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Show HN: Discover what locals eat all around the world (what.toeat.in)
68 points by sandoche 25 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 87 comments

I actually thought the search was broken (none of the first 10 destinations I thought of had any results), but there's just very few articles. It might be better to have autocomplete on the search box with some fallback of "no results found", or just lose the search entirely since the list of articles is short.

Additionally, since it's a place search, maybe add place autocomplete. So it's obvious if the place you search for is not in the list. I also thought the search was broken

Agreed. Autocomplete feels important.

As a German, I can assure you that every person I know, including old people, eats Pizza more often than any of the dishes on this list.

The listed foods are the answer to some question, but it is one subtly different from “what people eat”.

Which is kind of disappointing: I actually clicked hoping someone had seen this happen before, and decided to somehow collect data to answer the question “what do people actually eat?”

Instead of just regurgitating stereotypes, it would reveal how connected the world has become. And yet, it could highlight the actually interesting differences, such as the myriad different interpretations of Chinese dishes, or meat-in-bread.

As a German, I think it's sad that young people are so eager to forget that their own country actually has great dishes that are actually German. Some of my favorite foods are German. Just because not everybody eats like that nowadays doesn't mean it isn't German cuisine or that German cuisine doesn't exist. Looking at that list, there's a lot of German dishes that I love to eat when I get the chance. There's nothing stereotypical about it.

If a local specialty doesn’t become global, there’s a reason for that.

In any case, I never made the sort of value statement you seem to react to. I simply pointed out there’s a difference between “traditional, German food” and “food eaten in Germany”.

If you don’t trust my assessment that pizza or pasta are more popular than Sauerkraut, just check the space each are afforded in retail stores, or the number of restaurants in these categories.

If you take "what locals eat" literally, the site would just be a big list of burgers from McDonalds. That's missing the point though. It's about local cuisine. Why bother with a German list if all you want to put in it is pizza and Döner.

I think this may be true with western cuisines, but food in Asia is especially different from what you get in normal Asian restaurants (Indian, Chinese, Thai, etc)

Asian cuisines are usually bastardized and then type casted into a very narrow view of the food is actually like.

Almost none of the food I had growing up, is available in Indian restaurants in the US. Similarly, I have to really go looking to find authentic food from certain regions in China and legit Thai food. My perspective of these foods completely changed after trying these authentic places.

I showed this list to my sisters who now lives in germany for .... 26 years. She just responded "tourist crap".

Additonal Germany is a huge country and I do not think that one liste can do justice to the variety available in a big country. What people eat is deffinitly different comparing Bavaria vs. Hamburg vs. Berlin.

Tourist crap? This is the kind of food my grandmother made. You've got to be kidding me.

> Additonal Germany is a huge country and I do not think that one liste can do justice to the variety available in a big country.

That's true about pretty much all of these places, though. It doesn't mean "What is quintessentially ________ food?" isn't an interesting question.

I think the list for Germany has a heavy bias towards southern German food. It wouldn't be a bad list for "what to eat south of the Weißwurstäquator" (with the exception of Currywurst maybe, which is more typical for Berlin, but still consumed in the south).

Yea that’s definitely not tourist crap. In southern Germany or west Austria almost every restaurant has some variations of these dishes. Even if you go to German restaurants in the north they will have these dishes if you look for “Hausmannskost”.

I would dare to say that (Spain) the situation about ham (and pig breeds and their raising) is a bit more complex than what has been stated:

>...Spanish pigs who have been feed only with acorns which makes them legs black ...

Compare with:



The "pata negra" is a definite breed.

Given the limited set of geographic options, it might be worth showing a dropdown or something instead of a search box!

I really do like the concept though - whenever I travel I do try to eat the regional specialties

Indeed, better a list than searching at this point. Stopped looking after getting no results for Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Taiwan, Singapore and Vietnam.

And what about the Finnish breakfast? Coffee, cigarette and vodka?


Can confirm the foods from Norway are all popular and considered typical for the region.

As renholder points out some (kaviar in tube) are maybe more popular in Sweden, but still Norwfian as well.

