Your Ultimate Foodie Bucket List: 35 Must Try Foods! (2024)

a cheeseburger a foodie bucket list item in the USA

Embark on a global culinary journey with this ultimate foodie bucket list, exploring the top must-try dishes, and their unique flavors worldwide.

Are you constantly searching for your next culinary adventure, eager to explore the diverse tastes and textures that the world has to offer?

I understand the pain of being stuck in a food rut, eating the same dishes day after day, yearning for something new and exciting to tantalize your taste buds. That’s where this bucket list comes in.

With my expertise in global cuisines and taste profiles, I’ve curated this list specifically for you adventurous food lovers. To spark a bond over shared gastronomic experiences and a common love for global cuisine.

Read on to embark on an unforgettable journey of culinary delights, and start ticking off your Foodie Bucket List.

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Map of All Locations Listed Below!

Here’s The Ultimate Foodie Bucket List!


1. Tacos- Mexico

A quintessential fixture on any foodie bucket list, Tacos are a beloved staple of Mexican cuisine. Traditionally, they are crafted from soft corn tortillas filled with a variety of ingredients, ranging from savory meats to fresh vegetables and zesty salsas.

Each bite delivers a symphony of flavors, blending the earthy taste of the tortilla with the rich, often spicy, fillings. Tacos are typically eaten by hand, folded or rolled around the filling, and enjoyed at any time of the day. From street food stands to family gatherings, they are a must-try culinary experience.

Living in Texas right next to the Mexican border I grew up eating tacos on a weekly basis. The street tacos in Mexico were so amazingly delicious and unlike anything I had ever tasted before. Trust me, once you try authentic tacos in Mexico, there’s no going back.


2. Croissants – France

An iconic entry on the foodie bucket list, Croissants are a symbol of French gastronomy. Made from a buttery, flaky pastry, the croissant offers a pleasant contrast of a crisp exterior and a soft, airy interior.

Its delicate, buttery taste is often enjoyed plain, but it can also be filled with jam, chocolate, or cheese. Typically, croissants are savored during breakfast, paired with a cup of coffee. Whether bought from a local boulangerie or enjoyed in a Parisian café, this culinary delight is quintessentially French.

On a trip to Paris, I spent some time in a cute cafe next to Notre-Dame and enjoyed some of the best hot chocolate and croissants I ever had. I was the only one there in the afternoon and I felt right at home. I could have stayed there all day!


3. Lasagna – Italy

A highlight on every foodie bucket list, Lasagna is a testament to Italy’s culinary prowess. This baked dish layers pasta sheets with rich fillings of meat, cheese, and tomato sauce, creating a harmonious blend of flavors.

The creamy béchamel sauce and melted cheeses lend a luxurious texture, punctuated by the savory meat. Lasagna is traditionally served warm, eaten with a fork, and is enjoyed as a main course for lunch or dinner. Truly, a trip to Italy would be incomplete without relishing this mouthwatering delight.

When I tried the lasagna in Italy for the first time I knew immediately the recipe was different from what we are used to in the States. The pasta just melts in your mouth and the taste is so much savory. I wish I could take home an Italian grandma and have authentic lasagna every day!


4. Beer- Ireland

A staple on the foodie bucket list, Beer in Ireland is more than just a beverage, it’s an integral part of the culture. Irish beer, particularly stout, offers a complex taste, a mix of roasted malt, hints of coffee and chocolate, and a touch of bitterness.

Typically served chilled in pint glasses, it’s enjoyed at leisure, often accompanied by hearty traditional meals. From cozy pubs to festive gatherings, beer is a year-round favorite, making any visit to Ireland incomplete without savoring this local delight.


5. Cheeseburgers- USA

An outstanding entry on any foodie bucket list, the Cheeseburger from the USA offers an irresistible symphony of flavors. The juicy, savory beef patty is typically topped with melted cheese, crisp lettuce, juicy tomatoes, onions, and pickles.

