10 Of The Best Foods To Eat While Travelling In Europe

Don't miss one of the local specialties in Serbia, turija sausages | D.Bosnic
Don't miss one of the local specialties in Serbia, turija sausages | D.Bosnic

10 of the Best Foods to Eat While Travelling in Europe

Featuring the delicious cuisine of Italy, Greece, Spain, France and more 

Europe is home to some of the world’s finest cuisine. In this tantalising article, we scoured the UTracks offices in search of what makes our bellies rumble when we’re planning our European vacations. Best not to keep reading while on an empty stomach.

Memories of Moussaka in Greece

A local specialty: baked feta cheese with watermelon jam |  <i>Tom Panagos</i> Dine on fresh local seafood by the sea in Crete |  <i>Jaclyn Lofts</i> Local Greek cuisine

“After a day of exploring the coast and luscious beaches of Lindos, I made my way to a restaurant with spectacular sunset views to enjoy my favourite Greek meal with my family – Moussaka. This dish has a crumbly topping but the sauce is the addition that brings out all of the rich flavours, with all of the green vegetables. Enjoyed with a couple of glasses of red wine to complement a perfect evening.”

Becky from UK Reservations.

The feta is better on these top trips in Greece:

Or click here to view all tours in Greece.

Austria Does Something Miraculous with their Wild Garlic Soup

Eating a hearty meal served the Bavarian way

When you head to Vienna and Austria in general, the consensus is that you cannot go to the capital without having its most famous dish, a Wiener Schnitzel.  Some of the largest schnitzels that you have ever seen are found here and yes, delicious. 

However, something that really surprised me (considering I do not tend to do bulbs) was the Wild Garlic Soup or Baerlauchcremesuppe. This green, creamy soup leaves you guessing as to what it is made from when you first see and taste it.  Broccoli, asparagus...it’s a guessing game.  The taste is absolutely delicious and nothing like the pungent tastes and smells of the regular garlic that we are all so used to in our own cuisines.  The soup is popular in Spring when the first leaves of the wild garlic start to appear in the forests of Austria. Baerlauchcremesuppe is subtle, incredibly tasty (especially with a fresh bread roll to boot) and well, I ordered it every time I found it on the menu for my entrée.  
That and the other thing you cannot go past in Austria, the delectable Sacher Torte. 

Nat, New Zealand General Manager.

Garlic lover’s unite in Austria on these exciting active trips:

Or click here to view all tours in Austria.

Greece is for Sweet Tooths!

Loukoumades in Greece |  <i>Tom Panagos</i>

Whenever I go to Greece I always make sure I treat myself to some fluffy ‘loukoumades’, a type of ball or ring-shaped fried doughnut. Traditionally they are served drenched in honey and sprinkled with cinnamon, although these days you can find all kinds of toppings, from caramel to hazelnut praline and even ice cream. If you have a sweet tooth like me, you won't be able to get enough of them!!

Tom from UTracks PR.

Head to these countries for more sweet treats:

Adoring Italian Food

Mountains meet the sea, Amalfi coast, Italy |  <i>Sue Badyari</i>
Jen from the Ottawa UTracks office chooses the Rome and the Amafli Coast on Foot tour as her favourite foodie experience. So many boxes get ticked: the delicious Napolese Pizza, fantastic gelato, tasty dry regional wines and of course, Mozzarella di Bufala. Gnocchi alla Sorrentina uses this delicious mozzarella for a baked pasta dish that is available in every local restaurant in the Sorrento area, and was one of my favourite lunch or dinner staples on the Amalfi Coast. 
Let your senses be overwhelmed by these beautiful trips to Italy's Amalfi Coast:
Or click here to see all tours on the Amalfi Coast.

The Unique Tastes of Bulgaria

Food and wine experiences are a highlight of travelling in Bulgaria

Jen seems to be a big fan of cheese: she also has a preference for the salty cheese 'banitsa' from Bulgaria. Made with local Sirene (white cheese) and layered in phyllo (or filo) pastry, this breakfast food is often served in the morning alongside Ayran in the local cafes in Sofia. 
Bulgarian food, in general, is a mix of Central/East European, Greek and Turkish cuisines and is varied, fresh, hearty, healthy and delicious.  
Become immersed in Bulgaria on these tours in the Balkans:
Or click here to view all tours in Bulgaria.

Monk Crafted Pastel de Nata (Portuguese Custard Tarts)

Portuguese tarts

These traditional Portuguese custard tarts, flavoured with lemon and cinnamon go a long way back and are still very common for the local community to enjoy. Every morning during my time spent in Portugal I would go to one of the small local cafés and order a strong coffee to wake me up – either a cappuccino or espresso – and a pastéis de nata (or two!). The light flaky pastry and sweetness of the tart was the perfect start to the day!

