Best countries for foodies in Europe

Best countries for foodies in Europe

Last Updated on March 28, 2023

One of the best things about travel is the food you can discover along the way. Even in this global age of gastronomy, there are still obscure corners of the culinary world waiting to be explored. And this is true even of dishes that might seem familiar. While spaghetti, pizza and paella have been exported almost everywhere, the versions of these dishes we get in the local restaurants are not quite the same! Let´s explore the best countries for foodies in Europe.

If you’re going to tour the continent in search of these dishes, then it’s a good idea to plan your restaurant visits in advance. Do your research, find the best places, and enjoy yourself. You might save money for the actual food by making this a campervan trip. You can cover yourself against risk with the help of the right campervan insurance.

Best foodie countries in Europe

France

France is a country with a rich culinary tradition, offering a wide range of delicious and diverse dishes. From the hearty cassoulet of the southwest to the delicate pastries of the northeast, there is something for every palate to try.

One must-try dish is the classic French onion soup, or soupe à l’oignon, a rich broth made with caramelized onions, beef stock, and topped with a layer of melted gruyere cheese. Another French classic is coq au vin, a chicken stew made with red wine, bacon, and mushrooms.

If you’re looking for something on the sweeter side, there are few things more quintessentially French than a croissant or pain au chocolat. These flaky, buttery pastries are the perfect way to start your day. Some of the most refined dishes in France can be found in the local bakeries, first thing in the morning: croissants, croque monsieurs, jambon beurre – they’re all worth trying.

For a heartier meal, try bouillabaisse, a fish stew that originated in Marseille. Made with a variety of fish, shellfish, and vegetables, this dish is typically served with a side of rouille, a garlic and saffron aioli.

Lastly, no trip to France is complete without indulging in some fine French cheeses. From creamy brie to tangy Roquefort, there are hundreds of varieties to choose from. Pair your cheese with a fresh baguette and a glass of wine for the ultimate French experience.

Whatever your taste, France has something to offer. With its emphasis on fresh, local ingredients and traditional cooking techniques, a culinary tour of France is sure to delight even the most discerning foodie.

Spain

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Spain is a country with a rich and diverse culinary culture, offering a wide range of delicious and unique dishes. Whether you’re a seafood lover or a meat enthusiast, there is something for everyone to try.

One must-try dish is paella, a rice dish originating from Valencia. Paella typically includes a variety of seafood, such as shrimp, mussels, and clams, as well as chicken and chorizo sausage, all cooked in a flavorful saffron-infused broth.

Spain is the home of tapas – which is very convenient if you’d like to sample as great a variety of food as humanly possible. Patatas bravas, served alongside a quality alioli. Olives, cured meats, and cheeses. Wherever you’re staying, you’ll want to make sure that you sample the local paella at least once.  Another Spanish classic is tortilla de patatas, a thick omelet made with potatoes and onions. Often served as a tapa, or small plate, this dish can be found in almost any Spanish restaurant.

If you’re looking for something on the meatier side, try chuletas de cordero, or lamb chops, often seasoned with garlic and herbs. Another popular meat dish is jamón ibérico, a type of cured ham that is considered a delicacy in Spain.

For a sweet treat, try churros con chocolate, a fried pastry dough served with a warm chocolate dipping sauce. Or, try tarta de Santiago, a traditional almond cake that originated in Galicia.

Lastly, no trip to Spain is complete without sampling some of the country’s famous cheeses, such as manchego or cabrales. Pair your cheese with a glass of red wine, such as Rioja or Ribera del Duero, for the ultimate Spanish experience.

Spain’s rich culinary tradition and focus on fresh, quality ingredients make it a food lover’s paradise. Whether you’re sampling seafood on the coast or indulging in hearty meats in the mountains, the flavors of Spain are sure to delight your taste buds.

Italy

Italy is a country with a rich and varied culinary tradition, offering a wide range of delicious dishes that are popular around the world. Italian cuisine is known for its emphasis on fresh, high-quality ingredients, simple preparations, and bold flavors.

One must-try dish is pizza, the quintessential Italian food. Naples, the birthplace of pizza, is famous for its thin-crust pies topped with fresh tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and a variety of toppings. Another Italian classic is pasta, with hundreds of different shapes and sauces to choose from. Some popular pasta dishes include spaghetti carbonara, penne alla vodka, and linguine alle vongole.