It’s all sandwiched between two lightly toasted buns, often served with a side of fries or potato chips. This culinary icon is traditionally eaten with your hands and is a beloved choice for lunch or dinner.

My favorite culinary food of all time is cheeseburgers and you can’t beat the ones from the good ole USA. I love experimenting with different toppings like avocado, eggs, and beans. I always have them cooked medium well so they stay juicy!


6. Fondue- Switzerland

A must-try on the foodie bucket list, Swiss Fondue offers a unique and delicious experience. This traditional dish consists of melted cheese, typically Gruyère and Emmental, combined with garlic, white wine, and a splash of kirsch. It’s served in a communal pot, where diners dip pieces of bread using long forks.

The cheese is smooth, and rich, with a slightly nutty flavor, providing a delightful contrast to the crisp bread. Fondue is traditionally enjoyed during dinner, particularly in the colder months, making it an essential Swiss culinary experience.


7. Ramen- Japan

An essential stop on the foodie bucket list is Ramen from Japan. Ramen bowls are a comforting medley of flavors and textures. The dish features a savory broth, tender noodles, slices of braised pork, and a soft-boiled egg.

The complex broth delivers a depth of flavor, which pairs beautifully with the springy noodles. Ramen is typically eaten with chopsticks and a spoon to scoop up the hearty broth. Enjoyed at any time of the day, Ramen is a popular choice for lunch, dinner, or even a late-night snack, making it an unmissable culinary experience in Japan.


8. Fish and Chips- UK

A classic staple on the foodie bucket list is Fish and chips from the UK. This iconic British dish involves thick pieces of white fish, typically cod or haddock, encased in crispy batter, and served alongside chunky chips. The fish is tender and flaky inside its crunchy casing, while the chips are fluffy inside and crisp outside.

A squeeze of lemon and a sprinkling of salt are traditional accompaniments, enhancing the taste. Eaten with a fork, this dish is a popular choice for lunch or dinner. A trip to the UK would be incomplete without trying this outstanding comfort food.


9. Arepas- Argentina

A must-have on any foodie bucket list is the Arepa from Argentina. This versatile dish consists of a cornmeal patty that’s grilled, baked, or fried, filled with a variety of ingredients ranging from cheeses, and meats, to vegetables.

The arepa itself is slightly crispy on the outside with a tender, warm interior that complements the fillings. Typically handheld, it’s a common breakfast choice, but it’s delicious any time of the day. An Argentinean adventure is incomplete without sampling this delightful staple.


10. Jerk Chicken- Jamaica

A foodie bucket list journey to Jamaica isn’t complete without Jerk Chicken. This world-renowned dish features chicken marinated in a blend of allspice, scotch bonnet peppers, and various other seasonings, then slow-grilled over pimento wood.

The result? A fiery, smoky flavor that’s uniquely Jamaican. Typically served with rice and peas or bread, and eaten with a knife and fork, it’s a popular choice for lunch or dinner. The delectable taste of Jerk Chicken is a culinary adventure you cannot afford to miss.


11. Flying Fish- Barbados

Embarking on a foodie bucket list journey to Barbados leads to the delightful Flying Fish. Marinated in Bajan seasoning, dipped in a batter of flour and egg, and then fried, this dish offers a delicate, mild, and slightly sweet taste.

Its tender, flaky texture further enhances the palate. More than just a meal, it’s an integral part of Bajan culture and tradition. Often served on a bed of cou-cou (cornmeal and okra) or with a side of rice and peas, it’s typically enjoyed for lunch or dinner. A mealtime in Barbados is incomplete without this marine delicacy.

I was pleasantly surprised by how savory flying fish is in Barbaods and the different ways they eat it there. I also really enjoyed learning about all the other food the island eats. The people there have such an appreciation for nature and living things, it was a wonderful experience! I’m definitely coming back to Barbados soon!


