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Top European Bucket List Foods and the Best Places to Try Them

Top European Bucket List Foods and the Best Places to Try Them

TripBlog
Sep 20, 20193290

Europe is a wonderfully diverse place. With so many nations packed together and connected via a continent-wide transportation network, travel in Europe is a breeze. Stunning architecture, powerful history, and amazing culture await those to venture here. If you ask a seasoned traveler though what they most enjoy about life on the road, chances are a great many will say the food. European national cuisines are tasty and certainly something to add to your travel bucket list. We've collected 20 dishes from across Europe that you absolutely must try on your next adventure. These are the top European bucket list foods and the best places to try them!

Table of Contents

1. Austria – Wiener schnitzel
2. Belgium – Frites
3. Croatia – Jota
4. Czechia – Svíčková
5. Finland – Poronkäristys
6. France – Pot-au-feu
7. Germany – Sauerbraten
8. Greece – Moussaka
9. Hungary – Goulash
10. Ireland – Irish stew
11. Italy – Neapolitan pizza
12. Latvia – Kūpināta Zivs
13. Netherlands – Stroopwafel
14. Poland – Bigos
15. Portugal – Bacalhau
16. Romania – Sarmale
17. Slovenia – Potica
18. Spain – Paella
19. Sweden – Köttbullar
20. Turkey - Ali Nazik kebab

Top European Bucket List Foods and the Best Places to Try Them

1. Austria – Wiener schnitzel

When your national dish carries the name of your capital city, that's probably a good indication where you can enjoy it. The Vienna schnitzel or Weiner schnitzel is Austria's beloved culinary export. Next time you're visiting this thoroughly romantic destination, take a stroll around Heldenplatz and through the Hofberg. Enjoy cafes where generations of poets and philosophers debated grandiose ideas. Duck down a narrow side street until you come upon a quaint little restaurant serving up delicious dishes in full of Alpine flavor. For the thoroughly traditional experience, go with the veil and pair it with lovely potatoes and a special side sauce. Guten Appetit!

Top European Bucket List Foods and the Best Places to Try Them

2. Belgium – Frites

Americans like to think they make the best French Fries. Belgians beg to differ. This delectable snack is available anywhere you go. Whether you're in Brussels on the Grand Place, walking past the Cathedral of Our Lady in Antwerp, crossing St Michael's Bridge in Ghent, or strolling the canals in Bruges, you're never far from a street vendor serving up some tasty fries. Apologies to our American friends, but if you want to do it right, you have to order them with a good helping of mayonnaise. Another popular treat is a combination platter featuring muscles and fries. This quick meal will keep you energized for all the great sightseeing in this delightful destination.

3. Croatia – Jota

Croatia is a fabulous country with plenty of great sights. Game of Thrones fans will want to head for Dubrovnik. Start your tour in the historic walled city and imagine the terror residents of King's Landing would have felt as Daenarys circled overhead with her dragons raining down fire. Thankfully such a fate will not befall you. Instead, you can escape into a lovely restaurant for a hearty bowl of jota. The Croatian staple is a stew loaded with a variety of ingredients including beans, sauerkraut, turnips, potatoes, bacon, and spare ribs. Famous in the northwest, make sure to look for this if you’re visiting the capital Zagreb.

4. Czechia – Svíčková

Czechs, like other Central Europeans, love meat! If you're venturing through places once trapped behind the Iron Curtain, it's hard to beat Prague. The Czech capital has long attracted travelers with its pre-World War II architecture. Largely spared the devastating aerial bombardments that reduced places like Warsaw and Dresden to rubble, Prague has tons of old world charm. Find your way to the famous U Sádlů Restaurant and order up a plate of svíčková. This is beef sirloin paired with cream sauce and white-bread dumplings. Enjoy a glass of Pilsen to round out the experience. It's a true Czech meal!

5. Finland – Poronkäristys

A popular joke has it Finland is a country with more reindeer than people. As anyone who's had the good fortune to sample venison will tell you, however, the leaner meat is delicious and far superior to beef. Venture up to Lapland in the north and find out what reindeer is all about. We recommend heading to Rovaniemi, which just so happens to be the hometown of Santa Claus. If picturing Jolly old Saint Nicholas hitched to a merry band of steeds dampens your mood for trying this delicious meal, maybe wait until after to visit Santa's Village. When you're up near the Arctic Circle, a hearty meal is what you crave. Poronkäristys is nothing if not that!

Top European Bucket List Foods and the Best Places to Try Them

6. France – Pot-au-feu

France is one of those places where it's neigh impossible to limit yourself to just one great food. Having contributed so much to fine dining, the French embody culinary tradition. Force someone to narrow down a quintessentially French dish and chances are they'll come up with pot-au-feu. It's a delicious stew made with beef and vegetables such as carrots, turnips, leeks, celery, and onions and served in a broth made from oxtail or marrowbone. Sound positively mouthwatering? It is! Winter is the best time to enjoy this staple of French cuisine. A great place to order it is in a small restaurant along narrow streets in ski villages like Chamonix.

