There is so much to eat in Europe, it's an endless smorgasbord of delicious foods of all flavors. We've collaborated with top travel bloggers and writers to create a list of the 35 best things to eat in Europe!
No visit to Austria would be complete without enjoying a delicious slice of apple strudel, a traditional Viennese pastry which is believed to date back to the late 17th century.
This sweet treat is a perfect accompaniment to your afternoon coffee but also makes a delicious dessert.
Apple strudel is made from layers of thinly rolled dough wrapped around a filling of sliced apples, sultanas and cinnamon. The pastry parcel is then cooked, sprinkled with icing sugar, sliced and served warm with cream, ice cream or vanilla sauce (a thin custard).
You’ll find apple strudel on the menu at most Austrian restaurants, cafes and coffee houses but a good way to learn more about this Austrian favorite is to join an apple strudel making lesson at Vienna’s Schonbrunn Palace. Not only will you get to see exactly how apple strudel is made, you’ll also get to eat the finished product!
- Contributed by Carolyn from Holidays to Europe
So many places try their absolute best to imitate what comes so naturally in Bavaria...the Pork Knuckle. We have had some that feed the whole family in one sitting and others that are just the perfect size for one. The largest we ever had was a whopping 2.2kg and it was cooked to perfection. We had it in a small town on our way to Neuschwanstein many years ago. I love the pork knuckle where the crackle is crunchy but the inside is juicy and not tough.
We had one of the best in Hofbrau in Munich, as well as Augustiner Braustuben and a small beer garden called Taxis Bier Garten. It goes so well with the traditional potato salad too! Yum!
- Contributed by Marley and Willow from Wyld Child Travel
Most travelers probably aren’t familiar with Belarusian dishes. But one traditional dish that everybody should try is Draniki, the national dish of Belarus.
Draniki is a regional dish of Eastern Europe, and each region has its own variety. It is a golden brown, or even crispy, potato pancake or hashbrown. Belarusian Draniki potato pancakes are different than those in neighboring countries. Belarusians prefer their Draniki dish to have smooth and fine texture instead of a clumpy one.
Draniki is typically served with sour cream. Bacon is optional.
In the capital city, Minsk, you’ll find a great draniki dish in either Talaka or Valsiki restaurants.
- Contributed by Halef and Michael from The Round The World Guys
Belgium might be world-known for its chocolate, waffles, and beer, but if you ask any local for typical food, everyone will tell you to try Belgian fries with mayonnaise. Some may argue, but Belgians say that fries were invented here and indeed France is definitely notthe best place to find the so called ‘French fries’.
Just like anywhere else in the world, there is food and there is FOOD, so a lot depends on the cook. But if you succeed in finding a place that really knows how to bake them, Belgian fries are truly the best in the world. Just note that typical Belgian fries are eaten with locally produced mayonnaise, which is again very different than in other countries…
In general, the best places to eat Belgian fries are not restaurants, but small kiosks called ‘fritkot’, ‘frituur’, or ‘friterie’. You can find them in every city, every town, and every village all over Belgium. Your best bet is to ask the locals - everybody knows the best ‘fritkot’ in their town.
- Contributed by Jurga from Full Suitcase
Cevapi is one of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s most famous national dishes, and a very traditional specialty all over the Balkans. It consists of a delicious flatbread filled with minced meat sausages, accompanied by chopped onions, red pepper sauce (ajvar) and sour cream. Other versions also include feta cheese and other local products. As you can guess from the ingredients, it is a delicious mix of flavors.
The dish can be eat either as a snack, appetizer or a full meal! You can easily find it as street food around the Balkans, but it is very much worth sitting down for. As per usual in the region, in most places the portion size is quite generous, so be aware before you order!
Even though you can find Cevapi on offer in many different countries, we definitely recommend you have it in Bosnia and Herzegovina. We first tried it at Restoran Divan in Mostar, which had a wonderful view to the river and the beautiful town!
- Contributed by Maria & Rui from Two Find a Way
Kürtőskalács or Chimney Cake is one of the very best desserts in Budapest. In traditional preparation, the dough is wrapped around a stick and then cooked over coals. Once it has been cooked, the fun begins. The simplest version (and most traditional) is coated in cinnamon or dried ginger. But, some places dip it in dark chocolate or sweets or fill it with ice cream, mousse, whipped cream or other sinful pleasures.
