Must-Have Foods Abroad

An integral part of traveling is experiencing the culture- more specifically, the culinary culture. Sure, we all want to try the pizza but what foods in Italy are the locals suggesting? When traveling on an educational tour, lunch is oftentimes the best opportunity to explore new foods. It is the time when travelers are free to venture out on their own and find whatever their pallet fancies most. After consulting with some experienced travelers and locals, we have uncovered what are considered the most savory, must-try dishes for the foodie abroad in some of EF’s most popular destinations.

England, Shepherd’s Pie: This classic English dish originated in the Middle Ages. The primary ingredient is usually beef, mutton, or lamb, accompanied by vegetables and a mashed potato crust. Very filling, very British.

Irish Stew

Citrus and Candy/Via Flickr

Ireland, Irish Stew: A traditional stew made from lamb or mutton, this dish has been around since the days of the ancient Celts. Meat is accompanied by potatoes, onions and parsley, making this most definitely an Irish family favorite.

Germany, Flammkuchen: This dish, originating on the French-German border, is composed of bread dough rolled into the shape of a rectangle. It is then topped with sour cream, thinly sliced onions and lardons (pork). The resulting crust resembles a thin pizza.


Julien/Via Flickr

France, Praluline: This Paris specialty is a rich and buttery brioche flavored with sugary goodness. It is crunchy because of the confections (and sometimes nuts), yet smooth because of the dough, often having a caramel-y taste. An assortment of tastes all rolled into one!

Greece, Dakos: A meze (or a small dish in the Middle East and Balkans), Dakos consists of soaked bread topped with chopped tomato and feta. Other cheeses can be added, and olive oil with herbs is a must.


Melinda Seckington/Via Flickr

Italy, Gnocchi: Of course we’re all going to try pasta in Italy, but the locals have a love affair with their gnocchi. These soft, thick dumplings are often a great alternative to pasta. They can be prepared with any variety of Italian herbs and sauces, and are sure to satisfy your mid-afternoon hunger.

Spain, Tapas: Spanish tapas consists of a wide variety of appetizers. Typically, a group of people order several and share, making it a great lunch option. This dish might include anything under the sun, but some of the most popular are tortilla española (Spanish omelet), stuffed mussels, and ham, cheese and chorizo with bread.


A Healthier Michigan/Via Flickr

Switzerland, Rösti: Many Swiss consider this dish a national dish. Originating in the German portion of Switzerland, it consists primarily of potatoes, fried and shaped into patties. Additional ingredients can be added, including herbs, apples, bacon and cheese.

China, Chuanr: When you imagine “real” Chinese food, you might think of street markets selling insects on a skewer, also known as Chuanr. However, if you’re not feeling adventurous enough to scarf down some starfish and scorpions, skewers are also available with lamb, beef, seafood, and virtually any kind of vegetable. This is a cheap Chinese street snack common in Beijing, and can be found almost anywhere.

Rachel Waldmann

Rachel is a Marketing intern with EF Educational Tours and EF Explore America.

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