Traditional Dishes

Traditional dishes are culinary creations with great cultural significance to the heritage of a country or region.

Lastest Updated February 22, 2024
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Traditional dishes are delicacies that have been created and enjoyed across generations. They are an important part of a region’s or country’s culinary heritage.

Traditional dishes are deeply rooted in the culture and history of a region or country, reflecting the locals’ lifestyle, traditions, and customs.

Additionally, the nature of these dishes can vary significantly from one region to another within a country.
Traditional dishes can be prepared in various settings: homemade, in restaurants, or produced in large-scale food processing facilities.

They feature authentic flavors, cooking methods, and ingredients available in the area where they originate.

Traditional Dish Images

List of Traditional Dishes with Filters

Angel Wings

Angel Wings

Angel wings are ribbon-shaped pastry that is fried and enjoyed with sugar.



Baklava is a layered filo pastry dessert popular in countries that were part of the Ottoman Empire.



Bánh includes various Vietnamese cakes, pastries, noodles, etc., often made from rice or wheat flour, and encompassing both sweet and savory varieties; each has unique ingredients, preparation, and cultural value.

Banh Bao

Bánh Bao

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Bánh bao is a Vietnamese steamed bun made with yeasted dough and a savory ground pork filling.

Banh Beo

Bánh Bèo

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Bánh bèo is a type of small, steamed rice cake from Central Vietnam, often topped with savory ingredients and served with a sweet and spicy fish sauce for dipping.

Banh Bo

Bánh Bò

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Bánh bò is a Vietnamese sponge cake, known for its sweet taste and chewy texture with a honeycomb-like interior.

Banh Bot Chien

Bánh Bột Chiên

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Bánh bột chiên is a Vietnamese dish of Chinese origin, consisting of fried rice flour dough served with pickles and soy sauce.

Banh Bot Loc

Bánh Bột Lọc

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Bánh bột lọc is a traditional Vietnamese dumpling made from tapioca flour, typically stuffed with shrimp and pork and wrapped in a translucent dough.

Banh Cam

Bánh Cam

Bánh cam is a Vietnamese deep-fried glutinous rice ball filled with sweet mung bean paste and dipped in sugar syrup.

Banh Can

Bánh Căn

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Bánh căn is a Vietnamese mini pancake often found in the central region, featuring rice flour batter and various toppings.

Banh Canh

Bánh Canh

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Bánh canh is a Vietnamese noodle soup with thick strands of tapioca or rice noodles, meat toppings, herbs, and broth.

Banh Canh Ca Loc

Bánh Canh Cá Lóc

Bánh canh cá lóc is a rustic Vietnamese noodle soup made with thick rice noodles, snakeheads, and broth.

Banh Canh Cua

Bánh Canh Cua

Bánh canh cua is a Vietnamese noodle soup made with thick noodles, crabs, pork, and a rich broth.

Banh Canh Ga

Bánh Canh Gà

Bánh canh gà is a Vietnamese thick noodle soup with chicken as the main topping.

Banh Canh Gio Heo

Bánh Canh Giò Heo

Bánh canh giò heo is a Vietnamese noodle soup consisting of thick rice noodles and pork knuckles or pork trotters.

Banh Cay

Bánh Cáy

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Bánh cáy is a traditional treat from Thai Binh, Vietnam, combining sticky rice with gac and gardenia fruits.

Banh Chung

Bánh Chưng

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Bánh chưng is a Vietnamese square sticky rice cake made of glutinous rice, mung beans, and pork, all wrapped in lá dong leaves.

Banh Chuoi

Bánh Chuối

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Bánh chuối is a Vietnamese dessert, essentially a sweet banana cake or bread pudding, mainly made with ripe bananas or plantains, rice flour, coconut milk, and sugar.

Banh Com

Bánh Cốm

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Bánh cốm is a Vietnamese snack with green glutinous rice and mung bean filling, often used in celebrations and festivals.

Banh Cong

Bánh Cống

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Bánh cống is a Vietnamese fried rice flour-based dish hailing from Soc Trang province in the southern region.

