A recent study using data gathered from Trip Advisor unveils the top ten European destinations that tantalize taste buds and captivate the senses with their culinary delights. While Paris predictably claims the top spot, the journey doesn’t end there.
The data gathered by Solo Female Travelers Tours also uncovers nine other European cities to delight anyone who wants to experience the tastiest places in Europe.
This study went deeper than tallying Michelin stars; it considered everything from local delicacies, vegetarian and vegan options, and even the availability of Wi-Fi. Each city received a score out of 100, and although there were no perfect scores, Paris emerged highest at 75.
1. Paris, France
Paris, the capital of France, should be on your goal list if you love good food, achieving an impressive score of 75 out of 100. From Michelin-starred establishments like Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée and Guy Savoy to charming bistros and cafes, the city of lights offers an unparalleled gastronomic experience. Traditional French fare like boeuf bourguignon and coq au vin remain on many menus, while innovative chefs push boundaries with contemporary interpretations and global influences.
Most notably, Paris secured the highest attainable score of 10 for its abundance of restaurants. The city achieved another perfect score of 10 for the most Michelin-starred establishments at 118, neither of which came as a surprise. This study solidifies Paris’ reputation as the ultimate destination for fine dining enthusiasts.
2. Florence, Italy
Florence, Italy, clinches the second spot with a score of 70. Florence excels in multiple aspects, earning a perfect score of 10 for its abundance of vegetarian-friendly restaurants serving local cuisine. Among the best delicacies is tagliatelle with porcini mushrooms and truffle sauce, a perfect dish for vegetarian travelers. Other Tuscan must-tries include iconic dishes like bistecca alla Fiorentina and pappa al pomodoro.
3. Rome, Italy
Rome, Italy’s captivating capital, commands the third position on the list, boasting a score of 67. This ancient city is a treasure trove of historical wonders, with iconic landmarks such as the Colosseum and The Pantheon inviting exploration. Not sure what to do with your life? Go to Rome.
The allure of Rome extends beyond its architectural splendors, as it clinches a near-perfect score of 9.99 for the sheer abundance of restaurants dotting its vibrant streets. Picture this: after immersing yourself in Rome’s rich history, you’re met with quaint bars and sophisticated trattorias, inviting you to savor the essence of Italian cuisine after a day of exploration.
Head to La Pergola or Piazza di Spagna for Michelin-starred finery, or wander through Campo de’ Fiori for dishes like pasta alla gricia, cacio e pepe, and saltimbocca alla Romana that you’ll only find in Rome.
4. Dublin, Ireland
Dublin, Ireland’s capital, steals the fourth spot in the ranking with a score of 61.5. Dublin’s food scene has experienced a remarkable renaissance in recent years, shedding its reputation for pub grub and embracing a vibrant mix of traditional and innovative cuisine.
While iconic dishes like boxty and Guinness stew remain cornerstones, young chefs modernize with locally sourced ingredients and global influences. Farm-to-table restaurants are flourishing, serving the bounty of Ireland’s fertile land and fresh, seasonal produce. In contrast, Michelin-starred establishments like The Greenhouse and Patrick Guilbaud continue to offer exquisite fine dining experiences. Dublin’s diverse culinary landscape caters to every palate and budget, solidifying its position as a burgeoning European destination for foodies.
5. Bologna, Italy
With 61 points, Bologna, nestled in the heart of Emilia-Romagna, is not just a feast for the eyes; it’s a banquet for the taste buds, too. The fifth greatest culinary city’s reputation precedes it, holding the cherished title of “La Grassa” (The Fat One) for its rich and decadent cuisine. Traditional dishes like tagliatelle al ragù, tortellini in brodo, and mortadella are not just food. They’re cultural touchstones, passed down through generations and prepared with meticulous care.
The watering holes dotted around Bologna’s stone streets earned it a perfect score for best bars and pubs, serving sumptuous and budget-friendly pasta dishes alongside their drinks.
From Michelin-starred restaurants like I Carracci to charming and bustling osterias, Bologna offers a culinary adventure for every budget and palate. Beyond the iconic dishes, hidden gems like passatelli and crescentine reveal the city’s depth and diversity, ensuring an unforgettable gastronomic experience for every visitor.
