Our food map of Europe is reflective of the dishes we’ve tried while exploring the old continent and its glorious food. Food is one of the main reasons to travel to Europe. Delicious and unknown delicacies can be found in every country.
Our Food Map of Europe
Here is our ultimate food map of Europe and the best food to try
The quintessential dish for beautiful Ireland goes to Irish stew, a tasty lamb or beef stew with potatoes, onions and thyme. In other words, it keeps you warm even in Irish weather.
Foie gras is a famous delicacy made of the liver of a duck or goose and it clearly must be mentioned when compiling this Food Map for Europe. Additionally, a crêpe or crepe is a kind of very thin pancake, usually made from wheat flour or buckwheat flour and flavoured with lemon and sugar or Nutella. Makes for a perfect street snack, virtually anytime.
Food Map of Europe: Crepes – Who doesn’t love them?
It wasn’t easy to find a special dish in Monaco. Everyone was more concerned about casinos, flash cars and shopping. As a result, food is not the main reason anyone visits. I guess we could’ve skipped the small countries when creating the Food Map of Europe. However, there is a dish we must mention! Barbagiuan – a deep-fried pastry stuffed with ricotta and spinach.
Paella is the signature dish of Spain made from rice, saffron, chicken, seafood and vegetable, cooked and served in a large shallow pan. The original paella comes from the city of Valencia. Tapas are bite-sized snacks served in Spanish bars, the variety and range are as rich and wide as Spanish culture. Ask a local to find a real gem.
Food Map of Europe: The name of the pan is also Paella
One of the most well-known Greek dishes, moussaka can be made in many different ways to suit taste. It includes sliced eggplant baked with a ground beef sauce and then smothered in a thin white sauce. Home-made moussaka is always the best.
Bacalhau is the Portuguese word for cod and it seems like Portugal has 365 ways of preparing cod in their dishes. Hence, their bacalhau makes our list. Bacalhau a bras was our favourite: shredded cod is sautéed with potatoes and onion. Who knew cod can be this yummy?
Food Map of Europe: It’s about the cod in Portugal.
The tiny country wedged between France and Spain is not shy next to its neighbours when it comes to food, as they enjoy their own national dish. Escudella is a traditional Catalan a slow-cooked stew of meat, potatoes, chickpeas, turnips, and carrots. Perfect for a cold winter evening after a day of skiing.
Oh, Italy, you must be a food affair for many of us. Pizza and pasta are deemed to be the ultimate food experience for any visitor, and we politely agree. With 300 types of pasta to try, who could disagree? Food Map of Europe without pasta or pizza is simply not possible.
Food Map of Europe: Italy is the birthplace of pizza!
9. San Marino
We thought there was no chance of finding a dish that signifies San Marino, considering its location in the food heaven of Italy. We were wrong. Piadina does it. Ok, it is flat thin bread, but the filling can include all the goodness of Italy… Think prosciutto, buffalo mozzarella, tomatoes out of the world.
Wurst, the German word for sausage can truly deliver in the country of pork, sauerkraut and of course, beer. Above all, try the currywurst – fried pork sausage cut into slices and seasoned with curry ketchup, a sauce based on spiced ketchup and curry paste. They even have a museum dedicated to the currywurst in Berlin.
– Exploring Berlin on a food tour
Food Map of Europe: The ultimate street snack in Germany is wurst!
Judd mat gaardebounen or smoked pork-neck in a cream-based sauce with broad beans is the dish of Luxembourg, which is impressive considering the size of this country. We came, we saw and we eat. And yes it was quite enjoyable.
Schnitzel has been the king in Central Europe probably for centuries and Austria claims to be the birthplace of this tasty meat dish. Boneless meat is hammered thin with a meat tenderizer. Firstly you coat the meat with flour, beaten eggs and breadcrumbs. Then you fry it in vegetable oil. Traditionally it comes with potatoes. If you ask us, one schnitzel is never enough…
Food Map of Europe: Schnitzel is a popular food across Central Europe. However, it is Austria that claims to be the birthplace of schnitzel.
Fondue is without any doubt the national dish of Switzerland. Emmental and Gruyère cheese are mixed with white wine in a large pot and cooked until the flavours come together. You eat it hot. It bubbles in the pot that sits on a small table gas burner. You simply dip small pieces of rye bread in this cheesy thick mixture. You really enjoy it in winter – it definitely warms you up.
Waffles in Belgium seem to taste better! Belgium waffle is denser than other waffles as it’s made with buttery brioche dough and sprinkled with sugar that caramelises on the crust when cooked. Oh, and strawberry plus whip cream is a must!
Food Map of Europe: You can’t visit Belgium before you have one of these. So try waffles with chocolate and strawberries.
Another small country that has proudly come up with its own meal. Käsknöpfle is a pasta-like dish with melted cheese, sweet fried onions, butter and applesauce.
16. The Netherlands
Herring might not sound like something you would like to try, but ensure that you do when you come to the country of bikes, cheese and tulips. You will be pleasantly surprised and if you eat it like the dutch, then it comes with a raw onion as a topping.