Banh Cuon

Bánh Cuốn

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Bánh cuốn is a Vietnamese dish hailing from the northern region and consisting of various savory ingredients rolled in thin rice noodle sheets.

Banh Da Cua

Bánh Đa Cua

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Bánh đa cua is a Vietnamese noodle soup from Hai Phong, featuring flat rice noodles, crab-and-pork broth, and various toppings.

Banh Da Lon

Bánh Da Lợn

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Bánh da lợn is a Vietnamese layered cake that features a soft, chewy texture with typically green and yellow hues.

Banh Dau Xanh

Bánh Đậu Xanh

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Bánh đậu xanh is a Vietnamese mung bean pastry usually produced in Hai Duong province.

Banh Duc

Bánh Đúc

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Bánh đúc is a traditional Vietnamese cake made from rice flour or tapioca flour and served with various foods.

Banh Duc La Dua

Bánh Đúc Lá Dứa

Bánh đúc lá dứa is a sweet Vietnamese dish made from rice flour, pandan juice, coconut milk, and sugar syrup.

Banh Gai

Bánh Gai

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Bánh gai is a Vietnamese dessert made from glutinous rice and ramie leaf for a black color.

Banh Giay2

Bánh Giầy

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Bánh giầy is a round Vietnamese sticky rice cake made from glutinous rice.

Banh Gio

Bánh Giò

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Bánh giò is a Vietnamese steamed savory rice cake wrapped in banana leaves with pork and mushroom filling.

Banh Goi

Bánh Gối

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Bánh gối is a Vietnamese crescent-shaped savory pastry filled with ingredients such as minced pork, mushrooms, and noodles.

Banh Hoi

Bánh Hỏi

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Bánh hỏi is a Vietnamese side dish prepared by weaving rice vermicelli into flat, rectangular bundles.

Banh Hoi Heo Quay

Bánh Hỏi Heo Quay

Bánh hỏi heo quay is a Vietnamese dish made with woven rice vermicelli, roast pork belly, herbs, and dipping sauce.

Banh Hoi Long Heo

Bánh Hỏi Lòng Heo

Bánh hỏi lòng heo is a Vietnamese dish popular in the central region, made with woven rice vermicelli, boiled pork belly, and pork offal.

Banh Hoi Thit Nuong

Bánh Hỏi Thịt Nướng

Bánh hỏi thịt nướng is a dish in Vietnam that brings together woven rice vermicelli, grilled pork, scallion oil, and Vietnamese dipping sauce.

Banh In

Bánh In

Bánh in is a Vietnamese cake craft from glutinous rice flour, mung beans, and sugar, and shaped by molds.

Banh It

Bánh Ít

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Bánh ít is a popular Vietnamese cake made from glutinous rice flour and mung bean using a steaming method.

Banh It Tran

Bánh Ít Trần

Bánh ít trần is a Vietnamese steamed glutinous rice cake hailing from the central and southern regions, usually filled with savory ingredients.

Banh Khao

Bánh Khảo

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Bánh khảo is a block-shaped cake with an outer layer made of glutinous rice flour and a sweet filling that is derived from the Choang ethnic group.

Banh Khoai

Bánh Khoái

Bánh khoái is a Vietnamese pancake dish originating in Central Vietnam, especially in Thua Thien Hue Province.

Banh Khoai Mi

Bánh Khoai Mì

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Bánh khoai mì is a Vietnamese cake made from grated cassava, sugar, and coconut milk, baked until it forms a golden crust.

Banh Khot

Bánh Khọt

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Bánh khọt is a Vietnamese savory mini pancake made from rice flour and is topped with shrimp for serving with a dipping sauce.

Banh La Dua

Bánh Lá Dừa

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Bánh lá dừa is a Vietnamese cake in the Mekong Delta, made with glutinous rice and wrapped in coconut leaves.

Banh La Mo

Bánh Lá Mơ

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Bánh lá mơ is a Vietnamese cake hailing from the Mekong Delta, with rice flour and mơ leaves as the main ingredients.

Banh Mi

Bánh Mì

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Bánh mì is a Vietnamese sandwich with meats, pickled veggies, and sauces in a short baguette.