I’ve even seen it cut in half and used as a sandwich. We had Chimney Cake the traditional way at the Karavan, a famous street food market on Kazinczy Street in the Jewish Quarter. Karavan is right next to the ruin bar Szimpla, one of the original ruin bars in Budapest. The proximity makes it easy to grab a Chimney Break treat after a night of drinking Palinka (one of Hungary’s national drinks). Budapest’s Christmas markets are also great places to get Chimney Cakes.
- Contributed by Susan from Travel For Life Now
My very favorite food in all of Eastern Europe is Oscypek, a special molded salted sheep's cheese that is smoked to perfection then warmed and smothered with cranberry jam. The outside of the cheese is a little crunchy and the inside is smooth and creamy. The jam gives it just enough sweetness to compliment the salty cheese. SO GOOD! Oscypek originates in Poland, but is made throughout the surrounding countries as well and can be found at many Christmas markets in the winter time.
Trdelník is one of those magical foods that have migrated to many regions of the world and become a tourist favorite, but for good reason! Trdelník, known under many different names in different countries, supposedly originated in the Czech/Slovak region of Europe. You can find them in almost any Christmas Market in Europe, but especially in Prague.
Nicknamed "chimney cakes" in English, Trdelník is made from a sweet yeast dough that is risen, rolled, and wrapped around a wooden peg, then slowly baked over an open coal fire to form the perfect winter-time treat that is crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. When the trdelník comes out of the fire, steam pours out the top of the pastry, making it look like a smoking chimney as it keeps your hands toasty warm. Trdelník is often filled with ice cream, fruit or other sweet fillings, but I like them best simply rolled in sugar.
- Contributed by Vanessa from Wanderlust Crew
One of the best things to eat in Northern Europe is definitely Danish smørrebrød. Smørrebrød is essentially an open-faced sandwich, consisting of dark rye bread and various toppings. The beauty of smørrebrød is that you can design it according to your taste. Common toppings are roast beef and remoulade, fried fish, or pork roast. In fact, the toppings are often so generous that the rye bread all but disappears underneath them. Vegetarian alternatives are often restricted to cheese or potato.
Smørrebrød can be bought in many places, even in supermarkets. In Copenhagen, most locals get their smørrebrød at Rita's Smørrebrød in Nørrebro. If you are looking for a quick snack on your way out, you can even pick some up from Aamanns, at Copenhagen Airport. However, one of the best places to get smørrebrød in Copenhagen is definitely Restaurant Kronborg. Located in the city center, they offer more than 35 varieties of smørrebrød. Along with it, order some aquavit, a traditional Danish schnapps. Skål!
- Contributed by Jacky from Nomad Epicureans
Fish and Chips
If you are visiting the UK, one of the most popular take out food tends to be fish and chips. Delicious fresh from the fryer fish and chips is a staple street food with large strips of mostly cod fish dipped in beer batter and deep fried along with French fries. Typical sauces that are served with this includes home made tartar sauce, ketchup and salt and vinegar. Popular drinks that go with these yummy fish and chips include a pale ale, dry white wine or even a nice hard cider.
It is believed that the first fish and chip shop was established in London's East London by a Jewish immigrant named Joseph Malin around the 1860s. If your looking for where to find good fish and chips, traditional food or even fine dining venues, check out my post on best foods to eat in London for inspiration and where to go for the best eats in town.
- Contributed by Noel Morata from Travel Photo Discovery
Do you know this feeling when you party all night long and you get this massive 5 am hunger? Or you had a physically hard day and you could eat a whole horse? Let me tell you that for these occasions, a Gyros is exactly the right snack.
Gyros is a very traditional dish in Greece. It consists of a pita bread formed as a cone and filled with meat (traditionally chicken, lamb or pork), onions, tomatoes, tzatziki sauce and often French fries. Usually, you get the best Gyros at small speciality stalls throughout many of Greece’s cities and villages. You can also get very decent ones in tavernas and restaurants though. While they might not be the healthiest food ever created, the taste forbiddingly delicious.
The best Gyros I ever had was in the second city of Greece, called Thessaloniki. A place called Mpoukia Mpoukia serves mouthwatering Gyros. Perfect for when you spend all day discovering the city by foot. Absolutely not perfect when you are on a strict diet :D.
- Contributed by Tom from Trip Gourmets
I went to Finland with one goal in mind, to discover Finnish foods. Lappish cuisine is unique and I ate reindeer almost every day. Reindeer is similar to venison in North America, it's a very versatile meat and I ate it so many different ways including roasted, cured, dried and smoked.
What is fascinating about reindeer in Finland is that while none are truly wild they do roam freely in the north of Finland.
