Plus, the dishes are safe to put in the microwave, oven, freezer, and dishwasher, making them a practical choice. Minimalists will love these straightforward dishes, which are perfect for people moving into a first apartment who don’t want a hand-me-down set.
It’s a cliché you’ll hear all the time if you watch cooking shows: we eat with our eyes first. This set is durable though and in fact, Leno offers a lifetime replacement program for broken dishes.
Delicate blue stripes ring the outer edges of plates and the exterior of bowls and mugs in this set. The speckled background and blue stripes are eye-catching, but flexible enough to match a wide variety of tablecloths and place mats.
Unlike “silverware,” which has become a generic term for all flatware regardless of material, plenty of dinnerware sets today are considered “china,” which is the same thing as porcelain. Porcelain is something made from clay that has been fired at high temperatures, and is typically white and shiny.
The Spruce Eats Earthenware, made from clay and with a more porous surface than stoneware, is traditionally seen as an even less expensive option. Melamine, a lightweight, non-porous plastic that won’t easily scratch or break, is a good option for outdoor dining or families with young children.
Ultimately, design may be your deciding factor; while materials offer you some clue as to what the dinnerware will likely look like, there's often some variation. You can find porcelain these days that has a more organic, handmade feel, and stoneware with delicate detailing.
Even if you want to play it safe with color, you can find many subtle embellishments that still make your set unique. Some designers will also play with shapes to update dinnerware, making plates square instead of round, for example.
The Spruce Eats On a more practical note, small changes in design, like the depth of a bowl or the size of a mug handle, can have a real impact on your day. If you like big cups of coffee (or just the occasional chamomile tea), your ideal mug is going to reflect that.
Another thing to consider is if the dinnerware set also offers coordinating pieces like platters, serving bowls, or even gravy boats. Whether this is important is a matter of preference, but if you want a clean, unified look on your table, it’s good to know what your options are.
You can pick up porcelain at Target for under $5, or you can register for a set that can cost thousands of dollars. It also has a cult following: fans will devotedly track down a rare color or scour the internet for vintage pieces.
This American company has been making fine china for over a hundred years and has supplied dinnerware to the White House on more than one occasion. A Japanese brand with a storied history, Heritage was founded in Japan in 1876 by two brothers who wanted to sell porcelain in the American market.
The brand's designs have changed with the times, and collectors will pay top dollar for some of its hand painted vintage and antique sets. Be sure to check the care instructions before you buy: handmade items may not stand up to a dishwasher, for example, or gold detailing on a fine china plate can render it unsafe for the microwave.
The Spruce Eats If you can avoid chipping, porcelain is probably the easiest to care for: it's non-porous, so you can let it soak or let coffee linger in your mug without worrying about staining. In general, stoneware shouldn’t be soaked, and tough stains or scuffs can be removed with baking soda.
Corn -- the workhorse of the industrial world -- is best when its sweet variety is fried up with lashings of butter till it bursts and then snarfed in greasy fistfuls while watching Netflix late at night. A crispy, rice-batter crêpe encases a spicy mix of mashed potato, which is then dipped in coconut chutney, pickles, tomato-and-lentil-based sauces and other condiments.
It's unclear when and where the potato chip was born -- US legend has it that they were invented in New York in 1853, but the earliest known recipe for “Potatoes Fried in Slices or Shavings” appears in a bestselling 1817 cookbook by Englishman William Kitchener. But think of them this way -- if a single chip cost, say, $5, it'd be a far greater (and more popular) delicacy than caviar, a prize worth fighting wars over.
The sea is lapping just by your feet, a warm breeze whips the tablecloth around your legs and a steamy pan of paella sits in front of you. Shrimp, lobster, mussels and cuttlefish combine with white rice and various herbs, oil and salt in this Valencian dish to send you immediately into holiday mode.
To prepare Thailand's most famous salad, pound garlic and chilies with a mortar and pestle. Toss in tamarind juice, fish sauce, peanuts, dried shrimp, tomatoes, lime juice, sugar cane paste, string beans and a handful of grated green papaya.
Variations include those made with crab (some tam boo) and fermented fish sauce (some tam play LAH), but none matches the flavor and simple beauty of the original. Often called the “national dish” of Singapore, this steamed or boiled chicken is served atop fragrant oily rice, with sliced cucumber as the token vegetable.