Three things I miss as a Norwegian:

-raspeball/raspekake/kompe/klubb/ball (mashed and/or shredded potatos mixed with wheat and barleuy flour, formed as lumps and boiled together with salted (and possibly smoked meat, typically pigs knucles or cured meat from sheep) and served with carrots and rutabaga, sausage and bacon. Where I grew up people would also add syrup and/or sugar. Needless to say a full meal of this might take some effort to get down ;-)

- sheeps head (literally). Typically not everyday food but for special occations or as a Sunday dinner once a year. Two versions exist that I'm aware of: 1. which is the one I grew up with which consists of splitted, cured sheep heads that are then boiled 2. "Smalahove" which are typically roasted over open fire before being steamed or boiled (I think, I haven't prepared those myself, but I've eaten them and they taste wonderfully).

- kjøttkake which you can think of as a version of the IKEA Swedish meatballs, only larger, coarser and with far better seasoning. Can be eaten any day of the week, including Sunday. Really tasty and probably easier to get along with than raspeball and especially skjelte.

hey @eitland! nice contributions! We are happy to add them to the page! If you would like to appear in the contributors list, you can drop as a pm message https://www.facebook.com/what.toeat.in with your details, we need name, profession and place of origin :)

I remember de Polske, i dont know if its spelled right, but i was amazed by the number of hotdog sellers ( polske)

Pølse? Literally translated it just means "sausage", but when advertised in kiosks they're talking about hot dogs yeah :)

Ostebaconpølse <3

Everyday favourite :-)

You know this is going to trigger a lot of people [1].

- Jam Roly Poly is something you'd eat at school. I don't think I've ever seen it on a restaurant menu.

- Mince pies are generally only available in the months leading up to Christmas.

- Eccles cake is rarely eaten nowadays, apart from in certain regions.

You're also missing chicken tikka masala which is regularly voted a national dish. Also roast dinners.

[1] https://what.toeat.in/uk/

I had jam roly-poly in our work cafeteria last week -- but you're right that it does have a tinge of the school dinner about it.

Also missing beans on toast and cheese toasties.

After reading about the 10 dishes that define Singapore [0], yesterday, I thought you got inspired to post your project here as well. Unfortunately Singapore did not yet make it. To find Netherlands therefore was a surprise. Seems fairly accurate. Good job !

I also missed Portugal, which supposingly has more codfish recipes then days in a year...

[0] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19248711

I found quite a few mistakes in the Dutch dishes. For instance, kale is definitely not served as a compliment to every hot meal. Also, nobody eats raw herring here, the herring that is sold on the street has been cured in salt.

A yes, very true. I just briefly looked at the dish names. I now see there is certainly room for improvement.

> No results found for "Sweden".

> No results found for "Sverige".

You probably don't have all of the countries, yet. Fair enough.

>Norway > Kaviar / Caviar in a tube

That's actually a Nordic thing and isn't specific to Norway. Kalles Kaviar[0] is a famous Swedish brand of this. =] Comparatively, Sweden consumes far more tubed caviar than Norway - if memory serves me correctly.

I'm actually surprised that caviar would make the list and not something else shared equally with the Nordics, which is unobtainable elsewhere: Reindeer.[1]

[0] - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kalles_Kaviar

[1] - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reindeer#Relationship_with_hum...

The only correct answer for a quintessentially Swedish dish is Kebab Pizza.

Or, the even better moniker: kebabbåt[0]. =]

[0] - https://pizzeriamarcus.se/meny.html

Kebab pizza is popular here in Norway as well(, but might very well have originated in Sweden for what I know).

Probably all those Swedish immigrants bring their local foods and customs with them :)

Not lutefisk?

Basically nobody eats lutfisk in Sweden and the tiny handful of people that do, mostly do so at Christmas. I'd say even surströmming is more popular.

Fair enough (I wasn't really serious)... on the other hand, I do expect kräftor to show up.

Yea, both kräftor and räkor.

Seems like Mexico is missing, and that whilst Mexican food is seen as a cultural treasure by UNESCO. They also have some pretty 'identifying' food that spread around the world.

The idea behind the website is pretty fun though.

I was in the UK recently and got fish and chips from a local chippy at the seaside thinking, well, I should try something local outside of the fancy seafood chowder at the restaurants lining the bay. I was horrified that vinegar was not used but some fake invention called "non-brewed condiment" I'd never heard of before. Apparently this is normal now?


It's not normal anywhere I've eaten - though I don't frequent local chippies very often, admittedly. (Maybe here in rural south-eastern parts, our standards are higher?)

But non-brewed condiment is traditional for a proper fish & chips ;) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=642x2Y3Zla0

I really don't like it! It doesn't have the full flavour that malt vinegar has. Perhaps the british are just used to it now. That video forgot to say, the reason the chippies are using it is because it's a lot cheaper. I'll pay an extra 25c for proper vinegar please.