If you want a truly traditional Lappish dinner you must go to Saaga in Helsinki where they have a menu of all the regional dishes in Finland. It's an experience you'll never forget.
- Contributed by Ayngelina by Bacon is Magic
The locals speak German. The architecture was more akin to what we see in in the likes of Munich versus other towns we had visited in France. Lastly, the food offerings reflected cuisine from countries that were part of the old Prussian Empire. This is our impression of Strasbourg.
Just as the Rhine River passes right through Strasbourg, the blood that runs through its vein is that of Germanic heritage. For me, this is best exemplified by a dish that is ubiquitous in these parts, Choucroute Garnie. This dish can simply be called, a feast of pork and sauerkraut.
No strict recipe as to what type of pork product there is to use. However, there is almost always one or two types of smoked sausages, a smoked fatback of sorts, and a fresh ham. Some places do venture off pork and add frankfurters made with beef or veal.
When in Strasbourg, visit brasserie named, Au Petit Bois Vert for a traditional Choucroute Garni. We had this dish quite a bit during our visit, and this place served, what we thought to be the best in town. Yes, French in name, but the menu Alsatian through and through.
- Contributed by Brenda from Dish Our Town
Crêpes are one of the best things to eat in France, at least one of the best desserts to eat in France! Originally from the region of Brittany, crêpes were adopted in Paris, and all France, very soon. In France, going to a crêperie is a popular activity to do with friends or family, but crêpes are also very easy to prepare at home if you have the right tools or, a cheap eat on the go.
Crêpes are sweet based on wheat flour and they are usually eaten as a dessert with yummy things like ice cream, honey, Nutella or crême chantilly. You can eat it with a coffee or a glass of cider (also typical from Brittany) depending on the time of the day. There are many crêperies in Paris and all France but my favorite one is Paris – Breizh (177 Avenue Daumesnil/allée Paul Dukas, 75012 Paris). Despite its contemporary design, there is a lot of space to eat and a long list of yummy crêpes on the menu. The Crêpes day is celebrated in France every year on 2nd February. This is one of my favorite food festivals in Paris and of course, everybody eats crêpes!
- Contributed by Elisa from World in Paris
Vegan tarts and gluten-free Croissants
What do you think of when you think of Parisian food? Do you picture baguettes, macarons, croissants and other colourful pastries? All of these are must eat foods when in Paris! Sadly, most of the above used to be off-limits to those with gluten intolerance or vegans. Not anymore! VG Pâtisserie offers celiacs and vegans alike the chance to taste the many quintessential French treats.
The counter inside the Pâtisserie displays a huge variety of brightly coloured cakes, tarts and treats. Each delicacy is a piece of art. Much care has been taken to create these breath-taking masterpieces. Unsurprisingly VG Pâtisserie can boast an impressive Instagram following of 19.6k Followers. What’s even more impressive is that each masterpiece tastes just as good as it looks. After taking a bite of the rhubarb tart, an explosion of flavours erupted on my tongue. The sharp rhubarb flavour was paired perfectly with the sweet gluten-free pastry. We had entered French vegan heaven. We also tried the very flaky croissant. It was perfectly crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside.
For traditional vegan and gluten-free pastries, you must visit VG Pâtisserie during your trip to Paris. Everyone must try a croissant when in Paris!
- Contributed by Anna from My Travel Scrapbook
Schnitzel can be found in several European countries with both Austria and Italy claiming to be the original creators of this delicious, crispy pork or veal dish. However, for my money, Germany is the place for Schnitzel. Don’t get me wrong, I love a juicy, tender Wiener Schnitzel from Vienna with nothing more than a slice of lemon to dress it up. This is the purists ideal, to be sure, but for me, it’s all about the sauce and the toppings! I just love to tuck into a beautiful Jaegerschnitzel, with rich mushroom gravy sauce; Zigeunerschnitzel, topped with a tangy and sweet sauce loaded with sauteed onion and bell peppers; or Hawaiischnitzel, with gooey melted cheese and roasted pineapple. Regardless of the topping or the country, Schnitzel is almost always served with french fries (pommes frites) which is perfect for soaking up all of that delicious sauce. My mouth is watering already just thinking about it!
- Contributed by Corinne from Reflections Enroute
Georgian food is homely, comforting and a reflection of all those who’ve both travelled through and conquered this Caucasus country. The highlight of the best of Georgian cuisine for me is the bread. And the highlight of the bread is the cheese bread. Khachapuri literally means cheese bread. It’s a flatbread of leavened dough filled with cheese.
