Europe is a great place to be (or become) a foodie. Plus, eating in Europe gives you a chance to try some different traditional foods than what you're used to.

An important thing that I have learned while travelling is to properly immerse yourself in the culture of wherever you are. While this may sound intimidating, it's actually quite easy because the best way to get a taste of culture is, quite literally, to taste culture. When I'm in a new place, one of the first things I do is research the best local foods to try while I'm there.

I spent my last year of high school studying in Switzerland and travelling through Europe. I decided to continue my journey by spending this semester studying abroad in Denmark. 

Eating in Europe is a funny thing: you can find any type of cuisine practically everywhere. However, I've found that the best of the best is quite simply the local food of wherever I am. Chef (insert-your-name-here), I have made for you today your trusty guide to eating in Europe. 

Disclaimer: I recognize that not all European countries have been included. I chose a handful of countries that I've been to or am planning to go to during my travels, to show you my European food bucket list.


salad, pork
Jessie Durand

What to try: Wiener Schnitzel

What it is: a thin breaded cutlet of veal, which is pan-fried and served with sides such as potatoes or salads. Plus it's so fun to say!


What to try: Moules Frites

What it is: mussels, usually cooked in marinara sauce or white wine sauce, served with fries, usually eaten with mayonnaise and ketchup. A seemingly peculiar pairing, yet so complementary.


cream, cheese
Jessie Durand

What to try: Smorrebrød

What it is: open-faced sandwiches served on traditional Danish rye bread, topped with a wide array of foods. Much better than Subway.


What to try: Fish and Chips

What it is: battered fish which is deep fried, served with French fries and coleslaw. Commonly eaten with tartar sauce (mixture of mayonnaise, dill, capers, pickles, and lemon juice). Added bonus: the newspaper fits with your Instagram aesthetic.


What to try: Karjalan Piirakka

What it is: rye pastry filled with rice or meats or fish or cheese or potatoes.


What to try: Escargot

What it is: cooked snails, served in a variety of sauces, such as garlic butter and parsley sauce, or white wine sauce. Definitely a must-try. No matter how scary it may seem, escargot is delicious. 


What to try: Bratwurst

What it is: sausages of pork. A common variation is currywurst, which is served with curry ketchup.


What to try: Saganaki

What it is: fried bubbling cheese served with bread, lemon, and pepper. What could be better?


What to try: Gulyás (goulash)

What it is: meat and vegetable stew, seasoned with paprika and other spices


What to try: Black pudding

What it is: sausage made of pork fat, pork blood, and oatmeal. Pairs great with Guinness.


What to try: Ossobuco

What it is: veal shanks and vegetables braised in broth and white wine. Usually includes the marrow in the center of the shank.


What to try: Haring ‘Hollandse Nieuwe’

What it is: raw herring served with raw onions and gherkin pickles. Eaten by holding the herring by the tail and taking a bite upwards.


What to try: Gravlaks

What it is: raw salmon cured in sugar, salt, and dill. Served with hovmästarsås, a dill mustard.


What to try: Pierogi

What it is: dumplings stuffed with a wide variety of ingredients, most commonly with cheese, potatoes, and meats. Often eaten with sour cream. Far better than the ones in the caf.


What to try: Francesinha

What it is: sandwich made of a number of meats, topped with melted cheese and a tomato-beer sauce, served with french fries. The ultimate sandwich.


What to try: Blini

What it is: Russia’s take on French crepes. Can be topped with both sweet and savoury ingredients. Want to class it up? Top yours with some caviar.


What to try: Haggis, Neeps, and Tatties

What it is: haggis (pudding of sheep hearts, livers, and lungs with minced onions, fat, oatmeal, and seasoning, combined with stock and encased into balls); neeps (commonly known as rutabaga, which is a root vegetable that is boiled and mashed with the tatties); tatties (mashed potatoes). As scary as it may seem, it's a must try. 


What to try: Paella

What it is: rice dish with vegetables and proteins such as meat, seafood, and poultry.


What to try: Köttbullar (meatballs)

What it is: ground meat, onions, and breadcrumbs rolled into a ball, served with gravy, potatoes, and lingonberry jam. 


What to try: Raclette

What it is: a heated wheel of cheese, where a layer is scraped off and eaten with potatoes, gherkin pickles, pickled onions, and meats.

I hope your taste buds are watering and your passport is out, because you need to try everything on this list. Eating in Europe couldn't be better, and with this trusty guide, you're sure to give your taste buds an experience of a lifetime. Make sure to check out Spoon's tips to eating in Europe.