If you love to travel, then what better way to tie that in with a love of good food? There are plenty of places around the world where the food has to be experienced at least once in your life. Europe, in particular, has plenty to offer for foodies. So where are the best destinations? Here are some places that are a must if you’re a bit of a foodie and want to experience a city through its food.
If you haven’t heard of Cologne before, then it is one of Germany’s largest cities, that famously sits on both sides of the Rhine River. It is a great backdrop for a cultural stop with the breathtaking cathedral and stunning views. But it is a delight for its rich culinary scene too. For some traditional, rustic, and at times daring, the Kölsch dining experience is one not to be missed. A dish that is both sweet and savoury is the Himmel und Ääd that literally translates to heaven and earth. With mashed potatoes representing earth, and sweet apples representing heaven, the apples make it a really refreshing taste. Often served with traditional German sausage, this has to be experienced in a traditional pub with a local beer; such a classic meal. Mettbrötchen and Soorbrode are also must if you’re visiting Cologne. Food like nothing you will have experienced before.
Bordeaux in France is known all around the world for its wine. But what about its food? Does it keep up with the fine wines? Well, the answer is yes! Because of its coastline on the Atlantic, fresh fish and seafood is a popular favourite with the locals. One of the cities most traditional dishes is entrecôte marchand de vin, which is rib steak in a rich gravy using Bordeaux red wine. This is certainly not an area that vegans would enjoy, as it often gets nicknamed carnivore county! You could even see the area by river cruising with Bolsover Cruise Club, for example, as it starts in Bordeaux, and then takes you to some other foodies regions of France, like Cadillac, Pauillac, Libourne, and back to Bordeaux. Having wine with your meals is a must in France, so a perfect area for wine lovers to visit, as well as foodies.
Salamanca was world heritage listed back in the 80s, so you know how much of a stunning area it is going to be. It is also the home of the oldest University in Spain, so it makes for a mix of food and culture combined. Hornazo is a traditional pastry dish that is meant to be eaten al fresco. It combines ham, egg, and bacon, all wrapped in an oven-baked pastry. You’ll find it in most bakeries, so it is great to have on day trips or when out and about (similar to grabbing a pasty to eat here in the UK). Farinato sausage is another delight to sample in the region. Often served with eggs and chickpeas, it is a pretty simple dish, but many places will adapt it by using different oils and spices.
Bratislava gets a lot of its influence from surrounding countries, like Germany and Hungary, so as you can imagine, the cuisine it has is a complete mix and almost hard to define. It needs to sampled, though, that’s for sure. As a rule of thumb, it is best to steer clear of anywhere that says they offer traditional Slovak food or uses Slovak in its name. For more authentic cuisine, it is best to look elsewhere. Bryndzové halušky is one of the most traditional and authentic Slovak dishes that you’ll want to try. Made up of dumplings, cheese from sheep’s milk, and bacon, it is rich, filling, and hearty. It gives a nod to the simple cuisine of the country that was traditional through its history and the many self-sustaining villages in the area. So certainly not diet food, but rather, traditional Eastern European dishes.
I know on many of these lists you often see Paris or London. But for something completely different than a standard patisserie or some fine dining London restaurants, these places are all going to be a great destination for foodies and offer something completely unique. Have you ever been to any of them? Would love to hear in the comments.