Europe has some of the best destinations for food vacations.
With many of the worlds best restaurants and food traditions that date back hundreds of years, Europe will always be a treat for foodies. We have narrowed the best destinations down to just 8 to help you plan your next food vacations! We’ve mixed up some of the classic foodie favourites with some alternatives. There’s something for every taste and every budget!
Rhone valley, France – Wine
If you love wine, you’ll love Rhone Valley. This southern region of France is a wine growing region, producing several different wine certified under the AOC. Take a wine tour to try these wines with a local expert. Consider staying at a vineyard to get the authentic experience of Rhone Valley life. Of course there is more to the area than just the wine. Visit the local farmers market to find fresh, local produce. For a day trip, Lyon is close by. Dine at a Bouchon for a gastronomical experience unique to Lyon.
Tuscany – Wine, Gelato and Bistecca
So this isn’t a specific city, but there’s just too many to choose from! Where do we begin? Obviously, there’s Florence, known worldwide for its delicious food, in particular, the ‘bistecca alla fiorentina’. Visiting Tuscan vineyards is a destination for wine lovers, in particular the Chianti region is famous for its wine of the same name. San Gimignano is my favourite town in Tuscany. The charming little town serves some of the best home-made gelato in Italy. Gelateria Dondoli is run by former gelato world champion Sergio Dondoli and serves surprisingly good flavours such as Crema di Santa Fina (cream of saffron and pine nuts) and Champelmo (pink grapefruit and sparkling wine).
San Sebastian – Pintxos
With 17 michelin stars, San Sebastian is the gastronomic capital of Spain – and it should be top of all foodie’s bucket lists. The city is famous for its Pintxos, small finger foods native to the Basque region. A weekend in this small Spanish city is the perfect length of time for a stuff-your-face food vacation. Each restaurant has their own speciality, meaning each meal is a completely different experience from the last. Aside from the food, the city is neighboured by golden beaches and emerald green hillsides. Need we say anymore?
Barcelona – Food market and Tapas tours
This contender as one of the best destinations for food vacations should be no surprise. Whether it be Tapas or Paella, Barcelona is rich with culinary excellence! Several companies off tapas tours that take you to some of the best tapas bars in the city. Patatas bravas in Barcelona are second to none, and the low food and drink prices make eating here taste that bit better. Wander deeper into the less touristy areas of the city, such as Graciá, if you are wanting an authentic catalan meal. In the day, make sure you visit ‘la boqueria’, Barcelona’s famous food market. There are several other food markets in Barcelona worth visiting – but this market is a favourite with the foodies.
Fäviken, Sweden – Restaurant from Chef’s Table
This one is a bit off the beaten track, and only really has one notable restaurant. However, it is one of the best restaurants in the world, and would make for an amazingly unique food vacation. All ingredients (with the exception of salt, sugar and vinegar) are locally sourced, and fish are caught by the chef himself. Fäviken was featured on Netflix series ‘Chef’s table’ and is situated in Järpen, Sweden. As most visitors travel to the area just for the restaurant, it has its own hotel. The only problem is that if you’re thinking of booking a weekend in Järpen, you should hurry, as this restaurant is closing at the end of this year!
Copenhagen – ⅖ of World’s best restaurants
Home to 2 of the 5 world’s best restaurants, we’d be stupid not to include Copenhagen as one of the best destinations for food vacations. The city currently holds 22 Michelin stars, with the Danish gourmet restaurant Geranium being the only to hold 3 stars. As much as Copenhagen is a capital for gourmet cuisine, it also has a great selection of street food. Paper Island is an indoor street food market open all year round. You have to try the Danish hotdog here, as it is frequently a contestant for the best in the world!
Lisbon – Food market
If you love a food market – this is a must. Lisbon’s Time Out Food Market was created in 2014 by a group of journalists from Time Out magazine – hence the name. They brought together the best restaurants and eateries all in one place. This place is a dream, with over 20 restaurants, 8 bars and plenty of shops – the choices are endless. From classic Portuguese tarts to Michelen Star chef’s food, visitors are spoilt. Just be ready to spend at least 10 minutes looking for a seat!
Amsterdam – Weekend of the Rolling Kitchens
A food van lover’s paradise! This is an ideal food vacation for those only able to spare a weekend. It takes place every May and involves dozens of food van congregating from Friday to Sunday. Kitchens are open from 1pm until 11pm. This gives plenty of time to try the Texas BBQ, Sushi and even Dutch delicacies! Best of all – entrance to the event is completely free! If you’ve had enough of food trucks after the first few days, Amsterdam has endless food and coffee shop options. Amsterdam is also home to another one of Europe’s tasty food halls, the ‘Food Hallen’, which is a covered market with food stands, bars and communal seating.
Let us know where you plan on taking you next food vacation in the comments below!