassava, mangoes, pineapples, and several types of squash.

Traditional Costa Rican cuisine can be defined as a mix of indigenous Mesoamerican food cultures (centered around corn as the main ingredient of the meal) and the combination of techniques from African, Asian, and European cuisines.

Thanks to all these influences, you’ll be able to find very different kinds of dishes in Costa Rica. You’ll find corn products like tortillas, vegetable stews, and rice mixed with chicken, meat, or beans. It’s a pattern that’s common to many Latin American cuisines.


There are plenty of dishes to try in Costa Rica. Some flavors may vary depending on the places you visit, so each of them holds special value to the Costa Rican people in each city or town you visit. It’s not a spicy or piquant cuisine and is easily enjoyable for any palate.

And remember, the foods in Costa Rica work amazingly well as an ice breaker. During your stay, I strongly encourage you to eat at “sodas”, which are traditional diners found throughout Costa Rica. They’re affordable eateries where you can enjoy local Costa Rican flavors while bonding with the locals.

1. Palmito

Palmito or palm heart comes from the inside part of the bud of the palm tree. It’s an indigenous ingredient that is now considered a newfound element of Costa Rican gastronomy.

Palmito has a distinctive acidic flavor, used in traditional preparations like soups, salads, picadillos, and casseroles. The most common way to use it is in ensalada de palmito, a Costa Rican salad consisting of boiled fresh or canned palm hearts mixed with cherry tomatoes and lettuce. It’s served with different dressings and commonly eaten as a side dish with casado.

Another great dish is arroz con palmito. It combines palmito with the European tradition of rice gratin. Bechamel sauce with pieces of palmito form the base of this Costa Rican dish. They’re mixed with rice and topped with mozzarella and baked until golden. For some people, this dish is a regular choice for lunch or dinner.

It’s important to point out that palmito should not be confused with palmito cheese, a delicious stretchy cheese with a soft and mildly acidic flavor.

Photo by asimojet

2. Sopa de Pejibaye

Another ingredient obtained from local Costa Rican palm tree varieties is pejibaye or palm fruit. Used as staple food in Costa Rica, pejibaye is a mildly flavored starchy fruit with a unique texture.

Pejibaye is easy to find in markets and supermarkets. You can find them pre-cooked and ready to be peeled and consumed. They can be eaten plain or with mayonnaise, or used as an ingredient in many Costa Rican dishes like sopa de pejibaye.

Sopa de pejibaye is a simple but rich soup that’s considered a staple dish in contemporary Costa Rican cuisine. The recipe was made famous by renowned local chef Isabel Campabadal. It’s made with pejibaye, chicken stock, and cream which are blended together and sieved until a silky texture is achieved. The soup is then topped with fresh cilantro before serving.

Photo by Szakaly

3. Sopa Negra (Black Bean Soup)

Influenced by indigenous cultures from Mexico, this delicious and creamy Costa Rican black bean soup is made from black beans simmered with a host of ingredients like cilantro, oregano, bell peppers, and onions. It’s often topped with a hard-boiled egg and fresh cilantro leaves and typically served as an entree, especially during cold nights.

Photo by rojoimages

4. Pozole

Pozole is a hearty and filling Costa Rican stew made from pork, hominy, cilantro, bell peppers, and achiote. Served with corn tortillas, the ingredients are slowly cooked together until the meat becomes tender and delicious.

It’s common to find pozole in traditional religious celebrations and gatherings known as “turnos” in small towns and traditional restaurants all around Costa Rica. This traditional Costa Rican dish should not be confused with Mexican pozole which is spicy.

Photo by lunamarina

5. Empanada

Popular in many Latin American countries like Argentina, Venezuela, and Peru, the perfect comfort food in Costa Rica is undeniably the empanada. This crispy deep-fried snack is traditionally made with seasoned corn dough filled with shredded beef or chicken, potato stew, cheese, and beans.