12. Gyro- Greece

Venturing on a foodie bucket list trip to Greece brings you face-to-face with the beloved Gyro. This scrumptious street food comprises succulent strips of marinated pork or chicken, grilled to perfection on a vertical rotisserie. Nestled within a soft, warm pita, it’s garnished with a vibrant mix of tomatoes, onions, and tzatziki sauce.

Offering a balanced harmony of savory meat, fresh vegetables, and tangy sauce, it’s a handheld delight eaten typically for lunch or dinner. This Greek delicacy is an essential culinary experience for every food adventurer.


13. Falafel- Israel

Partaking in a foodie bucket list adventure through the bustling streets of Israel introduces you to the ever-popular Falafel. This deep-fried delight, made from ground chickpeas or fava beans, seasoned with herbs and spices, strikes a perfect balance between crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside.

Its earthy, aromatic flavor is often complemented by fresh salad and a drizzle of tahini sauce, all bundled up in warm pita bread. Typically a street food, Falafel can be a quick snack or a light lunch, making it a must-try on any culinary journey through Israel.


14. Conch- Turks & Caicos

Embarking on a foodie bucket list journey to Turks & Caicos will lead you to the sublime Conch. This seafood delight, sourced from a large marine mollusk, offers a unique, slightly sweet taste and firm texture, similar to calamari. Conch can be prepared in numerous ways, from being deep-fried to served in a fresh, tangy salad.

This versatile dish is a staple in the Turks & Caicos islands, commonly enjoyed as a light lunch or dinner. Whether you prefer it grilled, stewed, or raw marinated in lime juice, tasting Conch is a must for any foodie adventurer.


15. Waffles- Belgium

Embarking on a foodie bucket list journey to Belgium is incomplete without indulging in their iconic Waffles. These are celebrated for their golden, crisp exterior and soft, fluffy inside. Traditionally made from leavened batter or dough, Belgian waffles are distinguished by larger squares and deeper pockets, perfect for holding a drizzle of maple syrup or a dusting of powdered sugar.

This delectable treat is customarily enjoyed as a breakfast or a dessert. So, next time you’re in Belgium, make sure to add tasting their world-famous waffles to your foodie bucket list.


16. Pho- Vietnam

An essential stop on your foodie bucket list must be Vietnam, home to the comforting and aromatic dish, Pho. This traditional soup boasts a flavorful, clear broth, tender slices of meat (often beef or chicken), and silky rice noodles, garnished with aromatic herbs and lime.

The beauty of Pho lies in its delicate balance of flavors and its versatility, it can be customized with sauces and condiments to suit individual tastes. Typically enjoyed as a hearty breakfast or a warming lunch, Pho offers a taste of Vietnamese culture in every slurp, making it a must-try for food enthusiasts around the world.


17. Meat Pie- Australia

Venturing to Australia on your foodie bucket list journey, you must try the iconic Meat Pie. A quintessential Australian snack, it’s filled with minced meat and gravy, and encased in a buttery, flaky pastry.

The pie is robust in flavor, with a delicate balance of savory meat and rich gravy. Often enjoyed as a quick lunch or dinner, Aussies typically top it with tomato sauce and eat it by hand. This handheld delight is an essential taste of Australia, making it a must-add to your foodie bucket list.


18. Ceviche- Peru

Next on your foodie bucket list, dive into the fresh and vibrant flavors of Ceviche from Peru. This refreshing seafood dish consists of fresh, raw fish marinated in citrus juices, typically lime, and spiced with ají, and chili peppers. The acidity in the citrus causes the proteins in the seafood to become ‘cooked’ or denatured.

The dish is then garnished with onions, salt, and coriander, giving it a tangy and spicy kick. Ceviche is traditionally served cold, making it a popular choice for a light lunch or dinner in the warmer months. The intense flavors and fresh ingredients make ceviche a must-try on any foodie bucket list.


19. Masala Dosa- India

Embarking further on your foodie bucket list, we reach India to savor the traditional Masala Dosa. This South Indian delicacy offers a unique fusion of flavors with a crispy, thin crepe-like dosa filled with mildly spiced potato filling.

