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What Office Lunches Look Like Around The World

If you're stuck in a salad rut, allow these global lunches to inspire your midday meal game.

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Hanoi, Vietnam

“It’s very common for people working in offices to eat lunch out. There are a lot of street food stalls and places serving lunch inside or close to office buildings. The dish in the picture is bun suon (rib rice vermicelli) which is one of Hanoi’s popular lunch noodles. It’s slow-cooked rib, rice vermicelli, taro stems, scallion in a tomato bone broth.” —Linh Nguyen, photographer and author of a Vietnamese cooking blog Indiechine and cookbook Lemongrass, Ginger and Mint Vietnamese Cookbook: Classic Vietnamese Street Food Made at Home

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Photo:via Instagram/beirutista

Beirut, Lebanon

“Grape leaves and zucchini stuffed with oriental rice and minced meat, complemented by a trio of fragrant lamb chops, plain yogurt, and a fresh Lebanese salad called fattouch.” —Danielle Issa, based in Beirut, Lebanon. Lifestyle & food blogger at Beirutista.co

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Photo: via Instagram/beirutista
Photo: Marc Matsumoto

Tokyo, Japan

Oyakodon is a classic Japanese chicken and egg rice bowl, with tender pieces of chicken and sweet onions simmered in a sweet and savory dashi broth which is thickened with egg.” —Marc Matsumoto, chef, photographer, food personality and No Recipes blogger

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around the worldPhoto: via Kaluhi Adagala
Photo: Kaluhi Adagala

Nairobi, Kenya

“This meal is called Kuku wa Kupaka served with any rice dish (in this case pilau) or chapati flat bread. Kuku wa kupaka is chicken cooked in coconut cream along with bold coastal spices such as clove, turmeric giving it such enormous character. It is a classic lunch, especially in the Kenyan coastal cities.” —Kaluhi Adagala, Kaluhi’s Kitchen blogger

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around the worldPhoto: via Instagram/dinnerwithjulie
Photo: via Instagram/@dinnerwithjulie

Calgary, Canada

“I often scrounge together leftovers for lunch at my desk and often I mix a couple things together―leftover chickpeas or roasted veggies stirred into a curry, for example. As a food writer, I don’t have a standard go-to for lunch, it changes depending on what I’m working on. Which also often means lunch out of season—a roasted turkey leg in August while I’m working on holiday stories, or hot cross buns in January in advance of Easter.” —Julie Van Rosendaal, food writer and Dinner with Julie blogger

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around the worldPhoto: via Instagram/j.anniewang
Photo: via Instagram/@j.anniewang

Minneapolis, Minnesota

“Noodles―and whatever is in my refrigerator―are my go-to for lunch and I think this is something I’ve subconsciously picked up from my dad. My family is Taiwanese and the kitchen is usually well stocked in Taiwanese noodles―milk noodles, hand pulled, a wavy ramen-noodle looking one from a small Taiwanese county.” —Annie Wang, Frites & Fries blogger

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around the worldPhoto: via Instagram/juliekarladk
Photo: via Instagram/@juliekarladk

Copenhagen, Denmark

“Wholegrains and especially rye is a big thing in Denmark, and here I’ve made a Rye tortilla to go—perfect for lunch.” —Julie Karla, full-time blogger at Karla’s Nordic Kitchen and Copenhagen food tour guide

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around the worldPhoto: via Instagram/chicanoeats
Photo: via Instagram/chicanoeats

Riverside, California

“It’s rare when I do have the time to make myself lunch, but when I do, I usually reach for Tacos de Papa (or potato tacos). They are filled with garlicky mashed potatoes and fried until they are crispy and golden brown, and are topped with a salty queso cotija, and bathed in a savory tomato salsa. They are super easy to make and I always find myself making this childhood favorite when I have the time to make myself some lunch.” —Esteban Castillo, creator of Chicano Eats

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around the worldPhoto: via Instagram/thehonestproject
Photo: via Instagram@thehonestproject

Kilkenny, Ireland

“Cauliflower & Pea Soup, what I typically eat for a home lunch.” —Frances Walsh, creator of The Honest Project

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around the worldPhoto: via Instagram/thelittlegreenspoon
Photo: via Instagram/@thelittlegreenspoon

Dublin, Ireland

“My favorite lunch at the moment, at home or on the go, is these Chickpea Wraps. Here, I’ve filled them with hummus, falafel, avocado and radishes.” —Indy Power, cookbook author and writer of The Little Green Spoon

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around the worldPhoto: via Instagram/anamericaninrome
Photo: via Instagram/@anamericaninrome

Rome, Italy

“Eaten on the go, pizza al taglio (pizza sold by the slice based on weight) is the ultimate Roman version of a quick lunch. Forno (bread bakeries) around the city churn out long flatbread pizzas which are then cut, folded together, and wrapped in paper to form the perfect Italian fast food.” —Natalie Kennedy,  An American in Rome blogger and creator of the Discover Rome app

