The most popular foods in the world have been identified by Google researchers who compiled food trends based on top searches to gather insights for marketers, restaurateurs, chefs and, most importantly, foodies. The most interesting section of the report, Traveling Through Taste, focuses on travelers turning to food to experience new cultures.
Whether you’re searching for somewhere to eat in your city or planning a trip, we’ve done our own research to find the best local spots where you can enjoy some of the most popularly searched food from around the world.
25 Clinton St, New York
Quick-cooking Japanese noodles may sound like a simple enough dish, but it’s achieved cult status around the world – thanks in no small part to Ivan Orkin. The Long Island, New York-native started a successful ramen noodle restaurant in Tokyo before returning to New York to open Ivan Ramen. At it’s Lower East Side shop, long-time chef Hisao Matsumoto cooks classic dishes like the Spicy Red Chili Ramen with minced pork, smashed egg, bok choy and rye noodles.
Piazzale XII Ottobre 1492, Rome
Grooved rigatoni pasta gets its name from the Italian righe (lines). Sauces, like the traditional arrabbiata, easily stick to its rough surface. And there’s no better place to shop for the ingredients to prepare this dish than Eataly – the largest Italian marketplace in the world. Roman Rigatoni (16 oz) by Mario Batali (US $ 3.20) is high quality and highly affordable.
Kettenhofweg 61, Frankfurt
The Korean dish consisting of rice topped with sautéed vegetables, chili paste and beef or other meat – sometimes with the addition of a raw or fried egg – is popular in Asia, yes, but that popularity has reached Europe as well. Mama Kim in Frankfurt, Germany adds Gochujang fermented chili paste (Grandma Kim’s secret recipe) to the dish for an added kick.
434 Kingsland Rd, London
While it’s no surprise that linguine has the most search interest in Italy, the United Kingdom comes in a close second. In London, head to Rotorino – chef Stevie Parle’s Italian restaurant and bar in Dalston for the pasta in the form of narrow ribbons. Head chef Julien Bianchi cooks up a variety of pasta dishes, and a wine list by Ruth Spivey and a constantly-changing cocktail menu are not to be missed.
Roger de Flor 167, Barcelona
Filled with a variety of savory ingredients, empanadas are popular Spanish and Latin American baked or fried pastries. Paraguay leads in the search interest rankings, suggesting the snack is more popular in Latin America. But as we are still working on launching our Mexico City travel guide, we’ll focus instead on the destination with the next-highest volume of search interest: Spain. Kuk in Barcelona is a snack bar that serves some of the tastiest empanadas in Barcelona, from the Caprese with mozzarella and tomato to the Jamón Dulce with ham and cheese.
1028 W Diversey Pkwy, Chicago
Where else would you search for a shop specializing in thin slices of fat than the United States? Go to Paddy Long’s Beer and Bacon Pub in Chicago for their beer and bacon tasting, including five cuts of bacon with five beers – an ultimate bacon experience for just US $ 36.
Hauser Plads 16, Copenhagen
Sourdough is leaven (yeast) used for making bread, consisting of fermenting dough typically left over from a previous batch. While the bread on its own isn’t terribly exciting, try Schønnemanns in Copenhagen for a smørrebrød – the city’s infamous open-faced sandwiches. The shop has been operating since 1877 and it’s still around today, so when we say it’s known for its high quality and great flavor, you know we’re serious.
6211 Franklin Ave, Los Angeles
Health-conscious Californians flock to Kettle Glazed in Los Angeles for vegan donuts and gluten free cakes. Flavors vary daily, and may include vanilla bean and chocolate sprinkle.
For more food travel tips, visit any of our 66 Spotted by Locals city guides.