Best European travel destination for food lovers

Europe is a continent famous for many things from its history, arts, cinema, travels, beaches and also food. Like with all the continents around the world, the food of Europe is driven from its history and we have picked out 10 European travel destinations for food lovers to go to.

1) London

Londons food scene is a great reflection of the diversity of people and cultures it houses - there is something for anyone and everyone from around the world hence the reason its a European food hotspot on our list.

Here are a selections of "must haves" on your trip to the english capital:

  • Afternoon tea - This light meal typically comes between lunch and dinner. If you think this may be an out dated tradition of the British culture then take a look at the month-long wait to get a reservation in the tea rooms of the Ritz or the Savoy. It is a tradition which has kept going with the new generations as well.
  • Fish and Chips - The city has numerous "chippies" which house the classic British fish and chips. Be sure to try one out on your trip to London. An insider tip is to try it with either mushy peas or curry sauce - a great addition for extra favour.
  • Chicken Tikka - created in Glasgow, Scotland and known to the UK's most popular dish, you will find this dish in high end to budget restaurants in London.
  • Michelin-starred kitchens - The city houses numerous Michelin starred restaurants to try such as the Restaurant Gordan Ramsey (3 starred) located in Chelsea, London.

Afternoon tea, London

2) Copenhagen 

Think of Copenhagen and people will instantly think of the world renowned restaurant Noma. Given the difficulty of securing a space at any given evening at this restaurant and a bill of excess of €500 normally, it is likely you will not get a chance to dine there on your trip to the Danish capital. Not to worry however as the city has benefited from a number of "Noma alumni"opening up their own restaurant post their Noma experience, much to the benefit of the food lovers like us!

The "must haves" at the Danish capital are:

  • smoked and pickled herring
  • Danish cheeses
  • The classic Smørrebrød - a Danish open-faced sandwich. Classic examples of Smørrebrød include egg and shrimp, marinated herring, beef tartar, and cod roe all atop buttered rye bread

Classic Danish dish, Copenhagen

3) Bordeaux

After the classic French wine and dine experience? Then head over to Bordeaux where you will find every French classic cuisine and more. 

What makes Bordeaux different from the other French food hotspots for food lovers is the location next to the sea giving it seafood element to the dishes - a great unique experience to undertake once for sure!

4) San Sebastian 

Considered by many as the continent's food capital, this Spanish city has the second highest concentration of Michelin stars per square mile in the world after Kyoto, Japan - an incredible achievement given the pulls and powers of the world mega cities. It is dined in by travellers from all around the world, giving the place a unique cultural vibe in peak tourist seasons.

Enjoy the spanish classic of tapas favoured with great ingredients worthy of the Michelin stars. Once your done, don't forget to throw your napkins on the floor, it is a tradition! Also a great opportunity for a video memory.

5) Berlin

Berlin is a city which has been the centre point of world history many times - it is soaked in history and culture so much that it is easy to miss out on its great food offerings. The city is so vast that it requires a trip a number of times each to focus on a different aspect of it from the history, to music, to the arts and to the food. For food lovers, this is a must!

Those wishing for the Michelin starred restaurants will find this in Facil and Weinbar Rutz

The classic "must haves" in Berlin are:

  •  Doner Kebabs ( Döner Kebap)- a classic Turkish dish which has found a lifelong home in Berlin. Often seen by many as a post night out snack - in Berlin it is far from that. Each Doner kebab is made with fresh ingredients and served in fresh bread that Berliners have for lunches and dinner. You can't go a block in Berlin without finding a kebab shop. A must for a doner kebab in Berlin is mustafa döner - a historic doner kebab place situation beautifully near the berlin Cathedral.
  • Currywurst is a matter of national pride for Berliners. Incredibly, there’s even a museum in its honour. On every street, you can be sure to find a place where this cheap, humble grilled sausage is served. The secret is in the sauce; a combination of the three key ingredients ketchup, Worcestershire sauce and curry powder.  

Mustafa's Doner Kebap, Berlin

6) Amsterdam 

For a world food scene - go the Amsterdam! You will find foods of great quality from every world corner in Amsterdam - a great appeal to travellers - particular those with niche taste buds.

The amazing thing about Amsterdam food scene is that you can be there for a week and survive of great street foods such is the variety or you can eat at the most fanciest restaurants from breakfast to dinner. 

7) Thessaloniki

You can be forgiven for not knowing where this is. This is the second largest city in Greece and a list of great European foods without greek food in incomplete. The greeks have given the world great food dishes from the "Gyros" to the "Souvlaki" to the yoghurt sauce "Tzatziki". 

Quality ingredients are of the utmost importance to all food makers in this region and you will notice this in all the dishes. All dishes served with great wine or beer - this destination will leave you wanting greek food wherever you go in the world.

8) Paris

Paris boasts a 70-strong offering of Michelin-starred restaurants offering, and in true Parisian style, in all of these places the phone is never answered and the dining room is always full. Also in Paris, you will find the bistros and brasseries, and vintage coffee machines on the bar.

Places to try you ask? Benoit - the only Parisian bistro to receive a Michelin star, this restaurant dates back to 1912. Do try the classics like pâté, escargots, and boeuf bordelaise here.

Experience a different side to Paris in the Korean fried chicken at Hero, or the upscale yet relatable Franco-Chinois cuisine of Yam'Tcha.

9) Barcelona 

Barcelona is a great place to try each and all spanish dishes from classic spanish's such as Paella to classic Catalan dishes also. Adding to that is the great tapas places around every street corner you will find - each equally great in quality.

Given the size of the city, the restaurants are beautifully spread out across the city so you will always yourself close to a great food offering. Paella, Barcelona

10) Rome

Leave the best till the last is often said to increase its desirability but its no secret that the city of Rome is often the first on every food lovers lips and lists of favourite food destinations in Europe and in the world. 

Among all the history and ancient architecture of the city, you will find restaurants combining simple fresh ingredients into dishes that result in such magic that is unimaginable with the simple ingredients used - a unique talent. This is a unique quality of Roman food that they have the adept ability to use the 'poor man's' ingredients known as the fifth quarter, or quinto quarto. A classic example of this is the classic Roman dish, Cacio e pepe. Translating to 'cheese and pepper' the dish is made solely with black pepper, Pecorino Romano cheese, and pasta (usually spaghetti) - a dish that has been consumed since ancient times.

There are numerous simple yet classic Italian dishes none more so than pizza and pasta.

Another key ingredient to food for the Italians is the view with the food being equally important - luckily Rome has that covered as well with many restaurants covering the historic sites all arounds the city. Our favourite is Restaurant Aroma looking over the Colosseum - featured in numerous movies, it is a great spot to go if you can get a table.

Classic Italian meal, rOME

Other notable mentions: 

  • Athens - the Greek capital house the biggest selection of world food and classic greek food.
  • Madrid - the Spanish capital rivals Barcelona with the quality of its food and offers a great alternative.
  • Edinburgh - the Scottish capital continues to thrive in its food scenes from great cafes such as the one J.K. Rowling penned much of Harry Potter in, to more modern dining rooms with a real taste for good dishes, all fuelled by Scotland's excellent natural larder.
  • Vienna - the Austrian capital is a delightful experience from world-class Michelin-starred restaurants to smaller canteens that serve surprisingly delicious meals.