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11 glorious meat and carb dishes from global cities to make you instantly hungry

11 glorious meat and carb dishes from global cities to make you instantly hungry

From Rome to Chicago via Tel Aviv, these are the world's most delicious comfort foods

One of the best parts about traveling to a new city is trying the local cuisine. But sometimes finding that iconic meal from a particular city can be challenging.

But fear not: Travels of Adam blogger Adam Groffman is here to simplify the process. Below, he shares his favorite local comfort foods from 11 completely different cities…


1 Rome, Italy – Grilled lamb chops (agnello alla scottadito)

I first tried this dish on my most recent trip to Rome. Everyone always assumes Italian food is all about cheeses and pastas and tomatoes, but there’s actually so much more to the local cuisine. This dish is usually a Sunday meal, and eaten during the Easter holiday.

Where to get it: In Rome, sometimes you’ll find it served with another one of the city’s most iconic food dishes: Roman-style artichokes (carciofi alla romana). Try agnello alla scottadito at Hosteria Grappolo D’Oro near Campo de’ Fiori in Rome.


2 Hamburg, Germany – Currywurst with fries (currywurst mit pommes)

Currywurst is a simple sausage served either with or without skin and then slathered in a curry-ketchup (a spiced ketchup) and usually, for extra measure, a bit more curry powder put on top. It’s not particularly the best food you’ll eat, but it does help cure the late-night munchies after a crazy night out in Hamburg’s Reeperbahn district.

Where to get it: You’ll find it at just about every Imbiss fast food stand, but the ones served at Kiez Curry (just off the Reeperbahn) are especially good. It’s pretty much the perfect afterparty snack.


Valencia, Spain, Valencian paella (arroz à valenciana)

Spain’s most famous food: a simultaneously meaty and starchy meal. Paella originated in Valencia because of the low-lying rice fields surrounding the city (Spain’s third largest). There are hundreds of varieties, but the most traditional paella in Valencia is one served with chicken, rabbit and land snails.

You’ll often find it with seafood varieties as well, but the traditional one is all meat. It’s served in a large skillet.

Where to get it: In Valencia you’ll find it at many traditional restaurants, but you’ll also find cooking schools and food tours offering it as part of a culinary experience. Find out more on the Visit Valencia website, or else try it at the Panorama Restaurant located on the Valencia beach.


Dallas, Texas, USA – Chicken-fried steak with mashed potatoes

While most tourists come to Dallas-Fort Worth looking for a top-quality steak (which they’ll find, because this is Texas after all), the locals are all eating the actual local traditional steak meal. And it’s fried. There must be hundreds of varieties of this local dish, but the one thing that’s consistent is the fact it must be served with mashed potatoes with country gravy. Country gravy is creamy and sweet; chunky with bits of sausage and whole kernels of black pepper. It’s the perfect accent to the meal. But what is chicken-fried steak, you ask? It’s a steak tenderloin that’s pan-fried. You can also find chicken-fried chicken, but that’s basically sacrilege.

Where to get it: As a popular southern USA dish, you’ll find it at roadside diners and small, local restaurants throughout the countryside. But in Dallas, where the culinary scene is flourishing, there are countless varieties. My favorite comes from AllGood Café in Dallas’ hipster neighborhood of Deep Ellum. The restaurant uses local food providers and regularly hosts live music. Go for the Sunday brunch.


Chicago, Illinois, USA – Italian beef sandwich

Chicago’s culinary scene is heavy on the hearty and meaty meals, so it’s no surprise that this is the city popularized the Italian beef sandwich. The sliced roast beef is dipped, or double-dipped, in the meat juices, as is the bread.

Where to get it: Besides the Italian beef sandwich, Chicago is famous for its countless hot dog stands. You’ll find the sandwich and the Chicago-style dogs available at most stands and kiosks throughout the city. But the most famous restaurant serving the iconic dish is without question Al’s #1 Beef.


Dublin, Ireland – Guinness beef stew

It’s meat and potatoes, stewed in Guinness! Plus, when you’re in Ireland, it’s basically a legal requirement to drink a Guinness before, during and after your meals. It’s hearty and warm and heavy – the perfect way to bury your feelings when the Irish weather isn’t quite cooperating. If the Guinness in your hearty stew of beer, beef, bacon, carrots and onions isn’t enough, head to the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin. Here, you can take tours and sample even more of the beer.

Where to get it: Go all Irish and make a proper night out in Dublin’s nightlife hotspot area, the neighborhood of Temple Bar. You’ll find hundreds of pubs there and many serve meals during the day and early evening.


Tel Aviv, Israel – Shawarma with pita

No matter Tel Aviv was recently named the vegetarian and vegan capital of the world. Here in the Middle East, shawarma is king. Middle Eastern shawarma is often lamb, chicken, beef or a mix of them all. It’s cooked all day on a rotating spit, and served in a pita sandwich (a laffa, or wrap).

Where to get it: One of Tel Aviv’s most famous falafel and shawarma stands is Hakosem (corner of Shlomo HaMelekh and King George Street) where you’ll find a line out to the sidewalk no matter the time. The shwarama lasts as long as it does, but the restaurant’s falafel are churned out constantly and even served as free appetizers to guests waiting in line. And if you want to do as the local hipsters do, there’s even a vegetarian shawarma restaurant, Veg Shawarma, located on King George Street that serves tofu and seitan dishes resembling the traditional shawarma.


Asheville, North Carolina – Pulled pork sandwich

Barbecue is an art form in the southeastern states. But one dish that’s fairly consistent is the pulled pork sandwich. The meat is slow cooked at low temperatures until it can be pulled off the bone. Then it’s usually scooped onto a bun and served with a side of slaw. North Carolina barbecue style is based around pork dishes and the pulled pork is probably the tastiest of the bunch (or at least my personal favorite).


Reykjavik, Iceland – Leg of lamb and potatoes

There’s organic free range and then there’s the Icelandic version of organic free range. Almost without fail, Icelandic sheep are set free in spring. Literally. They roam around the countryside for the summer, eating grass and herbs in the fresh Icelandic mountain air.


10 Manchester, England – Meat and potato pie

Like Dublin’s Guinness beef stew, this pie is quintessentially Manchester. It’s stewed meat (usually beef) baked in a pie with potatoes, carrots and onions. But it also has a number of variations, including with cinnamon, redcurrant and blue cheese. It’s a traditional working class meal and Manchester is at the heart of working class history in England, especially the now-trendy Northern Quarter. You’ll find it in gastropubs or ‘chippies’ (a traditional fish-and-chip shop). Enjoy with mashed potatoes or chips – with extra gravy, of course.


11 Brussels, Belgium – Steak frites

Ah, Belgium. Home of having fries and mayo for dinner. Belgium is also home to steak frites – basically just a steak with fries. (Belgium is clearly a nation of geniuses.) Brussels‘ version of meat and potatoes is…meat and potatoes, most likely washed down with a big mug of a locally brewed Belgian beer – of which there are many! Thanks to the city’s location at the heart of political Europe (and proximity to France), the city has a rich culinary tradition with quite a few fancy restaurants. Each with their own spin on the classic steak frites.


12 Warsaw, Poland – Polish sausage (kielbasa) with sauerkraut

I don’t know many words in Polish, but kielbasa I know. It means sausage. In this case, either boiled or fried. Plus, often, with bread, mustard, a side of potatoes, sometimes fried onion, sauerkraut and pickles. This is a tasty meal that will cure any hangover. You’ll find it at snack stands throughout Warsaw, or at traditional Polish restaurants.

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