Coming to Europe for exchange, one of the things that I was most excited for was to eat and to try some of my favourite foods from their countries of origin. From paella in Spain to pizza in Italy, I made sure to hit all the “must-try-dishes” in every city that I visited. Here are the top eight foods that I’ve tried in Europe yet.
Foie Gras from Le Sejour Café in Nice, France
The “foie gras canard maison” (duck foie gras) at this beautiful French restaurant has a heavier flavor than goose yet bears an incredibly smooth texture – guaranteed to literally melt on your tongue like butter.
Raw Herring from Frens Haringhandel in Amsterdam, Netherlands
In Holland, people have been eating raw herring for over 600 years. Raw herring is a soused raw fish with a strong taste, and is served with pickles and raw onions. The street stall, Frens Haringhandel, opened in 1972, and has since been serving some of the best raw herring in the entire city. The texture of their fish is delightfully tender and contrasted well with the crisp onions and pickles.
Stroop Wafels from the Albert Cuyp Market in Amsterdam
The stroopwafel is made of two thin layers of baked batter with a caramel syrup filling in the middle. This Dutch treat can virtually be found everywhere in the Netherlands. Although they are sold in grocery stores and many cafes, the best I’ve had was fresh at the Albert Cuyp Market. At this market, stroopwafels are made fresh off the grill once ordered, then slit while hot and doused with caramel sauce. The wafel itself remains crispy and oozes with warm caramel.
Gelato from Ciccolati Italiani in Milan
I’ve had a frightful amount of gelato since coming to Italy for exchange, but the best I’ve had yet is from Ciccolati Italiani by the Duomo. Their pre-made concoctions are a perfect combination of a variety of flavours, and the cone itself is filled with the shop’s luxurious chocolate.
Coconut milk pancakes from the Borough Market in London, UK
This unassuming stand located near the back of the Borough Market in London sells some of the best Thai food I’ve ever had. A must-try are the coconut pancakes, which resemble crisp shells holding a milky coconut batter and topped with aromatic black sesame.
Sandwiches and Soups from Bors Gasztrobar in Budapest, Hungary
I wish I had better pictures of my food from Bors Gastrobar. I even went twice during my trip because it was just so good. This place only accepts forints (Hungarian currency), but it’s worth exchanging your euros to eat here. From the “Obama pulled pork sandwich” to the Thai curry sandwich and the pumpkin soup, everything here is mind-blowingly delicious. The sandwiches are box-shaped; crispy on the outside and extremely flavorful and soft on the inside.
Porchetta and tuna cream panini from Pane e Salame in Rome, Italy
I knew I had to go to Pane e Salame when I saw that it had a perfect 5-star rating out of almost 3,000 reviews on TripAdvisor. And those reviewers were right – this was the most incredible sandwich that I have ever eaten. When I was handed my takeout bag, I could literally feel the weight of the sandwich in my hands. It was a heavy. Stuffed with porchetta, sundried tomatoes, lettuce, and tuna cream, the unassuming #P sandwich on the menu left me completely awestruck.
Paella in Madrid, Spain
Spain is the perfect place to get paella – not only is this dish available virtually almost anywhere, but it often comes with the option to add in a pitcher of sangria for a discounted cost. The seafood is incredibly fresh and the rice creamy, making for the most perfect combination.