The most famous of Georgia’s bread is the boat-shaped dough container of melting cheese called Adjaruli. Just before its served to you, an egg is added into the melting cheese, and there’s a slab of butter added too. It’s an incredible food coma in the making, but so seriously Moorish.
- Contributed by Sarah from ASocialNomad
I’ve always been a sucker for dumplings. Chicken and dumplings, steamed dumplings, you name it, if it’s a dumpling I’m there! However, one of the best dumplings I’ve found anywhere in the world is the Khinkali in Georgia. Khinkali are practically a Georgian national treasure and no dinner is complete without at least one plateful of these hot, steaming meat and broth filled dumplings making its way to the table.
These little pouches of goodness are almost as difficult to eat as they are to make. Don’t worry, though, once you’ve had one or two you’ll pick up the knack. Soon you’ll be downing them one handed just like a local. The trick is to grab the dumpling by the top knot, where the dough comes together in a tight spiral. Hold the Khinkali at a slight angle and take the first bite, carefully slurping up the flavorful broth. The second bite will finish it off and you’ll be on to the next, and the next, and the next.
- Contributed by Corinne Vail from Reflections Enroute
Icelanders will tell you their lamb is better than any other lamb in the world, and it is really that good (vouches my son). Probably because they let their sheep merrily roam free in the highlands and valleys to munch on grass before being corralled in the winter. The result of such a luxurious life is very tender meat. After some easy adventures in Iceland we stopped for lunch at Berg in Vik and had the best lamb soup. The food here is locally source, cooked creatively and presented exquisitely, the staff was friendly and top notch. While you can find lamb soup pretty much anywhere in Iceland Berg Restaurant that serves primarily Icelandic cuisine with an emphasis on seafood is the best place to try it. Berg means mountains, a word that symbolizes the powerful forces from which the beautiful nation of Iceland was formed and from where the ingredients for the meals at the restaurant are sourced.
- Contributed by Priya from Outside Suburbia
Irish Brown Bread
Sorry to say this but Irish Brown Bread is not actually originally Irish. Bread using soda for the rising action was actually invented by the First Nations People in N. America. However over the years the tradition of brown bread has become culturally ingrained in the Irish kitchen.
Irish Brown (or Wheaten Bread) - is made from the whole grain of soft wheat, baking soda, either sugar, treacle or even honey for a touch of sweetness and of course the acid which is usually buttermilk or sour milk. There are as many kinds of brown bread as can be imagined from sweet Wheaten bread with dates, raisins and fruit to savoury tomato basil, cheese and onion or any combination of flavours that strikes your fancy.
Irish brown bread can be served with anything and usually is here in Ireland. However, I tend to like its heartiness with seafood chowder or smoked salmon. The brilliant thing about brown bread is that it can be found on almost every single menu in Ireland and even bought at the local corner shop baked fresh every morning. It can even be found in gas station shops across the nation so you can grab some great Irish cheese and a loaf of Wheaten and enjoy a picnic while savoring those fabulous views.
- Contributed by Faith from XYU and Beyond
Being an island nation, Ireland has abundant fresh seafood. Although it may not be the stereotypical Irish food, I sampled seafood chowder in several different cities along the coast. Although it was consistently available, it was not a consistent recipe, so it was entirely different in every location. Some were thick and chunky, while others blended smooth. Some were white, spiced with pepper, others yellow, seasoned with saffron, and yet another pink, with hints of paprika.
The other thing that varied was the type of seafood used. Some were heavily clam and scallop based, while others boasted chunks of lobster. One version was loaded with mussels, still in the shell. Whole shrimp seemed to be the most popular feature, found in several versions.
Typically, the chowder was served with brown Irish soda bread, which is a dense dry bread, and other times it was served with a crusty, more French style bread. Both were perfect for scooping up the hearty seafood broth. My favorite seafood chowder in Ireland was in the far southwest corner of the island, in the small town of Portmagee.
- Contributed by Roxanna from Gypsy with a Day Job
Farinata Di Ceci
On the Ligurian Coast of Italy, also known as the Italian Riviera, is the Cinque Terre (The Five Lands). Topography-wise, one of the most diverse in all of Italy, with its beautiful coastline and cliffside towns.
Of the 5 towns, Monterosso al Mare is the best destination for eating. Here, in a small corner street called, Via Gioberti, right off a slightly bigger street named, Via Roma is an eatery that specializes in a Ligurian snacking favorite, Farinata di Ceci. No name to this place, but the colorful exterior with large letters spelling Farinata gives it away.