Food Map of Europe: Herring is the quintessential snack.
Smørrebrød means an open sandwich and it consists of a piece of buttered rye bread, topped with cold cuts, pieces of meat or fish, cheese or spreads. It is an absolute must when in this wonderful country and if you waiter it over the top pleasant, don’t question it, the Danes are the happiest people on the planet.
Köttbullar or Swedish meatballs are renowned around the world, thanks to the world domination of Ikea which spread it across the globe. Oh, and yes, they are delicious. Must go back to Sweden, must eat more meatballs…
Food Map of Europe: Sweden is famous for meatballs
Finland isn’t known for its food, but their blubbery pie or in Finnish: mustikkapiirakka (Don’t worry. We had to google the spelling too) is one of the best desserts we have ever had. Juicy, fresh and full of flavours.
Yes, we know. Salmon doesn’t sound as foreign and unique but we couldn’t help ourselves, salmon in Norway is simply too exquisite not to list it here. Don’t believe us? Just try it and you will understand. Exquisite!
Food Map of Europe: Trying salmon in Norway is a must.
If you haven’t been to Belarus yet, Draniki might just be the reason to go. Draniki or potato pancakes are shallow-fried pancakes of grated or ground potato, flour and egg, often flavoured with grated onion or garlic and seasoning. Topped with mushrooms or sour cream you will question how you could ever live without them.
Russia is the largest country in the world so picking only one dish wasn’t easy but we had to settle on Pelmeni – Russian dumplings. They are made of soft dough and filled with meat and served with sour cream. You can find them virtually everywhere, from Moscow to Siberia.
Food Map of Europe: Pelmeni it’s not a pretty dish but it’s very tasty.
Estonia has fantastic food overall but the most typical and unique meal we came across must be the Verivorst – a traditional blood sausage. Yes, we understand it’s not everyone taste, but served with sauerkraut and bread and in a very cold winter, you might like it.
Cepelinai is a Lithuanian national dish. They are a kind of dumpling made from grated and riced potatoes and usually stuffed with minced meat, mushrooms or dry cottage. Mushrooms were our favourite and it seems like the country is obsessed with mushroom picking.
Food Map of Europe: Cepelinai is a Lithuanian national dish. Yum!
Congratulations! You made it halfway through our Food Map of Europe list of 48 dishes.
Take a break, eat something and come back to read the rest. There are still 24 dishes on our Food Map of Europe that are worth knowing about.
After eating lots of potatoes and meat in Latvia, we eventually came across Sklandrausis, a really unique dish. Sklandrausis is a small pie, made from rye pastry that is filled with a mixture of carrots and potatoes and baked.
Pierogi are the most popular Polish food for visitors. And why not? These little dumplings come with tonnes of fillings, but sauerkraut, meat and cheese are the better ones. Pierogi are given with fried onion on top.
Food Map of Europe: Plate of pierogi in Krakow.
Flia is the traditional dish in Kosovo and it even has its own national day! Flia consists of multiple crepe-like layers laid in a star pattern and layered with cheese. It’s served with a kayak ( a dairy product similar to clot cream).
28. The Czech Republic
Svickova translates to marinated beef sirloin and for us, it is as Czech as it gets. The beef must be marinated for more than 24 hours and it’s served with gravy and Czech dumplings. So next time you are in the Czech Republic, Czech it out.
Food Map of Europe: Czech it out. Svickova is a must try when in the Czech Republic
Skyr is a famous Icelandic soft cheese/yoghurt and although we understand it might not be considered a dish, it’s simply too tasty not to mention. Icelanders claim it to be super-food so there is yet another reason to try it.
Halusky or Bryndzove Halušky is the traditional dish of little Slovakia. Potato made dumplings are served with sheep cheese called bryndza and topped with bits of fried bacon. Oh yes, it’s even better than it sounds, trust me… We would live on them if we could.
If you want the best halušky visit “Koliba” which is the name of a traditional old-fashioned restaurant. Or try to eat at “salaš”. Salaš is a traditional type of farmland, usually far from the main cities. The best ones are always in the countryside, near Orava, Liptov and Kysuce ( northern Slovakia).
Food Map of Europe: The traditional Slovak food is Bryndzove Halusky.
Whether you love a good burger or not, Pljeskavica will certainly satisfy you. This is the truly Croatian way of doing a burger the right way. Quality meat is minced for a juicy patty, grilled and served inside of fresh bread with some vegetables. Add a sunset over the water somewhere along the long Croatian coast.
Goulash is a genuine crowd-pleaser. This thick stew is made out of vegetables, meat and potatoes and seasoned with paprika, the essential spice of Hungary. It has been the national dish for Hungary for centuries. The best thing about goulash, the longer you cook it the better it gets…
Food Map of Europe: Goulash originates from the Hungarian word “gulyas” meaning “herdsman”. So goulash is a meat dish of herdsmen.
33. Bosnia and Herzegovina
Cevapci or Cevapcici is yet another dish that originates in the Balkan. Minced meat formed into cylindrical pellets is grilled and served in fresh bread with onions, sour cream and ajar (red pepper relish).
