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September 13, 2018

How to Eat like a Local in Europe

One of the best parts of experiencing the world is trying the foods and flavors that other countries are famous for. From the hearty carbs that have lured travelers to Italy for centuries, to the irresistible pastries Parisians have perfected, there is no shortage of spectacular provisions in Europe. Forget the calories (they don’t count on vacation anyway, right?!) and make sure to try these local specialties on your next stop in Europe!


BARCELONA: Small plates and sangria

  • Bombas – Mashed potato balls that are stuffed with pork, rolled in bread crumbs and fried. Usually served with aioli sauce or salsa brava
  • Paella – A rice-based dish with vegetables, shrimp, lobster tails, mussels and saffron seasoning, mixed together and cooked over an open fire
  • Pa amb Tomaquet – Toast topped with garlic and tomato and seasoned with olive oil, salt and pepper
  • Sangria – A wine-based cocktail mixed with fruit

MADRID: Traditional meals with modern taste

  • Bocadillo de Calamares – A calamari squid sandwich served with tomato and paprika puree
  • Churros con Chocolate – Churros served with a bowl of melted chocolate
  • Patatas Bravas – Fried potatoes drizzled with spicy tomato sauce and garlic aioli
  • Huevos Rotos con Jamon – Fried eggs with cured ham served over potatoes

ROME: Carbs, carbs and more carbs

  • Caccio e Pepe – Linguine pasta with pecorino Romano cheese and black pepper
  • Fritti – Deep-fried rice balls, often mixed with ragu and mozzarella
  • Carbonara – Pasta mixed with egg, cheese, pancetta and pepper. Peas are also commonly added to the dish
  • Gelato – A low-fat ice cream alternative

FLORENCE: Food that pairs well with Chianti

  • Schiacciata – Bread, similar to Focaccia, topped with olive oil and salt after baking
  • Bistecca alla Fiorentina – Fire-grilled Florentine steak intended to be shared between two or three people
  • Ribollita – A heavy soup made with bread and vegetables including carrots, beans, celery, potatoes and onions

VENICE: Carbs with a touch of seafood

  • Risi i Bisi – A thick soup with risotto and fresh peas
  • Spaghetti al Nero di Seppia – Spaghetti cooked with squid ink, pieces of squid, onions, tomatoes and wine
  • Baccalà Mantecato – Dried salted cod mixed with olive oil and served on crostini

LONDON: Culturally-inspired comfort food

  • Fish and chips – Usually fried cod with a hot side of french fries
  • Bangers and mash – Sausage and potatoes with gravy
  • Meat pie – Pies come in a variety – beef, chicken, lamb or vegetable – and are filled with gravy

PARIS: Foodie fares and perfected pastries

  • Pain au chocolat – A traditional French croissant filled with chocolate
  • Steak frites – Steak prepared to your liking and served with French fries
  • Escargot – Cooked snails, typically served in a garlic and butter sauce
  • Coq au Vin – Chicken braised with wine, mushrooms and garlic