Europe is a diverse continent and its cuisine is also diverse. And although in all cases we are talking about fish, salmon from the Norwegian fjords has nothing to do with the little fried fish from Andalusia, British fish & chips, or the Basque kokotxas.
Gastronomy says a lot about the history of European peoples and makes us more familiar with it. Would there be so much pasta in Italy if Marco Polo was not Italian and had not brought it to his homeland from faraway China? Would there be crêpes, filloas, and frixuelos in Brittany, Galicia, and Asturias if the Celts had not populated those coasts? Is not the arrival of corn, and the dishes that are made with it, something that reminds us of the discovery of America to every bite? To discover Europe well you need to discover its cuisine, and that is why in this article we wanted to choose the 10 best places to lose yourself in if you want to eat well.
The 10 best destinations to eat well
They say that France is the best country to eat in all of Europe, but if there is one place to eat really well in this country, it is in the south. Provence has made its place in European cuisine by its own merit, and although we all have the herbes de Provence in our house, only they know how to use them well. In Provence, you must try the Tapénade, or olive pâté, in both green and black; or socca, a bread made from chickpeas with pepper and herbes de Provence. If we want to complete the picnic, we can do it with the salade niçoise and a loaf of olive bread. Provençal cuisine is most enjoyed in the summer, especially if we have a good wine from the region on hand.
The Celtic region of Brittany has much to offer travellers. Here the typical food is crêpes, which have acquired worldwide fame, but also the galettes, which are the salty crêpes that are usually served with a good French cheese and savoury things such as ham. In addition, Brittany is known for the famous Palets brétons, butter biscuits that are a lot like the ones made in Scotland. Could it be the Celtic soul?
In Spain good food (and especially good quantities) and the Celtic soul are associated with Asturias. Dishes such as fabada or cachopo need no introduction, but it is worth remembering that Asturias is home to the most different varieties of cheeses per km² and all that milk is not only used in making cheese, but also delicious desserts such as marañueles, the casadielles, the frixuelos (the local version of crêpes) the moscovitas or the carajitos del profesor. Our recommendation: A good Cabrales-style pork chop.
Known for the Cinque Terre natural park, Liguria has contributed incredible and well-known products and recipes to global cuisine. The two most famous are undoubtedly pesto and focaccia, which are typical here. But there is much more, and that is that in Liguria we can drink white wine and eat ciuppin soup, made with a fish carcass, a fundamental element in the diet of such a coastal city.
Catalonia has been presented too many times. But nobody can travel without trying Catalan cream and the wide range of sausages from the fuet to the butifarra, passing, of course, through the famous calçotadas. Catalonia is also the place where several international restaurants have their headquarters, and it has many excellent wines such as those from Priorat, as well as the well-known pan amb tomaquet that will be the delight of any breakfast.
Greece is Mediterranean cuisine, and it is very inexpensive. Moussaka is undoubtedly its star dish, but it has a lot more like salads, feta cheese, dolma (grape leaves stuffed with rice and other products) gyros with pita bread that is very similar to the popular kebab, even though the Greeks do not appreciate the comparison, or tzatziki sauce. Lovers of a healthy diet will find in Greece an ideal place to eat and not get (too) fat.
Danish cuisine is good, of course, but it is not the most famous in the world, and yet Copenhagen is on this list. Why? Very simple. Copenhagen is currently the city with the most Michelin stars in the world and it has no less than 17 stars distributed among 15 restaurants, which makes this cooking an ideal destination for the most demanding and affluent.
Sweden is much more than the meatballs and sauce that we know. This Scandinavian country has some of the best recipes, and this is especially true when it comes to desserts like the delicious Swedish cinnamon buns.
The island of Sicily has much to offer us in culinary terms, such as the arancini (ball of rice filled with meat) and delicious fish, such as tuna or swordfish, that will delight even the most demanding palates. However, if the island is well-known for anything, it is for the high quality of its ice cream.
Finally, although only partially European, Istanbul offers us several delicious drinks and meals. The salep stands out among the first–a drink made from orchid bulbs with cinnamon sprinkled on top and very thick milk that will delight even the sweetest tooth. As for the food, we can highlight the kebab, the köfte, and other savoury things, although the sweets, like baklava and lokum, clearly sand out the most.
If you’re a foodie and interested in knowing the true local gastronomy in Europe read our Ultimate Guide of The best European cities for pastries and sweets & Best beer festivals in Europe!