The dipping sauces -- premium dark soy sauce, chili with garlic and pounded ginger -- give it that little extra oomph to ensure whenever you're not actually in Singapore eating chicken rice, you're thinking of it. Sounds kind of disgusting, looks even worse, but engulfs the mouth in a saucy, cheesy, fried-potato mix that'll have you fighting over the last dollop.
People enjoy tacos from Tokyo to Tulum, and they've found unique ways of making this handy snack. A fresh, handmade tortilla stuffed with small chunks of grilled beef rubbed in oil and sea salt then covered with guacamole, salsa, onions, cilantro or anything else you want -- perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
OK, anything buttered is probably going to taste great, but there's something about this tangy, salty, sour, love-it-or-hate-it yeast extract that turns a piece of grilled bread into a reason to go on living. Like Dorian, smelly tofu is one of Southeast Asia's most iconic foods.
Unlike its more restrained Sunday brunch counterpart, Hong Kong -style French toast is like a deep-fried hug. Melted Parmesan and mozzarella cheese, and a peppery, garlicky tomato sauce drizzled over the top of a chicken fillet -- Aussie pub-goers claim this ostensibly Italian dish as their own.
This humble Middle Eastern spread, made with chickpeas, garlic, lemon juice and tahini has become a fridge staple all around the world. This tangy treat tastes good as a dip, with breads, with meats, with vegetables, beans or -- hear us out -- on a Mar mite rice cake.
In fact, Canada's gift to parents everywhere -- throw some maple syrup on the kid's broccoli and see what happens -- makes just about anything worth trying. The staple of the Victorian British working class is a crunchy-outside, soft-inside dish of simple, unadorned fundamentals.
Thought not -- still, you're missing out on one of sushi's last great secrets, the prized anime. The monkish/angler fish that unknowingly bestows its liver upon upscale sushi fans is threatened by commercial fishing nets damaging its sea-floor habitat, so it's possible anime won't be around for much longer.
If you do stumble across the creamy, yet oddly light delicacy anytime soon, consider a taste -- you won't regret trying one of the best foods in Japan. There's good reason for that: these salty, paper-thin slices of air-dried ham lift the taste of everything they accompany to a higher level.
Dipped in a slightly sweet Vietnamese sauce laced with ground peanuts, it's wholesome, easy and the very definition of “moreish.” Called the “Rolls-Royce” of beef, it's best eaten sashimi style, anointed with a drizzle of kaffir lime and green tea sea salt.
This oft-mispronounced national dish (“fun” is correct) is just broth, fresh rice noodles, a few herbs and usually chicken or beef. A Filipino national dish, lesson is a whole young pig slow-roasted over charcoal for several hours.
Step 2: Along with the meat, throw side servings of capsicum, onion, guacamole, sour cream and salsa into a warm, flour tortilla. This delicious, simple dish is made by drowning a large crab in a gallon of butter-garlic sauce, which seeps into every nook and cranny and coats every inch of flesh.
The sea gods of Butter Land are benevolent carnivores and this, their gift to the world, is their signature dish. Irish national dish champ goes down faster than the first pint of Guinness on a Friday night.
Mashed potato with spring onions, butter, salt and pepper, champ is the perfect side with any meat or fish. For the textbook plate of creamy goodness, we suggest the busiest pub in any Irish seaside town.
Second only to pizza in the list of famed Italian foods, there's a reason this pasta-layered, tomato-sauce-infused, minced-meaty gift to kids and adults alike is so popular -- it just works. This iconic Hawaiian appetizer is a raw fish salad -- it originated when local fishermen were looking for use for the cut-offs from their catches.
Flaky pastry smothered in butter, a pile of raspberry jam smeared over the top and a soft, giving bite as you sink in your teeth; there's nothing not to love about this fatty, sweet breakfast food that must be married to a cup of strong coffee. A corn-dough patty that provides a savory canvas onto which you can paint any number of delicious toppings: cheese, shredded chicken, crisped pork skin, PERCO, beef, tomato, avocado.
Despite the name, no rabbits are harmed in the making of one of South Africa's best -loved street foods. These cubes of deliciousness -- most often lamb, but also beef, swordfish and chicken -- are enjoyed with rice and vegetables and are the perfect addition to your summer barbecue.
