Top 15 Experiences in Europe for: Foodies!

Top 15 Experiences in Europe for: Foodies!

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When we think of Europe we think food- mountains of fresh pasta, tapas, gelato, fresh seafood, wine… the list never ends! After exploring the continent for the past two years, here are my favorite uniquely-European bucket list-worthy gastronomic experiences:

1 | Sacre Coeur – Paris, France

I’ve mentioned this countless times in the past, nothing beats a fresh baguette from the local market, some cheese and cheap bottle of wine on the steps of the Sacre Cour at sunset. Nothing! (Dan and I lovingly refer to this practice as ‘The Paris Routine’.)

2 | Hungry Hikers Culinary Walk, Hungry Birds – Amsterdam, Netherlands

From hot stroopwaffels on the street market to raw herring, samples perhaps the world’s best chocolate chip cookie, the amount of flavors in Dutch cuisine is incredibly tasty. Come hungry.

3 | A Self Guided Tapas & Bar Crawl – Madrid, Spain

Tapas (small plates) are a way of life in Spain, and it’s understandable way. Savory little dishes of jamon, cheese, fried veggies, potatas bravas (my fav!) and others are often complimentary with a drink order. Follow Rick Steves’ self guided tour here.

4 | Twilight Trastevere Food Tour, Eating Italy – Rome, Italy

Trastevere is undoubtedly my favorite neighborhood in the ancient city. Endless picturesque winding streets and a truly present local culture that can be felt immediately (very different from the overcrowded old town across the river). Eating Italy guides led amazing tours through the neighborhood, visiting locally celebrated artisans, restaurants and concluding at a wine tasting in an old roman cellar built 150 years before the Colosseum (!!). 

5 | St. Germain Gourmet Food Tour, Hidden Paris – Paris, France

The only tour in Europe that I’ve done twice. I adore the Hidden Paris guides and absolutely loved the route through Paris’s most beautiful arrondissement (neighborhood) stopping at the BEST macaroon shop in the world (read: Pierre Hermes), a local market, baker, chocolatier and the list goes on. Sharing samples is near impossible – Dan and I reverted to squabbling 5th graders when trying to tear a croissant in half. 

6 | Borough Market – London, UK

My favorite market on the whole continent, the huge Borough market is one you could spend hours exploring, photographing and tasting. Soft breads to hard cheeses, the market functions as a grocer for residents and a fun and tasty place to explore for visitors. Street food, like mouthwatering gyoza, is for sale in the square in the back.

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7 | Cochem, Mosel Valley, Germany

This wine village is one of my favorite towns in all of Germany. Visit the Mosel valley in the late summer/early fall and you’ll find yourself flooded with festival options as the harvest season begins. German wine, especially Reislings, are absolutely amazing and are often consumed in HUGE quantities. Surprising at first to visitors, wine is often complimented with sparkling water and served in liter glasses, making it amazingly refreshing and addictive. Check out this helpful website identifying German wine and food festivals. 

8 | Food and Culture Tour, Taste of Prague – Prague, Czech Republic 

I joined the Taste of Prague team for a tour almost two years ago and still remember it vividly. Plates of amazing Czech (that’s right) dishes wait your arrival at locally loved restaurants across the old town. While guides delve into Czech complex history and food culture it’s hard to stay focused as you chow down plate after plate. 

9 | Manarola, Cinque Terre, Italy

A gorgeous little harbor below and beautiful wine vineyards above, Manarola is my favorite village in Cinque Terre. During a visit be sure to take the wine trail walk along the hillside for spectacular views. A picture-perfect street cuts right through the village and winds it’s way down to the cozy harbor. In the region seafood, dry white wine, focciaco-like bread called farniata, pesto and tagliatelle are famous, so try them all!

10 | Culinary Walk, Taste Hungary – Budapest, Hungary

Kicking off in the stunning Great Market Hall then proceeding on to almost 10 other restaurants and speciality shops, Dan and I were blown away by the Hungarian cuisine and absolutely gorged ourselves as we moved through the city. Langos is a sure-fire favorite along with authentic Hungarian chicken noodle soup!

11 | Chania, Crete, Greece

The Greek’s Mediterranean diet is said to be one of the healthiest on the planet, and you feel it with every bite. The gastronomy in the Greek Islands is some of the freshest, most flavorful AND guiltless. I loved all the classics – stuffed grape leaves, chicken skewers, and.. of course.. heaps of crunchy Greek salad. 

12 | Tasca Bella Restaurant – Lisbon, Portugal 

Portugues cuisine was a surprising win – I loved the flavorful cod, chickpeas and fresh octopus. Dinner at Tasca Bella in Alfama was amazing but really sealing the deal on the experience were the evening Fado singer and guitarists – every 20 minutes the restaurant lights dim and a new singer takes the floor. It’s a locals favorite… and mine too!

13 | Antico Forna Restaurant – Venice, Italy

The BEST pizza I’ve ever had in all my years- I’m not kidding, if you go to Venice and don’t have a slice of their pizza I’m going to be salty. Imagine: pillowy focaccia bread with the freshest of toppings that quite honestly MELTS in your mouth with each bite. It looks like thick crust, but is really just the most perfect combination of soft, buttery and crispy crust you could imagine. Over the course of two days Dan and I went there 3 times and would’ve gone more had I not gained some self control.

14 | Dingle, Ireland

The tiny town of Dingle, nestled in the Dingle Peninsula is my favorite town in Europe. (Yep.) Local ‘trad’ bands jam out nightly while huge glasses of Guinness are poured. Be sure to order a few platters of fresh mussels for me and treat yourself to a few scoops of Murphy’s ice cream. 

15 | Redondo Bar – Nerja, Costa Del Sol, Spain

Tapas are always a winner but the flair and flavors on the Costa Del Sol make them all the more exotic. Nerja is a gorgeous little beach town with a lot to offer – especially when it comes to great cuisine. Be sure to go for the glazed, then fried and breaded, stuffed eggplant – and then send me your leftovers (if you’ve got ’em).

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