Wandering the historic cities of Europe chasing down those cultural monuments and must-see sights might leave you with something of an appetite to sate. Even the well-seasoned traveller needs to restore their energy now and then. So why not take advantage of the culinary traditions of your host country!
The diversity of cultures and their cooking to be found on the continent has resulted in a plethora of national dishes and cuisines to tickle a traveller’s fancy, many of which can be enjoyed as street food. Eating what the locals eat is a great way to immerse yourself in a history that is more than just architecture and museum.
Here are some must visit destinations and their local dishes to tempt those tastebuds! Wot no pasties
This fast food dish of German origin is a great winter warmer consisting of hot, fried, sliced pork sausage (Wurst) seasoned with curry sauce, popular with the young or old, rich or poor! Commonly sold on stands, in takeaway shops, diners and ‘greasy spoons’, it is often served with French fries or bread rolls and may come with or without the skin. It is a simple and tasty meaty street dish enjoyed all across Germany. In fact, the Germans love it so much there is even an interactive Currywurst Museum in Berlin!
No trip to France would be complete without savouring one of their famous crepes, which take the form of a wafer thin pancake. With the choice of fillings often seeming limitless and varying from the sweet to the savoury, how can you resist! Whether you choose a filling of cheese, ham or egg or, for those with a sweet tooth, maple syrup or Nutella with banana, crepes are fantastic at any time of the day. The best vendors are those that
make them fresh in front of you, ladling the batter onto the sizzling stove and letting the aromas fill the air – truly tantalising – more so at this time of the year.
Considered by many as the most traditional street food of Hungary, this is a deep-fried flatbread, rubbed with garlic butter and commonly eaten topped with sour cream, grated cheese, ham or sausages. It is regarded as an absolute speciality of this east European nation. Have it for lunch, as a snack or after a night out – perfect any time of day to quell a rumbling stomach! Head to the Fény utca food market for some of the best.
A traditional and popular Austrian fast food is without a doubt the sausage. There are “Würstlstands” selling hot dogs and hot sausages in all shapes and sizes wherever you go. These stands are great for a snack or a bite to eat when on the move! Try the Käsekrainer sausage which has melted cheese inside, a lip-smacking must if visiting Austria!
Whilst kebabs are very famous as street food in Turkey, so too are simits! Ask a Turk away from home about the foods they miss the most, simit is very likely to be one of them. This circular bagel-type bread is topped with sesame seeds and is a great snack to be eaten whenever you fancy. Whether you have one by itself, with cheese, jam or even tomatoes, enjoy every minute of this snack – for a more authentic cultural experience,
have it with a Turkish coffee or tea. Simit carts are everywhere on the streets, so you have no excuse not to try one!
Trdelnik; Czech Republic
These cylindrical pastries are absolutely delicious and, understandably, a very popular Czech street food. Commonly sold hot and dusted with cinnamon, sugar and nuts, similar to the American pretzel (of which snacks like this are often considered a traditional forerunner), they are hard to resist and will more than satisfy that sweet tooth for a quick burst of energy whilst sightseeing! Enjoy watching the process of these little
pastries being made from scratch and being cooked over an open flame on metal sticks!
Many thanks to Henri at Europe & Beyond for these mouth-watering suggestions.