Almost every Costa Rican restaurant and soda sells empanadas. If you see it on a menu, then you may want to try empanadas arregladas. It’s a type of empanada filled with fresh cabbage salad, mayo, and ketchup.

Photo by bhofack2

6. Patacones

Patacones are a type of classic bar food in Costa Rica. It’s a perfect dish for gatherings with family and friends, and is ideal for sharing as it’s vegan and gluten-free.

Shaped like discs, patacones are made from deep-fried mashed green plantains. They have a crispy golden exterior and a soft creamy interior. They have the perfect shape to scoop out sauces and are often served with a small bowl of refried beans, guacamole, sour cream, or pico de gallo.

Patacones are also delicious as a side dish to ceviches (fish marinated in lime or lemon juice with added onions and cilantro).

Photo by hansgeel

7. Picadillo

Popular in many Latin American countries like Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and Cuba, picadillo is a traditional Costa Rican dish consisting of a selection of chopped and stewed vegetables and root crops like carrots, potatoes, and green beans. It’s a dish that can be prepared with just vegetables or with the addition of meat like ground beef or pork.

This stew-like dish is a traditional way to prepare food in Costa Rica, taking relevance at the beginning of the 20th century. It’s said to have been born from the last and only dictatorship the country faced in 1917.

The First World War affected the Costa Rican economy and brought difficult times to its people. Costa Ricans from the Central Valley had to rely on locally produced ingredients for nourishment, and make the most of the small quantities of meat available.

Nowadays, picadillo has become an essential and joyful element of Costa Rica’s food traditions. It stands on its own in traditional celebrations and community or family gatherings. It’s typically served as an appetizer over soft corn tortillas known locally as “gallo”.

Photo by nito103

8. Tamal

Popular in many Latin American countries like Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, and Cuba, the tamal is without question one of the most remarkable influences from Mesoamerican indigenous cultures.

Made up of corn dough, a tamal is filled with meat like pork or chicken, rice, chickpeas, and vegetables. The dough is wrapped tightly in plantain leaves before being boiled for a few hours until the tamal is fully cooked. Tamales in Costa Rica are usually packed in pairs called piñas.

Families in Costa Rica get together around the first days of December to make small batches to hundreds of tamales. Each family member has a role in the kitchen. Grandmothers prepare the dough while other family members fill the tamales. The most skilled person wraps them while the youngest in the family washes the plantain leaves for their use.

Tamales are meant to be given away to friends and family as gifts. Every Costa Rican family has a variation of the recipe that makes them unique.

The tamal is meant to be a filling meal and traditionally made during Christmas Eve. Nowadays, it can be found all year round and is best enjoyed with a cup of locally-grown coffee.

Photo by JoanArturo

9. Gallo Pinto (Rice and Beans)

Locals consider gallo pinto to be the national dish of Costa Rica. It consists of a mixture of cooked rice and beans which is sautéed with vegetables to the right consistency. Gallo pinto is usually eaten for breakfast but you can find it at any time of the day.

The flavors of this beloved Costa Rican rice and beans dish vary depending on where it’s from. Gallo pinto from Guanacaste province for example, tends to taste slightly toasted and more savory compared to the richer and more aromatic versions from San José.

The gallo pinto recipe in San José includes more onion, sweet red pepper, and cilantro. A key ingredient is Salsa Lizano. Similar to Worcestershire sauce, Salsa Lizano is known for its bright cumin and tamarind flavors that make gallo pinto a beloved staple dish to Costa Ricans.

A full Costa Rican breakfast plate typically includes gallo pinto, fried plantains, sausage, eggs, pico de gallo, natilla (sour cream), and fresh or fried cheese. Sometimes, shredded beef is added as well. On its own, gallo pinto makes for a great vegetarian or vegan option so don’t be afraid to ask for substitutions to meet your dietary needs.

