I don’t know about you guys, but one of my favorite things about traveling is having the opportunity to EAT my way through a new country. Who else gets super excited when they think about all of the yumminess they are about to experience before going on vacation, or traveling throughout a new country? Grabbing drinks and bites is the best way to meet new people, and probably one of my favorites. Whether we speak to someone who works in a restaurant, or the table directly besides us, I have found it is one of the best ways to meet new friends, and discover fun things to do in a new area.
SO, without further ado, (this list was very hard to consolidate), my must haves and FAVORITES in EUROPE, in no particular order, as they are all very equal.
These slices are coming to you from Nice, France, and Florence, Italy. We found that pizza changed throughout Europe, and our favorite slices varied greatly. We were shocked to find the most delicious pizza, and our favorite in Nice. We met many friendly locals in Nice who educated us on “French food.” They told us specifically that there is NO such thing, and the French adopt recipes from their neighboring countries. Naturally, Nice had great pizza, since it boarders the Italian Riviera. We were also told that consuming your own personal pizza is a right of passage in Italy. Families order their own pizzas, rather than share. Seriously?! That is my kind of place! I was in heaven.
3 of the slices are thin & crispy, from Nice, and the other 3 slices are simply perfection from Florence, where the sauce is sweet, and the mozzarella is fresh and decadent.
#2 PASTA…of all shapes, flavors, colors and KINDS.. YUM!
The amounts of pasta I consumed while in Europe should probably be illegal. You know how people say “You are what you eat!”, well if you saw me after Europe, I’d be a hearty helping of lasagna mixed with gnocchi. I’m totally cool with that by the way, as I gained the best 5lbs of my life while in Europe. MY GOD is the food delicious over there. Whether they actually roll out the noodles with love or not, I absolutely had no idea what I was missing back in the states! Please run to Italy immediately, and consume all of the pasta you can imagine. You will NOT regret it!
Top left: Homemade Pesto Gnocchi. I actually had the pleasure of watching the sweetest, little, old Italian grandma roll the gnocchi balls. It looked so good, I could have eaten it raw. Bottom Left, some type of Shrimp pasta, and the BEST for last, center right, my personal favorite, lasagna.
#3 FRENCH FAVORITE’S: Croissants, French Onion Soup, and Rosemary Chicken
Enough said! We ate approximately 2 croissants, and an au bon chocolate every day, along with purchasing a French baguette half way through the day for snacking purposes, and taking bites as we explored. As for the chicken, never have I tasted such tender meat roasted on the bone, and seasoned with rosemary. I wish I remembered the proper name of this dish. If you know, please comment and let me know! I ordered this multiple times throughout our time in France, as well as the French Onion soup, oh my goodness!! Delicious!
#4 ITALIAN SAMMY’S
This sandwich has got to be the most memorable sandwich I have EVER consumed! Whenever I crave a
good DELICIOUS sandwich, this ham and pesto panini on fresh seeded bread always pops into my head. This was a dream come true with every bite.
#5 DUTCH FAVORITES
Prior to going to the Netherlands, I knew I had to sink my teeth into a Dutch Pancake, what I did not know, is that I also had to get my hands on Dutch french fries. Little did I know, Amsterdam is filled with french fry stands on every corner! They are so hot and crunchy…crisp with every bite! As for the Dutch pancakes, they melted in my mouth. Absolutely delicious, and the taste of the buttermilk is so yummy. The fruit was fresh, and the homemade whipped cream, smooth as ever, melts down your throat with each bite.
#6 GREEK GYROS
My husband is Greek, so naturally we consumed multiple gyros. Unfortunately while in Greece our dreams were crushed, and we found out gyros are actually considered fast food. In fact, if you order a gyro plate in sit down Greek restaurant, you will be given a plate with lamb, rice, salad, and a side of pita. The plate is technically a gyro with all of the gyro components, but not wrapped tightly in a delicious pita, as we Americans are use too. Since the gyros are considered fast food, authentic gyros come with french fries in them! We couldn’t have been happier to find out such a thing existed. IT WAS INCREDIBLE! Nothing beats a traditional Greek gyro with french fries inside. Sean usually waited in line again for seconds! Yes, they were that good!
OF COURSE, NO EUROPEAN MEAL WOULD BE COMPLETE WITHOUT THE BEER!
To be honest, I am not a big beer drinker; however, Europe changed me. I would still pick a cocktail or a glass of wine over beer, but spending time in Germany sipping on beer cocktails as big as our head, perfecting our pour at the Heineken factory in Amsterdam, and sipping on Desperados (beer mixed with Tequila) in Nice showed me a whole a new world! Nothing complements a meal better than a nice, cold brew!
FINALLY, my absolute favorite part of every meal, DESSERT.
If you know me, you know I have the biggest sweet tooth imaginable. I will do ANYTHING for
ice cream gelato. Sean and I ate gelato every single day in Europe, and I AM NOT SORRY. The gelato is smooth, decadent, and FANTASTIC! It is truly amazing. I often dream of it, to be honest.
Europe is an amazing place for many reasons, and one of them is the food.
Go to Europe. Eat your way through each country. Love every second.
Okay, I am hungry now.