Cathy from the UK UTracks team.

Try to best the record of 7 (!) Portuguese custard tarts on these unforgettable trips.
Or click here to see all tours in Portugal.

Paella – the Perfect Mix in Spain

Paella in Spain |  <i>Charles Haynes</i>
I haven’t had paella in Spain (yet!), but if I ever have the chance to visit such a place as Valencia I know paella a hearty rice-based dish will be on my must eat list. 

Paella has bits of everything I love to eat:  Rice, meat, seafood, vegetables and the best part of paella has to be the crisp crunchy bottom and small burnt crunchy parts at the edge. 

The aroma of paella is absolutely amazing.  This dish to me is always plentiful, voluminous, fluffy, with a wonderful saffron-colour and always brimming generously with wonderful ingredients. 

Julia from UTracks New Zealand.

Eat paella at any (and every!) opportunity on these wonderful Spanish holidays:
Or click here to view all amazing tours in Spain.

Bigoli in Salsa in Italy

Barge departing Venice on our Veneto by Bike and Boat trip

"Of the many, many, many beautiful meals eaten while I was on the Veneto Bike and Barge tour in Italy, the stand out for me was a typical Venetian dish called bigoli in salsa. It’s a thick, spaghetti-like pasta made with a bigolaro pasta press, mixed in with a sauce of anchovies and onions. Why was it so memorable? Because we helped prepare it! The chef on board the Ava Maria asked if anyone wanted to help and I couldn’t resist the opportunity to learn some Italian cooking secrets."

Dana from UTracks in Australia.
Making bigoli pasta with the chef on a tour in Venice |  <i>Dana Garofani</i> Inspecting cheese in Italy |  <i>Dana Garofani</i> Bigoli pasta with the chef on a tour in Venice |  <i>Dana Garofani</i>

Experience Italian food on these essential tours then join our petition to rename the country Eat-aly:
Or click here to view all of our incredible trips in Italy.

The Freshest Seafood in Portugal

A fisherman on the coast near Cascais in Portugal
For Bethany from UTracks Canada, sampling freshly caught fish on the Portuguese coast was a true highlight of her European travels, 
When walking by the beach in Matosinhos outside of Porto there was a row of local small fisherman cooking their daily catch. Being born on the East coast of Canada seafood has always been a huge part of our family and culture, and never have I tasted anything like the flavour of octopus and fish listening to the unrelenting waves of the Portuguese coast. The tables were close together and there was another solo traveller at the table beside mine. We ended up sharing our meals and with the hand of a master the fisherman de-boned the fish in a single movement. It was watching art in motion and tasting the results. 
Click here to experience the Portuguese coast on an exceptional tour:
Or click here to view all tours in Portugal.

Banquets in Bordeaux

Efti ventured on the Bordeaux Bike and Barge tour, an extremely comfortable barge trip with an onboard chef preparing divine French meals throughout the day. Efti says: 
"Dinners on board were always varied, tasty and fresh. The chef often came out to say hello from the kitchen just behind the dining room, including when he carved up the duck main right in front of us and then the waiters served us. 
Fresh salad for evening entree on the Bordeaux Bike & Barge |  <i>Efti Nure</i> Prawn entree for dinner on the Bordeaux Bike & Barge |  <i>Efti Nure</i> Fresh tasty entree for dinner on the Bordeaux Bike & Barge |  <i>Efti Nure</i>
Entrees were either a fresh salad or a warm pastry, mains were either meat or fish with vegetables/salad (or full vegetarian for those with dietary) and desserts were a mix of crème Brulee, tarte tatin, and chocolate fondant that MELTED from the inside like lava when cut open!
Creme brulee for the evening's dessert on Bordeaux Bike & Barge |  <i>Efti Nure</i> Finish off your evening meal with a tasty dessert on the Bordeaux Bike & Barge |  <i>Efti Nure</i> Indulge in dessert after dinner on the Bordeaux Bike & Barge |  <i>Efti Nure</i>

Breakfasts & lunches are also included daily. Breakfast was a filling buffet with continental cold offerings as well as cooked options like eggs and sausages. Lunches were a fun ‘picnic’ style packed from the breakfast table using the breads, sandwich fillings, a piece of fruit and a muesli-type bar.
The chef is always hard at work preparing your breakfast and dinners on board the Bordeaux Bike & Barge |  <i>Efti Nure</i>
Time to take a holiday in Bordeaux? 
Or click here to view all of the delicious tours in Bordeaux.
What European foods get your tastebuds tingling? Let us know in the comment section below!
Food, Greece, Italy, France, Portugal, Spain, Austria, Bulgaria

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