Top European Bucket List Foods and the Best Places to Try Them

7. Germany – Sauerbraten

German cuisine is always hearty, featuring choice cuts of beef, veil, or pork, plenty of potatoes, and savory sauces. Sauerbraten is type of pot roast popular throughout the country. Arguably dating back to the time of Julius Caesar, people from German-speaking regions in Europe have been making sauerbraten for centuries. The best varieties come served with red cabbage and a red wine reduction. For a thoroughly German experience, find yourself a quaint Bavarian village and order up some sauerbraten with a stein of beer and maybe a pretzel. You'll leave feeling contented and ready for more sightseeing adventures.

Top European Bucket List Foods and the Best Places to Try Them

8. Greece – Moussaka

Moussaka is traditionally an eggplant-based dish that often includes ground meat. Sautéed eggplant is mixed with lamb and tomato then baked to achieve a golden caramelized layer on top. A milk sauce thickened with egg is a common addition in many parts of Greece. Find your way to a lovely restaurant overlooking the harbor in Athens or maybe with a view across the famous blue domes on Santorini Island. Start with a Greek Salad with large olives and chunks of feta cheese before having your moussaka. Finish things off with a bit of Ouzo to cleanse the palate. It's a thoroughly Greek experience.

Top European Bucket List Foods and the Best Places to Try Them

9. Hungary – Goulash

Like Prague, the Hungarian capital Budapest is a fantastic European destination. Castles, overlooks, and natural hot springs dominate. The Hungarians have long taken pride in their culinary traditions. National dishes such as goulash, chicken paprikash, and kolbasz are wonderfully delicious. If you want to get a sense for Hungary, visit Budapest as the chilly winds descend over Central Europe. Tour Fisherman's Bastion or stroll along the Danube. Dash inside a welcoming restaurant and let a steaming bowl of goulash warm your body and nourish your soul. Finish the night off with a visit to one of the city's famous bathhouses to soak in the hot spring waters. This is the essence of Budapest!

Top European Bucket List Foods and the Best Places to Try Them

10. Ireland – Irish stew

Lucky Charms might be magically delicious, but they're far from Irish. If you want to know how they do things on the Isle of Erie, you need to head to Dublin where the Guinness flows free and the Irish stew is served up hot! Savory chunks of beef are marinated in a thick sauce and served together with potatoes, carrots, and onions. The recipe's simplicity belies the myriad variations on offer across the land. Every pub in every village offers a different take on this classic dish. You can literally eat your way around Ireland without tasting the same thing twice.

Top European Bucket List Foods and the Best Places to Try Them

11. Italy Neapolitan pizza

Apologies to our Italian friends, but you won't convince this author pizza is anything but a thoroughly American food. From New York thin-crust to Chicago deep dish, America perfected pizza. There is one style, however, which still reigns supreme in Italy…pizza napoletana or Neapolitan pizza. Obviously the only place to have this is in Naples. Wander narrow alleyways throughout the city and past beautiful buildings exuding Italian style. Make your way to La Pizzeria Sorbillo, where you can enjoy a Neapolitan pizza in style. Make sure to snap some pictures of Mount Vesuvius and visit the ruins of Pompeii. Naples epitomizes Southern Italian sensibilities. Come discover what this is all about!

12. Latvia Kūpināta Zivs

The Baltic nations boast proud seafaring cultures. It's perhaps no secret then that fish would be on the menu. A visit to the Latvian capital Riga is the perfect occasion to sample Kūpināta Zivs...aka smoked fish. Fishmongers take special care when it comes to smoking fish. Varying woods such as alder, birch, or maple helps to create distinct flavor profiles. If you long for the freshest catch, venture to the fishing towns just outside Riga. Otherwise look for a great restaurant in town. Dome in particular is highly regarded, set near Riga Cathedral, and offers a great menu from which to choose a wonderful meal.

Top European Bucket List Foods and the Best Places to Try Them

13. Netherlands Stroopwafel

Here's one for your sweet tooth. The Dutch national treat is a tasty syrup-filled waffle that's great for a quick pick me up. Available throughout the Netherlands, stroopwafels are fantastic with coffee. Get yourself several and position them one at a time over your mug. The steam and heat will soften the waffle and melt the caramel flavor inside. When you bite into it you will get the coffee aroma and taste as well. It's fantastic! Be sure to keep your wits about you least you find yourself devouring several in a single sitting. Stroopwafels are perfect items to snag at the train station as you're darting off to your next destination.