The taste is a delightful mix of savory and tangy, often served with coconut chutney and sambar. This dish is typically eaten for breakfast or lunch, using hands to break the crispy dosa and dip into the accompaniments. The burst of flavors in Masala Dosa makes it an essential checkpoint on your global foodie bucket list.


20. Köttbullar- Sweden

Continuing your foodie bucket list journey, we arrive in Sweden to taste the delicious Köttbullar or Swedish meatballs. These small, round meatballs are made from a mix of pork and beef, seasoned with nutmeg and allspice for a distinct, savory flavor.

Köttbullar is traditionally served with creamy gravy, lingonberry sauce, and mashed potatoes, creating a perfect balance of sweet and savory. Whether enjoyed as a hearty lunch or comforting dinner, using a fork to relish each bite, Köttbullar is a Swedish culinary tradition that deserves a spot on any foodie bucket list.


21. Koshari- Egypt

Heading to Egypt on our foodie bucket list, we immerse ourselves in the flavors of Koshari, an iconic national dish. Koshari is a hearty medley of rice, lentils, macaroni, and chickpeas, topped with a tangy tomato sauce and crispy fried onions.

The taste is a complex blend of textures and flavors, savory with a spicy kick. This dish is typically eaten with a fork, and it’s common to find it being consumed for lunch or dinner. The unique combination of ingredients and the explosion of flavors make Koshari a must-try on any global foodie bucket list.


22. Poutine- Canada

Venturing to Canada on our foodie bucket list, we encounter Poutine, a cherished national comfort food. Poutine is a hearty dish consisting of crispy French fries smothered in rich gravy and topped with cheese curds. The taste is a delightful blend of savory, salty and creamy textures.

Traditionally, Poutine is enjoyed using a fork and is typically eaten as a late-night snack or lunch. This warm, indulgent dish offering a symphony of flavors and textures is a not-to-miss checkpoint on any global foodie bucket list journey.


23. Peking Duck- China

Journeying to China on our foodie bucket list, we discover Peking duck, a renowned dish steeped in culinary tradition. Peking duck is characterized by its thin, crispy skin and tender meat, usually savored with pancakes, sweet bean sauce, and finely sliced spring onions.

The taste is a rich, sweet, and crispy delight, enjoyed using chopsticks and typically consumed during dinner. This iconic Chinese delicacy, with its blend of textures and flavors, is a must-add to any global foodie bucket list.


24. Rendang- Indonesia

Continuing our global foodie bucket list, we land in Indonesia with Rendang, an unforgettable culinary delight. Rendang is a rich and tender coconut beef stew, which is explosively flavorful. A complex mix of spicy, savory, and sweet flavors, this dish is slow-cooked until the coconut milk has completely absorbed, resulting in meat that’s flavorful and tender.

Traditionally, Rendang is eaten with rice at room temperature, making it a perfect lunch or dinner dish. The complexity of its flavors and its comforting richness make Rendang a must-include in every foodie’s global bucket list.


25. Doner Kebab- Turkey

Next on our foodie bucket list is my favorite the Doner Kebab from Turkey. This tempting delicacy comprises thinly sliced, marinated meat, traditionally lamb or beef, cooked on a vertical rotisserie. The outer layer is sliced thinly, revealing juicy, succulent meat with a rich, aromatic flavor.

Served on warm bread with a fresh salad and tangy sauces, it’s a harmony of flavors and textures that delights the palate. Doner Kebabs are typically enjoyed as a quick, on-the-go meal, making them a popular choice for lunch or dinner. This portable feast is a must-try addition to your global foodie bucket list.


26. Paella- Spain

Our foodie bucket list journey takes us next to sunny Spain to savor Paella, a vibrant feast of flavors. This renowned Spanish dish boasts a delightful array of ingredients like saffron-infused rice, seafood, rabbit, or chicken. Its taste is an intricate symphony of the oceanic tang of seafood, the rich depth of saffron, and the earthy freshness of vegetables.

