You’ll struggle to find any country in the world that doesn’t have at least one Italian restaurant. The Italians are famed for their rustic mains and tasty pasta dishes. But you can also take advantage of paper-thin pizzas and decadent gelato. Head to Emilia to sample spaghetti Bolognese done properly and treat yourself a platter of cured meats. Order the catch of the day on the Amalfi Coast or embrace hearty lamb casseroles in Abruzzo. After dinner, it’s polite to accept a digestif. Most commonly, restaurants will provide you with a measure of chilled Limoncello.
If somebody mentions French food, you may automatically conjure up images of frog’s legs and snails. But French cuisine is much more diverse than these famous delicacies. Start your day with a freshly-baked pastry before grabbing a croque-monsieur for lunch. Break from sightseeing to enjoy a mid-afternoon trip to the local patisserie before sampling one of the classics for dinner. If you’re staying in beautiful Brittany, take advantage of fresh seafood. Moules-marinieres is a particularly popular dish in this region. Order oysters in Normandy and Mediterranean-style small plates in Provence. Don’t forget to work your way through the extensive wine lists during your break.
Greece may be known for its myths and legends, but it also boasts the most fabulous cuisine. Fresh food is the order of the day here, and it’s all about taking your time to enjoy the flavors. Greeks don’t think twice about spending hours over lunch, and neither should you when you’re enjoying a relaxing holiday. Start with a meze platter of fish, meat, and vegetarian dishes. Traditional favorites include Greek salad, dips and pitta, baked fish, and stuffed vine leaves. For your main course, share a seafood platter or try out some classic meat dishes. Stifado, souvlaki, and kleftiko are highlights you won’t want to miss. When you’ve had enough, live like the locals and wash your meal down with a shot of ouzo.
Spain has diverse regions, and this brings a melting pot of culinary influences and flavors. In the southern provinces, there’s a strong focus on seafood and noticeable Mediterranean influences. In the north of the country, dishes tend to be heavier and heartier. Best-sellers include paella, gazpacho, and Spanish tortilla. For light lunches, order a selection of tapas dishes. Favorites include patatas bravas, gambas (prawns) and meatballs. If you’re eating out with friends or relatives, ask for an array of options to share.
If you live for food, Europe is an excellent place to spend your vacations. For many of us, trying new dishes and learning more about the cuisine is an integral part of a holiday. With these four destinations, you can’t go wrong. The only problem you may encounter is running out of time before you’ve tried everything on offer.