Top European Bucket List Foods and the Best Places to Try Them

14. Poland Bigos

Poland's ascension to the European Union helped this Central European nation emerge from the relative isolation following the Second World War. Poles are known for their hospitality, love of drink, and delicious cuisine. With many signature dishes it's hard to limit ourselves to just one. Bigos is a hunter's stew made with sauerkraut, kielbasa, wild mushrooms, prunes, and various spices. These ingredients are typically braised in red wine for several hours to draw out flavors. The result is a fantastic dish with enough room for creative interpretation and a personalized touch. Highly regarded as great comfort food, bigos is found throughout Poland. Look for the small cafeteria-like eateries known as milk bars for the authentic bigos experience.

Top European Bucket List Foods and the Best Places to Try Them

15. Portugal Bacalhau

Long before England ruled the waves as Europe's preeminent naval power there was Portugal. Dominant in the Atlantic during most of the 16th century, Portuguese sailors played pivotal roles in the continent's so-called age of discovery. Bacalhau, or salted cod, is a staple in the Portuguese diet. Endless variations mean you can search up and down for new and exciting takes on this traditional fare. Served with potatoes and paired with a green wine, bacalhau is always on offer during special occasions and at major holidays. Nearly any Portuguese restaurant will have it on the menu so find a place with an atmosphere and settle in to try this wonderful culinary treat.

Top European Bucket List Foods and the Best Places to Try Them

16. Romania – Sarmale

Sarmale is a traditional Romanian cabbage role. Cooked cabbage is stuffed with various fillings to create a tasty snack perfect for accompanying a larger meal or as a standalone delight. It customary to eat sarmale during major holidays or at festive occasions such as weddings, baptisms, or other large gatherings. The filling can be either sweet or savory and it’s common to find many varieties using pork, caramelized onions, and grape leaf. People like to enjoy sarmale the day after major events. Simply reheat them briefly and you have a delightful morsel for the morning or any time throughout the day.

Top European Bucket List Foods and the Best Places to Try Them

17. Slovenia – Potica

Potica is a scrumptious snack made from leavened dough spread paper thin and rolled with various fillings. Characteristic poticas contain ground walnut, tarragon, hazelnut, and poppy seed. They resemble alternating light-dark spirals twisting in on themselves. Poticas are quite popular during major religious festivals, especially Easter. Slovenian immigrant communities in the United States have carried this tradition with them, making potica easy to find in many places. Look for ones made with tarragon for a delicious take on this popular dish. Poticas are easy to find in Ljubljana. If you're venturing down to Koper on the Adriatic Coast, enjoy a potica overlooking the shore for a romantic experience.

Top European Bucket List Foods and the Best Places to Try Them

18. Spain – Paella

Thoroughly Spanish, paella is thought to have originated near Valencia sometime in the mid-19th century. The rice-based dish is highly customizable with a variety of ingredients. Vegetarian, seafood, and or poultry options are quite popular. The original Valencian variety is believed to have used chicken or sometimes duck. Rosemary and saffron seasoning gives incredible flavor and aroma. This is one dish you can certainly smell from afar. Many people delight in knowing when paella is on offer. To really get a sense for this Spanish treat, head to the small towns surrounding Valencia and enjoy the local markets or large gathering places where you're sure to find great paella on the menu.

19. Sweden – Köttbullar

Just about everyone knows köttbullar. Swedish meatballs are iconic and intimately associated with this Scandinavian nation. Thanks to the country's global phenomenon flat-pack furniture brand IKEA, köttbullar are on offer worldwide. Next time you're shopping for a stylish couch or bedroom decor, stop in the cafeteria and enjoy a dish of meatballs. Normally eaten together with potatoes or pasta, it's also common to find them served with vegetables and topped with various spices. Ground beef, pork, and sometimes veal predominate as main ingredients. Stockholm is a great place to enjoy köttbullar and you will find them in just about every restaurant. Find an appealing location perhaps near the harbor and settle in for a great dish.

20. Turkey - Ali Nazik kebab

If you've had the pleasure to travel through a Turkish community, you know the wonderful sight of kebab meats rotating on a spit. Wonderfully aromatic, the slow and continuous cooking process imparts an often zesty flavor. Ali Nazik kebab is made with the meat (often lamb) served over a bed of rice pilaf or yogurt with garlic, vegetables, and a light sauce. The hearty meal is quite filling and often served in generous portions. Home-style varieties are found in lots of restaurants, especially in Turkish diaspora communities. As kebab has predominated throughout Europe, you're never far away from some delicious Ali Nazik.

Regrettably we've only scratched the surface of the culinary riches on offer across Europe. Just about everywhere features two or three staple foods meaning you have literally dozens of flavorful combinations. Branch out and follow your nose. If you're someone who sticks to reliable favorites, try to expand your pallet a little bit here and there. Once you add something to your diet, you may find yourself coming back over and over. Don't worry. There are always more things to add to your own list of top European foods.

Disclaimer: This article has been used directly from the Qingqi Qiu Platform, the copyright belongs to the original author. If there is any discrepancy with the copyright please contact us directly and we will immediately delete the content.Index for Network Information Infringement Protection
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