Traditionally served in a large flat pan, Paella is best enjoyed directly from the pan with a wooden spoon, making it a communal dining experience. This dish, usually eaten for lunch or dinner, is a must-try for any foodie bucket list.


27. Apfelstrudel- Austria

Making its way onto our foodie bucket list is the Austrian delight, Apfelstrudel. This delectable dessert features a thinly rolled pastry encasing a filling of tart apples, sugar, cinnamon, and raisins. The taste is a delightful balance of sweet and tangy, underscored by the warmth of cinnamon.

Often served warm with a dusting of powdered sugar or a dollop of vanilla ice cream, it’s a satisfying end to any meal. Enjoy it as an afternoon treat or a post-dinner dessert. This Austrian classic is a must-add to your global foodie bucket list.


28. Goulash- Hungary

Our foodie bucket list continues with Hungary’s national dish, Goulash. This hearty stew is a flavorful amalgamation of tender beef, chunky vegetables, and a robust mix of spices, prominently featuring smoky paprika. The taste is a comforting blend of savory meatiness accented by the warmth of paprika and the earthiness of vegetables.

Goulash is traditionally eaten with a slice of fresh bread to mop up the rich sauce, making it a perfect lunch or dinner option during colder months. Don’t miss out on this Hungarian culinary gem in your global foodie bucket list journey.


29. Kimchi- Korea

Kimchi, a staple in Korean cuisine, easily earns a spot on any foodie bucket list. This fermented dish combines napa cabbage and various seasonings, including chili pepper, garlic, ginger, and jeotgal (salted seafood).

Its distinctive flavor profile is a complex blend of spicy, sour, and umami notes, making it a versatile side dish or ingredient in numerous Korean recipes. Customarily, Kimchi is eaten at every meal, providing a tangy kick to complement the main dish. This Korean delicacy is an essential experience for your global foodie bucket list journey.


30. Injera- Ethiopia

Injera, the national dish of Ethiopia, is next on our foodie bucket list. It is a sourdough-risen flatbread with a slightly spongy texture. Teff flour is its primary ingredient, making it high in protein and fiber. The flavor is mildly sour, pairing well with various stews and sauces.

Traditionally, Injera serves as both the dish for the meal and the utensil, with pieces being used to scoop up entrées and side dishes. It’s a staple at every traditional Ethiopian meal, further enhancing its foodie bucket list worthiness.


31. Bratwurst- German

Bratwurst, a German sausage, is a must-have on every foodie bucket list. Made primarily from pork, beef, or veal, the taste is rich, hearty, and slightly smoky. The flavor, often enhanced with spices like nutmeg, caraway, or coriander, is distinct and satisfying.

Customarily grilled or pan-fried, Bratwurst is usually served with mustard and a piece of bread or hard roll. Whether it’s a quick lunch, a barbeque, or the classic Oktoberfest, Bratwurst serves as a versatile delight that should not be missed in your global foodie bucket list journey.


32. Fufu- Nigeria

Next on our foodie bucket list is Fufu from Nigeria. Fufu is a staple food that is very smooth in texture, neutral in taste and made primarily from cassava, yam, or plantains. The dough-like consistency pairs perfectly with rich, flavorful soups and stews, serving as a vessel to scoop up these delectable dishes.

Fufu is typically consumed during lunch or dinner and is an essential component of Nigerian cuisine. Its simplicity and versatility make it a must-try on your foodie bucket list adventure.


33. Biltong- South Africa

Biltong, a signature snack from South Africa, rightfully earns its spot on the foodie bucket list. This cured meat, often made from beef or game, offers a unique, slightly spicy, and intensely savory flavor.

The meat, marinated in vinegar and spices like coriander and black pepper, is then air-dried and sliced. Biltong is traditionally eaten as is, making it a perfect snack at any time of the day. Its distinct taste and texture make it a must-try for all food adventurers.