Made of chickpea flour, water, salt, and extra virgin olive oil is as simple a recipe as any dish can be. However, akin to a good crepe or a good pizza crust, the final product is not as easy to come by. With a crispy exterior and soft interior, there are few more satisfying treat in between meals. It’s also gluten-free.
However, don’t wait too long, because here, they make only a certain amount of batches for the day and they sell out quickly. We know, we were shut out a few times, and in coveting it so much, made the first experience so much more wonderful.
- Contributed by Brenda from Dish Our Town
Pasta in Italy is like nowhere else in the world.
Consistently fresh and delicious, and always topped with an incredible sauce, it’s hard to go wrong when adding eating pasta in Italy to your bucket list.
While pretty much any pasta in Italy is delicious, consider framing your order choices around the region you are in--in every region of Italy, and sometimes even specific villages, you’ll find a unique pasta style!
For example, tagliatelle al ragu in Emilia-Romagna is the true version of what many of us call spaghetti bolognese: the thick tagliatelle noodles are perfect for holding up the rich sauce. In Rome, cacio e pepe spaghetti carbonara are great order choices, and in Liguria, it’s all about the pesto.
Wherever you go in Italy, there’s bound to be a delicious pasta waiting for you!
- Contributed by Kate from Our Escape Clause
Italy is known around the world for its mouthwatering food. Pizza is one of its signature dishes, and though this was created in Naples (where the best pizzeria is 50 Kalò), it is nowadays possible to find good pizza throughout the country, even in cities such as Rome (where La Gatta Mangiona makes the best pizza in the city), Milan (go to Lievito Madre al Duomo for the best pizza in Milan), or even Cagliari (head to Framento for the best pizza in town).
The classic version of pizza is very simple: a flour dough that has rised for at least 24 hours, excellent quality tomato base (not tomato sauce, by the way!), extra virgin olive oil and mozzarella, and a few basil leaves. At the moment, several pizzerie have launched themselves in more gourmet versions of this Italian classic, and it is possible to get just about anything on pizza – though keep in mind that Italians consider it a sacrilege to put pineapple, steak or chicken on pizza. Pizza in Italy is hardly overloaded with toppings, so it is not nearly as heavy as it is in other parts of the world. That’s why Italians order one pizza per person.
- Contributed by Claudia from My Adventures Across The World
Spaghetti Alla Vongole
When digging in the lagoons of Venice, there are many treasures to be found, the best of them being tiny clams that are abundant in these waters. It’s these same clams that are the foundation of an Italian seafood pasta dish, Spaghetti Alla Vongole.
In a town known for restaurants that serve inadequate food, is a family run establishment named, Osteria Al Mascaron. A local favored spot, this family eatery is less about the ubiquitous pretentiousness and all about the food quality. Which makes it an anomaly in this beautiful city on water.
Their version of Spaghetti alla Vongole is as good as it gets. Al dente spaghetti, olive oil as virgin as Mary herself, fresh parsley, a hint of garlic, and of course, the clams that taste like the sea itself. The offering is large enough for two, and with a carafe of cold Soave wine, and evening couldn’t be better spent.
Next time you visit Venice, visit the Mercato di Rialto by day, take a look at the beautiful little clams that are sold there, then in the evening, skip the gondola ride, and spend your money instead, on the best dish you’ll find on the island.
- Contributed by Brenda from Dish Our Town
When visiting Lithuania, you should never miss the dish that every Lithuanian is proud of. Zeppelin or Cepelinai is a rice and grated potato stuffed with meat dished that you can eat for either lunch or dinner. You can also add some cheese or vegetables depending on your preference. After boiling, it will be served with sour cream with bacon or pork rinds. Typically, the Zeppelin is about 10-20cm long.
I've tried this dish so many times after the receptionist from the hostel in Vilnius that I was staying recommended it. It's not only a tasty meal but also quite heavy, so it's perfect for a long journey ahead of you. You can also find it in other Baltic countries or even in Poland and is considered as a very traditional dish in this part of Europe. Simply find the best local restaurant around and make sure to never leave Lithuania without trying Zeppelin.
- Contributed by Mary from A Mary Road
Except for great desserts and pastries, the Dutch aren't famous for a great food creations. But one stands out—traditional split pea soup. In Dutch, it's called "Erwtensoep," or more commonly just "snert." And it’s delicious, homey, filling comfort food, especially on a chilly day. There are many variations to traditional erwtensoep, but it’s always based on dried split peas, soaked and cooked a long time on the back of the stove, with onions and other vegetables.
