So you’ve gorged on snails in Paris and run Rome dry of cacio e pepe, what next? Though certain foodie cities rule the roost in Europe, stepping outside your comfort zone can be far more exciting and rewarding, not to mention damn delicious.
Here’s a few of under-the-radar cities to add to your list, all catering to more intrepid eaters and their snap happy holidays.
As the Danes would say: god appetit!
San Sebastián, Spain
Though many flock to Barcelona to indulge in tapas, Basque Country is famous for “pintxos”, the local term for slices of crusty bread topped with fish, meat or vegetables.
San Sebastián has an excellent mix of high-end eateries and authentic hole in the wall bars. Ganbara is a popular local spot where Iberian hams hang from the ceiling and elegantly designed pintxos line the bar. If you’re time short and want to see the best of the best, book a tour with Devour to wander the streets like a local.
Truth be told it’s tough to find a region of France without excellent food, but Bordeaux is having something of a moment and stealing the culinary shine off the capital.
In June a survey from French food website Atabula rated Bordeaux ahead of Paris thanks to its deep red wines and burgeoning restaurant scene. MILES is a modern bistro serving up seasonal produce from South West of France and is gathering a cult following. Be sure to also visit the food market Marché des Capucins for a plate of oysters and Saucissons Sec to take home.
Everyone on our social media feeds have gone into Scandi-overdrive, Instagramming the rye bread, fishcakes and coffee of Copenhagen and Stockholm. But for a road a little less well-travelled head to Danish city Aarhus, which has recently caused a stir by earning three Michelin stars in one year.
One of said three is Gastromé, set in a former dress shop in the Latin Quarter offering plenty of freshly shaved truffle and dishes like king crab, avocado and horseradish or elderflower, white chocolate and honey pollen.
Though Bologna has a rich culinary history (Thanks for giving us Bolognese, guys) it is often overlooked for its more decorated neighbour Rome. The city more than holds its own as a top gastronomic destination with walking food tours which offer everything from pizza to gelato.
Stop by the famous pasta making sisters Le Sfogline to see the art of their careful craft and visit the the oldest market in the city, the Mercato di Mezzo for fresh fish and a glass of local wine.
Prague, Czech Republic
If Prague’s claim to the cheapest pint of beer in Europe isn’t enough to lure you in, there’s a vibrant food scene also waiting for you.
For authentic local cuisine head to V Kolkovně, a converted 1920s stamp printing house serving beef goulash and roast duck with sauerkraut. For something swankier try Italian fusion restaurant Divinis, a stylish design restaurant with an amazing tasting menu located in the old town. Join the Taste of Prague food tour to learn more about Czech food culture, drink local wine and visit adorable and Instagram-ready bakers and butchers.
Though Budapest has long been a popular stop off for students and hipsters inter-railing through Europe, the city has blossomed into a food hotspot and is well worth a visit in its own right.
The Seventh District or Jewish Quarter is packed with cool restaurants and bars like Karaván, a trendy beer garden with street food vendors, and afterwards you can grab a drink amongst lights, bicycles and plants at Szimpla Kert. The Great Market Hall on the Pest side of town is a vast building restored in the 1990s and the best place for local meats and cheese amongst other traditional delicacies.
Though Budapest has long been a popular stop off for students and hipsters inter-railing through Europe, the city has blossomed into a food hotspot and is well worth a visit in its own right. the Seventh District or Jewish Quarter is packed with cool restaurants and bars like Karaván, a trendy beer garden with street food vendors and after grab a drink amongst lights, bicycles and plants at Szimpla Kert. The Great Market Hall on the Pest side of town is a vast building restored in the 1990s and the best place for local meats and cheese amongst other traditional delicacies.
True, Edinburgh is no hidden gem, but the sheer volume of great restaurants the city now offers means it’s as relevant and exciting as ever. For high end scoffing try seafood and shellfish experts Ondine or Aizle, who cook your five course meal from a daily list of changing ingredients.
Elsewhere The Outsider offers delicious dishes from lobster to steak to mussels and at very reasonable prices. Visit during August for Foodies festival, the biggest in the UK which boasts a street avenue, cookery lessons, afternoon tea, and wine and champagne tasting.