34. Coffee- Colombia

Colombian coffee, a top contender on any foodie bucket list, boasts a mild, fruity flavor with notes of nut and chocolate, making for a smooth, balanced taste. These beans are handpicked, sun-dried, and roasted to perfection.

Traditionally, Colombians enjoy coffee throughout the day, especially in the morning and after meals. The rich aroma and superior taste of Colombian coffee make it a must-experience on your global culinary journey.


35. Chicken Rice- Singapore

Chicken Rice from Singapore is a must-have on your foodie bucket list. This dish, featuring tender, flavorful chicken served over fragrant rice cooked in chicken stock and pandan leaves, is a delight for the palate.

The succulent chicken, often accompanied by a tangy chili sauce, cucumber slices, and a bowl of broth, provides a harmonious blend of tastes and textures. Typically eaten for lunch or dinner, Chicken Rice is Singapore’s national dish and a culinary experience you wouldn’t want to miss on your gastronomic adventure.


FAQs

Are there any vegetarian or vegan options on this list?

Yes, there are several vegetarian and even some vegan options on this foodie bucket list. The Falafel from Israel, Masala Dosa from India, and Kimchi from Korea can all be made in vegetarian or vegan versions.

Please note that traditional recipes can vary and it’s always a good idea to check with the chef or restaurant to ensure that the dish meets your dietary requirements. Enjoy your foodie bucket list journey around the world!

Are these dishes readily available in other countries or primarily in their country of origin?

Indeed, these dishes are readily available in many countries worldwide thanks to globalization. However, experiencing them in their country of origin is invaluable as it offers authenticity that’s hard to replicate.

That said, many international restaurants and chefs have successfully reproduced these dishes outside their home countries. Always seek out reputable establishments to ensure quality and authenticity when tasting these bucket list foods.

What are the recommended places or regions to try these authentic dishes?

Each dish on the Foodie Bucket List is best savored in its region of origin for the most authentic experience. For instance, indulge in the Rendang in West Sumatra, Indonesia, where it was first created, or savor a Doner Kebab in Istanbul, Turkey.

Be sure to try Paella in Valencia, Spain, and taste Goulash in the heart of Hungary, Budapest. If you’re visiting Germany, the Bratwurst is a must-try, especially in Thuringia or Franconia. Colombia’s Coffee Triangle region is renowned for its coffee.

Wherever your travels take you, seeking out these dishes in their home regions is an adventure in itself, contributing to a richer cultural experience and fulfilling your foodie bucket list.

Want More Travel Bucket List?

What Are My Recommended Resources For Planning A Trip?

When planning my trip, I use my trusted trio of CheapOair, Viator, and Booking.com to provide a comprehensive solution for everything I need.

CheapOair is a go-to resource for affordable flight tickets. With its extensive network of over 600 airlines, it offers a wide array of choices, enabling you to easily compare prices and select the best deal that suits your budget and travel schedule.

Viator on the other hand, is an excellent platform for booking tours and activities. It provides access to thousands of sightseeing tours, attractions, and events in over 1,500 locations worldwide. It ensures you don’t miss out on the unique experiences each destination has to offer.

Booking.com is your reliable partner for accommodations. With over 28 million listings including hotels, apartments, and hostels, you can find the perfect place to stay that fits your budget and preference.

Together, these platforms make trip planning convenient, cost-effective, and fun. They ensure you have everything you need, from flights and accommodations to activities – at your fingertips.

Check Out My Resources Page For All My Recommended Travel Tools!

That’s The Ulitmate Foodie Bucket List- 35 Must-Try Foods!

Embark on this exciting culinary journey around the globe and indulge in the rich, diverse flavors each region has to offer. Your foodie bucket list adventure starts now.

I hope this helps you add more cuisine to your foodie bucket list and inspires you to try these dishes in their country of origin.

Happy exploring!

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