Banh Mi Ga

Bánh Mì Gà

Bánh mì gà is a Vietnamese sandwich made with Vietnamese-style baguettes and chicken.

Banh Nam

Bánh Nậm

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Bánh nậm is a Vietnamese dumpling from Central Vietnam, wrapped in banana leaves and made with rice flour, shrimp, and pork.

Banh Nhan

Bánh Nhãn

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Bánh nhãn is a Vietnamese crispy fried cake made from glutinous or ordinary rice flour, shaped like a longan fruit.

Banh Phong Tom

Bánh Phồng Tôm

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Bánh phồng tôm is the Vietnamese prawn cracker, a deep-fried snack made with flour and prawn meat.

Banh Phu The

Bánh Phu Thê

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Bánh phu thê is a Vietnamese steamed cake that hails from the northern region and is usually served at weddings.

Banh Pia

Bánh Pía

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Bánh pía is a Vietnamese treat featuring a flaky pastry crust and various sweet or savory fillings.

What Are The Differences between Traditional Dishes and National Dishes?

Here is a comparison table outlining the key differences between traditional dishes and national dishes.

There are also factors that influence these delights, which will be explained in the following section.

List of Traditional Dishes By Countries

Below is the list of the most popular traditional delicacies of many countries in the world. They are a celebration of culinary diversity.

  • Argentina: Asado, empanadas, dulce de leche
  • Belgium: Moules-frites, Belgian waffle
  • Brazil: Feijoada, pão de queijo, moqueca
  • Canada: Poutine, butter tart, tourtière, bannock
  • China: Dim sum, hot pot, peking duck
  • Costa Rica: Gallo pinto, casado, ceviche
  • Cyprus: Tsamarella
  • Czech Republic: Svíčková, kolach
  • Denmark: Smørrebrød, frikadelle
  • Finland: Karelian pasty, ruisreikäleipä
  • France: Ratatouille, coq au vin, crème brûlée
  • Germany: Bratwurst, Black Forest ham, käsespätzle
  • Greece: Moussaka, souvlaki, spanakopita
  • Guatemala: Fiambre
  • Hungary: Goulash, túrós csusza, lángos
  • Iceland: Hákarl, plokkfiskur, hangikjöt
  • India: Biryani, butter chicken, samosa, masala dosa
  • Indonesia: Rendang, satay, gado-gado, tempeh
  • Iran: Abgoosht, ghormeh sabzi, sabzi polo
  • Italy: Pizza, lasagna, risotto, tiramisu
  • Japan: Sushi, ramen, tempura, sashimi
  • Kazakhstan: Beshbarmak, qazı
  • Korea: Kimchi, bulgogi, bibimbap, tteokbokki
  • Kyrgyzstan: Pilaf, kuurdak
  • Mexico: Taco, tamale, mole, tostada, guacamole
  • Nepal: Dhindo
  • Nigeria: Jollof rice, egusi
  • Saudi Arabia: Hininy, kabsa
  • Peru: Aji de gallina, lomo saltado
  • Russia: Pelmeni, borscht, beef stroganoff
  • Singapore: Hainanese chicken rice
  • Spain: Paella, gazpacho, churros
  • Sweden: Falukorv
  • Tajikistan: Qurutob
  • Thailand: Pad Thai, tom yum, khao soi, green curry
  • Turkmenistan: Chorba
  • United Kingdom: Fish and chips, Sunday roast, full English breakfast, Shepherd’s pie
  • Uzbekistan: Samsa, manti
  • Vietnam: Phở, bánh mì, gỏi cuốn, bánh xèo

In general, these dishes are also influenced by geographical and historical factors, shaping their unique characteristics.

How Do Geography and History Influence Traditional Dishes?

Geography and history are crucial factors that shape the traditional dishes of a country. Here are five key impacts:

Availability of Ingredients

Geography directly affects the types of ingredients available in a region.

Coastal areas have many types of seafood, while mountainous regions or semi-arid landscapes rely more on livestock, dairy products, and root vegetables.

Climatic Influence

The climate of a region is a significant factor in deciding what can be grown and harvested there.

