I’m not a foodie – said no one ever! Especially when you are traveling somewhere, you simply cannot resist the mouth-watering cuisine that the place offers. Food plays a vital role in connecting people with the local culture. On the other hand, there are some cities where people are absolutely crazy about food and drink. If you are a serious flavor hunter, there is no better place to satisfy your cravings than Europe. Foodie highlights can be found almost all across Europe, but some cities stand among the rest in terms of their culinary traditions. Traveling to Europe anytime soon? Check below some of the best foodie hotspots you can try and will not regret!
Santorini is home to several villages and towns, and all represent unique cuisine that is made well with home-grown ingredients. White eggplants, capers, cherry tomatoes, fava beans, and zucchini are some of the staples grown in Santorini and widely used all over the island. Some of the signature dishes in Santorini include a variety of dips made of eggplant or yellow split peas, fried tomato or zucchini fritters, cheeses, gyros, Greek Wine, stuffed grape leaves, and more. Below are the top three must-try restaurants in Santorini:
- Selene Restaurant
If fine dining is your thing, you should not miss this opportunity in Selene Restaurant, which has been in business since 1985. The restaurant offers a delicious selection of food along with mesmerizing views. Some of their best items include red mullet, amberjack, vegetarian carpaccio, Santorini pistachio pallete and wines.
- Aktaion – since 1922
Overlooking the stunning caldera, the Aktaion is one of the most popular restaurants in town. Here, you get to try traditional Greek dishes like nowhere else. Their menu includes almost all the famous Greek dishes you can try, such as stuffed vine leaves, eggplant rolls, fried squid with special sauce, lamb shank, traditional “Kalogeriko”, home-made pasta with a variety of mushrooms, grilled manouri cheese and truffle oil and a lot more!
- Sunset by Paraskevas
You must head out to the Sunset Restaurant if you want to taste the flavorful, fresh fish handpicked daily by the owners. Here, you’ll also get a chance to taste the most popular lobster spaghetti while gazing at the breathtaking views of Oia. From a variety of seafood items to desserts to a fine selection of wines, you’ll have everything here.
People visit Paris for many reasons, and food is among the top of their list! And why shouldn’t it be? Parisian cuisine is loved and admired across the globe besides its coffee and desserts. From croissants to escargots – a national fish, to steak tartare to a variety of cheeses, Paris’s cuisine is truly worth trying when you are in the city. The cafes, restaurants, and even street vendors, all offer delicious items that you’d instantly fall in love with when in Paris. Below are the top 3 restaurants to try in Paris:
- Le Bistrot Flaubert
As the name says, the Le Bistrot is one of the finest restaurants located in Western Paris. The restaurant takes pride in offering unique dishes, including Korean beef tartare served with puffed rice and avocado mousse and their most famous snail-shaped pasta served with rabbit confit, kimchi, and red curry.
Get into your best dress and visit this Michelin-starred restaurant in Paris. The old vibes and atmosphere, along with its tasty cuisine, makes it one of the best restaurants in Paris. Some of their signature items include grilled leeks served with oyster tartare and seaweed butter and macaroni with duck foie gras, lobster roasted in its shell, or veal sweetbreads.
- La Fontaine de Belleville
You must not leave Paris without sipping a cup of coffee in one of the cafes in the city. The La Fontaine de Belleville offers local craft beers and coffee like no other in town. Compliment your coffee with a toast or croissant for a heavenly taste!
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San Sebastian, Spain
You’ll be surely surprised to know that there are more Michelin stars restaurants here in every corner of San Sebastian than in any other place in Europe. The city rose to fame due to the special kind of tapas known as ‘pintxos’. These tapas are served at almost every bar here in San Sebastian. But this is not it! The city also offers many other delicacies such as fresh foie gras, salt cod, txuleta – aged grass-fed beef, and sheep’s milk cheese. Here are some of the restaurants you can go to in San Sebastian for the best culinary experience:
Mugaritz is literally not for the faint-hearted foodies. If you are truly a Spanish food lover and want to try avant-garde food, head out to Mugaritz. The restaurant offers a tasting menu featuring unique dishes such as macaroon that is made of pig’s blood, a biscuit made with beef fat and garlic, and many other weird but yummy combinations.
- Bar Martínez
To taste the best pintxos in town, visit the Bar Martínez. The bar serves both hot and cold pintxos in a variety of flavors. They also offer portions to compliment your wine, including tuna jerky, fried chili peppers, grilled scallops, and stuffed pepper with tuna.
There is only a handful of restaurants serving fish’s jaw – a delicacy in Basque cuisine, and Kokotxa is one of them. Visitors can truly enjoy a menu based on fresh seasonal products. Yes! You get to choose from a variety of food items every time you visit Kokotxa. Their tasting menu is to die for that includes smocked prawn, fish of the day, crunchy crab, and baby lamb shoulder.
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Being part of Europe, it would be unfair not to mention Istanbul on this list. Istanbul is truly a food lover’s paradise. The cuisine of Istanbul is inspired by Ottoman Empire and offers perfection in every bite no matter where you go. The streets of Istanbul are full of delicious items such as simit – a kind of bread that you eat with cheese or Nutella, pizza-like pide, a variety of kebabs, and much more. In the restaurants, you can try fancier dishes such as meze – appetizer, manti – dough pockets, baklava, knafeh, etc. Some of the must-visit restaurants in Istanbul include:
- Pandeli Restaurant
Pandeli is undoubtedly one of the best and oldest restaurants in Istanbul that has been operating for more than a hundred years. The restaurant has hosted many renowned personalities in the past, including Robert de Niro, Audrey Hepburn, and Queen Elizabeth II. Though all of the items on their menu are extremely delicious, some of the must-try items include kebabs, grilled eggplant salad, köfte & pilav, meatballs, and oven-baked seabass.
- Sultan Köşesi Restaurant
This restaurant does not only offer delicious food but is also close to many tourist attractions, including Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, and Blue Mosque. They bring Turkish cuisine as well as other world-famous dishes to the table. Some of the must-try items here include adana kebap, grilled meatballs, stuffed eggplant, fettuccini alfredo, and steak.
- Hafiz Mustafa 1864
Taste the best Turkish desserts at Hafiz Mustafa – one of the oldest restaurants serving since 1864. You can find all kinds of sweet dishes here, including the most famous baklava, kadayif, and goats-milk ice cream.
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