We may personally know a vegan or two (or be one ourselves), but our world is still a planet of meat lovers.
The average person eats 75 pounds of meat in one year, while the average American tops that figure by consuming a whopping 198 pounds of meat annually. That’s a whole lot of burgers, BBQ ribs, and chicken wings!
This also means if you’re a meat lover, you have plenty of travel options where you can unleash your inner Ron Swanson (he loved turf and turf, in case you need the reminder.)
Pack your bags and your appetite; here’s a list of the best countries meat lovers will want to visit.
If you live in the States, then finding meat-loving nations is just a matter of going south of the border. Way south, to countries such as Brazil where a still relatively new form of eating meat is a religion.
If you’ve been to a Brazilian steakhouse in the U.S, then you’re familiar with what is known as rodízio in the native country. The concept of serving meats from skewers for an all-you-can-eat price originated in the middle of the 20th century. It was a popular way for truck drivers to fuel up on protein for long hours on the road, then spread across the country.
No one is exactly sure who started the rodízio concept, but it originated in southern Brazil. Today it is offered all over Brazil.
You can enjoy your rodízio with side dishes such as rice, beans, and salad, but grilled meat is the star of the show. You can expect servers to offer everything from slabs of beef to Portuguese sausage, chicken, and everything in between.
You can also enjoy feijoada, a stew featuring pork, sausage, and black beans and coxinha, a deep-fried street food made with diced chicken. No doubt about it; Brazil is a meat lover’s paradise.
Sushi may be the first food to come to mind when people think of Japan. But the land of the rising sun is also known for its priced Kobe beef with its trademark marbling. The marbled fat tenderizes the beef, giving it a melt-in-your-mouth quality.
Then there’s gyukatsu, which is like a breadcrumb and batter covered pork cutlet, only with beef. The center is left rare and the meat is served with rice and sauces.
If you’re feeling adventurous, give motsu a try. This is a dish comprised of the cow’s tongue, intestines, and stomach.
Japanese diners will tell you the organ meats in this meal are packed with collagen, which is believed to help keep wrinkles at bay and joints ache-free. Who knew beauty food could be so tasty?
Japan is a very long flight from the U.S., so if you plan on visiting the country, make sure you plan ahead so you can sleep better and avoid jet lag.
Uruguay is another South American country known for its meat-based meals similar to Brazil’s rodízio. It’s a small country, yet cattle outnumber people four to one.
Here, a majority of the cattle are grass fed, which produces leaner, lower calorie cuts of beef. Grass fed beef is believed to have many health benefits over traditionally raised cattle. Grass fed cows are often raised organically in open pastures and feed off the land.
Visit a parrilla (steakhouse) in Uruguay for your meat experience. Here you’ll find short ribs, blood sausage, rump steak, and more served with house cut fries and a big salad. Be sure to wash it all down with a glass of wine.
It’s the home of wiener schnitzel, the nation’s famous breaded veal cutlet dish, so it should come as no surprise that Austrians do love to eat meat. Don’t forget to also try tafelspitz, which is a boiled beef served with veggies and minced apples for a hint of sweetness.
Then there’s the hearty comfort food Tiroler Gröstl. It’s a pan-fried dish containing chopped beef or pork with potato slices cooked in butter and topped with a fried egg. Cardiac friendly it’s probably not, but it’s definitely a tasty treat for carnivores.
If you’re truly seeking an exotic meat dish off the beaten path, then you can’t beat the diversity of Kenyan cuisine. And when a city has a famous restaurant named Carnivore, you know you’re in meat-loving territory.
The open-air restaurant is the place to go when you’re craving goat, camel, wild boar, or crocodile. Not to fear; they also serve more familiar animal fleshes such as beef, chicken, and pork.
The country’s national dish, nyama choma, means “roast meat” in Swahili. It’s a very simple grilled meat dish usually made of goat and served with kachumbari (tomato and onion) salad.
The land down under is a major exporter of beef and lamb. Even their industry beef expo is one of the largest in the world and held every three years (because it takes that long to plan it.)
But lamb and beer aren’t the only meats to sample while you’re on vacation in Australia. You can try kangaroo meat (the animals are about as common as squirrels in the U.S.), emu, wallaby, and saltwater crocodile. Australians also love their meat pies, which are made with lamb, beef, or—you guessed it—kangaroo.
Honestly, it’s hard to find many countries that love meat more than Americans do. You’d be hard pressed to find an American city that doesn’t have a steakhouse, but for an authentic experience, head to Austin, Texas; Omaha, Nebraska; or St. Louis, Missouri to sample some of the best beef our country has to offer.
Visit the Best Countries for Meat Lovers
As you can see, there’s plenty of countries that welcome meat lovers with open arms to sample their cuisine. Is your mouth watering yet?
Here at Wun Wun, we love providing travelers with inside tips to help them make the most of their adventures and discover new places to explore. If you’re interested in visiting any of these countries for meat lovers, check out our travel tips posts so you’ll be prepared before you pack for bags.