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around the worldPhoto: via Instagram/maisoncupcake
Photo: via Instagram/@maisoncupcake

London, England

Rainbow burrito wraps with spicy chicken—It’s my own creation suitable for packed lunches or picnics. There’s some chopping to do but otherwise it’s really easy to make and stores well wrapped in paper until you eat it a few hours later.” —Sarah Trivuncic, blogger at Maison Cupcake

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around the worldPhoto: via Instagram/mylittle_italian_kitchen
Photo: via Instagram/@mylittle_italian_kitchen

Kent, England

Vesuvio Style Spaghetti is a simple pasta dish with olives, capers and tomatoes. This dish is a classic Italian recipe which does not take longer than 15 minutes to prepare and it is quite light too. I come from Northern Italy from the region of Friuli but I have been living in Great Britain, in Kent for the past 18 years.” —Alida Zamparini, blogger at My Little Italian Kitchen

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around the worldPhoto: via Instagram/foodlovetog
Photo: via Instagram/@foodlovetog

Indianapolis, Indiana

“I tend to cook a hefty meal on Sundays so that I have tasty lunch treats for work throughout the week. One of those dishes has always been leftover pot roast and/or short ribs. I pair it with the classic potatoes, mushrooms, carrots and onions, and it’s a match made in heaven. ” — Candace Boyd Wylie, FoodLoveTog.com creator

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around the worldPhoto: via Instagram/rasamalaysia
Photo: via Instagram/@rasamalaysia

Irvine, California

“I am originally from Penang, Malaysia. Chow Mein is a common and popular office lunch for many people in Malaysia. Chow mein is easy to make at home and it’s a hassle-free office lunch. It’s also a wholesome meal by itself. For those who don’t cook, they can always buy chow mein from street vendors, morning markets and bring them to work.” —Bee Yinn Low, Rasa Malaysia blogger

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around the worldPhoto: via Instagram/eatyourselfgreek
Photo: via Instagram/@eatyourselfgreek

Athens, Greece

“Lunch is normally a hearty soup for winter or a pie, either homemade or from the bakery. In Greece, we love our bakeries, you can find all sorts of traditional and modern pastries that make for a hearty, on-the-go lunch.” —Eugenia Makrogianneli, Eat Yourself Greek blogger

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around the worldPhoto: via Instagram/myafricanfoodmap
Photo: via Instagram/@myafricanfoodmap

Berlin, Germany

“A classic West African favorite, groundnut stew is always a great lunch idea. Because they’re relatively straightforward, stews, which are sometimes called ‘soups’ in West Africa—are my go-to dishes to prepare. Besides the fact that stews insist on being made in large amounts, they often taste better the next day, which makes them a perfect lunch idea for those busy weeks.” —Tuleka Prah, curator of My African Food Map, a collection of authentic African recipes

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around the worldPhoto: via Instagram/eatingintaipei
Photo: via Instagram/@eatingintaipei

Taipei, Taiwan

“Squid ball soup with fried onions over rice, a portion of tofu, sweet potato leaves, and a side of pork cheek. A typical meal in Taipei for lunch.” —Ash Boden, creator of EatinginTaipei.com, a website aimed at unearthing restaurants and food in Taiwan, making food more accessible to the island’s growing non-Chinese community

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Photo: via Instagram/
Photo: via Instagram/@imstillhungry_

Sydney, Australia

“With its origins in Hawaii, poke is a fish salad that showcases the region’s seafood—famed for its freshness and flavor—as well as combining it with Hawaii’s unique Pan-Asian culture. Traditional poke dates back many hundreds of years, and it just wouldn’t be poke without diced fish (tuna is the most common), scallions, local seaweed, rice, and a sauce —usually soy-based.” —Michael Shen, food and travel blogger at I’m Still Hungry

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around the worldPhoto: via Twitter/ @mzansicuisine
Photo: via Twitter/@mzansicuisine

Cape Town, South Africa

“My dish choice is not a meal per se. It is a South African traditional meal substitute aka a smoothie. It is made with maize meal [corn meal]. Called Mageu, it’s a beverage that I grew up consuming. My aunt would make it up days in advance. After a few days when it is done fermenting she would put it in the fridge to chill. Oh boy! It is so delicious, I tell you.  I work from home, and my Mageu [recipe] keeps me full and gives me energy. ” —Thuli Gogela, recipe developer and food blogger at Mzansi Style Cuisine

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around the worldPhoto: via Instagram/aayisrecipes
Photo: via Instagram/@aayisrecipes

Kansas City, Kansas

“Here’s a picture of lemon rice (chitranna) with a spicy pineapple curry that I took for lunch today. I added red bell pepper to it today to get some vegetable fix. I normally take some rice dish or flatbread (chapati/paratha) [too].” —Shilpa, food blogger at AayisRecipes.com

Joann Pan
Joann Pan is a content creator based in New York City. Her work has appeared on Oprah.com, Mashable.com, The Huffington Post and more.
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