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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!!!

Amsterdam, The Netherlands - California Globetrotter

  • 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.

Amsterdam, The Netherlands - California Globetrotter

Bruges, Belgium

  • 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.

A Weekend in Bruges, Belgium - California Globetrotter

  • 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!
    Credit: Jocelyn & Cathy

Barcelona, Spain

  • 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!
Credit: Feda Wong
  • 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!

Credit: Photo 1: Alpha Photo 2: Gary Stevens

Berlin, Germany

  • 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.
Credit: Jaysmark

Budapest, Hungary

  • 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!


Dublin, Ireland

  • Guinness – Beer is a food, riiight? No trip to Dublin is complete without doing a Guinness brewery tour before receiving your complementary free drink!
    Credit: Scott Thompson

London, England

A Full English Breakfast is the perfect way to start your day when in England!

Credit: Benny Wong
  • 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! img_7433

Lucerne, Switzerland

  • 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!


Monschau, Germany

  • 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! Monschau, Germany - California Globetrotter

Munich, Germany

  • Currywurst – technically the best currywurst is from Berlin, buuut you can get a good one anywhere, with paprika sauce and a side of fries!

A Taste of Europe - Currywurst - California Globetrotter

  • 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! img_6886

Rome, Italy

  • 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!
    Credit: Aurlmas
  • 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.
    Credit: Stu_Spivack

Paris, France

  • 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! img_6412

Prague, Czech Republic

  • Pilsner – You simply can’t pass up the opportunity to enjoy a fresh, cold Pilsner beer while in Prague.
    Credit: Shalbs
  • 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! Trdelnik (Chimney Cake) Prague, Czech Republic - California Globetrotter

Split, Croatia

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

Diocletian's Palace - Split, Croatia - California Globetrotter

  • 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.

Strasbourg, France

  • 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.Strasbourg, France - California Globetrotter
  • 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! img_7435

Vienna, Austria

  • 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.img_7437
  • 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! Salzburg, Austria - California Globetrotter
  • 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)Vienna, Austria - California Globetrotter

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!

Other Posts About Food:

A Quick History of Bavarian Beer Gardens

For more on Coffee & Cake in Vienna

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Replies to A Taste of Europe Bucket List

  1. Oh man, now I’m hungry!! Could just eat a good (British-style) Indian meal right now 🙂

    I can hold my alcohol, but can’t hold a Maß (physically I mean… I need both hands to pick up the glass!)
    I love trying local foods. It’s the best part of travel 🙂

  2. Some of these dishes look so yummy! I’m especially liking the pofferjes, Belgian waffles, gelato, macarons … and who am I kidding? ALL of the sweet things! 🙂 Up until I went to Germany, I had never heard of the Döner Kebab. Just sausage. And beer. So I love that you included it on the list. (Like you wouldn’t since you are living in Germany.) I just wanted to say that you included some awesome things that most people who have never been to certain countries wouldn’t even know to bother looking for! Great list! 🙂

  3. Greeetings from a fellow California globetrotter. I’m a dual US/Spain citizen so I’ve hit many of your bucket list places already, but one place I haven’t been is Croatia. I will be trying your restaurant recommenation for sure! Looks amazing. I’m going to the Balkans in October and can’t wait. Super excited. Not sure where in CA you are living – we’re in Napa Valley. You may enjoy our wine country blog at Follow us if you like what you see.

    1. It took me a while to figure out how I wanted to write a post all about food. I’m a little sad because I’ve realized a lot of the food I have tried I didn’t take pictures of because that was before I started taking pictures of my food haha

  4. This is an awesome post for all foodies … in fact scrub that, this is just an awesome post! Soooo many yummy dishes and I have learnt about cultural cuisines at the same time! Definitely pinned this for my future travels, thanks for making me so hungry!

  5. What a fantastic and thorough list!!! Completely agree with you on the ones I’ve tried – especially the trdelnik in Prague, the goulash in Hungary, the Sachertorte and schnitzel in Vienna, the gelato in Rome, and the paella in Spain. I would add the apfelstrudel in Vienna, too – especially with the vanilla sauce!

  6. I feel like food is a solid 70% of why I travel. Is that bad?

    I did not know Indonesian food was prevalent in Amsterdam – I’ll definitely try to keep my eyes peeled the next time I visit. Also, you are killing me with the waffle pics. I am dying to get some authentic Belgium Waffles!

