Travel Nav

When it comes to what to eat in a new country, no one knows better than the people that live there. In search of some mouth-watering local foods, we dove into question-and-answer site to ask: “If I visit your country, what is the one dish I should not miss?

More than 200 people from countries across the world responded with their favourite fare, including sweet and savoury treats, quick snacks and multi-course meals, some of which are personal preferences, others are dishes representative of the entire country. It was hunger-inducing to choose, but here are just a few of the things we'll be ordering on our next visit.

Martabak manis in Indonesia
Jerry Anson, who now lives in California, raved about this sweet treat typically eaten in the afternoon or after dinner. “The top and bottom parts are basically spongy pancake,” he explained. “What's sandwiched in the middle can be anything sweet you can dream of, ranging from chocolate sprinkles to peanut pieces (or even banana pieces!).” Originating in Yemen, the matarabak made its way to Southeast Asia by way of Indian traders. Today, street vendors across Indonesia serve martabak manis in every variation, and Anson said the butter-heavy pancake makes it “super tasty"!

Street food vendors cook martabak at a stall in Jakarta, Indonesia
(Bay Ismoyo/AFP/Getty)

Bhatura in northern India
Manish Rai Jain, an engineer at, suggested this northern Indian bread as an alternative to the better known naan when eating a quintessential Punjabi dish. Unlike oven-baked naan, bhatura is deep fried, giving it a crispy, yet spongy, texture. Rai Jain suggested trying it in the dish known as chole bhature, where the bread is served with a spiced chickpea curry. “It’s generally eaten on weekend mornings, during travel or on occasions,” explained Rai Jain, and the inexpensive dish can be ordered at corner shops throughout New Delhi and northern India.

Bhatura is served at a food stall in India.

Foie gras, duck and chocolate in France
Though she recognised that each region in France has its own traditional dishes, Mimi Copi, who now lives in Denmark,  insisted visitors try a classic three-course menu that is quintessentially Gallic. Start with foie gras (goose or duck liver) as an appetizer for its “smooth and round” mouth feel, followed by a main course of magret de canard roti (roasted duck breast) served with a red fruit sauce and small baked potatoes. She suggested finishing the meal with the “pride of French desserts”, the fondant au chocolat, hot chocolate cake with a melting molten chocolate centre. Most traditional sit-down French restaurants in Paris and other big cities will have at least one – and likely all three – of these signature dishes.

A chocolate-tasting foie gras dish at the Un Dimanche A Paris store.
(Francois Durand/Getty)

Ilish in Bangladesh
Found in Bangladesh’s Padma, Meghna and Jamuna rivers, ilish is so popular it is the country’s national fish. Farig Yousuf Sadeque from the capital city of Dhaka offered up the unique, oily fish for the variety of ways it can be prepared.You can smoke them, fry them, put them in a mustard curry or infuse their flavour with vegetables. Whatever you do, you are in for a heavenly treat.” Yousuf Sadeque also suggested preparing them in a mustard-based curry sauce , but he added that the fried version is “ridiculously tasty"! Because of its spawning schedule, the fish is at its most flavourful during monsoon season (April to October), when restaurants all over the country feature it in creative preparations. 

Varying preparations of ilish are served in India.
(Deshakalyan Chowdhury/AFP/Getty)

Cream tea in England
Dan Knight from Devon in southwest England recommended cream tea as a snack between lunch and supper. Consisting of a fruit or plain scone topped with clotted cream and strawberry jam, cream tea dates back to the 12th Century, where ancient manuscripts suggest the dish was eaten at the Benedictine Abbey in the town of Tavistock. Knight was insistent that you should put the cream on the scone before the jam to be true to the treat’s Devon roots. A number of hotels and bed and breakfasts in the region serve the tea from 3 pm to 5 pm every afternoon.

British cream tea
(Nikki Bidgood/Getty)

Page 1 of 3     First | < Previous | 1 | 2 | 3 | Next > | Last

Follow us on

Best of Travel

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.