A tropical and subtropical climate (like in Southeast and South Asia) is ideal for producing many kinds of fruits, spices, and vegetables.

In contrast, colder climates (like highland or mountainous climates) focus on preserved foods (like dried meat or fermented vegetables).

Historical Trade Routes

The history of trade routes has introduced new ingredients and culinary techniques to various regions.

The Silk Road is a good example of a trade route that facilitated the exchange of ingredients and culinary ideas between the East and the West.

Cultural Exchange

Conquests, colonization, migrations, and trade have led to cultural exchanges that deeply influence traditional dishes.

For example, the colonization of the Americas led to tomatoes, potatoes, and corn being spread to Europe, Asia, and Africa.

Religious and Ethical Beliefs

These factors also have impacts on traditional dishes.

Dietary laws in religions such as Islam, Judaism, and Hinduism dictate what food can be eaten and how it should be prepared.

Religious festivals and fasting periods also play a role in the creation of specific traditional dishes for these events.

Next, you’ll find out some main components to make traditional dishes around the world.

What Are the Key Ingredients of Traditional Dishes?

Traditional dishes across the world are made from various types of ingredients, which are influenced by geography, climate, culture, and even the history of the regions or countries.

Common ingredients that highlight the characteristics of the countries/regions’ cuisines are:

Meat or Seafood

Locally sourced meat or seafood

Prominent ones are beef, chicken, pork, lamb, fish, etc. They are used in various forms, in pieces or minced.



They include a wide range of grains like wheat, rice, barley, quinoa, etc. They are versatile and can be found in forms ranging from bread and pasta to rice dishes and porridges.



Each region or country has its own set of popular vegetables based on climate and agricultural practices. They add flavor, texture, and nutrients to dishes.

Herbs and Spices

Spices or herbs

They are used to season or color dishes. They are also key in defining the unique flavors of a cuisine.

For more information about them, you can refer to the list of ingredients in the world.

What Are Common Cooking Methods for Traditional Dishes?

As you journey through the cooking traditions in many countries, you should know some common culinary techniques that create their iconic traditional dishes.

Common methods include:



Food is cooked in steam from boiling water.



It involves cooking food in boiling water or other liquids like broth.



There are several types of frying (deep-frying, stir-frying, pan-frying, etc).



Food is normally cooked in an oven, using indirect, dry heat.



Cooking food with direct heat from below.



A method of flavoring, cooking, or preserving food by exposing it to smoke from burning or smoldering material, usually wood.

To comprehensively understand the world of cooking arts and explore how different countries bring their dishes to the table, check out the full options of cooking methods.

What Is The Significance of Traditional Dishes in Cultural Heritage?

Here are four key aspects of how traditional dishes contribute to cultural heritage:

Cultural Representation

Traditional dishes are those that represent a culture’s history, geography, and beliefs. They also use locally available ingredients, reflecting the region’s agricultural practices and climates.

Transmission of Tradition

The preparation of traditional dishes can be seen as a good way to transmit cultural heritage from one generation to the next.

Recipes and cooking methods are often passed down through families, preserving ancestral knowledge and skills.

Economic and Touristic Importance

Culinary tourism is increasingly popular. Traditional dishes attract tourists to experience local culture through food.

This interest can have a significant economic impact on local communities, providing opportunities for small businesses like street vendors or local artisans.

These dishes also play a role in national branding and marketing, helping to distinguish a country’s cooking masterpieces on the global stage.

Social Connection

Traditional dishes also contribute to social customs. They are often the highlight of social gatherings, festivals, and communal celebrations, ideal for unity.

A plate of beshbarmak with boiled meat, square noodles, and herb and onion garnish in a rustic setting.

What Are Traditional Dishes’ Social Customs?

The social customs of traditional dishes vary based on regions, cultures, and traditions. Below are some common themes.

Symbolic Meanings

Some dishes have certain symbolic meanings. They include ingredients or preparation methods representing luck, health, or prosperity.

For example, in many countries, eating certain dishes during New Year is believed to bring good luck.

Ceremonial Uses

Some dishes are prepared specifically for ceremonial purposes, such as weddings, funerals, religious ceremonies, and rites of passage.

