European Delights: 10 Must-Try European Dishes


Setting out on a European adventure brings with it the promise of culinary traditions and amazing foods. 

Tasting the local cuisine is not just about eating; it’s about experiencing the history and soul of the places they visit. From the savory to the sweet, every dish tells a story. 

Here are ten must-try European dishes that are essential for every traveler!

1. Paella (Spain)

paella spain

Originating from Valencia, Paella is a vibrant Spanish dish that is as flavorful as it is colorful. Traditionally made with rice, saffron, a variety of meats, and seafood, its essence captures the spirit of Spanish cuisine. 

For an authentic experience, head to La Pepica in Valencia, a restaurant beloved by Hemingway and known for its traditional approach to this regional staple.

—> Read More: A Traveler’s Guide to Eating In Spain and Staying Healthy

2. Wiener Schnitzel (Austria)


This iconic Austrian dish consists of a thin breaded and fried veal cutlet. It epitomizes simplicity yet demands perfection in its preparation. 

To try a classic Wiener Schnitzel, visit Figlmüller in Vienna, which is famed for its particularly crispy and oversized portions, perfectly paired with a slice of lemon and a helping of potato salad.

—> Read More: Flavors of Austria: Schnitzels, Strudels, and Gemütlichkeit

3. Gelato (Italy)

gelato italy

No visit to Italy is complete without indulging in gelato. Artisanal Italian gelato is creamier, denser, and more flavorful than its ice cream cousin, often featuring local nuts, fruits, and chocolates. 

Seek out Gelateria La Carraia in Florence for some of the finest and freshest scoops.

—> Read More: A Guide to Bologna, Italy’s Food Capital

4. French Cheese (France)

french cheese

Exploring France can often feel like a tour of its cheeses, each one a reflection of its region’s cultural and culinary practices. Start your journey with a Camembert from Normandy, a Roquefort, and perhaps a Comté. 

Paris’s Fromagerie Laurent Dubois, a Meilleur Ouvrier de France, offers an excellent introduction.

—> Read More: 15 Incredible Places to Visit in France

5. Sauerbraten (Germany)


Sauerbraten is a pot roast, usually of beef (but other meats such as lamb, mutton, pork, and traditionally horse), marinated before slow-cooking as pot roast. 

The meat is marinated for several days in a mixture of vinegar or wine, water, and a variety of seasonings before cooking. Sample it in Cologne where the traditional Sauerbraten is served with red cabbage, dumplings, or potatoes.

—> Read More: Best Time to Visit Germany

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6. Baklava (Turkey/Greece)


Baklava consists of layers of filo pastry filled with chopped nuts and sweetened with syrup or honey. It is a celebrated pastry with centuries-old traditions in Turkish and Greek cuisines. 

Istanbul’s Karaköy Güllüoğlu offers some of the finest, made from a recipe passed down through generations.

7. Fish and Chips (United Kingdom)

fish and chips

Britain’s take on comfort food, fish and chips, features battered and fried fish accompanied by thick-cut fries. 

For the quintessential British experience, visit Poppie’s in London, known for its sustainably sourced fish and retro décor, transporting diners back to the mid-20th century.

—> Read More: Top 10 Most Visited Places in England

8. Belgian Waffles (Belgium)

belgian waffles

In Belgium, waffles are not just a breakfast food; they’re a cultural icon. Light, crisp, and often eaten with powdered sugar, fruit, or chocolate, they can be enjoyed at any time of day. 

Chez Albert in Bruges offers some of the best authentic Belgian waffles you’re likely to find.

9. Goulash (Hungary)


Hungarian Goulash is a stew of meat and vegetables seasoned with paprika and other spices.

Originating from medieval Hungary, goulash is a national dish that has varied forms across Central Europe. For authentic goulash, check out Budapest’s Gettó Gulyás, where it’s served hearty and spicy.

10. Stegt Flæsk (Denmark)

stegt flaesk

Stegt Flæsk translates to “fried pork belly” and is a beloved Danish classic. It consists of thick slices of pork belly that are seasoned and fried until crispy. 

This dish is typically served with boiled potatoes and a creamy parsley sauce, which is poured over the potatoes and the crispy pork. The contrast between the creamy, herb-infused sauce and the salty, crunchy pork provides a comforting meal that’s cherished across Denmark.

And That’s A Wrap!

Each dish has its own story, rich in history and flavor, making your travel experience uniquely enriching. 

As you plan your travels, make room in your itinerary to discover these culinary delights—your palate will

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Jack Baumann

President of Guidester

Jack Baumann has lived and traveled throughout Europe for over 15 years, creating Guidester in 2014. Over the years Guidester has developed into a unique travel concierge and tour company helping travelers experience the best of Europe.

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