Today, as food becomes more diverse, we can experience global cuisines without leaving our country. So, let’s take a closer look at some of the world’s most popular cuisines and dishes, according to the latest study conducted by pickyeaterblog.com.
To determine the most popular cuisines, meal types, and availability of cuisines, and restaurants, The Picky Eater analyzed Instagram hashtags. Next, they examined the 50 most visited cities according to the Govisity list, compiling a list of 65 cuisines worldwide. Next, for each city, they counted the number of restaurants serving these 65 cuisines using data from Foursquare’s API. Finally, they analyzed 82,995 restaurants in those cities that may have the capacity to offer multiple cuisines.
The study by pickyeaterblog.com found that Italian cuisine is the most popular worldwide, followed by Japanese. Pizza is the dominant meal, surpassing barbecue in second place and brunch in third. Chinese restaurants are the most common, representing an average of over 9.5% of all restaurants in the top visited cities, followed by Italian restaurants at more than 8.5% and Indian restaurants at 8%.
Italian and Japanese cuisines are the most popular worldwide; as of 2023, each has been tagged more than 20 million times on Instagram. Italian cuisine offers various dishes to explore, from simple tomato spaghetti sauce to complex risotto flavors. And let us remember the wine!
On the other hand, fresh, seasonal, and intricate preparation methods, low in fat and high in nutrients – Japanese cuisine, too, has gained popularity with sushi and ramen dishes all across the globe.
Although Japanese food is the second most popular, according to The Picky Eaters, the nation ranks 11th per its population of over 125 million. The second most populated nation with about 1.4 billion people – India – has the third most popular cuisine in the world with more than 12 million tags on Instagram.
From hearty, aromatic curries and vegetarian dishes from the north to the spicy seafood dishes of the south, Indian food is loved and enjoyed by billions worldwide.
As we explore the flavors of East Asia, Korean cuisine – known for its spicy and fermented flavors, such as kimchi and gochujang – is reportedly tagged almost 10 million times on Instagram, making it the fourth most sought-after cuisines worldwide, followed by Mexican and Thai food.
Italian cuisine, with its simple yet flavorful dishes, is famous for pizzas, which are reported to be the most popular meal mentioned on Instagram.
America’s cuisine blends Native American, European, African, and Asian influences. This has blessed us with a unique culinary landscape where dishes like fried chicken, mac and cheese, and barbecue are served alongside tacos, pad Thai, and sushi-the fourth most popular meal as of 2023.
Barbecue is one of America’s most iconic dishes and can be traced back to the Caribbean’s indigenous peoples. European colonists then adopted this practice and brought it to the southern parts of the United States.
As of 2023, over 30 million Instagram tags related to barbecue have been recorded under the world’s most popular meal types.
Now, in the South, barbecues are a way of life; – it brings people together for social gatherings and celebrations. A symbol of hospitality, barbecuing has become a norm in American cuisine.
As the world becomes more health-conscious, fresh, high-quality ingredients in Italian dishes like pasta, risotto, and seafood have won over people’s taste buds. Seafood also is among the top five most tagged meal types on Instagram.
With the fast-moving world, American breakfast culture slowly faded away, paving an avenue for brunch – a British meal that gained immense popularity across the states. As of 2023, brunch is the third most popular meal, with more than 35 million tags on Instagram.
Most Common Restaurants Found in the Top Most Visited Cities
Chinese restaurants are the most common eateries found across the most visited cities in the world. It is easy to see why Chinese cuisine is sought after by many worldwide; – the unique flavors coupled with several healthy options, Chinese food has something for everyone. It ranks seventh among the most popular cuisines in the world.
Italian cuisine is the most popular worldwide, with over 8.5% of restaurants serving Italian food in the most visited cities.
Most Available Cuisine and Percentage of Restaurant Per City
Chinese food is easily accessible in bustling cities worldwide like Singapore, Shanghai, Taipei, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, and more – making it easy for people to try different dishes with bold flavors and a wide range of ingredients.
On the other hand, with more than 8 percent of Mexican restaurants in Los Angeles, Mexican cuisine has captured Angelenos’ hearts and taste buds. Mexican cuisine has become an integral part of LA’s food scene, and it is not hard to see why – the proximity to Mexico.
Mexican food comes with a vibrant blend of indigenous and Spanish culinary traditions, resulting in a unique flavor profile that is both bold and comforting.
Over time, traditional recipes have adapted modern takes and are emerging in different parts of the world. One great example of such influence would be the growing popularity of chai tea, turmeric latte, and chicken tikka masala – a fusion of Indian and British cuisine.
Similarly, Indian expatriates have boosted their food and culture’s popularity in faraway places like Dubai, where traditional Indian cooking was introduced before any other.
Cities Where Local Cuisines Aren’t the Most Available
Italian is the most available cuisine in cities like Cairo, Rome, and Venice. Surprisingly, Italian food is more available in Cairo when compared to their local cuisine.
LA’s Mexican-American community has made Mexican cuisine more popular than local food, leading to a thriving culinary scene with many restaurants and food trucks serving authentic dishes.
Mexican food is known for its fresh ingredients, including tomatoes, avocados, and chili peppers, widely available in LA’s year-round sunshine. However, cuisine’s popularity depends on its unique flavors, cultural significance, historical legacy, and health benefits.
Explore your country’s diverse cuisines to experience delicious delicacies and flavors with their own unique stories.
The Complete Study by The Picky Eater.