Every summer, lobster man Tom Martin shares his love of the sea with visitors to Maine. Forget all your fancy, contrived lobster dishes deployed by showoff chefs eager for Michelin endorsement.
The best way to enjoy lobster is simply to boil it and serve with a side of melted butter and slice of lemon. Legend has it that Portuguese nuns and monks, having used egg whites to starch their religious clothing, used the leftover yolks to make pastries, including these sinfully delicious custard tarts.
Pierogi are parcels of deliciousness that can be filled with everything from potato to sauerkraut to meat to cheese and to fruit, and often topped with melted butter, sour cream or fried onions. These all-American fried wheels of dough need no introduction, but we will say one thing: the delicious guilt of snacking on these addictive calorie bombs makes them taste even better.
A sandbox full of dried corn, a buzzing bee zip line and an 18-acre “Maize” delight and bewilder crowds at the yearly Farmstead Corn Maze and Pumpkin Festival. There's something about biting down on a cob of corn -- it's a delicate enough operation to require concentration but primal enough to make you feel like the caveman you always wanted to be.
The South African restaurant chain Nan do's has made Mozambican-Portuguese piri-piri chicken loved around the world. Beef is slowly simmered with coconut milk and a mixture of lemongrass, Warangal, garlic, turmeric, ginger and chilies, then left to stew for a few hours to create this dish of tender, flavorful bovine goodness.
Tasting it fresh out of the kitchen will send your stomach into overdrive, but many people think it gets even better when left overnight. A bastardized Western version of this delectable Gabonese dish swamps everything in peanut butter.
The proper recipe calls for chicken, hot chili, garlic, tomato, pepper, salt, okra and palm butter, an artery-clogging African butter that will force you into a second helping and a promise to start using your gym membership. This is how Llewellyn Clarke makes coconut ice cream on the island of Nevis.
You may have just gorged yourself to eruption point, but somehow there's always room for a tooth-rotting pile of ice cream with nuts, marshmallows and chocolate sauce. Thank God for extra long spoons that allow you get at the real weight-gain stuff all mixed up and melted at the bottom of the glass.
This best food Thai masterpiece teems with shrimp, mushrooms, tomatoes, lemongrass, Warangal and kaffir lime leaves. Usually loaded with coconut milk and cream, the hearty soup unifies a host of favorite Thai tastes: sour, salty, spicy and sweet.
Poached, flaked mackerel, tamarind, chili, mint, lemongrass, onion, pineapple ... one of Malaysia's most popular dishes is an addictive spicy-sour fish broth with noodles (especially great when fused with ginger), that'll have your nose running before the spoon even hits your lips. When something tastes so good that people spend $20 billion each year in a single restaurant chain devoted to it, you know it has to fit into this list.
Duck DE Chine offers one of Beijing's most memorable dining experiences. Slow roasted in an oven, the crispy, syrup-coated skin is so good that authentic eateries will serve more skin than meat, and bring it with pancakes, onions and housing or sweet bean sauce.
We meet up with Yuri Chiba to find out how she became one of the most renowned female sushi chefs in Japan. Brand giants such as Toyota, Nintendo, Sony, Nikon and Yamaha may have been created by people fueled by nothing more complicated than raw fish and rice, but it's how the fish and rice is put together that makes this a global first-date favorite.
The Japanese don't live practically forever for no reason -- they want to keep eating this stuff. The story of the humble cacao bean is a bona fide out-of-the-jungle, into-civilization tale of culinary wonder.
Without this creamy, bitter-sweet confection, Valentine's Day would be all cards and flowers, Easter would turn back into another dull religious event. The best pizza was and still is the simple Neapolitan, an invention now protected by its own trade association that insists on sea salt, high-grade wheat flour, the use of only three types of fresh tomatoes, hand-rolled dough and the strict use of a wood-fired oven, among other quality stipulations.
With just a few ingredients -- dough, tomatoes, olive oil, salt and basil (the marinara pizza does not even contain cheese) -- the Neapolitan's created a food that few makes properly, but everyone enjoys thoroughly. Even the packet sauce you buy from the supermarket can make the most delinquent of cooks look like a Michelin potential.
Thankfully, someone invented rice, with which diners can mop up the last drizzles of curry sauce. It's a result of being born in a land where the world's most delicious food is sold on nearly every street corner.