National Dishes of World Cup Countries, and Where to Get Them in Louisville


On Sunday July 13, the 2014 FIFA World Cup comes to an end--and with that ends a month of excitement all across the world. And for soccer fans in the Louisville area--of which there are many--that’s a tragedy. But if an international soccer tournament is inspirational for anything, it can certainly open up your palette to dishes from countries you might not have even known existed until the matches began. Though thirty countries altogether played in the World Cup, we’ve listed only the national dishes of the most recent few playing countries.


1. Brazil


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A sizeable portion of national dishes would probably be classified as comfort food, and that’s no surprise, as comfort food of all kinds is delicious. Brazil’s national dish, called feijoada, is no exception--a hearty stew of beans with beef and pork, feijoada is typically prepared in a clay pot and is usually served with rice. It might be summer, but if you come upon a rainy summer day and are looking for something both new and instantly comforting, Louisville is home to several Brazilian restaurants with their own take on the country’s national dish. Try Seviche for a more upscale version, or De La Torres for less expensive dishes.



1538 Bardstown Rd.

Louisville, KY 40205



De La Torres

1606 Bardstown Rd.

Louisville, KY 40205



2. Germany


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The national dish of Germany isn’t so much a single dish as it is an entire category of dishes. With a focus on elements like various meats, sausages, and potatoes often all cooked together in stews, German cuisine is certainly more diverse than sauerkraut and liverwurst. If you’d like to sample popular German dishes such as Schupfnudeln (potato-based dumplings similar to Italian gnocchi),Sauerbraten (roast marinated in a vinegar or white wine mixture before cooking) or one of the more than 1500 varieties of German sausage, you’re in luck. Stop by Gasthaus German Restaurant at Brownsboro Center,  moderately priced and open only for dinner. This might just become your new favorite cuisine.


Gasthaus German Restaurant

4812 Brownsboro Center

Louisville, KY

(502) 899-7177


3. Costa Rica


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As probably one of the most popular, well-loved, healthy and affordable food combinations in the world, rice and beans might seem a little too common for the title of national dish--or plato nacional in Latin American countries. But a blank slate sort of dish like this can be open to all sorts of exciting variations across the world, and a popular Costa Rican plato like gallo pinto can certainly hold its own. Stewed until the flavorful juices have been absorbed by the rice, this seemingly simple dish holds layers of unexpected complexity when cooked well. You can find Latin American versions of this dish in many Louisville restaurants, among them the Mayan Cafe on East Market Street and El Corporal on Meadow Drive. Need a fun fact? “Gallo pinto” literally means “spotted rooster”, after the speckled appearance of rice and black or red beans cooked together. Who knew?


El Corporal

2209 Meadow Dr

Louisville, KY 40218

(502) 473-7840


Mayan Cafe

813 E Market St

Louisville, Ky 40206

(502) 566-0651


4. Netherlands


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At least around here, the Netherlands is typically known more for its extensive waterways, art history and high quality of life than for its cuisine. Though the elements that go into Dutch food are typically something that the average Louisvillian foodie would be down with, Louisville itself doesn’t have any specifically Dutch restaurants to patronise, we’re well-stocked with locations to cater to your cravings for Dutch staples like rich dairy products and fresh fish. Though far from the Netherlands in focus, Lotsa Pasta stocks a variety of dairy products, as does Murray’s Cheese Shop on Bardstown Road. For the freshest of fish, Highland Fish Market is always a good bet, and you can’t go wrong with Clearwater Fine Foods on Produce Road. With elements like these at your disposal, it can be easy to piece together your own Dutch meal.


Highland Fish Market

12121 Shelbyville Rd,

Louisville, KY 40243

(502) 254-3474


Clearwater Fine Foods

3904 Produce Rd.

Louisville, KY 40218

(502) 966-3100


5. Belgium


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Like the cuisine of the Netherlands, Belgian food is hard to come by in the Louisville area--but that doesn’t mean its most delicious elements are out of reach for a foodie around these parts. Belgium is famous for beer, chocolate, waffles and French fries with mayonnaise--basically the perfect quartet of foods--and its national dish is fried mussels with said mayonnaise-laden fries. The fishmongers listed above are a great place to source your mussels, and if you prefer your Belgian dish already prepared, you need to go to the famed Mussel and Burger Bar on Taylorsville Road. For a sweet finish of the Belgian sort, where else but The Chocolate Bar on Lyndon Lane? Belgian cuisine may be little-known in Louisville, but it’s certainly easy to love.


Mussel & Burger Bar

9200 Taylorsville Rd

Louisville, KY 40299

(502) 384-4834


Louisville Chocolate Bar

1106 Lyndon Lane

Louisville, KY 40222

(502) 384-1384


6. Argentina


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It’s no secret that Latin American food of any and every kind and quality is a favorite around here, and it can be so much more than tacos, rice and beans (though of course there’s nothing wrong with those). Unsurprisingly, Louisville is home to an amazing variety of Argentina and Argentina-inspired eats at all price levels, including variations on empanadas and asado, which refers to both a range of barbecue techniques and the tradition of social barbecuing itself. Seviche can always be counted upon for delicious, classy empanadas, as can Palermo Viejo on Bardstown Rd, which serves up grilled delights of all kinds. Whether you’re a seafood aficionado, after a great steak, or just want to dunk everything you see in chimichurri sauce, Argentinian is an inclusive cuisine with a twist of the unexpected--and you can find it all right here.


Palermo Viejo

1359 Bardstown Rd

Louisville, KY 40204

(502) 456-6461



1538 Bardstown Rd, Louisville, KY 40205

(502) 473-8560


About Silvana Hill
I am a soon-to-be junior journalism student at Northern Kentucky University with a passion for writing and editing. I love exploring the city and seeing what there is to discover and do.
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