11 Mouthwatering European Restaurants To Visit This Summer
As diverse as the continent itself, European cuisine offers something for every taste. Whether you prefer to play it safe with a pizza Margherita in Rome, or be braver with your stomach and treat it to a spicy plate of gyros in Athens, Europe has hundreds of tastes to offer. Additionally, Europe is the most visited continent worldwide, with countries such as France, Spain, Greece and Italy being its meccas of tourism. After taking into account personal experiences and detailed research, we came up with 11 unique dishes from across Europe that we hope will inspire you to try out a new cuisine the next time you visit any of the countries and restaurants mentioned below.
Written by TCmag Staff
THE GREEK MOUSSAKA BURGER AT ΜΠΑΡ ΜΠΕΕ ΚΙΟΥ
Greece is famous for many things but burgers isn’t one of them; or to be more accurate, it wasn’t until recently. In the world’s capital of gyros and souvlaki, Mihalis Mantzouranis, a young and ambitious Greek expert in all things BBQ, decided to take the art of the burger to the next level. We discovered his small but “miraculous” burger restaurant, ΜΠΑΡ ΜΠΕΕ ΚΙΟΥ, in the port city of Piraeus while vacationing in the beautiful Mediterranean country. To our surprise we also found that his burger was included on the list of the 25 best burgers around the world for 2014.
The owner suggested we try his new one, the Greek Moussaka Burger, which can only be found in his restaurant, and with the first bite we realized that Mihalis definitely knows what he’s doing. And because words can’t describe the explosions that take place in your mouth as you eat it, we advise you to give yourself a generous gift when you visit Greece and look for ΜΠΑΡ ΜΠΕΕ ΚΙΟΥ instead of waiting in the port for your ship. It’s a truly delicious experience that will help you “Live and taste your myth in Greece.”
HAGGIS AT THE ROYAL McGREGOR
It would be impossible to talk about traditional Scottish food in Edinburgh without mentioning the Royal Mile, the area from Holyrood Palace to Edinburgh Castle crowded with all manner of Scottish stores and restaurants. Relatively new to the Edinburgh pub scene, the Royal McGregor has established itself over the last decade as a friendly, comfortable place to get a meal. Its haggis options are particularly enticing. As a starter, there are haggis fritters with sweet chili and honey dressing; there is a Highland burger with haggis and whiskey sauce; and, of course, the usual haggis, neeps and tatties in a delicious tower with rosemary gravy. Simply put, a visit to the Royal Mile would not be complete without a stop at this pub.
CURRYWURST AT KONNOPKE’S IMBISS
A contender for the title of best currywurst in town, Konnopke’s newly renovated snack bar in Prenzlauer Berg serves its curry sausages with or without skin and with great dollops of spicy sauce. The simple snack shack is located below the tracks of the Eberswalder Strasse U-Bahn station and is run by the Ziervogel family, whose forefathers started selling their famous sausages on the same spot in 1930. There always seems to be a line of people waiting for the wurst, buletten, and French fries. This particular snack bar cashes in on its popularity by selling postcards and a book about Berlin’s curry sausage.
PIZZA AT IL PIZZAIOLO DEL PRESIDENTE
Right in the heart of Spaccanapoli, the historic center of Naples, Signore Ernesto Cacialli will welcome you with a huge smile and will do anything in his power to serve you the most delicious pizza you ever had. The famous pizzeria got its name after former US president Bill Clinton who, while in Naples in 1994 for the G8 summit, stopped by to taste the famous pizza. Since then Cacialli’s pizzeria was renamed in Bill’s honor and has fed millions of locals and tourists alike.
STAMPPOT AT STAMPPOTJE
Stamppot, or pot hash, is a quintessential Dutch dish similar to British bubbles and squeak, and this seasonal street vendor doles out stamppot by the scoop to diners who want a solid, hearty meal on the run. Varieties include the traditional stamppot boerenkool (stamppot with curly kale) and hutspot (mashed potatoes, carrots, and onions). During the summer, the stand transforms into the ice-cream vendor Ijscuypje, but you can still get some good ol’ traditional stamppot.
BLINI AT COTE AZUR
Blini are thin pancakes that can be eaten with either savory or sweet toppings, including caviar, sour cream, jam, and honey. According to local rumors, the very best Moscow restaurant for those who like blinis, caviar, vodka, and stroganoff is Cote Azur, which combines delicious cuisine and luxury in the most powerful city in Eastern Europe.
KOTTBULLAR AT TRANAN
If you don’t already know, one of Sweden’s traditional foods is köttbullar, or Swedish meatballs as they are known in English. You can eat köttbullar at local restaurants, or buy prepackaged ones at supermarkets such as ICA that you only have to microwave. But if you’re one of those peeps who won’t settle for anything less than the best then Tranan restaurant is the place for you. According to its website, Tranan is a great place to meet up, and have a bite to eat and something to drink. This what it’s been known for since it was established in 1929 in Stockholm, and how it’s still known today. Just think about it: over eighty years of service means the folks there are doing something right, no?
GRANDMOTHER’S SPOON FOOD AT CAN SOLÉ
One of Barcelona’s best paella restaurants, Can Solé is a little more upscale than most with prices to match and attentive waiters who will serve you one of the best paellas you could ever have. There are two specialties in this restaurant: paella in various forms, and what is known as “grandmother’s spoon food”—steaming hot pots of chickpeas with chorizo, lentil and potato stew, onion soup with a poached egg, and Emmental stirred into it. Vamos!
FISH AND CHIPS AT FRANKIE’S FISH & CHIPS
Fish and chips is a Friday night ritual in many households across Britain, but if you want to taste the best the country has to offer, you might have to go a little farther than your local chippy. See, the winner of 2015’s National Fish & Chips Award—Frankie’s Fish & Chips—can be found on Scotland’s Shetland Isles. The modest Scottish eatery, which is the most northerly fish and chip shop in the UK, opened in 2008 in the small village of Brae and since then has been feeding delicious fish and chips to countless happy customers who keep returning for more.
FONDUE AT LE CHALET
Most people know Switzerland mainly through its delicious chocolate, its stunning timepieces, and the amazing Roger Federer. However, there is also fondue. Bread chunks dipped in a pot of hot cheese, served in army barracks and at Sunday family dinners, has been a national dish since the 1930s. So it’s not really hard to find a restaurant that serves fondue in Switzerland, but if you’re looking for the real deal then you should go to Le Chalet and dine in its quintessential wooden dining room. At 29.50 francs, or about $30, the fondue there is one of the most expensive you will find throughout Switzerland, but according to everyone who has tried it, it’s worth every penny.
CURRY CHIPS AT SUPERMAC’S
This Irish gem first started in Galway in 1978. Supermac’s claim to fame is that it pioneered two Irish delicacies—the chain claims to have come up with curry chips (French fries drenched in curry sauce) and the snack box, which can vary depending on the order—before anyone else. The menu also includes burgers, chicken, cod, fries, and Irish dairy ice cream but according to the fast-food restaurant’s fans, nothing comes even close to the dish that made Supermac’s famous—those tasty curry chips.