Mapping the World’s Most Iconic Dishes

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Whether you’re planning your next globetrotting trip or simply deciding on what to have for dinner, we’ve mapped 353 of the world’s most iconic foods.

Using a unique scoring system combining Instagram hashtag data with search volume data from Google Adwords, we’ve discovered the most popular regional delicacies in each continent (and also the dishes that deserve more recognition!).

The 10 Most Instagrammed World Foods

Between them, the 353 dishes featured in the list had more than 150 million posts tagged on Instagram. We’ve highlighted the top 10 most popular dishes and their regions:

  1. Pizza – New York, USA – 37,900,000 Posts
  2. Hamburger (Texas, USA) – 35,000,000 Posts
  3. Sushi (Tokyo, Japan) – 23,600,000 Posts
  4. Steak (Idaho, USA) – 10,200,000 Posts
  5. Macarons (Paris, France) – 5,000,000 Posts
  6. Pho  (Hanoi, Vietnam) – 2,700,000 Posts
  7. Lamb  (Colorado, USA) – 2,300,000 Posts
  8. Fried Chicken (Mississippi, USA) – 2,100,000 Posts
  9. Pesto (Genoa, Italy) – 1,700,000 Posts
  10. Poke (Hawaii, North America) – 1,500,000 Posts

Dishes from the US feature heavily in the list, with the New York pizza slice topping the list with just under 38 million hashtag mentions. The all-American hamburger takes second place, with a juicy 35 million hashtag mentions.

When it comes to ingredients, it’s interesting to see fish featuring in two out of the 10 most iconic dishes, with Japanese staple Sushi and Hawaiian dish Poke taking 3rd and 10th place respectively.

The seriously Instagram-friendly Macaron was the only sweet treat that made the cut. These pastel-hued delights feature in over 5 million Instagram posts.

Europe’s 20 Most Iconic Dishes

European dishes account for 9% of the insta-worthy dishes in the list. It’s clear that Europe is home to some incredible foods, but which ones are the most iconic of all?

Map of Europe marking the most instagrammed foods

Cheese features heavily on European top 20 list, with a combined total of 11,891,857 posts tagged with these European classics.

Retro classic Fondue and après ski favorite Raclette are two of the most instagrammable dishes on the list. It’s clear that Europe does in fact ‘dig the dairy’, with positions 3 through to 6 taken up by delicious, stringy melty cheese.

Austria, Belgium, Switzerland and France each have two dishes which made the top 20 list, with a combined total of 7 million mentions, making them the most insta-famous European foodie nations.

Top Scoring Asian Dishes

Asian dishes account for over a fifth (22%) of the total dishes on our iconic world food list, but just which of these zingy, fragrant dishes are we insta-snapping before taking a bite?

Map of Asia with most instagrammed dishes

There’s oodles of noodles on this list, with these dishes taking up 6 positions, but they are pipped to the post by rice dishes with this staple grain featuring in a total of 8 dishes.

Combined, the Asian noodle and rice-based dishes featured account for 20% of the total Instagram hashtags on the list.

With curry being the UK’s favourite home-cooked dish combined with India’s rich and varied cuisine, it was surprising to see it feature only once on the Asian top 20 list.

Most Insta-Snapped South American Dishes

South America’s rich history is echoed by the national dishes on offer. Rich, hearty stews make up the bulk of the dishes on South America’s regional dishes, but they are typically featured the least, compared to fresh and vibrant dishes such as Ceviche racking up over a million posts tagged with #ceviche.

Most instagrammed South American dishes on a map

Africa’s Most Iconic Dishes

As one of the worlds most diverse continents, it’s no surprise that there’s lots of African dishes on our list. Accounting for fewer than 1% of the total Instagram shares on our list, it’s time to shine a light on these regional dishes.

Map with Africa's most instagrammed dishes

Oceania’s Most Instagrammed Food

Oceania is one of the most remote yet exciting continents to visit and it’s home to some surprisingly delicious cultural delights.Map of Oceania marking the most instagrammed dishes

North America’s 20 Most Insta-Friendly Foods

From a tangy Key Lime Pie in Florida to a juicy grilled Idaho steak, North America accounts for a whopping 63% of the Insta-shares on the list, but which foods are the most iconic…?Map of north america with iconic dishesThe Continent With The Most Instagram-Worthy Dishes

  1. North America Total: 95,099,104: 72 dishes
  2. Asia Total: 34,064,995: 59 dishes
  3. Europe Total: 14,393,019: 56 dishes
  4. South America Total: 4,579,604: 12 dishes
  5. Africa Total 2,212,991: 54 dishes
  6. Oceania Total: 850,389: 11 dishes

North America tops the list with a total of 72 dishes, accounting for two-thirds of the total instagram posts featured on the list. Asia follows closely behind, accounting for a fifth of all hashtag mentions on the list.

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