Best European Destinations For Foodies

Wishing I could eat in Europe right now!

9 min read

When we visit a country, we look to visit tourist attractions and important historical sites, learn about the culture, get to know the people and have a heck of a lot of fun along the way. While this is all well and good, some of us put something even more important at the top of that list, and that’s food!

Food has become a popular way to learn about other countries cultures and in many ways, their history. The number of diverse dishes across the globe makes eating a necessity in whatever country you are in. Not only for the taste but for the way its made, the love that goes into it and the history behind why these dishes are so popular today. Food brings us together and brings us closer to understanding the local culture in every country, so let us help you discover the best places to head to and eat.

Gdansk, Poland

If you know anything about Poland, you know Perogies. As the most recognizable Polish food, this European dumpling can be stuffed with a variety of delicious fillings to satisfy your tastebuds. But, as a food that could simply be eaten in a stall on the side of a street (which they can be too, but not the point) the Polish have a better idea. Take a seat in a restaurant, like Pierogarnia Mandu, and decide on your filling of choice, this can be between meat and onions, sauerkraut and/or mushroom or the Ruskie which consists of potato, cheese and onion.

pierogarniamandu Photo Credit: @pierogarniamandu

You can even try some sweet options with sweet white cheese, blueberry or strawberry fillings. You’ll also have to decide on whether you desire them simply boiled or fried, but ask your waiter for some help as some are not recommended to be fried. As a made to order restaurant, you may be sitting for a while waiting, but the results are fantastic and you will not be disappointed. As a thirteenth-century food staple, you are eating history and culture in one (or two depending on who you are) small and perfect bites.

jerzy.michalka Photo Credit: @jerzy.michalka

You must also try: breakfasts in the many cafes on Dluga street, a cheap and the most homemade style meal at the many Polish Milk Bars, smoked mountain cheese with jam, ice cream on the Long Market, a meaty soup called Rosol, Placki Ziemniaczane aka pancake and a ground meat dish called Golabki. Also, beer.

louisemholt Photo Credit: @louisemholt

Bologna, Italy

While we are here trying to pick one popular or famous main dish for each city and elaborate on that, it's extremely difficult to do that for Bologna. Being Italy itself, its not as simple as just pinpointing one meal, especially in a city recognized for its impeccable food. So we’re going to do it this way, we’re going to focus on pasta as a whole. Heard of spaghetti bolognese? Well, the base concept comes from Bologna, except we do it considerably different and some would say wrong.

ansharphoto Photo Credit: @ansharphoto

In Bologna, it's not really a sauce, but more of a ragu and there is no spaghetti insight but another thicker noodle called Tagliatelle. Named Tagliatella al Ragu. It's hard to believe a dish so simple could be so delicious.

agricola_casacucinabottega Photo Credit: @agricola_casacucinabottega

Another great pasta dish is Tortellini. Tortellini is small morsels of pasta stuffed with meat and cheese, then served in a broth. One of the most iconic dishes in Bologna and a popular option for tourists. You also have a couple of other popular pasta dishes like the green lasagna made with the same ragu sauce and Gramigna Alla Salsiccia which consists of funny looking pasta topped with an Italian sausage based sauce.

pastrychef_sarah Photo Credit: @pastrychef_sarah

You must also try: Parmigiano Reggiano (of course), mortadella and prosuitto, 25 year old balsamic vinegar and Bolognas pride, Balsamic di Modena, the Piadina ‘sandwiche’ made with thin flatbread, Tigelle and always espresso and sparkling wine.

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

While Amsterdam is known for its great nightlife, red-light district and coffee bars which let's be real, can very much elevate a food experience. Amsterdam has an incredible food scene. Not just high-quality food in restaurants but great options in local markets too. The one deal with Dutch food is that the most popular foods tend to be on the more grab and go side.

siegoboy Photo Credit: @siegoboy

Now in saying this, with so many grab and go options, it's best that we choose a sweet and a savoury option for your benefit, of course. On our sweet side, we have the stroopwafel, a treat that you may see on the shelves in your local stores, but is on another level when made fresh on the street. The stroopwafel is essentially a kind of cookie. It looks like a very thin waffle made from a batter that is cooked right on the spot. The sweet and sticky syrup is then slathered between two waffle cookies, making it look like a stuffed cookie. As an 18th century baked good, you’ll be sure to eat more than one while visiting.

biscoitosvanderkamp Photo Credit: @biscoitosvanderkamp

For the savoury option, we have kroket or bitterballen. Krokets aren’t so uncommon in the world, but they are gosh darn delish in Amsterdam. A filling that resembles a meat (usually beef or veal) ragout that is covered in bread crumbs, deep-fried and served with mustard. The only difference between a kroket and a bitterballen is the size. Krokets are tube-shaped and bitterballens are balls. A great great option to have with beer!

chefburcinardaa Photo Credit: @chefburcinardaa

You must also try: Haring (fish: herring) or Hollanse Nieuwe, Patat aka french fries with a variety of great sauces, mini panakes called Poffertjes, as a country who has been making cheese since 800BC, it should be on your list. A new years special Oliebollen, Erwtensoep which is a thick pea soup, Rookworst smoked sausage, and the larger and thinner version of a pancake, pannenkoeken.

Malaga, Spain

Oh, beautiful Spain. The warmth, sangria, and traditional food will have you pleasantly participating in the vivid nightlife while filling your stomachs with anything and everything you can find.

smhhkymz Photo Credit: @smhhkymz

While there are many many dishes to try in Spain, there seems to be one dish very popular to Malaga and that’s the Gazpachuelo Malaguena. Originally created in El Palo, this soup was put together by local fishermen and was considered a poor mans dish. The ‘poor man’ soup is made with fish, potatoes, water, salt, mayonnaise and wine vinegar. The more modern version welcomes some delicious shrimp, clams and langoustines. Despite looking like the cold soup gazpacho, it is actually served warm and can be enjoyed during the winter months. As a dish handed down through generations, it is one of those traditional dishes you need to at least try at least once while visiting Malaga.

madremiafood Photo Credit: @madremiafood

You must also try: local olives, an old summer soup Ajoblanco, fried anchovies called Boquerones, wood fire grilled sardines, local raisins and figs, and their own version of a churro, Tejeringos.

When you travel for food as well as sightseeing, you open up a door to new flavours, new ideas and traditions sometimes held on for generations. It’s a wonderful part of travelling and helps us to connect with locals in a totally different way. Fill your stomachs up and enjoy the food ride. There is no way these places above will disappoint.

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