Everything is that way in the UK: Substitute for cheaper everywhere you can.

That's why food is not great in general. Just using proper ingredients immediately improves things massively.

Never seen it in any fish and chip shop I've ever been to.

But then again perhaps that's all I've been putting on my fish and chips.

Pretty sure it's more often than not proper Sarson's malt vinegar.

I can't comment nationally, but I've been having fish and chips a couple of times at our local and near my parents, both in London, and they're all using vinegar.

Enjoyable website. I bet it only scratches the surface as in the USA there are several (famous?) regional foods not mentioned. Would be great to see the site expand.

German one has several typos a native German would not make. You can tell the pronounciation is a bit off. Content still correct.

Should also be further split up by region. Often that would be quite easy, because the name of the dish often contains the city/region it's from. If you don't do that, you get the German equivalent of ordering Mexican food in New York and Pizza in California or vice versa.

> Content still correct.

I'd dispute that. It's correct for Baravia or maybe even southern Germany, but for example in the region around Cologne (Rheinland), Sauerbraten is traditionally made from horse meat and is atypical in Berlin (never seen it on a local menu), Weißwurst is atypical anywhere in the North (there's even the term Weißwurstäquator which denotes the separating line https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wei%C3%9Fwurst%C3%A4quator), Spätzle and Maultaschen are distinct Swabian food. The typical northern German kinds of food (Grünkohl mit Pinkel) are missing alltogether. Even the beer is off: The north drinks different beer than the south. The northern beer tend to have more hops (think: Becks) while the southern beers tend to be lighter on that side and thus less bitter (Paulaner). Wheat beer is atypical in the north.

It's totally missing Döner Kebab. An unforgivable offense.

The problem I see is that the page tries to lump food in by country, while food tends to be regional. The southern parts of Germany have much more in common with Austria (Kaiserschmarrn), the southwest with the bordering regions of France while the northeast is much more aligned with western Poland.

>> Content still correct.

> I'd dispute that.

Most of Germany is not Bavaria in the same way that most of France is not Champagne (the region). Still if you split it up by country, it is correct to say, that Champagne (the drink) would be French and Weisswurst would be German.

Did you read my comment? Two thirds of it are about how it should be split up further into regions.

And regarding the special Austrian situation: Austria is kind of known for arbitrarily deciding what they like to be ("Greater-")German and what should be seen as distinctively Austrian, especially when talking about cultural heritage from times before Germany even existed. So as a German I would just follow their example here and as long as we are only talking about bread soked in egg, I would just claim what I like for Southern Germany. ;-)

Döner Kebab has the problem that it is really pan-European fast food cuisine by now.

You're right about the regionality of food. Sometimes dishes cross national borders, while still being limited to parts of those countries, and there is so much regional cooking that is worthwhile to mention — I do like me some Himmel und Erde und Blootwoosch mit Köslch.

National dishes risk turning into cliches. The Dutch dishes are correct, but I feel it misses nuances.

> Döner Kebab has the problem that it is really pan-European fast food cuisine by now.

Sure, but it is eaten by locals far more often than Sauerbraten. But it makes for a boring browsing experience to put McDonalds in the top 10 for every country, no matter how correct it probably is.

The submission title should be changed to "Discover what other tourists eat all around the world" IMO.

Oh, boy. Spain is pretty bad [0]. Nobody eats paella that often. Nobody who isn't a tourist drinks sangría.

There is also no mention of northern cuisine except for pulpo a feira. Spanish gastronomy is a very regional thing.

[0]: https://what.toeat.in/spain/

same in France. galettes mixed with raclettes, sure some local somewhere in France has that on its menu often enough, but then I miss the point of this website, because those are neither your typical home dishes nor something usual that people eat weekly nor something that you'd get outside restaurants.

so it's pretty much 'local food tourist should try' - or precisely the opposite of what the sites seems to claims to be about.

As a french, I may order, at a restaurant, most of the plates listed here and I may eat at home one of those once a month.

As said previously, Foie Gras and Oysters are not everyday plates and some others are missing, but still I think it's pretty good. So I think it's more "what local orders at restaurant" and not what they usually eat at home.

Not sure about this. We (my family and some friends) eat galettes and raclette on a regular basis. Maybe not weekly, but at least monthly (no raclette in summer though).

