The Most Popular Iraqi Food: Discover the Irresistible Flavors of Iraqi Cuisine

Choose the food you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Apr 10, 2024 07:14
Embark on a mouthwatering journey into the world of Iraqi cuisine with StrawPoll's ultimate ranking of the most popular Iraqi foods! We've gathered thousands of food enthusiasts to cast their votes and celebrate the rich, diverse, and tantalizing flavors that make Iraqi dishes a true culinary delight. But we need YOUR palate to weigh in on this scrumptious showdown! Will it be the succulent Dolma, the aromatic Biryani, or perhaps the irresistible Masgouf that reigns supreme? Or do you have a hidden gem you'd like to share with fellow gourmands? Don't miss your chance to savor the debate and vote for your favorite or suggest a missing delicacy in our ever-evolving list. Join us now in this epicurean adventure and let your taste buds be the judge!

What Is the Most Popular Iraqi Food?

  1. 1
    Kebabs are a popular Iraqi food, made with marinated meat, vegetables, and spices, cooked on skewers over an open flame. They are a staple of Iraqi cuisine and are often served with rice or flatbread.
    Kebabs are a popular Middle Eastern grilled dish consisting of skewered meat, typically beef, chicken, lamb, or goat, that is marinated with a variety of aromatic spices and cooked over an open flame or grill. The meat is often tender and juicy, with a smoky and charred flavor. Kebabs are commonly served with pita bread, rice, salad, or grilled vegetables, and are enjoyed in many Arab countries as a part of their culinary traditions.
    • Types of Meat Used: Beef, chicken, lamb, or goat
    • Marination: Meat is marinated with aromatic spices, herbs, and sometimes yogurt
    • Skewering Technique: Meat is skewered on metal or wooden sticks
    • Cooking Method: Grilled over an open flame or charcoal
    • Flavor Profile: Smoky, charred, and flavorful
  2. 2
    Tabbouleh is a fresh salad made with bulgur wheat, parsley, tomatoes, onions, and mint, dressed with lemon juice and olive oil. It is a popular appetizer in Iraqi cuisine and is often served with pita bread.
    Tabbouleh is a popular dish in Bahrain that is a refreshing salad made with a base of chopped parsley and bulgur wheat. It is often served as a side dish or a light meal during hot summer days. Tabbouleh is known for its vibrant colors and fresh flavors, and it is highly regarded for its health benefits.
    • Ingredients: Chopped parsley, bulgur wheat, tomatoes, onions, mint, lemon juice, olive oil
    • Vegan-friendly: Yes
    • Gluten-free: Yes
    • Typical serving temperature: Chilled or at room temperature
    • Texture: Light and fluffy
  3. 3
    Dolma is a dish of stuffed vegetables, typically grape leaves, eggplant, or zucchini, filled with a mixture of rice, herbs, and ground meat. It is a traditional Iraqi dish and is often served as an appetizer or side dish.
    Dolma is a traditional Armenian dish that consists of various vegetables, such as bell peppers, tomatoes, eggplants, or zucchinis, stuffed with a flavorful mixture of seasoned rice and ground meat. The vegetables are usually hollowed out and filled with the rice and meat mixture before being simmered or baked to perfection. Dolma is a delicacy that combines the vibrant flavors of the vegetables with the savory filling, resulting in a mouthwatering dish rich in taste and texture.
    • Variations: Dolma can be made with different types of vegetables like bell peppers, tomatoes, eggplants, or zucchinis.
    • Filling: The filling consists of seasoned rice mixed with ground meat, typically beef or lamb.
    • Herbs and Spices: Dolma is flavored with a variety of herbs and spices, including mint, parsley, dill, cinnamon, and black pepper.
    • Cooking Method: Dolma is often simmered in a flavorful broth or baked in the oven.
    • Serving: It is commonly served as an appetizer or a main course, and it can be enjoyed hot or cold.
  4. 4
    Falafel is a deep-fried ball made from ground chickpeas, herbs, and spices. It is a popular street food in Iraq and is often served in a pita bread with vegetables and tahini sauce.
    Falafel is a popular Middle Eastern dish made from ground chickpeas or fava beans, mixed with various herbs and spices. It is typically shaped into small balls, patties, or nuggets, and then deep-fried until crispy. Falafel is known for its crispy exterior and soft, flavorful interior. It is commonly enjoyed as a vegetarian or vegan option, served in pita bread or as part of a mezze platter.
    • Main Ingredients: Chickpeas or fava beans, herbs, and spices
    • Cooking Method: Deep-fried
    • Texture: Crispy exterior, soft interior
    • Shape: Balls, patties, or nuggets
    • Flavor Profile: Savory, aromatic, and mildly spiced
  5. 5
    Shawarma is a Middle Eastern dish of roasted meat, typically chicken or lamb, sliced and served in a pita bread with vegetables and sauce. It is a popular fast food in Iraq and is often served as a quick meal or snack.