Some cooks add potatoes. Others put in chunks of carrot. There’s almost always a smoked sausage in there, but also sometimes shredded beef and/or pork. For me, real Dutch pea soup also must have celeriac (celery root) added with the veggies. It gives it a distinctive flavor that takes me straight back to the cozy dining room of my Dutch roommate’s mom. She gave me the recipe almost 50 years ago. I still use it. Here’s her recipe for Dutch Pea Soup.
- Contributed by Donna from Nomad Women
When we first got to Poland we had no idea what to eat. Luckily our Polish friend recommended Perogi for our fussy daughter and before long they became a stable for us all! They are like little dumplings that are then fried in a sauce that seemed to differ from place to place with onions and bacon. The inside can consist of a vegetarian mixture like mushrooms and cabbage or cheese and the meat ones we mainly had pork. (We did find in the small towns we visited that the vegetarian ones still came cooked with onion and bacon so just double check the menu)
The Perogi we had in the cities was very different from the Perogi we had in small towns. In the small towns, it seemed lighter and had a lot more taste so if you can sample some if you get out of the city!
- Contributed by Bec from Wyld Family Travel
Francesinha is a typical dish from Portugal, particularly from Porto, and you should absolutely try it. A Francesinha consists on a toasted bread filled with ham, several types of sausage and steak. It is covered by melted cheese and hot thick tomato, beer and peri-peri sauce. In the end, it is topped with a fried egg and french fries. It’s a bomb, but it tastes amazing! There are several stories about the origins of the francesinha (meaning frenchie in Portuguese), however, the most popular one says it was a immigrant that was inspired by the croque-monsieur and created the francesinha and its fantastic sauce in 1953 in the restaurant Regaleira.
Although you can find francesinhas all over the county, the best place to eat francesinha is in Porto, where it was created. We recommend going to Francesinha Cafe, Santiago, Lado B, Bufete Fase or Cufra.
- Contributed by Jorge from Travel Drafts
Pastel de Nata
You can’t visit Portugal without trying a pastel de nata! These delectable egg tarts can be found all over the country, although they were first created by Catholic monks at Jerónimos Monastery in Belém, Lisbon. The palm-sized pastry is made of puff pastry filled with an egg custard consisting of egg yolks, cream, sugar, flour, and lemon zest.
They are best eaten warm, straight from the oven, with a dusting of cinnamon and icing sugar. Many people have them at breakfast time but they can be eaten any time of day. The original recipe from the Monastery is secret and known today by only 6 people. You can try these original pastéis de Belém at Rua de Belém nº 84 a 92 near the Monastery, a popular place to visit in Lisbon although the line can grow very long! Never fear though, they are available throughout bakeries and stores across Portugal.
- Contributed by Sonja from Migrating Miss
You’re probably no stranger to the borderless port wine. It is, in fact, produced exclusively in the Douro region in northern Portugal. This winemaking of port has a special feature: fermentation is stopped early by adding brandy, thus keeping a distinctive sweetness from the grape sugars. From thereon, producers choose the ideal style they wish to follow. Indeed, port wine is a multifaceted beverage, with a large array of styles such as the sweet tawny, the vibrant young ruby, the crisp white, or the fresh rosé, to name a few.
Above all ports lies the Vintage, a superior quality wine that is produced only when a special harvest is announced and is bottle-aged for several decades. The incredible complexity of port wine flavors reminisces notes of spices, chocolate, ripe fruits, citrus, flowers, and caramel. It is an astounding wine for accompanying desserts, cheese, and dried fruits. Novel approaches to port include cocktails, such as the trendy port tonic. When in Porto, try it at the port wine lodges such as Graham’s or Taylor’s.
- Contributed by Bruno and Maria from Amass Cook
Tripas à moda do Porto
Porto style tripe is a dish that came from extreme necessity (there are quite a few legends about the origin of this dish) when the animal’s innards were the most accessible portions. Yet, it is now Porto's most iconic dish. This delicacy consists of a white bean stew with smoked meats, some gelatinous beef, and small pieces of cow’s stomach, sided with white rice.
Your reaction to this dish will depend on how picky you’re about food, but the softness of the beans submerged in the rich sauce of the stew with the slight chewiness of the tripe make it a local's favorite. In fact, people from Porto are also known as tripeiros, in a clear reference to this dish. Thursday is the ideal day for eating tripe, as the dish sprouts up in most of the city's restaurant menus. For a perfect portrayal of tripas à moda do Porto you should visit the restaurant Líder.
