So, Europe. Cobbled streets, blistering sunshine or torrential rain and some stunning architecture probably jumped to mind when you read that word, right? Right. Well, unless you’re a foodie. If you’re a foodie, the chances are your mind jumped to the frankly delicious array of dishes that Europe has to offer. If you aren’t already in the know, what are you waiting for? Pack up your loosest trousers, grab your passport, renew your EHIC and take a look at our list of the top foodie destinations in Europe!
When you think of European food, Macedonia might not be at the forefront of your mind, but believe us when we say that it definitely should be. This frankly gorgeous mix of Balkan, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern foods makes for quite the unique selection, including an abundance of cheeses, pastries and meats. But don’t fret, you can balance all of this goodness out with even more goodness. Macedonia has quite the selection of super fresh vegetables, and I guess it wouldn’t be a complete experience without a hearty sample of the local wines.
So, Greece is probably pretty high up there on your ‘first thought of’ list. Greek food is fresh, it’s healthy, and the best part is that it doesn’t necessarily taste healthy, if you know what we mean. Feta cheese can be found on every corner, fresh fish is available by the bucket load, and filo pastry has never tasted as good as it does in this stunning location. Tender lamb and an abundance of dill and mint as staple herbs are all a result of over 4,000 years of culinary history. The dishes are simple, but rustic, so trust us when we say it’s well worth the visit – the beaches and plentiful culture are just a bonus.
Ah, France. Home to frog’s legs and snails. But French cuisine is so much more than that. French chefs are known for creating some of the most amazing, exquisite food in the entire world, so it’s no wonder that the nation is so proud of what it can produce. Take Paris, for example. This city is lined from border to border with bistros, cafes and restaurants, a breathtaking amount of which are Michelin-starred. Haute cuisine is very popular, but side-street bistros can give you the authentic taste of France while the plentiful markets will give you access to fresh ingredients that are perfect for picnics or creating your own dishes. And let’s not forget the Macaroons. You have to try the Macaroons.
We couldn’t have a list of the best foodie destinations in Europe and not include Italy. Okay, so Italian food has wandered a long way from Italian soil, but no pizza or pasta will be anything like the ones you can find in an Italian street. But Italian cuisine goes so much further than the two aforementioned favorites. The entire country is filled with vineyards, orchards, olive trees and so much more to give you the best fresh taste you could hope for on European land. Cheese, wine, risottos, Limoncello… the list really is endless when it comes to Italy. We could talk about it all day, but trust us when we say that it’ll be better if you sample it all yourself. Rick Steves has some great tips on how you can find inexpensive eateries in Italy – along with some other useful advice on eating in Europe.
German cuisine is unlike anything in Italy or France. If you go to Germany, you go to eat, and you go to eat well. From Spätzle – a traditional swabian egg noodle dish – all the way through to Currywurst – a pork sausage with ketchup and curry powder – the Germans know how to do good, hearty food. Try the schnitzel, a thinly sliced piece of veal meat that is covered in flour, egg and bread crumbs before its deep fried in oil or butter. Trust us, you won’t regret tasting it, and it’s one of the most traditional, well-known German dishes around the world. In short, German food will leave you feeling warm, fuzzy, and very, very full, but it’s more than worth it!
Don’t get us wrong, there are plenty of European countries that have an incredible selection of cuisine you need to try, but these are just a few good places to start on your European trip. Happy eating!