    Shawarma is a popular Arab food that originated in the Middle East. It is a type of meat preparation, typically made with thinly sliced marinated lamb, beef, or chicken. The meat is often placed on a vertical rotating spit and slowly cooked, resulting in a tender and flavorful filling. The shawarma is commonly served in a pita bread or flatbread, along with various toppings and sauces.
    • Meat: Lamb, beef, or chicken
    • Marination: Thinly sliced meat marinated in a blend of herbs, spices, and sometimes yogurt
    • Cooking Method: Slowly roasted on a vertical spit, resulting in juicy and tender meat
    • Serving Style: Typically served in a pita bread or flatbread
    • Toppings: Common toppings include tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, pickles, and sometimes fries
  6. 6
    Masgouf is a traditional Iraqi dish of grilled fish, typically carp, marinated in a mixture of spices and served with rice or flatbread. It is a popular dish in Baghdad and is often served in restaurants along the Tigris River.
    Masgouf is a popular traditional Iraqi dish made from grilled fish, typically carp or catfish, marinated in a mixture of olive oil, tamarind, ground turmeric, and salt. It is cooked on wood-fired grills, giving it a distinct smoky flavor.
    • Fish: Typically carp or catfish
    • Marinade: Olive oil, tamarind, ground turmeric, salt
    • Cooking method: Grilled on wood-fired grills
    • Flavor: Distinct smoky flavor
    • Serving style: Whole fish on a platter
  7. 7
    Samosas are a popular Iraqi snack, made with a pastry shell filled with spiced potatoes, peas, and sometimes ground meat. They are typically deep-fried and served with chutney or hot sauce.
    Samosas are a popular and delicious Indian dish that originated in the Indian subcontinent. They are deep-fried pastries with a crispy outer crust and a savory filling. The filling typically consists of a mixture of spiced potatoes, peas, onions, and sometimes lentils or minced meat. Samosas are often triangular or cone-shaped and are enjoyed as a snack or appetizer.
    • Filling: Spiced potatoes, peas, onions
    • Optional ingredients: Lentils or minced meat
    • Shape: Triangular or cone-shaped
    • Crust: Crispy and deep-fried
    • Usage: Snack or appetizer
  8. 8
    Kubba is a dish of stuffed meatballs made with ground meat, bulgur wheat, and spices, typically fried or baked. It is a popular Iraqi dish and is often served as a main course or appetizer.
    Kubba is a traditional Iraqi food made of a bulgur wheat shell stuffed with a variety of fillings, such as spiced ground meat, onions, and herbs. The shell is typically shaped into a flattened oval or spherical shape and deep-fried or baked until crispy. Kubba is commonly served with a side of tangy dipping sauce.
    • Origin: Iraq
    • Main Ingredients: Bulgur wheat, ground meat, spices, onions, herbs
    • Cooking Methods: Deep-fried or baked
    • Shape: Flattened oval or spherical
    • Texture: Crispy exterior, soft filling
  9. 9
    Biryani is a rice dish cooked with meat or vegetables, spices, and sometimes saffron. It is a popular dish in Iraqi cuisine and is often served at special occasions and celebrations.
    Biryani is a flavorful and aromatic rice dish originating from the Indian subcontinent. It is made by cooking basmati rice with a blend of spices, meat (such as chicken, mutton, or fish), and occasionally vegetables. Biryani is known for its rich taste, tender meat, and fragrant rice, making it one of the most popular and beloved dishes in India.
    • Region: Various regions of India, with variations in spices and style.
    • Meat: Chicken, mutton, fish, or seafood.
    • Vegetarian Options: Vegetable biryani or paneer biryani (cottage cheese).
    • Rice: Basmati rice, known for its long-grain and fragrant characteristics.
    • Spices: A blend of various spices, including cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, bay leaves, cumin, coriander, and saffron.
  10. 10
    Maqluba is a traditional Iraqi dish of rice, meat, and vegetables, typically cooked in a pot and then inverted onto a serving platter. It is a hearty and flavorful dish and is often served at family gatherings and events.
    Maqluba is a traditional Palestinian and Jordanian dish that translates to 'upside down' in Arabic. It is a flavorful one-pot dish that typically consists of meat (such as chicken, lamb, or beef), rice, and a variety of vegetables like eggplant, cauliflower, and carrots. The ingredients are layered in a pot and cooked together until the rice is soft and fluffy. Once cooked, the pot is flipped upside down onto a serving plate, hence the name 'Maqluba.' The dish is often garnished with fried nuts and served with yogurt or a tomato-based sauce.
    • Origin: Palestine and Jordan
    • Main components: Meat (chicken, lamb, or beef), rice, vegetables
    • Cooking method: Layering ingredients in a pot and cooking them together
    • Flavor profile: Savory and aromatic
    • Typical seasonings: Cumin, turmeric, cardamom, and other Middle Eastern spices

