Travel + Food

5 Hot European Summer Destinations for the Ultimate Foodie

By Addie Christianson 4/1/2019 6 minutes

1. PORTUGAL

Often overshadowed by its larger Iberian neighbor, Portugal is quickly moving into the foodie spotlight with bustling street markets, first-class seafood, and it's wonderful gift to the wine world, Port.  Try decadent meats such as alheira de mirandela, a type of fowl sausage, and posta mirandesa, a steak comparable to chateaubriand that comes from cattle in the Trás-os Montes region.  The adventurous foodie can enjoy trying eel and octopus dishes which are widespread and popular throughout the country. Port wine is a reason alone to visit Portugal and the city of Porto will not disappoint vinos eager to taste-test and explore the wine.  Travelers can take a tour of the wine region, exploring vineyards while trying the local food delicacies along the way.  For a true taste of the sea, foodies can go along on a fisherman’s tour of Faro to experience fish markets and see first hand how local fish such as sardines, mackerel, and tuna are prepared.   

2. AUSTRIA

While people tend to associate Austria with yodeling and The Sound of Music, the smaller central European country also has a unique and innovative food scene.  Vienna is a thriving hip city full of trendy cafes and gourmet coffee shops. What steals the show in Vienna are the famous pastries and tortes that fill the displays of local bakeries.  The Hotel Sacher Chocolate Torte is a must try for any visitor in Vienna. For a more authentic Austrian food experience, you can not go wrong with a classic veal schnitzel or spaetzle egg noodles, otherwise known as the ultimate comfort food.  Take a classic or gourmet food tour through Vienna to experience Austrian food the way you want to experience it.  A trip to Salzburg is necessary for any music fan, and foodies can enjoy an apple strudel cooking class to eat and learn all about the popular alpine dessert.  

3. CROATIA 

Croatia’s history and proximity to other Adriatic countries has lead to a diverse budding food scene.  The country has rebuilt itself from its recent wars and conflicts in part due to an influx in tourism (thanks to Game of Thrones which was filmed in Dubrovnik), but remains relatively inexpensive and uncrowded as a summer destination.  Black risotto, prepared with squid and cuttlefish, is a dish popular all along the coastline that is a unique take on traditional Italian risotto. Mussels and other types of shellfish are extremely popular, as well as raw seafood drizzled in olive oil which is becoming a major draw for foodies.  The wine scene is also blooming with many local vineyards dotting the Dalmatian coast, and fans of spirits can enjoy Rakija, a fruit liquor that a major part of Croatian culture and hospitality. Travel up and down the beautiful coast with a biking and hiking tour to truly explore the robust Croatian food and drink scene.  

4. SCOTLAND

London isn’t the only foodie destination in the UK. Scotland, with its hearty farm to table cuisine and famous scotch whiskey, has a vibrant food scene that is taking over the metropolitan areas of Edinburgh and Glasgow.  Haggis has to be on the “must-try” list of every foodie and, while some might shutter at the idea of eating sheep stomach, the delicacy is actually quite tasty. Many top restaurants serve innovative haggis plates nowadays, and if meat isn’t your thing, veggie haggis has recently become popular.  Game meat and seafood is also a crowd pleaser with the highlight being Scottish smoked salmon, arguably the best salmon in the world. Enjoy a down to earth bohemian food tour or experience the local charm of Edinburgh food with a tour around the Stockbridge neighborhood. Scotland is the place to be for the ultimate scotch lover, so learn all about the “water of life” on a 7-day whiskey tour around the country and savor the beautiful natural rugged landscape.

5. GREECE

Greece is one of the hottest destinations of the moment and it’s easy to see why with its impeccable scenery, history, and, of course, food.  Fresh Mediterranean cuisine and flavorful spices define Greece. Take advantage of delicious fish and grilled savory meats on a gastronomical escape tour around the country. Savour tirokroketes (fried cheese balls), dolmathakia (grape leaves), and delightful native olives in the streets of Athens with a food district tour. Travelers to Athens can also experience the art of Greek cuisine at a traditional cooking class. Of course, everyone has to try the beloved baklava, a classic Greek dessert made with phyllo, nuts, and honey, and the ever-popular gyro which can be found all over Greece in many different varieties.  


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Addie Christianson

Addie is a current student at Colgate University studying English, French and Italian. She is a super passionate foodie who loves to travel and explore other cultures. She hopes to eventually pursue a career in media/communications, but in the meantime, she enjoys writing for her college’s foodie blog, her own lifestyle blog, and Tasting Escapes while eating her favorite food Nutella straight out of the jar.

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