Photo by dimarik

10. Casado

The casado is another great staple of Central Valley Costa Rican food. It’s the lunch option par excellence, containing all the elements for a complete full meal. It’s extremely popular and one of the easiest dishes to find in Costa Rica.

Casado has many components. It consists of white rice, refried beans, black beans, a side of protein (like beef, chicken, fish, egg, or cheese), stewed vegetables (picadillo), fried plantains, a simple salad, and sometimes a cold pasta salad. Costa Ricans typically eat it with Salsa Lizano and a fruit drink called “frescos” or coffee.

At the Central Market in San José, some sodas have a tradition of serving it with a small portion of spaghetti. Any regional Costa Rican market will offer you something special to accompany this affordable lunch. You could also enjoy vegetarian or vegan casado if you ask for it.

Photo by mathes

11. Olla de Carne (Beef Stew)

There isn’t a more common sight at the Central Market of San José than people enjoying a lunch of olla de carne with white rice. This traditional Costa Rican soup is one of the clearest examples of pre-Hispanic and European influences, using techniques from traditional Spanish cuisine and translating it to local ingredients.

Olla de carne is a soup consisting of lean beef cooked with local vegetables like chayote, tacacos, carrots, onions, cilantro, green plantains, and root vegetables.  The soup is simmered for several hours until the vegetables are cooked through and the meat is very tender.

There are two ways Costa Ricans eat olla de carne. One, it can be divided into three separate dishes – the broth, the meat, and the vegetables.  And two, it can be enjoyed as one big hearty soup. Either way, it’s always eaten with rice or tortilla.

Photo by Marcods

12. Tres Leches

Tres leches is the preferred cake for birthdays and celebrations in Costa Rica. This dessert consists of a light sponge cake soaked overnight in a mixture of condensed milk, evaporated milk, and whole milk, topped with chantilly cream.

This decadent and delicious cake is the perfect finale at any party. It’s available everywhere, at town bakeries, coffee shops, or supermarkets. Some of the most modern versions include flavors like chocolate, dulce de leche, kola, and even specialty coffee.

Photo by anna.pustynnikova


It’s pretty clear that no one knows Costa Rican food better than a local, so what better way to experience Costa Rica’s cuisine than by going on a food tour? A knowledgeable local will guide you to the city’s best sodas, markets, and street food stalls so all you have to do is follow and eat. Check out Get Your Guide for list of Costa Rican food tours in different cities throughout the country.


Aside from food tours, another great way to learn about Costa Rica’s cuisine is to take a cooking class. It’s one thing to eat Costa Rican food, but it’s quite another to learn how to actually make it. Working with the various ingredients that go into each dish offers a more intimate look at the cuisine. Check out Cookly for a list of cooking class in Costa Rica.


Costa Rica is a memorable place that awaits discovery. If you explore the country from coast to coast, you’ll find delicious Costa Rican food and cordial people at every stop. Costa Rican people are good hosts. They love to show off their country and share stories with you. It’s no wonder why it’s considered one of the friendliest countries in the world.

This humble Costa Rica food guide is just the beginning. Over time, we’ll expand the list and include more of Costa Rica’s must-try dishes. It’s already mouthwatering as it is and we haven’t even talked about other tasty dishes like arroz con pollo (Costa Rican chicken rice), chorreadas (sweet corn pancakes), and rondon (Afro-Caribbean coconut milk soup)!

These Costa Rican dishes will encourage your adventurous side and help you assimilate into the local culture. We recommend that you talk to the locals, try the local food, and enjoy the hospitality of the Costa Rican people. When you’re here, this tropical country will feel like home. Pura vida!


Some of the links in this Costa Rica food guide are affiliate links. If you make a booking, then we’ll make a small commission at no extra expense to you. As always, we only recommend products and services that we use ourselves and firmly believe in. We really appreciate your support as it helps us make more of these free travel and food guides. ¡Gracias!

Cover photo by lenyvavsha. Stock images via Depositphotos.