These foods often have deep cultural significance and are prepared with great care.

Banh Phu The
Bánh phu thê with a beautiful green hue.

Rituals and Traditions

The preparation and consumption of traditional dishes are often accompanied by specific rituals.

Some can be eaten with hands during special events, respecting a sequence that honors elders and fosters communal unity.

Regional and Ethnic Identity

Traditional dishes often serve as an expression of regional or ethnic identity.

They can be a source of pride and a way to celebrate the unique history and traditions of a particular area or cultural group.

Communal Cooking and Eating

In many cultures, preparing traditional dishes is a communal activity that brings together family members or the larger community.

Hospitality and Welcoming Guests

Offering traditional dishes is a common way to show hospitality and welcome guests.

In the following section, discover how these time-honored dishes are being adapted in modern times.

How Are Traditional Dishes in Modern Times?

While traditional in nature, many of these dishes and customs evolve over time, adapting to changes in society, technology, and ingredient availability, while still maintaining a link to the past.

Here’s how traditional dishes are being adapted and maintained in the modern context:

Preservation of Cultural Heritage

Many locals continue to prepare traditional dishes as a way of preserving and celebrating their cultural heritage, especially during festivals, special occasions, and family gatherings.

Convenience and Adaptation

Modern lifestyles often demand convenience, leading to quicker or simplified versions of traditional dishes.
This includes the use of modern kitchen appliances and pre-made ingredients to reduce cooking time.

Restaurants and Global Cuisine

Traditional dishes are increasingly featured in restaurants around the world, often adapted to suit local tastes and available ingredients.

Finally, for a comprehensive view of these classic delights, you shouldn’t miss the frequently asked questions with their short answers.

What Are Tips to Pair Traditional Dishes with Beverages?

Pairing traditional dishes with beverages can greatly enhance the dining experience. Below are three important notes.

Considering the Intensity of Flavors

Pair light dishes with light beverages and heavy dishes with more robust drinks.

A delicate fish dish pairs well with a light white wine, while a hearty beef stew might go better with a full-bodied red wine or a stout beer.

Considering Regional Pairings

Often, dishes and beverages that originate from the same region naturally pair well.

Italian pasta dishes, for example, tend to pair beautifully with Italian wines, or Japanese sake with sushi.

Experiment with Non-Alcoholic Pairings

Not all pairings need to involve alcohol. Teas, flavored waters, and soft drinks can also complement traditional dishes.


Traditional dishes are deeply rooted in a culture’s history and are passed down through generations, forming a part of its identity.

On the other hand, typical dishes are widely popular and commonly consumed in a particular area. However, they may not have the same cultural heritage or historical significance as traditional dishes.

Traditional dishes vary greatly across different countries and regions, largely influenced by local ingredients, climate, historical events, and cultural practices.

Modern chefs often reinterpret traditional dishes by introducing contemporary techniques and presentation styles while maintaining the dish’s authentic flavors and essence.

Some traditional dishes are rich and indulgent, but many are based on wholesome, natural ingredients.

Yes, many traditional dishes emphasize local, seasonal ingredients and time-tested cooking methods, aligning well with sustainable eating practices.

Adam Sam

Adam Sam

Senior Food and Drink Editor


Food Writer & Recipe Developer, Recipe Tester, Bartender, Cooking-video Maker, Editor In Chief


  • University of Gastronomic Sciences – Pollenzo (Italy) (MA Food Culture, Communication & Marketing)
  • Johnson & Wales University (US) (Baking and Pastry Arts)
  • Professional Bartender at HNAAu School (Vietnam, International Joint Training Program)

Adam Sam, an experienced food writer and recipe developer, is passionate about blending diverse culinary traditions, national dishes, and innovative beverages, showcasing his proficiency in both traditional and modern recipe testing.

As the Editor-in-Chief, he elevates culinary content from street food to fine dining, focusing on Western cuisine and types of drinks at, and is professional in creating engaging cooking videos that simplify complex dishes and ingredients.

His passion for food is evident in his writing, where he uniquely merges various cultures, traditions, and contemporary trends, skillfully combining classic recipes with modern cooking methods.

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