If you’re looking for something on the meatier side, try osso buco, a Milanese dish made with veal shanks cooked in a flavorful tomato and vegetable sauce. Another popular meat dish is bistecca alla fiorentina, a thick, juicy steak served rare and seasoned with olive oil and sea salt.

For a sweet treat, try gelato, the Italian version of ice cream that is known for its dense, creamy texture and intense flavors. Or, indulge in a slice of tiramisu, a coffee-flavored dessert made with layers of ladyfingers, mascarpone cheese, and cocoa powder.

Lastly, no trip to Italy is complete without sampling some of the country’s famous cheeses, such as mozzarella, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and gorgonzola. Pair your cheese with a glass of Chianti or Barolo, two of Italy’s most famous wines, for the ultimate Italian experience.

Italy’s emphasis on fresh, simple ingredients and bold flavors make it a food lover’s paradise. From classic pizzas and pastas to hearty meat dishes and sweet treats, the flavors of Italy are sure to delight your taste buds.

Greece

Greek cuisine is known for its fresh ingredients, bold flavors, and healthy dishes. With a focus on seafood, vegetables, and olive oil, Greek food is both delicious and nutritious.

One must-try dish is moussaka, a baked casserole made with layers of eggplant, minced meat, and béchamel sauce. Another classic Greek dish is spanakopita, a spinach and feta cheese pie made with phyllo dough.

If you’re a seafood lover, try grilled octopus, a popular dish that is marinated in olive oil and lemon juice before being grilled to perfection. Another seafood dish to try is saganaki, a fried cheese dish typically made with feta or kefalotyri cheese.

For a sweet treat, try loukoumades, small doughnuts that are drizzled with honey and sprinkled with cinnamon. Or, indulge in baklava, a rich and sweet pastry made with layers of phyllo dough, honey, and chopped nuts.

No trip to Greece is complete without trying the country’s famous Greek yogurt, which is thicker and creamier than most yogurts and is often served with honey and walnuts for breakfast or as a dessert.

Lastly, be sure to sample some of Greece’s famous wines, such as Assyrtiko, a dry white wine from Santorini, or Agiorgitiko, a red wine from Nemea.

With its focus on fresh ingredients, bold flavors, and healthy dishes, Greek cuisine is a must-try for any food lover. Whether you’re indulging in classic dishes like moussaka and spanakopita or savoring fresh seafood and sweet pastries, the flavors of Greece are sure to impress.

Hungary


Hungarian cuisine is known for its hearty, flavorful dishes that make use of paprika and other bold spices. With a focus on meat, potatoes, and pastries, Hungarian food is both satisfying and delicious.

One must-try dish is goulash, a thick and hearty stew made with chunks of beef or pork, vegetables, and paprika. Another classic Hungarian dish is chicken paprikash, which is made with chicken, sour cream, and paprika and is often served over egg noodles.

If you’re a fan of pastries, be sure to try chimney cake, a sweet, spiral-shaped pastry that is rolled in cinnamon sugar and often filled with sweet cream or chocolate. Another sweet treat to try is dobos torte, a layered sponge cake filled with chocolate buttercream and topped with caramel.

For something on the meatier side, try kolbász, a Hungarian sausage that comes in a variety of flavors and is often served as a snack or appetizer. Or, indulge in a plate of töltött káposzta, stuffed cabbage rolls filled with meat and rice and served with a side of sour cream.

No trip to Hungary is complete without trying some of the country’s famous wines, such as Tokaji, a sweet dessert wine, or Egri Bikavér, a full-bodied red wine.

Eastern European cuisine is a must-try for any food lover, with its bold flavors, hearty dishes, and delicious pastries. Whether you’re indulging in classic dishes like goulash and chicken paprikash or savoring sweet treats like chimney cake and dobos torte, the flavors of Hungary are sure to satisfy.

Europe is a melting pot of cultures, each with its own unique culinary traditions and flavors. From the rich and hearty dishes of Hungary to the fresh and healthy cuisine of Greece, Europe offers a wide range of must-try foods for any food lover. Italy’s pizza and pasta, France’s pastries and cheese, and Spain’s tapas and paella are just a few more examples of the delicious and diverse food cultures that can be found throughout Europe. With so many different options to choose from, any food lover is sure to find something to tantalize their taste buds in the best food countries of Europe.

About Maria Kennedy

Maria Kennedy is the managing editor at Travel for Food Hub. Maria is on a full-tilt mission to share local food and travel inspiration. When she is not writing about food and travel, startups or social media, she is enjoying her time with her boys in sunny Spain.

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