10 Must-Try National Dishes of Europe


Europe is a vast continent known for its rich history and culture. And there’s no better way (aside from visiting the breathtaking landscapes) to experience this than eating your way through Europe! From the delectable seafood in the Mediterranean to the hearty dishes in the Balkans, traveling to this continent would surely delight every foodie.

And while most countries already offer modern cuisine, nothing can beat the all-time classic dishes that people associate with a particular place. After all, national food is the best thing to connect you to a country.

So, without further ado, check out these must-try traditional dishes on your next trip to Europe!

Top 10 Traditional Foods to Try on Your Trip to Europe

1.     Pizza in Italy

Italian cuisine is famous around the world. However, no Italian dish comes close to being celebrated as a good-old pizza. And while a lot of modern variations have been discovered, nothing can really beat pizza made throughout the different regions in Italy.

There’s the classic Neapolitan-style pizza, which foodies simply know as pizza, made with tomatoes and mozzarella cheese. But in Rome, pizza bianca or white pizza is a must-try. This is a pizza at its most basic—just flatbread sprinkled with salt and olive oil.

2.     Beef Bourguignon in France

Listing the best French traditional food is probably the most challenging because of the diversity of dishes in the country.

However, if you’re talking strictly about typical French food, then beef bourguignon is your best pick.

Also known as beef burgundy, this is a French beef stew braised in red wine. It is typically served with seasoned vegetables such as carrots, pearl onions, garlic, and mushrooms.

3.     Frites in Belgium

Belgium might be known for its delicious waffles but no one can resist a cone of Frites. Simply known as Belgian fries, this dish’s secret lies in frying the potato chips twice to achieve that perfect and irresistible crispy texture.

Frites are considered a national dish in Belgium and are even included in the UNESCO list of cultural treasures.

A little tip: pair it with mayonnaise or mussels for the perfect takeaway dish while touring the country.

4.     Fårikål in Norway

Norwegian cuisine such as pickled and fermented fish are definitely must-tries when visiting this country. But if you prefer to ease your way to Norway’s food, better try out the Fårikål, the country’s national dish.

Flavored with cabbage, whole black pepper, and wheat flour, this rich lamb stew is traditionally cooked for several hours in a casserole. It is then served with skinned potatoes on the side.

5.     Fondue in Switzerland

When you think about famous food from Switzerland, Swiss cheese might be the first one to come to mind. However, Switzerland has so much to offer when it comes to cheese.

This includes fondue, a pot of creamy and melted cheese meant to be eaten by dipping bread or meats. It is known as the country’s national dish since 1930 and definitely a must-try for any visitor!

6.     Wurst in Germany

Nothing defines German food better than classic sausages or Wurst. Today, there are more than a thousand varieties of sausages in the country—each with their own unique preparation and ingredients. In fact, you can easily find this German dish almost everywhere throughout the country.

The most popular varieties to try include the Bratwurst (a pan-fried sausage made from veal or pork), Blutwurst (a sausage filled with blood), and Currywurst (a sausage served with curried ketchup on top).

7.     Strudel in Austria

While Austria also has its own variety of sausage, strudel is the quintessential dish of the country.

Literally translated as ‘whirlpool’ from German, strudel is made of wafer-thin layers of pastry and generous fillings of everything from fruit to meat, and even vegetables. The most popular and beloved variety, though, is the apfelstrudel (apple) which often includes raising and topped with whipped cream.

8.     Paella in Spain

You can’t leave Spain without trying the country’s famous paella!

This hearty rice-based dish originated from Valencia, but you can easily find this Spanish cuisine across different regions and cities. The name comes from the Latin word ‘patella’ which literally means ‘frying pan.’

Paella comes in a variety of styles such as seafood, meat, vegetable, and mixed (which features a combination of different ingredients). And while it’s considered to be a complete dish by itself, you can still eat it with other side dishes such as fried plantain slices, bread, or caesar salad.

9.     Moussaka in Greece

Moussaka is one of Greece’s national dishes and perhaps, the most famous one internationally.

It is an oven-baked layer dish that typically contains fried aubergine, potatoes, and minced meat. It is then smothered in a creamy, white sauce for a rich flavor.

But like any other classic dishes, Moussaka has many local and regional variations. This includes an equally delectable vegetarian version, a potato-based one, and more.

10.Köttbullar in Sweden

Köttbullar or meatballs is Sweden’s specialty food. It is made of ground beef and pork that is gently spiced with grated onions. It is also typically served with thick gravy or cranberry sauce.

If you’re particularly craving for this Swedish cuisine, you can always visit your local IKEA store which serves an authentic dish of meatballs at their in-house restaurant.

Apart from its rich history and spectacular tourist spots, Europe is also known for its mouthwatering dishes. So, make sure to try these traditional European cuisines when visiting the beautiful continent!

Company Bio: ETIAS Visa Schengen is a non-government organization that provides updated information about the introduction and enforcement of ETIAS Visa. They also provide ETIAS visa assistance for tourists planning to visit European countries by 2021.

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