A Culinary Tour of Europe

Pizza, goulash, schnitzel, Yorkshire pudding, borscht, currywurst… the list goes on. Europe’s exciting, varied cuisine is known across the world. Read on to find out more.

A trip around Europe would be a dream for any food lover. It would be possible to travel from country to country, sampling the best and most delicious meals each step of the way.

Each European country has its own unique cuisine and rich culinary traditions, meaning that you can travel a relatively short distance and experience completely different styles of cooking.

Cooking is held in high esteem in many European countries. Being able to cook can be a source of great pride. Recipes and methods of making food will be passed down through generations, often with every generation adding their own touches.

For those who are interested in learning how to make special European dishes, there are many opportunities to take cookery lessons. In most European holiday destinations you will be able to attend a class to find out how to transform basic fresh ingredients into delicious meals.

If you would rather just let the experts do their thing, there are even more opportunities to enjoy some delicious food in restaurants, bars, cafés, or on the street.

Most European cities offer a great deal of choice when comes to where and what you want to eat. You can opt for a relaxed experience at a family-owned tavern, a 10-course tasting menu at a glitzy upscale restaurant, or anything in between.

Whether you are planning a trip around Europe, or just a trip around your own kitchen, read on to find out more about the delicious dishes of some popular European countries.


panna cotta

Italy is the first country that springs to mind when you think of a destination for food lovers. In popular culture, Italy is shown as a country of friendly people constantly stirring pots of delicious garlic-infused tomato sauce, baking huge pizzas in stone ovens, and serving up steaming plates of spaghetti.

As a hungry traveller, there will be nothing better for you than to pull up a seat in an open square, with a bread basket on the table while you peruse a menu where every dish seems more delicious than the last.

Just when you think that you can’t manage another morsel of food, and the plates have been hurried away, the words tiramisu pass from someone’s lips and your ears prick up.

The idea of the creamy, rich dessert floods your mind and before you know it, a portion has arrived at your table and you are digging in. Or, if the idea of tiramisu is just too heavy for you, a silky panna cotta might be more to your liking.



The words ‘Spanish cuisine’ conjure up images of endless plates of tapas served outside on a perfectly sunny day, washed down with a tall jug of sangria. Potatoes simmering in spicy tomato sauce, various cured meats, olives suspended in flavoured oil, and chewy chunks of fried and breaded Manchego cheese.

If you are dining with a group of hungry friends, you might want to order up a gigantic pan of paella, a rich dish that originated in Valencia.

After your Spanish feast, you might feel too stuffed to face a large array of desserts. If you do fancy something sweet after your meal, why not pick up some churros as you wander back to your hotel or apartment.

These doughnut-style fritters are available in many parts of Spain, and are great served with honey or melted chocolate.


sausage grill

What’s the first thing you crave as soon as you arrive in Germany? Other than a stein of beer, it’s likely to be a bratwurst or, for the more adventurous, a currywurst.

When you visit Germany, you’re likely to come across an overwhelming selection of cured meats and sausages. Don’t be afraid – there is something for everyone! To go with your sausages, get yourself some delicious German bread and hot mustard.

When you’ve had your fill of beer and savoury treats, it’s time to check out the sweeter options. Germany is a paradise for people who love pastries and cakes.

Apples feature heavily in German desserts, with Apfelstrudel, apple cake and apple dumplings cropping up on the average sweet menu.

United Kingdom

bread and butter pudding

If there’s one dish you are sure that you want as soon as you get to the UK, it will be fish and chips. This simple but delicious dish consists of fried fish – usually cod or haddock – with chips.

You will be able to find this in takeaways and restaurants almost everywhere in the UK, and in more upscale restaurants you might be able to find a wider variety of fish, especially if you are dining in a place that is close to the sea.

If you’re not a fan of fish, and would rather sink your teeth into some meat, search for a beef and ale pie. This is a pie made from beef that is cooked long and slow in beer, making it incredibly flavourful and tender. A popular version of this pie comes with mushrooms, and a more inventive variety might include some Stilton cheese.

After tucking in to fish, chips, meat and pastry, you might be in the mood for something with a sweeter touch. A much loved British dessert is bread and butter pudding, which is made from bread soaked in sweet custard. Sticky toffee pudding with hot custard is another classic British dessert, with steaming portions being served up in pubs and home kitchens every day.


hungarian goulash

Think Hungarian food, think of standing around a giant cauldron filled with bubbling hot goulash, the air heavy with the sweet and spicy scent of paprika. Think of scooping the goulash into a dish and tucking in, along with a generous helping of dumplings and bread.

If don’t fancy dumplings with your goulash, have some sweet dumplings after your meal. These will be served with a plum compote, or another kind of stewed fruit, and a liberal dusting of icing sugar. Oh, and check out our goulash recipe.



When you imagine a holiday in Greece, you imagine a long table in front of you being set out with a mezze feast of salad, bread, cheese and meat, while you overlook crystal clear skies, white sand, and seas the colour of sapphire. You might pile up your first plate with a wedge of spanokopita, a savoury pie of spinach and feta cheese wrapped in filo pastry, and a heaped serving of bulgur wheat salad.

Once the mezze has disappeared, there will be only one thing on your mind: baklava. This honeyed nut-filled pastry is incredibly rich, meaning that even the smallest portion will satisfy the most ferocious sweet tooth.


french onion soup

While on holiday in Belgium, you will be able to indulge in serious style. Enjoy as much beer and fries as you want, while using the excuse that you are just trying to experience the true and authentic Belgian culture.

When you first arrive, settle in to the ways of the country by ordering a richly scented plate of mussels and fries, and devouring them while relaxing outside a café on a cobbled side street.

If you would prefer a snack, grab some fries on their own, or with a dollop of mayonnaise or ketchup. In some areas of Belgium the cuisine is greatly influenced by the neighbouring countries of France and Germany, meaning that you can pick up a German sausage or French soup.

Belgian chocolate is considered some of the best in the world, so if you don’t feel like having a complicated dessert after your delicious meal, just enjoy a few squares of chocolate. Alternatively, pick up some Belgian waffles to enjoy as you leisurely stroll through the streets of your chosen town or city.


apple pie

A trip to Russia is likely to be a mysterious adventure, as is the food you will find there. In European Russia, you are likely to encounter a variety of soups, such as borscht, and filled dough parcels such as piroshky.

Some Russian delicacies are very unusual compared to other European food, even Eastern European food. Many soups are served cold, and might be made with soured milk. Some kinds of meat are served set in jelly, which might be an unusual experience if you are not expecting it.

For a decadent Russian cuisine experience, try splashing out on some caviar and blinis. These might be served with a dollop of sour cream and a few slices of smoked salmon. Finish off your authentic meal with a glass of vodka, which is often consumed neat in Russia.

Apple pie is a common dessert in Russia, and is likely to taste quite different to similar dishes from other parts of the world, as it is baked using very sour apples that provide a delightful contrast to the sweet dough.

Another traditional dessert is kulich, which is baked for Easter, and is a kind of sweet bread with nuts and dried fruit.

About the author


Reader, writer, blogger, part-timer, volunteer, all things to all men. I can usually be found wearing yellow clothes and drinking green tea. Some of my favourite things include waterfalls, polar bears, rum, and charity shops.

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment