Your Guide to a Food Trip in Europe
Updated: Dec 1, 2019
Europe is well known for its significant history, artistic masterpieces, and stunning landscapes, simply perfect for a weekend getaway. But it’s not just the sights that keep us coming back to Europe; it’s also their rich culture, diverse lifestyle, and more importantly, the variety of cuisines. Whether it’s a hole-in-the-wall, the latest opening, or a high-end, Michelin-starred restaurant, this part of the world will definitely always give you a memorable meal.
A country’s food is normally one of the best things about it. It’s tasteful, unique, and special everywhere you go. North America, for example, is famous for their burgers; South America is famous for their steaks; Asia is famous for their spices and unique flavor combinations; and Europe? It’s the food capital of the world! With every dish you order from restaurants, you’re told a different story, and you learn more about the country, its people, and their culture and traditions.
Between Spain’s flavorful dishes, from tapas to seafood, and Italy’s gastronomical delights, like having the best pizza and pasta in the world; a food tour in Europe is definitely a must for every traveler the next time you’re in town. And because we don’t want you to miss any of the best venues in the continent, we’ve created this itinerary just for you.
Start off your food trip in Amsterdam, where the food scene is rapidly growing. This city is not just known for its Red Light District, coffee shops, canals, and museums, it’s also now known for top chefs like Ron Blaauw and Rogier van Dam, and their new style of Dutch cooking, which include updating the classics and creating mouthwatering fusions.
The Dutch are not just well known for their pancakes, stroopwafels, and cheese, they’re also known for their fine dining. And while there are several Michelin-starred restaurants in the city, Amsterdam also knows how to do casual fine dining really well, with their high-quality ingredients and decent prices. In fact, there’s been an increase in the number pop-up restaurants and experimental cuisine around the city, that even old-fashioned restaurants are changing up their menus and offering something more modern. You can eat everything from Dutch cuisines to the Indonesian Rijsttafel, or even have some Japanese ramen or Peruvian ceviche.
So while you’re in Amsterdam, make sure you don’t miss trying out these places:
This is one of the leading restaurants in the city and is located within one of the most luxurious hotels, InterContinental Amstel Amsterdam. With the perfect dining experience curated by some of the big names in the industry, Chef de Cuisine Roger Rassin, Maitre d’ Ronald Opten and Sommelier Ted Bunnik, you can expect a heavenly menu of Mediterranean and French cuisine, an extensive wine collection, and genuine hospitality from its staff.
Another restaurant located in one of Amsterdam’s most prestigious hotels, Waldorf Astoria, offers the most adventurous Dutch cuisine. From langoustines with kimchi, magnolia and tulip bulbs, to duck with bergamot-flavored yogurt, you will experience the infinite possibilities of flavor in this restaurant, thanks to Sidney Schutte’s cooking.
Considered as a destination itself, this restaurant offers the finest gastronomic experience with an elegant setting and panoramic views of Amsterdam’s city center. Executive Chef Tim Goldsteijn will transport you to a whole new universe with his dishes made of local products and natural flavors, pork belly and langoustine, and pumpkin and vadouvan spices.
If you want to experience some nightlife while you’re in the city, make sure to visit Amsterdam’s biggest super club, AIR. It’s a venue that’s not just for locals, but for everyone visiting the country as well, making it one of the 100 best clubs in the world. They’re known for having one of the best sound systems in the Netherlands, and having five bars.
Your next stop is not just known for its coffee, but also for having a vibrant culinary scene. From elegant, Michelin-starred restaurants to warm, charming bistros, Vienna offers world-class gourmet, which tastes even better when paired with their local wine. You’ll definitely find a different food experience in this city as you taste how they effortlessly blend contemporary with the classic, and innovative with the traditional.
Vienna thrives on their delicious Austrian cuisine, as well as other dishes that are influenced by its neighbors, like Germany, Hungary, and Italy. According to Telegraph, it’s best known for dishes like zwiebelrostbraten (tender roast beef covered with crispy onion rings) and blunzengrostl mit Kren und Krautsalat (friend black pudding with horseradish and cabbage stand). And, as Vienna is known to be the country’s cake capital, of course it’s also famous for its strudel, most especially the apfelstrudel, topped with whipped cream.
As you explore the delicacies of Vienna, make sure you don’t miss out on these venues:
This two-Michelin-starred restaurant constantly searches for the aromas and flavors of Austria to be able to present the country’s harvest in the most delicious light. Their Austrian and international cuisine are complemented by wines from a collection of 35,000 bottles. Head over to Stadtpark and experience their classic Viennese dishes in an intimate and charming setting!
This venue is the best place to meet in the heart of Vienna if you want a memorable dining experience, complete with its elegant contemporary interiors, made of wood and leather. It offers innovative Mediterranean fine dining for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and even has a bar for your late night outs with friends. Fabios’ mouthwatering dishes is to thank for its reputation of being one of the finest gourmet experiences in the city.