- Contributed by Bruno and Maria from Amass Cook
Like pasta is to Italy, Mămăliga is to Romania. Mămăliga, a staple in the diets of Romanians, is simply boiled corn meal. You will sometimes hear it referred to as polenta but while in Romania, the proper terminology is Mămăliga. Historically, Mămăliga was considered a peasant food because of how accessible it was for the poor and how easy it was to prepare. Today, it’s used as the base of many dishes, a side for others, or sometimes as the main meal itself with something like cheese and meat infused in the middle. If you’re looking to experience Mămăliga in one of it’s most popular forms, try a dish of Sarmale (cabbage rolls) with a side of Mămăliga. This is considered a classic Romanian dish that never disappoints.
- Contributed by Jennifer from The SoFull Traveler
Russian pelmeni is a cousin of Chinese dumplings, Italian ravioli and Polish pierogi. I guess every culture has its own version of little dough pockets stuffed with meat, fish or vegetables. In Russia, we make ours with unleavened dough and stuff them with a mixture of beef and pork.
Pelmeni can be both an everyday dinner and a festive dish prepared for celebrations, especially New Year. Making them is quite a laborious process, but store-bought pelmeni stand no comparison with the hand-made ones. Unlike Chinese dumplings, we don’t fry pelmeni, but boil them and serve with sour cream, mayonnaise, mustard or diluted vinegar. If you are in Moscow, try a plate of pelmeni at Stolovaya 57, near Red Square.
- Contributed by Yulia from That's What She Had
In Catalonia, Spain, people associate the region with its rice dishes, most notably paella from Valencia. In the Costa Brava, most of the rice dishes are mar i muntanya, or sea and mountain. The rice dishes represent the Costa Brava’s location in the most Northeast corner of Spain, nestled between the Mediterranean Sea and the Pyrenees mountains. There are differences between Catalan arroz and paella, most notable is the absence of saffron in the Costa Brava version. Paella is more yellow in color, whereas the rice in the Costa Brava is more brown in color. It’s easy to find Catalan rice at Girona restaurants and throughout the Costa Brava on Thursday, the typical day to eat rice in the Costa Brava.
- Contributed by Amber from With Husband in Tow
Cachopo is a delicious dish, which is very popular in the region of Asturias in Spain. Asturias is a natural paradise with a long coastline with cozy authentic villages and cows leisurely walking on green hills.
Not surprisingly, the beef is very cheap and delicious here, and many local dishes are made of it. Including the abovementioned cachopo.
The dish is made of two beef steaks with cheese and ham in the middle, all breaded and deep fried. This delicious calorie bomb is usually served with fries and salad.
Accompany it with the famous local cider (sidra), which has nothing in common with the one you can buy in Western supermarkets. It has a more natural flavor and has no sugar added.
Enjoy this natural wonder and give your belly a tasty holiday!
- Contributed by Roman from Roman Roams
Believe me when I tell you that you have not tried anything like Galician seafood in your life.
Famous for its high quality, for being really easy to prepare, tasty, abundant, and a real treat for the palate of those who taste it, one of the main characteristics of Galicianseafood is that you can have it fresh, what makes it a really healthy and nutritious food.
And one of the reasons why Galicia currently offers one of the tastiest seafood in the world is its privileged location in the northwest coast of Spain, where over a thousand km of cold water coast make it really easy for the seafood to populate the region. Thus it is not difficult to taste delicacies such as the famous pulpo á feira (octopus), mussels from Rias Baixas, barnacles from Galicia's Death Coast, crabs, lobsters, and many others such as scallops (pictured here).
If you take my advice, savor Galicia slowly, bite by bite. You will not regret it!
- Contributed by Inma from A World to Travel
Deciding on the best things to eat in Europe is like deciding on how many ways there are to be happy. Just too many to count. But I’ll try. One of the best meals I ever had was a seafood paella in Valencia, Spain. Here is a city that doesn’t get the gastronomy kudos it deserves. When travelers think of Spanish food they think of the Michelin star heavy areas of northern Spain, the Catalonian specialties of Barcelona and the savory meats of central Spain.
However, Valencia and its signature paella should not be overlooked. After all, the paella was invented in Valencia. A traditional “Paella Valenciana” contains shrimp, chicken and chorizo, the spicy Spanish sausage, plus all the accompanying ingredients like while cooking wine and capers. Wash it down with some classic Spanish wine. It is a dish traditionally served on Sundays in Valencia and it is unforgettable.
