I lived my time abroad by the motto "I don't want to look back and think 'I could've eaten that.'"

If you ask me about a place I visited, I'll probably tell you about what I ate there. My mom even makes fun of me because every one of my stories starts with "I had the most delicious ____ when I went to _____." 

truffle, mushroom, foie gras
Nikki Naiman

The one and only problem with going abroad is that, once you're home, you want to go back. Once you're back in a college kitchen living off leftovers, you find yourself daydreaming about all the food you had access to abroad

That gooey, melty burrata cheese. That sticky, sweet stracciatella gelato. That steaming hot plate of spaghetti. The food in Europe is unreal, and there are six dishes I miss more than anything that you can't leave without trying.

1. Croque-Monsieur: France 

salad, wine, arugula, spinach, red wine
Nikki Naiman

The Croque-Monsieur is like a better version of french toast. French bread is coated in eggs and then stuffed with ham and creamy béchamel. If that's not good enough, the French then coat it in savory cheese and serve it piping hot and crispy. Whenever I get sad, I just look at my picture of the Croque-Monsieur. 

2. Frites: Amsterdam 

chips, french fries, poutine, sauce
Nikki Naiman

Frite shops line the streets and canals of Amsterdam. They're served fresh out of the fryer and covered in decadent mayonnaise. I'm not usually a mayo fan, but since this is Europe, the usually questionable sauce is fresh, rich and creamy. The fries melt in your mouth and are the perfect balance of crisp and fluffy. I could've eaten 12 cones of them.

3. Brunch and Cake: Spain

Nikki Naiman

On a tiny street, there is a brunch place with a two hour wait at all times. Let me tell you it's worth the wait. I ordered a grilled cheese with brie on pretzel bread and poached eggs over spinach and potatoes. I'm salivating just thinking about it.     

4. Spaghetti alla Amatricana: Italy 

spaghetti, sauce, pasta, tomato
Nikki Naiman

All the pasta I ate in Italy was incredible, but this Amatricana was perfectly spicy, oily and delicious. The pork jowl gives the tomato sauce a fatty, acidic decadence and the chiles give it a kick. I wouldn't mind if a bowl appeared in front of me right now. 

5. Gelato: Italy 

waffle, ice, cream
Nikki Naiman

It's creamy, it's rich and it's everywhere. You become a pro by the time you're done studying in Italy at spotting the fake touristy gelato from the good stuff. Good gelato will be smooth and creamy, never stacked on top of each other and never an unnatural color. Which was the best flavor? This straciatella really took the cake. The strong vanilla and dark chocolate chips were perfect in every single way. 

6. Fondue: Switzerland

fondue, soup, cheese, bread
Nikki Naiman

Maybe you've had fondue before, but you've never had it like this. The pungent Gruyere, made in the hills of Switzerland, is salty and gooey in the most delightful way. They serve it bubbling and accompanied by crispy bread, sweet pears and crunchy vegetables. Plus, you get to use those cute little fondue forks. 

I'm ready to go back anytime now.