The 10 Best (And Worst) Foods In The World, Ranked

The 10 Best (And Worst) Foods In The World, Ranked

10 Of The Worst Foods From Around The World And What You Should Eat Instead

Food and travel go together like peanut butter and jelly, creating unique experiences that awaken the senses and feed the spirit of adventure. However, sometimes, the destination can be a hit but the cuisine is a definite miss. Here are the top 10 worst dishes from around the world and the substitutes you should aim to find instead.


1. Fermented Shark (Iceland) (Worst): 

A traditional dish in Iceland, Hákarl is made by burying a Greenland shark underground for weeks at a time, leading to a pungent ammonia-like aroma and a very unique and often acquired taste. 


2. Ramen (Japan) (Best):

Perfect for those cold days, ramen is both comforting and flavourful. Containing a rich broth and topped with soft-boiled eggs, green onions, nori and sliced pork, it has become a staple due to not only the flavours but also the affordability. 

michele-blackwell-rAyCBQTH7ws-unsplash.jpgMichele Blackwell

3. Balut (Philippines) (Worst): 

Considered a delicacy in the Philippines, Balut has an off-putting appearance and texture due to the very concept; a duck embryo being boiled. People are often questioning the ethics of eating this dish.



4. Lasagna (Italy) (Best): 

Filling and fairly easy to make, lasagna consists of layers of pasta sheets, tomato sauce, savory cheese and creamy béchamel, uniting into the dish to make a hearty and filling baked dish. And even if you don't finish it all, it keeps very well for a time in the fridge.

meatylasagna8of88736299782.jpegBreville USA

5. Casu Marzu (Italy) (Worst):

Littered with live insect larvae, Casu Marzu is intentionally decomposed to give it its soft creamy texture. However, due to that very same fact, health concerns are abound so be careful when sampling this unique dish. If the larvae are not entirely digested by your own stomach acids, they can cause serious lesions in the intestines. 


6. Pad Thai (Thailand) (Best):

Hitting all the flavour points (sweet, sour, bitter, salty & umami), Pad Thai consists of stir-fried rice noodles with eggs, tofu or shrimp, bean sprouts and a tangy tamarind sauce. Some experts say that the heart and soul of a good Pad Thai lies in the Tamarind sauce.


7. Century Egg (China) (Worst):

The Century Egg is as dangerous as it is unappetizing. The processes in which it is created uses the toxic compound lead oxide, which speeds up the reaction that leads to the look of the century egg. Not to mention the very high sodium count, if ingested definitely in moderation.


8. Tacos al Pastor (Mexico) (Best):

Juicy, smoky, tangy, sweet and just a little bit spicy, Tacos al Pastor consists of soft corn tortillas packed with onions, cilantro and salsa alongside your choice of protein. You can even add sliced pineapple to enhance the sweetness. 


9. Haggis (Scotland) (Worst): 

The traditional Scottish dish made of offal, oats, suet and spices inside of a boiled sheep stomach, the very thought of a Haggis can be extremely off-putting to many. Interestingly enough, in Canada, a law was passed and the Haggis is not considered "actual food" due to it having been "adulterated" by animal lungs.

Scotland_Haggis.jpegChris Brown


10. Moussaka (Greece) (Best):

A Greek casserole consisting of eggplant slices layered with seasoned ground meat, tomatoes, onions and a creamy béchamel sauce and baked until golden, it is creamy, nutritious and delicious. Along with the gyro and souvlaki, moussaka is a top Greek comfort food. 

meatmoussaka-kouzinabrighton2023-11-24.jpegAndy Li

11. Tuna Eyeballs (Japan) (Worst):

Often boiled or stewed, Tuna eyeballs are a delicacy in Japan but the texture and origin may not be so appealing to outsiders. Not to mention the bland taste. Surprisingly though, low in calories, high in protein, iron and calcium. One may consider this oddity a health food.


12. Sushi (Japan) (Best):

With a plethora of ingredients to choose from, sushi is something of a culinary treasure trove. Not to mention the artistry that goes into creating the rolls, sushi chefs can create something truly visually stunning. Packing a very hefty umami flavour, it contains lean fats, protein and carbohydrates, making it a healthy travel choice.


13. Surströmming (Sweden) (Worst):

The chemical process of this fermented herring leaves it with a ghastly smell that requires it to be consumed outdoors. A lactic acid enzyme in the spine of the fish begins the process and when combined with bacteria, you get the smell that is Surströmming


14. Chicken Tikka Masala (India/UK) (Best):

Containing a perfect balance of salt, sugar and butter, chicken tikka masala contains a few pieces of marinated chicken cooked in a tomato-based sauce, both creamy and spiced. Make sure you've got some rice or naan for that extra gravy!


15. Stinkbugs (Various Countries) (Worst):

Stinkbugs, while not poisonous to humans, true to their name have a very unpleasant and bitter taste. One should be careful that when one of these critters is crunched down on, they release a liquid that can provoke illness and mouth irritation.

1600px-stinkbug30918815683.jpegKatja Schulz


16. Croissant (France) (Best):

The essential pastry of France, the croissant combines the perfect flakiness with butter flavour or chocolate or any kind of croissant flavour you can find. Some have even said that a croissant is when "carbs ascend into nirvana". Best enjoyed with a cup of coffee or tea

Croissant_hk_DIY.jpegSUBARU sti 2020

17. Fugu (Japan) (Worst):

Containing a potent neurotoxin if not prepared safely, Fugu, or pufferfish is one of the worlds riskiest foods to indulge in. High in protein and low in calories, only partake if prepped by a seasoned professional. Sadly, there is still no known cure to Fugu poisoning. 

1600px-Fugu_dish_served.jpegPeter Kaminski

18. Goulash (Hungary) (Best): 

Warm and comforting, the Goulash is a hearty Hungarian stew. It consists of chunks of beef or pork, onions, seasoned with paprika and other spices, and simmered until the meat is mouth-wateringly tender and served with bread or noodles. A perfect pick-me-up after a cold day out.

Hungarian_goulash_soup.jpegHu Totya

19. Lutefisk (Norway/Sweden) (Worst): 

Soaked in a lye solution and consisting of a gelatinous texture with a strong odor, strangely, most consumers of the Lutefisk find it tastes like nothing at all. There is also a risk of poisoning if the Lutefisk comes into contact with any kind of soil, thus a bacterial infection. 

1599px-Lutefisk_Vines.jpegJarvin Jarle Vines

20. Barbecue Ribs (United States) (Best):

The heart and soul of the American food scene, barbecue ribs can consist of slow cooked beef or pork and will be basted in a barbecue sauce of tangy flavour. What comes of this combination is a smokey succulent rack of ribs that will fall right off the bone.

jon-tyson-kctt4tL1dkE-unsplash.jpgJon Tyson