It’s time you enter the world of the most delicious, salted, seasoned, sweetest, hottest, juiciest, and creamiest local specialties in Europe! It is well known that every journey encompasses elements of the local cuisine. Thus, if you’ve wondered what traditional delicacies you can find in your favorite destination, then it’s a must you read the article below to learn about the wide variety of foods, from the simplest and finest ones, such as butter croissants baked in a small pastry in Paris, to the more bohemian and extravagant ones, just like a glass of vinho do Porto in Lisbon, to the buonissime tagliatelle or cannelloni, to the sober and strong ones, like a glass of Scottish whiskey or unique, just like the Finnish pies. In this last category, there are several types of pies, such as mustikkapiirakka and karjalanpiirakka, which definitely deserve a bit of effort on your behalf to pronounce them, especially after you’ve already tasted them.
So, are you ready for the tastiest experience?
Spain: Tapas, Gazpacho, Paella, Tortilla Española, Jamón, Churros Con Chocolate, Patatas Bravas, Chorizo, Sangría
One thing’s for sure: you won’t be disappointed with the Spanish gastronomy. In Madrid, for instance, you can learn to cook paella and if you go to La Latina neighborhood, you can discover the best recipe for tapas, which is a Spanish starter, a mix of ingredients, such as olives, vegetables, meat and sea food. It is part of the locals’ customs. Here, you can also try patatas bravas, which are French fries with sauce, cocido Madrileño, which is a delicious stew, and if you’re yearning for something sweet, churros con chocolate is a very good option.
In Madrid, you’ll find the oldest restaurant in the world, Sobrino de Botin, which was opened in 1725, and which is famous for its Castilian, rustic menus. You should also stop by Antigua Estación de Atocha, a train station dating back to the 19th century, redesigned as a tropical garden, where you can enjoy a good cup of coffee. If you’re looking for even more culinary delicacies, then make Mercado de San Miguel your next stop.
One of the oldest, yet still-open markets in Europe is in Mercado Central, Valencia. Here, you’ll find over 300 vendors and you can taste various types of ham, jamón ibérico and jamón serrano.
One of the things that is truly representative for the Valencian cuisine is the fact that here is the place where paella was created, one of the most well-known Spanish types of food. Nowadays, paella is cooked in various ways, but the recipes of paella valenciana and paella with sea food are considered the original ones.
In Barcelona, the Boqueria Square is a real gastronomic paradise. Chorizo, the Spanish salami, is one of the things that should not miss from your shopping cart. If you’re looking for a place to have a quick snack, you can stop by one of the tapas bars in the region. Besides the already famous paella, served in most restaurants here, you can also try black arròs, black rice with cuttlefish or calamar. When it comes to drinks, you should try either sangria or a type of Spanish sparkling wine.
In Malaga, there are guided tours dedicated to those who want to discover the local cuisine. Among the most well-known delicacies in the region, there are tapas, fish or sea food-based food, such as gazpachuelo malagueño or espeto, which are sardines cooked on coal. For dessert, you should taste tarta malagueña with wine and almonds.
Italy: Pizza, Pasta, Risotto, Minestrone, Lasagna, Prosciutto, Parmigiano, Ossobuco alla Milanese, Gelato, Tiramisù, Cannoli, Panna Cotta, Panettone
Naples is the city where one of the most loved types of food in the world was first created – pizza. Thus, you’ll discover here various ways in which you can combine ingredients, creating the tastiest pizza. For a start, you can go for the simple version, such as margherita or marinara la pizza fritta. We recommend L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele, which is known as the best pizza place in Naples.
If you get to Mercato di Mezzo, the oldest market in Bologna, or Mercato delle Erbe, searching for ingredients or other types of delicacies, you should definitely try mortadella, salame rosa or parmigiano regianno, produced in Parma, Modena or Bologna. In restaurants, it is recommended you try tagliatelle al ragu, whereas for dessert, go for either torta di riso or gelato.
Besides the Italian cuisine influences, the gastronomy in Catania also presents influences from the Greek, Spanish, French and Arabic cuisines. Taste pasta alla norma, spaghetti ai rici, various types of food based on fish and sea food and for dessert, you should try cannoli.
Mercato Centrale will delight your senses. If you go to the third floor of the market, you’ll find various restaurants and products from the region of Toscana. Among all types of local foods, you should try bistecca alla fiorentina, which is beef steak cooked in a traditional way, papardelle al cinghiale, a type of pasta with sauce, usually ragu, or tagliatelle funghi porcini e tartufo. For dessert, two good options would be cantuccini and gelato.
The Italian cuisine is known all over the world. In Rome, spoil yourself with a bowl of pasta all’amatriciana, cacio e pepe, rigatoni alla carbonara or with a pizza romana. For dessert, go for panna cotta and don’t forget about having your good cup of coffee every morning while in Rome. A caffè lungo, caffè macchiato or cappuccino will give you the necessary morning boost to make you want to explore even more of this city.
Turin is a city you should definitely add to your ‘to visit’ list. The chic squares, the Baroque or Rococo architectures and the colored facades are going to make you fall in love with it instantly. For lunch, you can choose from the various traditional foods, such as risotto al Barolo or risotto ai funghi, accompanied by an authentic tiramisu. In the evening, music and cultural events are waiting for you at Hiroshima Mon Amour, where famous artists, such as Patti Smith, Joan Baez or Bob Dylan, played their most known songs throughout time.
