Let’s admit it, half of the reason why we have an addiction to travel is so that we can try new authentic foods that we can’t get at home (of equal deliciousness). PLUS, they say that “when you travel, calories don’t count“, riggght?
For some, trying new foods helps people to understand a culture better than visiting any ol’ tourist landmark. You wouldn’t have truly experienced a new city if you didn’t try the food. You would be missing out on some of the most jaw-dropping mmm, mmm, mmmmms.
I know that for Hans and I, whenever we travel anywhere, we always want to eat local cuisine. We either look for the place that has the most people which clearly signals good food, or we look on TripAdvisor for some of the top rated restaurants. Otherwise, I research either in my travel guides (DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Germany) or I ask around for MUST-TRY food! After all, I don’t want to deny my taste buds a cultural experience of delicious food!
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
- Indonesian food is a large part of the identity of the Netherlands. This is due to the Dutch East India Trading company and the arrival of former Dutch colonials and people from the colonies migrating to the Netherlands. So while in Amsterdam, we found one of the best rated Surinamese restaurants in town called Warung Spang Makandra. I had no idea what I was getting myself into, but it was delicious!!!
- Pofferjes which is another typical Dutch food that must be had! They are tiny, fluffy pancakes which are served with powdered sugar and butter. Sometimes, they even come with syrup, whipped cream or strawberries.
- Belgian Waffles can be found in most big cities in Belgium, especially in Brussels and Bruges. There are different variations, none of which are actually called “Belgian Waffles”. The Brussels Waffle dates back to the 18th Century, so there has been plenty of time to perfect this most delicious waffle, different from any American style waffle. You have not truly experiences Belgium without having a waffle! In Bruges, the best waffles are from a small van that sits in front of the Stadhuis (City Hall).
- Mussels are a popular dish many enjoy for dinner in Belgium, seeing as how the country lies along the coast the North Sea. And to truly eat them like a Belgian, one must use the shell as a pair of pinchers to grab the meat out of another shell.
- Frites are Belgium’s second most iconic food after the waffle! While us Americans call Frites “French Fries”, there is still some debate as to where fries were actually invented, and I must say, we have it wrong. We should be calling them “Belgian Fries” because they are the best in the world!
- Paella is a traditional Valencian rice dish usually with/without meat (chicken, rabbit) or seafood with some veggies and beans. While in Barcelona, I knew I had to try this!
- Patatas Bravas or Patatas Aioli is a delicious Tapas dish which is Roasted Potatoes served with a tomato sauce or a creamy garlic sauce, or sometimes served with both sauces. I prefer the latter as anything with garlic is just bound to be delicious! Aioli all the way!
- Döner Kebab is a Turkish flatbread sandwich stuffed with sliced lamb or chicken with vegetables which was supposedly”invented” in Berlin by a a Turkish man, which now results in €3.5 billion in yearly sales and over 16,000 Kebab shops in Germany.
- Goulash is a very traditional meal usually served with beef, a variation of Knödle (Potato Dumpling) and Paprika sauce, which can be found anywhere between Hungary, Austria, Czech Republic and Germany. But the best has by far been in Budapest, perfect for a cold winter day!
- Guinness – Beer is a food, riiight? No trip to Dublin is complete without doing a Guinness brewery tour before receiving your complementary free drink!
A Full English Breakfast is the perfect way to start your day when in England!
- Fish’n’Chips – Fish’n’Chips is a simple dish with fried cod served with what us Americans might called Fresh Fries. No Trip to the UK is complete without at least on dose of Fish’n’Chips.
- Indian Food – Thanks to the intertwined history between Britain and India, there will always be a strong influence of Indian food in England. Going for a Curry is an absolute must!
- Cheese Fondue & Chocolate Fondue is something you just can’t avoid eating while in Swizterland! A traditional cheese fondue usually comes with a side of potatoes and sliced bread squares for dipping. Top it off with a well paired glass of white wine! Chocolate fondue is served with fruits and come extra chocolate for dipping for the ultimate experience!
