Best Food Destinations In Europe
We have a very dominant sense that we use to make and retrieve memories. For some people it is the sense of smell, others remember it by sound but for me, it has always been food.
Living in London, there has always been a great many restaurants around offering food from around the world from tapas to Nasi goreng and sushi to ceviches. It was only natural to see how the food matched in the countries of origin and in the process find some amazing food destinations.
Here are my top favourite food destinations in Europe is no particular order:
From croissants to foie gras, French food is world-known and no matter where you go in France, food doesn’t disappoint. The lovely chic cafes in Paris are legendary but the capital is also host to some of the greatest restaurants in the world with entire neighbourhoods dedicated to culinary adventures like Le Marais and Latin Quarter.
Bordeaux is known for its wine and Toulouse for its duck delicacies. Nice and Côte d’Azur offer fresh Mediterranean vibes with summed food in ultra-luxury. No matter where you go France will not disappoint as a food destination.
Italy has given the world pasta and pizza but the cuisine goes much farther than these staples. Every region in Italy offers different specialities. Bologna to Florence, Rome to Naples, Trieste to Venice and not to mention Sicily everywhere has a signature style and dishes that will make you drool to no end. The concept of Finezza with Italians is really strong when it comes to food. It is hard to come out of Italy without good food because it is considered a sin to cook and feed bad food here.
Georgia has a truly unique cuisine and one that is truly varied and delicious. From Xinkali to Xachapuri the food is fresh, incredibly delicious and best of all; cheap. Georgia is a small country and the first one to start winemaking. You won’t be disappointed by the food in any corner of the place. The farther away from the cities you are, the more delicious food becomes. I truly believe it is the up and coming food trend waiting to happen. Along with its neighbours, Azerbaijan and Armenia, Caucuses are shining a bright food light to the very Eastern corners of Europe.
Madrid hosts the oldest restaurant in Europe! It is still frequented by the royalty and within that small area, there is so much flavour and food that you could eat in a different place every day and still not be done in 3-4 years. Every region in Spain has different food but they all share the concept of freshness and flavour. Andalusia has recently emerged as the new culinary hotspot (video link) with great food hubs in Seville that offer not only great food but combine it with attractions like flamenco.
The smaller cafes and bars tend to have better food everywhere and tapas is not an evening out here, it is a lifestyle.
Surprised? Denmark caters to the eating elite of Europe with a whopping 32 Michelin’s star restaurant, more than elsewhere in Northern Europe. Most of these places come with beautiful landscape and views so if you’ve got a bit of cash to splash head to Denmark and go to a new restaurant for each meal not to enjoy the food but also to see the best of the country. Ever heard of killing two birds with one fork?
There’s nothing like sitting on a Greek island with the sunset enjoying a plate of heart Gul Mediterranean vegetables with olive oil and delicious bread with a side of cheese. Throw in some seafood and life gets even more beautiful. From Athens to Mykonos, Santorini, I’ve had difficulty trying to find bad food.
With the advent of modern eating Greece has placed itself at the heart of a perfect culinary experience whether you’re a luxury hunter with beach clubs or order a small cafe tucked away in the streets of Plaka.
Do I even need to say anything? From the European side to deeper into the Asian side, Turkey has the breadth of culinary variety that makes every country jealous. Istanbul also flaunts itself as a vibrant food destination with stars like Salt bae. Denizli is famous for its lamb kebabs especially made in clay ovens. On the far asian side, the love of manticores and icli kofte is very visible. BBQ and kebabs are a speciality and depending on the region it can be tiny pieces or entire lambs. While Istanbul can be quite pricey, most cities in Turkey especially smaller one’s are very cheap. To finish off, sit with some honey dripping baklava and tea or Turkish coffee and count your blessings.
Portugal might be relatively small but it punches way above its weight when it comes to food. The north of the country is home to beautiful valleys famous for their grapes and wine, the mid hosts Lisbon and the south is loaded with gorgeous beaches and seafood like Faro. Portugal is also amazingly cheap when it comes to food. The food traditions of Portuguese have crept big-time into world cultures like the salted cod in South America and Piri Piri chicken with rice that makes your mouth water uncontrollably. The wine tours in the north with some Francesinha by the harbour of Porto is the ultimate luxury in my books.
Europe might be a small continent but the culinary diversity it offers is unparalleled with options for food. No matter where you go, the variety makes the travellers’ life a fun one.