Gibanica or the exact Prekmurska Gibanica is a type of dessert that will impress even a no-sweet eater. It beautifully combines poppy seeds, walnuts, apples, raisins and ricotta fillings into one scrumptious dessert. Served hot, you might just experience the foodgasm we had. Above all, the generous portion might push you over the edge so we suggest eating it with a coffee in the afternoon, rather than after your dinner.
Food Map of Europe: Gibanica is a multilayered dessert – what’s not to like?
Burek is the ultimate breakfast and snack in Serbia. Essentially a pie made out of flaky dough filled with meat, cheese or spinach, eaten with yoghurt. Travelling to Belgrade? Take this Serbian cooking class to learn all the secrets.
The less explored Macedonia will ignite your taste buds. Tavče Gravče (Baked beans with peppers) is the heart and soul of Macedonian cooking. Fresh beans, onions and red peppers are cooked in a special earthward pot. Don’t miss out on visiting Lake Ohrid – a highlight of our time in Macedonia.
Food Map of Europe: North Macedonia is a real foodie destination.
Located next to Croatia, Montenegro shares a few dishes with its neighbour. But then there is Kacamak. Kacamak is a heavy dish consisting of mashed potatoes, cornflour and wheat, served with cheese and milk. It will keep you going all day long.
Turkey truly delivers when it comes to food. Too many choices to choose from for this list! But we think kebab is the most obvious choice! Meat is roasted on a vertical spit and shredded. Then a pita bread holds it all together: meat with vegetables and yoghurt based sauce. Amazing!
Once you have satisfied your hunger, head to one of the many bakeries selling baklava – a rich sweet pastry made of layers of filo, syrup, nuts and honey. Orgasmic!
Food Map of Europe: You can find Baklava across the Middle East. But Turkey has some of the best baklavas we had.
We have chosen to list Scotland here, instead of absorbing it under the United Kingdom. Mostly, we really wanted to feature Haggis, as it might be amongst one of the most unique meals in Europe. Haggis consists of a sheep’s or calf’s offal mixed with oatmeal, suet, seasoning and boiled in a bag, traditionally one made from the animal’s stomach.
England is not famous for its culinary treats. But the good old fashion Fish and Chips can be proudly the traditional food of England. So head down to the coast on that one sunny day a year and enjoy it.
Food Map of Europe: You don’t have to be at the seaside to enjoy fish and chips in England.
Moldova is among the least visited countries in Europe so we were hoping to find undiscovered food here. Mamaliga its national dish is a cornmeal porridge with a bread-like texture. It reminded us of Italian polenta.
If you visit Russia or Poland you will find borsch on the menu. But this dish originates from Ukraine. Borsch is a soup made with beetroot and usually served with sour cream, which you can stir in if you prefer a creamier soup. Dill is often the garnish on top of the soup. Do you know why? To make it “dill – licious”. :)
Food Map of Europe: Borsh. Simply dill-licious!
Halloumi is a national pride of Cyprus. This semi-hard cheese is made using a mixture of goat, sheep and cow milk and it is exceptional. Unusually for cheese, it can be easily fried or grilled so it is great for barbeque.
Located in the heart of the Mediterranean we were expecting Italian/Spanish flavours only to find the national dish to be fenkata – a rabbit stew. Divine! But there is also another dish that defines Malta even more and we decided to add it to our Food Map of Europe: Pastizzi! This savoury phyllo-pastry in a diamond shape is traditionally filled with ricotta or mushy peas. The sound of the crunch when you first bite in – oh soo soo good.
Food Map of Europe: Pastizzi in Malta. How many can you eat?
The cuisine of Albania had a strong influence from nearby countries. In short, Italian, Slavic and Turkish flavours come together and create some amazing flavours. The one dish you must try is Fergesë. This is a dish of baked peppers, cheese, egg and sometimes meat. Scrumptious!
Banitsa is a Bulgarian savoury cheese pie served as an appetiser or as a street snack. It is created by layering a mixture of whisked eggs and pieces of cheese between filo pastry, then baked in an oven. Try to get it when it’s hot.
Food Map of Europe: Banitsa – the perfect breakfast?
Regardless of the fact that Romania is more known for Dracula than its food, we kept our bellies full and our taste buds happy here. Let us intorduce you to Ciorba. A simple but delicious sour soup. It is lemon juice and yeast that make it sour. And apparently, some variations include vegetables and meat. They also claim to fix your hangover after you had one too many shots of homemade plum brandy.
48. Vatican City
Unfortunately, we were not able to come up with a unique dish for the smallest country in the world to add to our Food Map of Europe… but we had a pretty nice gelato nearby. :) Does that count?
How about you? What would your Food Map of Europe include? Most importantly, have you tasted a specific dish in Europe that you can’t forget? Then let us know in the comments below…
Firstly, thank you for making it all the way through this blog – it is a long one! You might like some of our other blogs below:
A coffee lover, history junkie, former tour guide and endless optimist. The brain behind getting from A to B for the www.veryhungrynomads.com - 2 women visiting every country in the world. Marty is a social butterfly who describes her life as “just livin’ the dream".