    Not sure if you can tell but I really loved this post. 🙂

  7. This is making me hungry, and I just ate! I prefer gelato over ice cream any day already but I have only had it in the States. Eating real Italian gelato in Italy has long been on my travel bucket list. I did not have a Döner Kebab when I was in Germany but next time I go, I won’t pass it up! #WeekendWanderlust

  8. I was never crazy about the food in Barcelona. Too much sea-food, which I can’t eat. But the rest of the samples make my mouth water…. yummy! I wish I could try each one of them.

  9. I have tried several of these but I still have to work my way thru many more. Just came back from Central Europe an the food was wonderful! I was full all the time! I didn’t visit Germany but the Doner Kebabs are every where.

  10. Mmmm. I gaining weight as I read (must not be traveling now). I’ve had many of these on a RTW travel. A lot of the foods are available in New Zealand because of the large immigrant population. But there is something about authenticity and eating ethnic foods in the country where they are a staple.

  11. A way to a man’s heart is through his stomach…but so is the heart of a traveller in a new country! Food is one of the best ways to learn about a new place! I had no idea about the Indonesian influence in the Netherlands, that really surprised me.

  12. Dutch pancakes and belgian waffles, macarons and gelato.. mmm.. It’s so true that calories don’t count when travelling haha! And then once I’m back home, I’ll be like damn girl! Moment on the lips, lifetime on the hips haha!

  13. Food is one of my favorite parts of traveling! This all looks so delicious and I’ve added a few “must try” items to my list. You’ve left the herring off the Amsterdam list … haha. Actually its really gross so dont try it. I also love trying the apple pie or similar everywhere we go as everyone seems to have a take on it. All these delicious treats have made me hungry… off to get a snack! #WeekendWonderlust

  14. Mmm, I’m salivating here. I really would be content with any and all of this. I’ve really been enjoying the Pierogi here in Poland, I hope that makes it onto your list one day. Glad to see Cevapi made it here too! #TheWeeklyPostcard

  15. Your list made me seriously hungry. I so miss Doener and bratwurst from Imbiss stands in Germany. From your list that is still on my bucket list: retrying mussels in Brussels now that I’m an adult and would probably appreciate the dish much more so than when I choked down two pieces at age 14, paella in Spain, fish & chips at a real English (or Irish) pub, Belgian waffles, and Neapolitan pizza in Napoli!

  16. Loved this post! Epic guide for foodies when in Europe. Even if calories do count while traveling [lol] for me it is worth it all.
    Indeed, this is one of the most important parts of traveling, exploring and getting to know new cultures – the local cuisine. Haven’t tried the Chimney Cakes in Prague though …

  17. Yes to all of this! I’ve eaten everything on this list except the pofferjes and café central cake. I always make sure I eat Indonesian food in Amsterdam, it’s so good and so rare out of Holland (& Indonesia!) I totally agree that food is a huge part of travel. #citytripping

  18. like your selection of foods:) I almost laughed off my chair when I saw čevapčići:)) Yes, they’re Bosnian but are present in Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia 🙂

  19. Aw man, I should never have read this just before dinner! Good job I have a home made lasagne in the oven! PS. I’ve never seen salad on fish and chips before 😉 #citytripping

  20. Great post. Half the fun of travelling is trying the local food/drink! I had no idea the donor kebab was invented in Berlin! If you want great fish and chips (with mushy peas not salad) then Yorkshire in northern England is the place to go! Thanks for linking to #citytripping

  21. I’m with you that the best way to experience a country is through their food! Belgium waffles in Belgium… Definitely! And if were to go to England, I would definitely fit in an English high tea.

    I’ve been relying on TripAdvisor, but there has been hits and misses. And sometimes the top hits are just too crowded for my liking.

  22. This was quite a culinary world tour! I have enjoyed many of these dishes. I used to live in Butmingham, England and the Indian community there is so vibrant. Tons of great Indian food there. Yes to Roman gelato! The best! Oh and hooray for true Belgian waffles as well. This was fun!

  23. Classic but always comes in handy when actually on a trip through Europe – thanks for the inspiration 🙂 Just coming from lunch but am hungry again, haha. Whenever you might come through Hamburg, definitely try a Fischbrötchen (basically fish in a bun) on the fish market Sunday mornings – it’s the best!

  24. One of the best posts we’ve seen all day – we haven’t had dinner yet!! My mummy is lucky that she’s savoured a lot of those dishes already. Guinness and mussels together is amazing! But can’t beat a good chocolate-dipped Brussels Waffle! #CityTripping #MondayEscapes xx

  25. Love this post, so many delicious foods to try there. I’ve become very interested in visiting Belgium mostly for the food! When I plan a trip, I spend loads of time choosing restaurants and what local dishes to try. Definitely one of the joys of traveling is trying new cuisines and local specialties! #MondayEscapes

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