INSIDER has rounded up 23 of the world’s best cheese dishes, from the more familiar Polish cheese pierogis, to the trendy and drippy cheese raclette from Switzerland, as well as lesser-known dishes like fried Rubing cheese, native to China.
Keep scrolling to add to your cheesy travel bucket list.
Adjaruli Khachapuri, Georgia
One of the most popular dishes in the small nation of Georgia, Khachapuri is made with pizza dough, a mozzarella and feta cheese mix, and topped with baked eggs. It’s a boat-shaped bread bowl for the ages.
Although France is world-renowned for its abundance of cheese, aligot is probably one of the lesser- known French dishes in which cheese is the star. This hearty mashed potato dish is one part potato, and one part melty raclette cheese.
We’re always open to new types of mac ‘n’ cheese. This German/Austrian version is made with dumpling-like noodles and topped with caramelized or fried onions. You can use the Swiss-like Emmentaler cheese or Gruyere to make this creamy casserole.
Croque Madame, France
This traditional French sandwich — and a riff on the more well-known Croque Monsieur — is stuffed with gruyere cheese, creamy bechamel sauce, and topped with a fried egg.
It’s grilled cheese without the bread! This cheesy dish is just cheese fried in a pan until it becomes golden brown, though restaurants will often add tomato sauce or seafood to make it more filling.
Raclette has become so popular in New York, that the restaurant of the same name where it’s served has lines out the door. Raclette is a melted wheel of cheese that’s slowly poured over grilled meats, vegetables, and potatoes. Talk about a hearty meal!
Halloumi is gaining popularity outside the Mediterranean area. With a high melting point, the cheese can withstand high heat without melting, making it delicious grilled or fried. It can be served on a sandwich, on top of a salad, or even on its own.
Obatzda is the quintessential German biergarten food, made with Camembert or cream cheese and flavored with a dark ale. Best eaten alongside a cold stein of your favorite German brew, it’s usually served as a spread with pretzels.
Authentic leipäjuusto cheese is usually baked or flambéed to give it its traditional grill marks.
Similar to a calzone, a panzerotto is a Southern Italian creation that’s dough stuffed with mozzarella cheese and tomato sauce. The difference is that calzones are oven-baked, while panzerottes are fried.
Cacio e Pepe, Italy
Literally just “cheese and pepper,” it’s the Italian version of macaroni and cheese, made with creamy Parmigiano and cracked black pepper. Cacio e Pepe is having a resurgence in popularity lately thanks to one restaurant in Australia that makes the dish inside a giant wheel of Parmigiano cheese.
Pão de Queijo, Brazil
You’ll never want to try a different cheese puff again after eating one (or a dozen) of these. They’re made with tapioca flour and grated Parmesan cheese.
Cheese Pierogi, Poland
Potato pierogis are the darlings of the dumpling world, but if you really want to take your pierogi game up a notch, try the ones stuffed with sweetened cheese curds or ricotta.
Pimento Cheese Dip, Southern United States
When it comes to classic, cheesy American dishes, we all know pizza, grilled cheese, and Philly cheesesteaks. But a particularly underrated cheese dish is this Southern staple made with cheddar, pimento peppers, and plenty of mayonnaise. You can probably find it at a cookout or tailgate.
Labneh, Israel and other parts of the Middle East
This thick and creamy cheesy Greek yogurt can be used as a spread on pita bread or formed into cheese balls.
The magic of Provoleta— the Argentinian version of provolone cheese — is that it can be served many ways (as a dip or over French bread, for instance), but it’s almost always made hot and gooey.
Poutine consists of fries topped with cheese curds and drenched in gravy. It’s been trending in the States for a while, but if you want some real authenticity, head to Quebec. Poutine is basically Canadian slang for “mess,” but at least it’s a delicious mess.
Welsh Rarebit, Wales
Welsh Rarebit is one of the most popular dishes to come out of Wales. This fancy cheese sandwich is made with Worcestershire sauce, mustard, and a dark beer like Guinness.
Queso Fundido, Mexico
Queso fundido is a boiling-hot cheesy skillet dish bubbling over with chorizo, spices, and, of course, authentic Mexican cheese like Oaxaca and Chihuahua. It’s usually eaten with corn tortillas like a cheesy rollup.
Hot Yunnan Rubing Cheese, China
Rubing or Rushan is a goat’s milk farmer’s cheese made in the Yunnan Province of China, and it can be roasted or steamed and topped with various mild spices.
Gebackener Camembert, Germany
Fried and baked Camembert cheese is usually served with a scoop of fresh cranberry sauce in Gemany. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to get true Camembert cheese in the US because raw milk cheese is illegal.
Sandwich de Medianoche, Cuba
The Sandwich de Medianoche was so named because it’s a popular late-night snack eaten by partiers in Havana. It’s made with Swiss cheese, ham, pork, and pickles. The difference between a classic Cuban and a Medianoche sandwich? Thelatter is made with buttered sweet bread rolls.
Saag Paneer, India
Saag Paneer is one of the most popular dishes in India. It’s made with traditional Indian non-melting cheese curd and mixed with spinach and heavy cream.