How are IHOP, Denny’s, Outback Steakhouse, Olive Garden, Red Lobster, and other widely franchised restaurants similar? They’re incredibly common and can become dreadfully dull if you eat out at any of them regularly. To expand your culinary tastes, look for the small, locally owned ethnic restaurants in and around your neighborhood.

The following list is not comprehensive in any respect—there are undoubtedly dozens of options to explore in the cities closest to you. If you’re willing to search, your efforts to try some new tastes from around the world will be rewarded.



If I were a conquistador, I would’ve come seeking gold and stayed for the food! These are some of my favorites.

Ceviche (pictured left)

Raw fish marinated in lemon juice, the acidity of which removes said rawness. It tastes so much better than it sounds. If you want to try the best of Peruvian cuisine, this is it.




Pollo a la Brasa

Rotisserie chicken served with French fries. It’s a staple fast food for Peruvians and a dish most are sure to find delicious.

Aji de Gallina

Chicken and potatoes smothered in a thick, creamy sauce usually made from cheese and pureed bread crumbs and nuts; it can be spicy depending on the restaurant.



The Greeks gave us the idea of democracy, columns, tons of words, and really good food. Here are some dishes worth trying.

Gyros (pictured left)

Deliciously seasoned beef (other meats may be available as well), vegetables, and tziziki sauce, all wrapped in a pita.





A baked meat dish made with chicken, beef, or lamb. If you’re really going to try Greek food, order the lamb.


A dessert dish made from thin sheets of unleavened sweet dough stacked one on top of another, filled with chopped nuts, and served with syrup or honey.



Thinking about helping Rising Star Outreach this summer? Then get your taste buds accustomed to dishes like these.

Chicken Tikka Masala (pictured left, with rice and garlic naan)

A curry dish with roasted chicken smothered in a creamy and slightly spiced sauce.





Fried pastries stuffed with meat or potatoes.

Navratan Korma

A vegetable dish with paneer (cottage cheese) or nuts in a curry sauce.

—Mark  Weinfurter