Explore the beautiful neighborhoods Brera, Navigli or Porta Garibaldi on foot. Stop by a trattoria to discover the tasty traditional cuisine. You can try costoletta alla milanese, a type of food similar to schnitzel, risotto alla milanese, a type of rice-based food, or the famous ossobuco alla milanese, whereas for dessert, the best option is tiramisu.
France: Ratatouille, Coq au vin, Beef bourguignon, Cassoulet, Salade niçoise, Roquefort, Camembert, Gruyère, Croissant, Macaron, Eclair, Crème brûlée, Soufflé, Vin, Pastis, Champaigne
Bordeaux is the city of wine, one of the most (if not the most) known beverages in the world. Near the city, there are some of the most appreciated vineyards in the world, and hundreds of castles specialized in wine production. Thus, taking a tour of the region is actually recommended and one very good place to start is Saint-Émilion, a place included in UNESCO world heritage. Then, go to Médoc, Canon Fronsac, Sauternes or Graves.
Guinguette is a French name from the 19th century used to describe the outdoor restaurants, located on river banks. These types of places, such as Buldo, still exist in Lyon, but, obviously, they were adapted to modern times. Gastronomically speaking, the city of Lyon has its own specialties, including those made of saucisson meat and andouillette, the Lyonnaise fries with onion, butter and parsley, as well as the famous coq au vin, which you must try while here.
Nice is an important city on the gourmet map of France and among the types of food you can try here, there are the niçoise salad and ratatouille, a delicious stew made of vegetables, cooked according to the local recipe.
Among some of the best pastries in Paris, there is La Patisserie des Rêves, Pierre Hermé, Pain de Sucre, Le Grenier à Pain and Stohrer. You can try various types of croissants, macarons, eclair, mille-feuille, madeleines, chocolate and many more.
Belgium: Mosselen-friet, Gegratineerde Witloof, Carbonnade flamande, Boudin, Stoemp, Waffles, Chocolate, Beer
For an unforgettable journey, it is recommended you try several types of Belgian chocolate. And since we’re speaking of sweets, one of the top places on your list should be occupied by waffles.
As for lunch or dinner, you should try mosselen-friet, which contains French fries and mussels, or gegratineerde witloof, which contains endive, béchamel sauce and cheese. The creamiest type of mashed potatoes is called stoemp, which you can have with boudin blanc, a type of sausage widely popular in Belgium.
In 2016, the Belgian beer culture was included in the UNESCO Lists of Intangible Cultural Heritage, with over 1500 types of beer produced in this region. In Brussels, you’ll even find a museum dedicated to this tradition and if you’re interested in various types of beer, among some of the best bars to try them, there are A La Mort Subite, La Porteuse d’Eau and Poechenellekelder.
Scotland: Porridge, Haggis, Tunnock’s Tea Cake, Tablet, Whiskey
When in Glasgow, you should try haggis, a delicious type of food that may look or taste in a way that most tourists may not be accustomed to, especially considering the way it is prepared. And don’t forget to taste Scotland’s national beverage, whiskey. There are over 100 active distilleries in Scotland and near Glasgow, you can go to Glengoyne or you can opt for one of the helicopter tours to Laphroaig, located on the Islay island, one of the distilleries that produces a very fine type of whiskey, that received many awards and that is also preferred by Prince Charles.
Germany: Bratwurst, Sauerkraut, Spätzle, Brezel, Apfelkuchen, Beer
By far, the most renowned event in Munich is Oktoberfest, the greatest beer festival in the world that starts mid-September and lasts until the first week of October. The festival’s first edition took place due to a royal wedding at the beginning of the 19th century and today it gathers millions of people from all over the world. In Munich, you can also try traditional specialties, such as bratwurst, a special recipe of spicy sausages, accompanied by sauerkraut, pickled cabbage. You should also taste apfelkuchen, which is an apple-based dessert.
Finland: Karjalanpiirakka, Mustikkapiirakka, Kalakukko, Korvapuusti, Salmiakki, Poronkäristys
In Helsinki, you’ll find numerous markets with fresh vegetables and fruits, where you can buy various traditional specialties. The Finnish pies are something unique, starting from karjalanpiirakka, which very tender and it is stuffed with vegetables, to kalakukko, which contains fish, and ending with mustikkapiirakka, which is a blueberry pie, all of them are worth trying. Other popular types of desserts are korvapuusti, cinnamon rolls which the Finnish people enjoy next to a warm cup of coffee, and Salmiakki, which are salted licorice. Another type of food, specific to this region is poronkäristys, which consists of reindeer meat with mashed potatoes.
England: Fish and Chips, Bangers and Mash, Full English Breakfast, Sunday Roast, Toad in The Hole, Steak and Kidney Pie, Cottage Pie, Shepherd’s Pie, Scones, Spotted Dick, Pudding
London will enchant you with all sorts of delicacies. Explore the Borough square, the Brick Lane square in East End or the Camden Market to discover various types of aromas. If you’re seeking for an authentic local experience, there are numerous restaurants that serve tea and scones in the most traditional way. For lunch, you can try an Anglo-Indian meal, chicken tikka masala. Other traditional meals are bangers and mash, fish and chips, and toad in the hole, whereas for sweets, you should try the spotted dick.
Sweden: Köttbullar, Gravlax, Toast Skagen, Janssons frestelse, Raggmunk, Kroppkakor, Kanelbullar, Snaps, Glögg
A very popular type of meal in Sweden is köttbullar, which are meatballs with sweet cranberry sauce. The cranberry jam is used quite often in the Swedish traditional cuisine, especially in certain types of meals. For instance, you can try Swedish pancakes made of potatoes, with cranberry jam, which in Swedish it is called raggmunk.