6. Amsterdam, Netherlands
In recent years, Amsterdam’s restaurants, once known for their hearty pub fare and stroopwafels, have undergone a significant transformation. Today, the city boasts a dynamic and diverse food landscape, offering a taste of the world within its charming canals and narrow streets. It sits in the sixth spot on our culinary map of Europe, scoring 60 points.
Michelin-starred restaurants like Vinkeles and De Kas champion innovative seasonal cuisine. Ethnic flavors abound, with Indonesian rijsttafel and Surinamese roti shops serving vibrant and flavorful dishes. Local markets like Noordermarkt and Albert Cuypmarkt offer fresh produce, artisanal cheeses, and Dutch specialties like pickled herring and poffertjes.
From cozy cafes serving traditional pannenkoeken to trendy food halls like Foodhallen offering international cuisine, Amsterdam caters to every food-craving and budget.
7. Milan, Italy
In seventh place with 59 is Milan, the Italian capital of fashion and design. It also boasts a dining scene that is as sophisticated and diverse as its iconic streets.
The city offers a blend of traditional Lombard dishes alongside contemporary culinary innovations. Classics like risotto alla Milanese and cotoletta alla Milanese remain popular, alongside modern interpretations and international fusion cuisine.
Michelin-starred establishments like Il Luogo di Aimo e Nadia and Enrico Bartolini al Mudec overflow with understated class, while busy trattorias expose authentic Milanese cooking. Milan’s vibrant coffee culture thrives in historic cafes like Biffi and Savini, where locals gather for quick espressos and lively conversations. Milan caters to every palate and occasion, from trendy aperitivo bars offering creative cocktails and finger foods to cozy enotecas showcasing local wines and cheeses.
8. Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona, the captivating Catalan capital, places eighth on the list, just below Milan, also with 59 points.
Beyond the iconic tapas and small plates bursting with flavor, the city offers a dynamic fusion of tradition and innovation. Michelin-starred restaurants like Tickets and Lasarte are perfect for a modern palate, while centuries-old establishments like La Boqueria Market brim with traditional local snacks.
Trendy neighborhoods like El Born and Gracia buzz with tapas bars, and gastropubs, each offering unique interpretations of classic dishes. From paella, the quintessential rice dish, to fideuà, its noodle-based counterpart, each bite is a journey through the region’s rich culinary heritage. The Mediterranean Sea plays a starring role, with restaurants serving the freshest seafood, from succulent grilled octopus to delicate salt cod dishes. Vegetarian and vegan options scored high, too, gaining the city a name for restaurants offering healthy food.
9. Naples, Italy
Naples offers a culinary journey as fiery and passionate as the city itself. The aroma of sizzling pizza, the heart of Neapolitan cuisine, fills the air, drawing in hungry crowds to countless pizzerias and continuing this tasty tradition.
From sprawling cafes to hole-in-the-wall shops, if you’re not smelling pizza, the air is filled with the aroma of freshly brewed espresso. Neapolitan coffee is a way of life, drank in quick shots throughout the day. Naples’ coffee culture scored high for restaurants that offer coffee.
Street food stalls tempt with sfogliatelle, the city’s iconic layered pastries, and panuozzi, savory sandwiches brimming with fillings. Find them in food markets like Pignasecca and Mercato di Porta Nolana of Naples, which scored 56.
10. Madrid, Spain
Madrid’s pulsates with a vibrant energy, a dynamic blend of tradition and contemporary innovation. It made the last spot on the list.
Iconic tapas bars like Casa Botín and El Chicote continue to draw crowds with their old-world charm and classic pintxos.
There are modern twists, too. Gourmet eateries like La Tasquita de Enfrente and El Invernadero offer creative interpretations of traditional dishes to tired travelers. Beyond the city center, trendy neighborhoods like La Latina and Malasaña teem with intimate tapas bars, and gastropubs, offering unique flavors and atmospheres.
The city scored ten out of ten for the number of its dining establishments, everything from bustling street markets like El Rastro overflowing with fresh produce to elegant restaurants serving international fare.
What Are You Waiting For?
Now you know where to go and what to eat there, what’s stopping you from hopping on an international flight today?
A week or two of indulgence in Europe might not solve all your problems, but it may give you a new perspective on life and food.
This article was produced by FaceDragons and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.