I found the list pretty accurate for France, actually. Admittedly, I didn't put too much thought on this but that list seemed legit to me.

Foie Gras and Oysters are not really eaten everyday, they are celebration meal. Traditional french gastronomy should include at least Cassoulet and Choucroute !!!

I am Spanish myself, from Toledo, and I eat Paella as often as possible :D When I wrote the article I tried to gather the best foods, but of course there are million other foods we could add, in Spain we have really good food and a lot variety!

We are open to add new foods and to expand the contributors list, so feel welcome to send your suggestions to truly define how Spain feels like!

>The [Estonian] Kohuke are small frozen chocolates of different tastes and flavors which contain cottage cheese

It's actually quark, which tastes much better.


so, as these lists are solely editorial choices i took a look at google trends for germany food & drink subsegment

https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?cat=71&geo=DE (vs.: https://what.toeat.in/germany/ )

these are the top keywords that indicate a food (i.e.:no supermarket ) brands

  pizza / pizzeria
  mc donalds / mcdonalds
this allignes much more with my experience than the toeat.in list.

Manila is correct. Though the author is from "Manile" lol.

No Japan - wow, ok.

USA seems accurate, for thanksgiving. Deep dish pizza can be an "American" thing or a Chicago thing, depending whom you talk too.

Small typo on your German page, it's called Knackwurst (locally it might be Rostwurst, Bratwurst), not Knockwurst. Other than that, pretty accurate.

No mention of Döner when searching for Berlin.

NL and SK fairly accurate. Some stuff that's not usually mentioned in tourist guides. Good job!

I didn't see anything for Japan or South Africa (I guess its work in progress)? I love the app

The first MVP of the web has been done gathering all the recommendations from friends we have from different countries, sadly we don't have friends from Japan 🇯🇵 or South Africa 🇿🇦 yet. However now we are open to external contributors, so we would be super glad to add these countries, Japan is a top request!!

The key point is, we want to have real locals advices, so we don't want to just quickly google some foods and put them there ourselves. We want to assure the recommendations are authentic!

How does one get involved?

Argentinean foodie here. Happy to contribute if you guys are interested :)

Hey @gomox! Argentina 🇦🇷 is actually work in progress, almost done. Our friend has already sent us the list and we will upload it soon! I will be happy to share with you the link once it's online, so you can let us know if we missed some good must dish!!

Great idea, and I had fun exploring some local dishes.

The interface is pretty atrocious on mobile. The food photos don’t center. Scrolling the article seemed to jump back to the main index improperly. I left the site due to user abuse.

Otherwise, I was expecting something crowdsourced.

hi @ianai, could you send us a pic to see how it looks like? maybe let us know also your device and the browser you are using. We are worry that the elements we used (flexbox) might not be supported everywhere.

This is the first resource I look up when I land into a country while traveling. It gives you a better idea of what to look for in Yelp and other foodie platforms.

No results found for "italy".

Show stopper.

No Italy?

typo in the tags "vegeterian" is "vegetarian"

I just pushed an update to fix it! thanks for letting us know!

I was in Bulgaria, and can't remember any dish from that list accept rakia.

Seems like the site is probably working as intended then.

Vegemite? really?

Every Aussie I know sings high praises of vegemite. At minimum, they say it's a standard part of their diet.

The top item for "Australia" is Vegemite and it includes this:

> Oh, and ask any Aussie to sing you the Vegemite song - you’re guaranteed they’ll know what you mean

If you ask me to sing a song about Vegemite I'll tell you to fuck off back to whatever ass backwards country you came from that thinks every person in a country eats the same foods.

Another Aussie here, can vouch that asking "any Aussie" to sing "the Vegemite song" is not recommended at all.

So are you confirming that "you’re guaranteed they’ll know what you mean"?

(Not that they'll comply with the request!)

Hehe no, but I guess they mean the "happy little Vegemites" song, an old tv ad from maybe the 60s. But I'm not a fan of vegemite nor ads.. (The only people I've heard talking about vegemite in recent years are friends who moved to NYC and can't get it there.)

p.s. I'm from Wales, and remember my grandparents having laverbread[0] for breakfast on toast - it's made from seaweed scraped from rocks (!) and may be related to or taste similar to vegemite.


[0] pronounced like 'lavabread'

No. I have no idea what specifically they’re talking about. But the name kind of implies it’s a song about vegemite.

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