Located at The Ring Hotel, this restaurant not only offers an elegant atmosphere and attentive service, but also an explosion of flavor with its traditional Viennese cuisine. Their ingredients are handpicked and their menu changes according to what’s seasonally available. New dishes are made almost every month, so you’re sure to have a new experience every time.
Sass Music Club
To match the elegant atmosphere of the restaurants you shouldn’t miss, head over to Sass Music Club and experience the nightlife in Vienna. It’s a light yet stylish electro club that has a classy ambiance, as well as the city’s best sound and light systems. It offers a large selection of high quality beers, gins, vodkas, whiskeys, and much more, which you can enjoy with the best electronic music scene that the city has to offer.
Your third stop is in one of the world’s four fashion capitals, a cosmopolitan city that’s beaming with innovation and is known for its hustle and bustle. But in between the busy streets, this city is also famous for its gourmet, opera, churches, and da Vinci’s masterpieces. Since the Milan Expo in 2015, the city’s finest restaurants and high standard bistros and bars have had an exquisite gastronomic boom. From wooden-fired pizzas and cocktail joints, to dumplings and Hawaiian poke bowls, this city has it all.
A lot of the famous dishes in this city come from the fact that Milan is a rice-growing region. There’s no question there why the city’s signature dish is the risotto alla Milanese. Of course Milan is also famous for other delicacies like their osso buco and their panettone. But aside from these Italian dishes, because of the international mix of people present in the city, they’re also known for their innovative fusions that all curious food lovers must try.
Here’s a list of the places where you can indulge on some of the most fancy carbs in the city:
Considered as one of the most prestigious traditional dining experiences, this restaurant combines a classic interior with a modern open kitchen, and offers a menu that is almost like a tour of the city’s best recipes. Guests from all over the world can indulge on traditional Italian cuisine, complimented by a wine list that has received praises from the Michelin guide.
Armani Bamboo Bar
Enjoy a casual lunch or a sophisticated dinner with a stunning view across the magnificent city and the Duomo from this venue. Complete with its contemporary design, double volume ceiling, huge windows with louvres, and elegant furnishings, they offer guests an exclusive atmosphere perfect for relaxing after a long day, or even for organizing parties or discussing business in utmost privacy.
This venue is a restaurant, but also a lounge bar, a disco, and a space for events and receptions. It’s a versatile restaurant, centrally located and can easily be reached by any mode of transportation. It’s perfect for simple dining, a business lunch, or even for some drinks after dinner. The menu is inspired by Mediterranean cuisine, with simple recipes made of hand-selected ingredients.
While in Milan, if you want to experience something more innovative and less traditional, head over to Tunnel Club where you can find everything you want. This club is always crowded thanks to the concerts, live music shows, and DJ sets ranging from electronic to indie-rock and hip hop. It even has an impressive video wall and a Funktion One system, that makes it even harder to leave.
Save the best for last as you head over to Barcelona where the food scene covers all types of Spanish cuisines. Travelers from all over the world visit this city not just for its golden, sandy beaches, Gaudi’s jaw-dropping architecture, and the world-class shopping, but also because the food that it offers. From tapas and paella to seafood and traditional Catalan dishes, this city definitely has something for everyone. Whether it’s a world-renowned Michelin-starred restaurant or an undiscovered tapas bar, you can never go wrong with traveling to Barcelona ultimately for their gastronomic offerings.
According to Conde Nast Traveler, only a few cities in the world can rival the dining scene in Barcelona. Some of the best chefs in Spain are based in this city, other than the El Bulli family whose presence is pretty dominant; which is why it’s not surprising that the city is covered with one, two, and three Michelin-starred establishments and other hidden gems to choose from.
And so as you enjoy the last destination of your food trip, make sure to stop by these exclusive venues:
Thanks to Chef Jordi Vila, the dishes in this restaurant are carefully curated to speak for themselves. Despite its Michelin star, this venue remains humble because of its strong belief that being small is the best way to give its all. Head over to this restaurant for an unforgettable dining experience with dishes composed of flavors and textures that seamlessly blend together.
This gastronomic restaurant offers a unique interpretation of traditional Catalan cuisine curated by Catalan-Canadian Chef Jordi Artal. Their menu is comprised of small courses with no main ingredient repeated twice. You can also pair the dishes with Catalan and Spanish wines, which adds a special kick to the overall dining experience. With Chef Jordi’s experience, there’s no doubt why this restaurant has earned a Michelin star.
This venue is the first in Barcelona to boast three Michelin stars. Lots of people go to this restaurant to savor the aroma and the flavors of Chef Martin Berasategui’s unique creations. With each dish comes a lot of passion, respect, and care. Top it off with the restaurant’s modern, spacious, and bright look, and you’ve got yourselves an unforgettable gastronomic experience.
After indulging on the sumptuous food that these Michelin-starred restaurants have to offer, there’s no other way to end your trip than going to Sala Apolo. This nightclub hosts some of the best concerts and musical events on a daily basis, and embraces all kinds of music genres, from rock and pop to indie and house, among many others. Head over to this nightclub and experience the diversity that all three stages have to offer.
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