What Makes Niagara the Perfect Spot for Wine Enthusiasts

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was written in partnership with Henry of Pelham winery.

When you think about Niagara, chances are, you think about Wine Country. Often considered Canada’s Napa Valley, Niagara is Canada’s largest, most productive viticulture area and a celebrated cultural hub for wine making.

Niagara’s geographical location and climate make the region optimal for producing specific types of quality wine. There is also a special culture and history within the region, which many wine enthusiasts say make it the heart and soul of Canada’s wine production.

This article will explore what makes the Niagara region so unique for creating wine, along with an overview of common wines made in the region.

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Viticulture is defined as the science, production, and study of grapes, with a focus on harvesting them for winemaking.

The Niagara region is optimal for wine production, primarily because of its climate and terrain. Nestled within the Niagara Escarpment and situated between the Great Lakes, the region avoids extreme temperatures making it ideal for growing and harvesting grapes for award-winning wines.

Presently, the region is home to more than 100 Niagara wineries, many with a global presence. Although licensed winemaking didn’t take off until the 1970s, grapes have been grown in the area since the 1800s. Compared to European wine production, Ontario’s wine is still in its infancy, but over a short number of decades, the industry has grown and established itself as a member of the international wine community.

As winemaking became a strong part of Niagara’s culture, there came a demand for education in the industry. Grape growing and winemaking education in Niagara made its debut at the post-secondary level in 1996 with Brock University’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI). In 2000, the Niagara-on-the-Lake campus of Niagara College established the Winery and Viticulture Technician program.

Photo by jimfeng via iStock


While this year looks a bit different, historically, the Niagara Region welcomes tourists to join in and celebrate the culture of the area. Visitors are invited to attend festivals and events, dine at some of the best restaurants, and experience winery tours and tastings.

Throughout the year, several companies in the Niagara Region offer winery excursions. Guests enjoy visiting multiple wineries, each offering tours of the property and wine tastings.

In the summer, the region hosts several festivals celebrating wine and wine culture. This includes fruit festivals and Niagara’s New Vintage Festival, which celebrates the start of a new vintage every June. The International Cool Climate Chardonnay Festival (i4C) is a wine event unlike any other. Taking place at the end of July, it’s a must see attraction.

In the fall, the largest event takes place, which is the Niagara Grape and Wine Festival. It’s held in September and hosts over 100 exhibits and an annual parade. As the weather cools down further, the Icewine Festival in January brings everyone together with outdoor events and tastings.

Wine in Niagara is often accompanied by an extraordinary culinary experience. Many of the larger wineries feature on-site restaurants with award-winning chefs. These kitchens seek to deliver a “farm-to-table” approach, where they feature local, seasonal ingredients in the dishes.

As businesses are able to gradually re-open to guests, it will be a treat for vineyard owners to welcome back wine enthusiasts to these amazing festivals and events.


There are dozens of varieties of wines produced in the area, yet some are more common than others.

The four most common red wine varieties found in Niagara wineries are Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, Baco Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon. These medium-full bodied wines are made with grapes that have flavours of fruit, currants, and earthy undertones.

The region has many varieties of grapes which make incredible options for white wine lovers, including Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, and Sauvignon Blanc. In the winter, Niagara famously produces icewine. The cold temperatures of the winter months make it essential for producing this delicacy. When winter arrives, the grapes are typically harvested at night when they are frozen at a minimum of -8°C and when they are at least 36 °Bx (which is how their sugar content is measured).


With a unique climate and incredible location, Niagara is the opportune spot for producing wine in Canada. By purchasing wines from this region and taking part in a wine club or subscription, you’ll see for yourself what makes each Niagara winery unique.

Henry of Pelham’s wine club, Club Henry, is a great way to let Niagara come to you! Join and you’ll receive monthly shipments of your favourite wine right to your door.


This article on Niagara wineries was written in partnership with Henry of Pelham winery.

Photos provided by Henry of Pelham