- Creamy Mustard Schnitzel is an absolute must try if you are in this region. This sleepy, adorable little town is famous for it’s Mustard. While I am NOT a fan of mustard, I was brave and tried it and now comes highly recommended from yours truly!
- Currywurst – technically the best currywurst is from Berlin, buuut you can get a good one anywhere, with paprika sauce and a side of fries!
- Maß bier – Once you find yourself in Munich, be sure to find the nearest biergarten and order yourself a Maß (Mass) bier. One is plenty unless you can hold your alcohol. Don’t forget that German bier is stronger than American beer!
- Gelato – No trip to anywhere in Italy is complete without AT LEAST 5 gelatos! More if you please! No other ice cream in the world is better than Italian Gelato!
- Pizza – While I do love my Pan Crust Pizza from Pizza Hut, a good, simple, authentic pizza from Naples or anywhere in Italy is a must! Nothing fancy, just a simple Margherita Pizza.
- Macarons – If there is one place you absolutely need to stop at while in Paris, it would be Ladurée, which is famed for having added the filling between the cookies. While this is the must place go to try Macarons, you can get them practically anywhere!
Prague, Czech Republic
- Pilsner – You simply can’t pass up the opportunity to enjoy a fresh, cold Pilsner beer while in Prague.
- Trdelník (Chimney Cake) – Chimney Cakes are a delicious little snack you can actually get in Prague, Budapest and parts of Germany (during Christmas Market or Beer Festival season). This doughy deliciousness is usually coated in sugar or cinnamon, but in Prague it rivals all others! The fillings can be anything from chocolate to ice cream or both, with sprinkles!
The following meal is from a little restaurant called Diocletian’s Wine House in a small alley in Split as soon as you walk in through the Silver Gate. Croatia has some of the best seafood in all of Europe, so any dish will do. For those who don’t love fish, like myself, I tried a more traditional meal.
- Blue Plate fish platter with a tuna fillet, clams, mussels, squid and more
- Stuffed Grilled Pljeskavica which is a hamburger patty stuffed with cheese and ham, kind of like a cordon bleu and is actually a Bosnian cuisine served with potato wedges or you can order Grilled ćevapčići minced meat in the form of a sausage also served with potato wedges.
- Filleted Poultry in a Riesling Wine Sauce with spätzle – If you’re looking for a melt in your mouth kind of meal, then you need to try a fillited poultry dish. We enjoyed this lovely meal from Au Dauphin near the Strasbourg cathedral.
- Tarte flambée (Flammkuchen) is an Alsatian dish most commonly found in the Alsace & Southern Germany regions and is a thin bread dough with a creme Fraiche and sauce and white onions. It comes in many different variations but all equally delicious!
- Viennese Schnitzel – is typically thinly pounded, fried veal and is the national dish of Austria which can also be found in southern parts of Germany.
- Sacher Torte – a 180 year old cake that was created in the 1800’s for the Prince of Austria which has been loved ever since and can be found in both Vienna and Salzburg!
- Café Central Cake – “There are coffeehouses and then there is Cafe Central” – Head to the Café Central and splurge by getting the most delicious cake ever, preferably the Central Surprise which is a “beautiful blend of orange caramel, Bavarian cream and chocolate!” Get two if you must! (For more on Coffee & Cake in Vienna)
AFTTTER alll that food, doesn’t it make you want to travel more? My mouth is salivating just writing this post!
To deny yourself one of life’s greatest pleasures would be a sin, so get off your computer, stop looking at this post and go eat something!
If you’re interested in visiting Europe and are looking for more information, I highly recommend using the DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Europe! Without these guides, I would be lost! This is my travel Bible!
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you click on one and make a purchase, I might make a little extra spending money, at no extra cost to you. As always, all opinions are my own and these products/services have been found useful during our travels and come highly recommended to you from yours truly!
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