Croissants in Paris, pasta in Italy, or chocolate in Belgium? A bit of everything, please! Being a foodie does not mean to devastate every fast-food that comes in your way, it means to have a real passion for food and drink, to appreciate the culinary technique, and to find pleasure not in satisfying the hunger, but in sampling various local cuisines.

Each country or region has its own distinct style of cooking based on geographic location, local ingredients, tradition, and practices. Food is an important part of the local culture and it has always gone hand in hand with travel. Therefore, I decided to put together a list of 5 food cities to choose from when planning your next culinary adventure in Europe.


Bolognese tortellini

Home of ragu, mortadella, and tortellini, the capital city of Emilia Romagna is a haven for foodies. “La Grassa”, how Bologna has been nicknamed due to its brilliant culinary traditions, is a memorable experience for anyone in search of authentic epicurean escapades. One of the best things about Bologna – and Italy as a whole – is that when trying to find a good place to eat it’s almost impossible to fail. Whether you opt for a Michelin-starred restaurant or a tucked-away trattoria, chances are you’ll not even notice the difference.


French macaroons

There’s no doubt France has brought food to another level and made Paris the number one fine dining capital of the world. From the real temples of haute cuisine to the quintessential Parisian bistros, the glamorous French capital has something for everyone. Trying Laduree’s famous pastries might be a must for some, but a simple picnic in one of the city’s many green areas can be an equally charming experience as long as you’re in Paris and there’s a good rosé and a mouth-watering butter baguette on the menu.


Spanish ham

With world-famous chefs such as Ferran Adria, who revolutionized the art of cooking, and New York Times proclaiming it “the new France”, it’s no wonder Spain has become the foodies’ European mecca of the moment.

Featuring various cooking styles and products from all over the country, Madrid is more than just a food destination, it’s a culinary journey through all the rich and unique regions of Spain, and a place where eating, conversation, and ambiance blend like nowhere else on Earth. I’m talking of course about tapas – the most delicious Spanish tradition, without which no Madrid culinary experience would be complete.


Pizza Napoletana

Naples, the cradle of pizza, prides itself with one of the best food cultures in Italy. Divine seafood, garden-fresh vegetables that taste like sunshine, and blissful home-made food, together with a special welcoming feel, make from the capital of Campania one of the best kept culinary secrets of Italy. Highlights of traditional Neapolitan cuisine include mozzarella di Bufala, mature caciocavallo, spaghetti with fresh clams, delightful pastries, limoncello, and coffee – which, by the way, is said to be one of the finest in the world.


Turkish delight

Istanbul is a fabulous city full of life, color, culture, and history, and so is its fabulous food – an explosion of bold flavors and voluptuous tastes.

Whether you visit Istanbul on a tight budget or as a jet-set traveler, the vibrant Turkish city definitely knows how to pamper your passion for food. From charming food streets to trendy restaurants that keep popping up in its hippest neighborhoods, Istanbul has it all. In the end, what could you expect from the only city in the world spread over two continents, other than to be amazed by variety, contrasts, and surprising combinations?

What’s your favorite food destination in Europe?

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  • Kimberly

    I heard that Brussels is a foodie paradise. Travel writer Bill Bryson once said that “eating is a national sport in Belgium”. I don’t know if that’s true but I intend to find out this summer.

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  • Annie

    Annie Annie

    Reply Author

    It’s my own special taste to be sure. I’m Asian so a lot of the western food don’t sit well with me (e.g. dairy and sweet products). For example, I, like most Asians, don’t consider pastries to be actual food, so Paris is definitely out if it’s known exclusively for pastries. I’ve been to Naples for its pizza. My general impression is that (and I know many of you will yell BLASPHEMY!) Italian Pizza sucks, which I know is ironic that pizza came from Italy. The bread in Italian pizza is so hard to tear and chew with your teeth, which honestly I would consider to be badly made bread. Good bread should be nice and crunchy. Instead, Italian pizzas are like left-over pizzas when the bread goes bad because you’ve left it overnight and you can chew the bread very well. On top of this, Italian pizza, like the rest of Italian food, is EXTREMELY salty, and the saltiness mixed with the heavy cheese makes the pizza taste very BITTER. I kid you not. So I was really disappointed with my pizza from origin experience (on the other hand, my friend said that she loved it so again, maybe different taste I don’t know).
    I’m going to Madrid and Istanbul soon so I’m excited to try food there, hopefully it’s better than my London and Italy food experiences (and believe me I did not hold high expectations for neither).

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