Missing your favorite food?


Ranking factors for popular food

  1. Taste and flavor
    The food should have a distinctive and delicious taste that appeals to a wide range of people.
  2. Cultural significance
    The dish should have a strong connection to Iraqi culture and history, representing the unique culinary traditions of the region.
  3. Preparation and ingredients
    Popular dishes often use locally sourced ingredients and have specific preparation techniques that set them apart from other cuisines.
  4. Popularity among locals
    The dish should be well-loved by Iraqis and commonly found in homes, street food stalls, and restaurants throughout the country.
  5. Versatility
    Popular dishes might have several variations or be easily adaptable to different tastes and dietary preferences.
  6. Nutritional value
    The dish should provide a balance of essential nutrients and contribute to a healthy diet.
  7. Presentation and appeal
    A visually appealing and appetizing dish is more likely to be popular and widely enjoyed.
  8. Traditions and customs
    Some dishes might be popular due to their connection to specific celebrations, festivals, or traditions.
  9. International recognition
    A popular Iraqi dish may also be well-known and enjoyed outside of Iraq, raising its profile and popularity among global food enthusiasts.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular Iraqi food. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or food is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 210 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Movers & Shakers

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each food once every 24 hours. The rank of each food is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.


More information on most popular iraqi food

Iraqi cuisine is a delightful blend of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean flavors, with a rich history dating back to ancient Mesopotamia. The culinary traditions of Iraq have been shaped by the country's diverse cultural and ethnic groups, resulting in a unique and mouth-watering cuisine that is enjoyed by people all over the world. Some of the most popular Iraqi dishes include Tashreeb, a savory broth with layers of bread and meat, and Dolma, a stuffed vegetable dish that is usually served as an appetizer. Another favorite is Kebab, which comes in many variations, including lamb, chicken, and fish. Iraqi cuisine is also known for its use of aromatic spices such as saffron, turmeric, and cinnamon, which add depth and complexity to the flavors. Whether you're a fan of meat-heavy dishes or prefer vegetarian options, there's something for everyone in Iraqi cuisine. So, what is the most popular Iraqi food? That's a tough question to answer, as there are so many delicious options to choose from. However, one of the most beloved dishes is undoubtedly Masgouf, a grilled fish that is often served with rice and a tangy sauce. So, if you're looking to try some authentic Iraqi cuisine, Masgouf is a great place to start!

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