Being A Foodie In Europe
Updated: Sep 15
10 Must-Try Foods in Europe
Whether you're a seasoned foodie or are taking your first steps into immersing yourself in the vast (and delicious!) world of European dishes, there are a few must-try foods that you have to add to your upcoming Europe itinerary. Europe is a large continent spanning over 4 million square miles and 44 countries. And while your food-loving heart will be happy no matter where you travel, we're breaking down a few famous and must-try dishes that you can't miss on your next trip to Europe!
1. Pierogies in Poland
Pierogies are among some of the most famous European foods, and their reputation totally lives up to the hype. They are a dumpling type of dish made from either noodle flour dough or sometimes pastry dough. They are then stuffed with various fillings such as potatoes, cheese, meats, and sometimes even sweet ingredients like apples and cherries in the summertime! Traditionally, pierogies are boiled, but they can also be baked or fried for an extra crispy exterior. Pierogies are comforting and delicious, especially on a cold Polish winter day.
2. Meatballs in Sweden
You've probably heard of Swedish meatballs at some point in your life (thanks, IKEA!) They are usually made of a combination of beef, pork, and veal and then served in a sauce. The sauce can vary from a white cream sauce to a brown gravy to even a wine sauce depending on where you are. Swedish meatballs can be served on mashed potatoes or noodles or eaten by themselves!
3. Strudel in Austria
If you visit Austria and don't eat at least one strudel, you're missing out! A strudel is a layered sweet pastry that is often filled with apples and sometimes a soft cheese. While many people think of strudels as German, they actually originated in Austria, dating back to the 1600s.
4. Waffles in Belgium
At the risk of sounding like a cliche tourist, Belgium really does take waffles to the next level. Unlike the waffles we're used to, Belgian waffles are fluffier and thicker and served with toppings such as fruit, whipped cream, and even chocolate. Brussels is the hub of the best Belgian waffle, so grab this sweet treat next time you visit!
5. Croissants in France
Did you know that croissants originated in Austria? But nowadays, the French have perfected them and made them one of their must-try foods! Croissants are made with a thin dough layered with butter that is rolled into the famous half-moon shape. Croissants are a great morning snack and pair perfectly with your daily coffee.
6. Pretzels in Germany
The history of pretzels dates back to 610 A.D. when they were first concocted in France/Italy (the exact origins are unknown.) But once the pretzel rose to fame, Germany perfected them and made them famous! Eat them as a snack or enjoy one alongside a yummy German beer!
7. Carbonara in Italy
Pizza, pasta, gelato, oh my! Whatever you decide to eat in Italy, you really can't go wrong. That said, carbonara pasta, specifically in Rome, is life-changing. Carbonara is a simple pasta dish made with eggs, hard cheese, black pepper, and cured pork. It's creamy, salty, and the most comforting dish when you're in the mood for carbs. Although carbonara is simple to make, you have to try it in the founding city of Rome to get the authentic Italian experience!
8. Stroopwafel in the Netherlands
A stroopwafel is a small type of cookie that resembles a regular waffle. They're filled with a spiced caramel syrup that pairs perfectly with a hot cup of tea or coffee. The heat from the drink warms the stroopwafel to keep the outside crisp, but the inside melted and soft.
9. Paella in Spain
Paella is one of Spain's most famous dishes for a good reason! It's a rice dish that traditionally includes beans and rabbit, sausage, or chicken. It's known for its bright yellow color, thanks to the added saffron. Seafood paella is also a great option that is usually loaded with mussels, shrimp, and clams!
10. Fish and chips in the United Kingdom
Nothing screams the U.K. like a hot basket of fish and chips. This dish consists of battered and fried fish (usually cod, flounder, or halibut, depending on the season) served alongside crispy chips or fries. Fish and chips can be found across the U.K. and are known to be a popular pub or takeout food.
No matter where you travel in Europe, you'll come across some mouthwatering dishes and cuisines. Pro tip: always ask the locals where to go as they'll often point you to the city's hidden gems!
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