- Contributed by Talek from Travels with Talek
Pulpo a la Gallega
Northern Spain is a real paradise for food lovers there are so many unique dishes to try and taste here. On our last trip to Spain we spent quite a lot of time in Galicia province and had a chance to try different local food including famous dish - pulpo a la Gallega or Polbo á feira (its local name) which means “fair-style octopus”. Octopus is the main ingredient of the dish; first it’s boiled in a big copper pot for about 50min. to 1 hour, after that it’s left in the pot for another 20 minutes away from the fire - octopus must be ready but not overcooked.
When it’s finally done it’s cut into pieces usually only tentacles are served, seasoned with salt, herbs and paprika. The dish is served with white bread and local red wine (usually young wines). Special places that serve pulpo are called pulperias and can be found in many Galician cities and town, they’re very popular in Lugo and Melide. We stopped at Melide during our Camino de Santiago pilgrimage walk and ate famous pulpo at Pulperia de Melide restaurant. I’m a big seafood lover for me it was a real treat. Traditionally pulperias are not fancy restaurants rather local eateries. Nowadays many restaurants in Galicia serve pulpo a la Gallega as a starter.
- Contributed by Campbell & Alya from Stingy Nomads
Suquet de Peix
Travelers to the Costa Brava expect to see rice dishes on the menu. There is one traditional dish, though, that most travelers are unfamiliar with. One of the most uniquely Catalan dishes is suquet de peix, a potato-based seafood stew. This dish focuses on the mar more than the muntanaya. Originally a traditional fisherman's stew, suquet was a way for the fishermen to use up the dish they were unable to sell at the market that day. Today it is normally made with monkfish and prawns. It’s a little more difficult to find on Costa Brava restaurant menus than rice, but it is worth it to track it down. Suquet is the quintessential Catalan dish.
- Contributed by Amber from With Husband in Tow
Swedish Cinnamon Buns – Kanelbullar or Kardemummabullar
Our Airbnb host in Sweden brought us famous Swedish Cinnamon Buns when he visited us. I told him that we in India too carry sweets when we visit someone. He mentioned the Swedish tradition of Fika.
It’s vital to understand the idea of fika, to appreciate the significance of Kanelbullar in Swedish Culture. Fika is a huge slice of everyday life of Swedes. It means taking a break with a cup of coffee or tea coupled with a baked dish. You can do it with friends or family or sometimes alone. Fika is more than just a break for Swedes. It’s a moment to slow down, a moment of peace, a moment to contemplate and a moment to cherish with people you love.
“I’d love to have fika with you all.” Our Swedes host announced. It was a delight to have a lovely conversation with him over a cup of Indian tea and a bite of delicious Kanelbullar. Isn’t it lovely the way Swedes share their slice of life with their guests? Isn’t fika a lovely concept?
Kanelbullar is a pastry dough ball filled with buttery cinnamon filling and muffled in sugary cinnamon syrup. The main ingredients include flour, eggs, butter, cardamom, sugar and of course cinnamon.
Swedes love their Cinnamon Buns so much that they even have designated a special day (October 4th) to celebrate the sweetness - Cinnamon Bun Day or Kanellbullens dag.
When in Sweden, don’t forget to have fika and taste soft and yummy Kanelbullar. The best place to try Cinnamon Buns in Stockholm is Cafe Saturnus.
- Contributed by Anjali from Travel Melodies
Coffee and cake is a tradition in Vienna and there is no better cake to have than Sacher Torte. The rich chocolate cake is the most famous cake in the world and the recipe is a closely guarded secret. The iconic double layer cake has a slither of apricot jam in the middle and is coated with a shimmering mirror glaze. Served with a generous dollop of unsweetened cream, Sacher Torte is rich, elegant and understated.
This taste of Vienna was first created in 1832 by Franz Sacher when he was only 16 years old. Today over 360,000 cakes are made almost entirely by hand each year using the same original recipe. Vienna is the coffee capital of the world and the Sacher Torte is a significant part of Viennese culture at Hotel Sacher. Daily, a staff of 41 employees follow the original recipe and using 8,000 eggs which are separated and beaten by hand, butter is creamed and 34 steps are followed creating the ultimate indulgence. The tortes are packed into poplar boxes and sent worldwide with a shelf life limited to 20 days.
I can tell you one thing, this sweet treat would never last 20 days in my presence.
- Contributed by Lyn and Steve from A Hole in My Shoe