Well one man is trying to…
One of the fun parts of travel is trying out the local cuisine. If the food isn’t so great (Nicaragua comes to mind for me), you’ll be hoping to find something that reminds you of home. Give me a decent burger, slice of pizza, even McDonald’s at times!
I came across the story of Charles Biblios over the summer in an article from Gothamist and I thought his “mission” seemed pretty awesome.
Charles’s mission, according to his blog United Nations of Food is “to eat (reasonably) authentic cuisine from every country in the world (160 countries), without leaving New York City“.
My first thought was, why only 160 countries? If you look at the list of UN Member states, you’ll see that there are actually 193!
It turns out that countries are only being included which have a population over 1,000,000. (Territories like Puerto Rico, Taiwan & other similar ones might also be included.)
There are also other criterion which make a restaurant count: “a native of the country must be involved in the food preparation. Meals prepared in NYC restaurants, food trucks, churches, mosques, and private homes (hint, hint) all count” according to UN of Food.
Charles claims to have eaten food from around 130+ countries so far which seems pretty impressive if you ask me. He’s found food from the last 30 or so countries quite hard to locate and is looking for help.
Here are the hard to find countries and if you know somebody cooking food from any of them in NYC, you can e-mail Charles at email@example.com.
The hard to find countries:
- Asia: East Timor, North Korea, Papua New Guinea
- Former Soviet republics: Turkmenistan
- Middle East and North Africa: Kuwait, Libya, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates
- Latin America and the Caribbean: Nicaragua, Costa Rica
- Sub-Saharan Africa: Botswana, Burundi, Central African Republic, Djibouti, The Gambia, Kenya, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Republic of the Congo (Congo-Brazzaville), Rwanda, Swaziland, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe
Like I stated above, we found the local food in Nicaragua to be quite underwhelming so I wouldn’t recommend that Charles go out of his way to locate it in NYC.
While checking out the United Nations of Food, I thought it would be fun to count how many countries I’ve eaten the food from in restaurants in NYC.
Here is my list of countries whose food I’ve dined at in NYC :
- Armenia- Brooklyn Bread House
- Australia- Eight Mile Creek- closed (NYC)
- Austria- Cafe Steinhof (Brooklyn)
- Azerbaijan- King Solomon Restaurant (Brooklyn)
- Belgium- Wafels & Dinges (Brooklyn & NYC)
- Brazil- Churrascaria Platforma (NYC)
- Canada- Mile End Deli- (Brooklyn & NYC)
- China- Wo Hop (NYC), Pacificana (Bklyn) & tons more
- Colombia- Bogota (Brooklyn)
- Cuba- Agozar (NYC)
- El Salvador- Soler Food Truck Red Hook Ballfields (Brooklyn)
- England- ChipShop (Brooklyn)
- France- L’Express (NYC)
- German- Prime Meats & Schnitzel Haus (Brooklyn), Nurnberger Bierhaus (SI)
- Georgia- Tone Cafe (Brooklyn)
- Greece- Yiasou (Brooklyn)
- Ireland- Donovan’s Pub (Queens)
- Italy- Frankie’s 457, Sam’s (Brooklyn), too many others to name
- Jamaica- Golden Krust (all over)
- Japan- Chikurin (Brooklyn)
- Mexico- Tortilleria Nixtmal (Queens)
- Mongolia- Daily Chow- closed (NYC)
- New Zealand- DUB Pies- mobile truck
- Peru- Coco Roco, Coney Island Taste (Brooklyn)
- Philippines- Pig & Khao (NYC), Purple Yam (Brooklyn)
- Russia- National Restaurant, Oasis Cafe (Brooklyn)
- Slovenia- Korzo (Brooklyn)
- South Africa- Madiba (Brooklyn)
- Spain- Casa Pepe (Brooklyn), Pipa- closed, El Colmado, El Colmado Butchery (NYC)
- St Vincent & the Grenadiness- The Food Sermon (Brooklyn)
- Sweden- Ikea (Brooklyn)
- Thailand- Siam Orchid- closed (Brooklyn)
- Tibet- Cafe Tibet (Brooklyn)
- Turkey- Anatolian Gyro, Sahara, Taci’s Beyti (Brooklyn
- Ukraine- Cafe Glecik (Brooklyn)
- USA- Obviously, too many to name!
- Uzbekistan- Chayana Salom (Brooklyn)
- Venezuela- Caracas Arepa Bar (Brooklyn & NYC)
- Vietnam- Phoa Hai (Brooklyn)
I may have left a few countries out but these are the ones I can think of at the moment.
Since Kim and I like to try new restaurants, it might be fun to mix in restaurants from different countries from around the world from time to time when we’re not sure where to go. While I don’t think I’ll try to eat food from every country in the world within NYC, this story has made me want to attempt to eat more ethnic food in my hometown.
Check out all of the places that Charles Biblios has dined at in New York City on his blog the United Nations of Food.
Click here to read the Gothamist article about his quest.