Guide to Street Food: Europe

by Travel Expressions -

Bonjour!

Europe isn't as well-known for it's street eats as some other regions, but there is a ton of variety of traditional anf fusion flavors that you just have to try. 

Here are the street cart smarts you need to navigate through the mixed and marvelous world of European street cuisine. 

alt title

Picnic 
One of the most fun parts about Europe is the many squares, plazas, fountains, parks and other public spaces available that are perfect for setting up a picnic.

Oftentimes there are street vendors stationed nearby; especially in more urbanized areas street vendors continue to be a popular local snack or meal that you can find almost anywhere.

Set up with some chow to people-watch and chat with friends, or add a cheap bottle of wine and you have budget-friendly romantic date.

Farmers’ Markets 
This is one of the best places to find fresh produce, baked goods, drinks and snacks. European produce is high in quality, and since many people do their shopping out of Farmers’ Markets, you’ll have a large selection to choose from.

Throughout Europe you can find Farmers’ Markets that sell pre-maid snacks and meals for discount prices. Ask around locally where you can find them.

Turkish Influences 
Particularly in Germany, the Netherlands, and France, a wave of immigration from Turkey and other countries in the Middle East has brought about an influx of delicious, rich flavors, now a staple in the street cart world.

In Berlin especially, Turks make up the majority of the immigrant population, meaning a plethora of fresh Turkish cuisine to enjoy.

Try the infamous döner, which is kebab meat with yoghurt sauce and fresh greens served in a flatbread like a sandwich. According to local legend it was invented in the 1970s by a business-minded Turkish immigrant at Kottbusser Tor.

Falafel is another popular import. In Amsterdam if you’re looking for a cheap, fresh snack, head over to the Amsterdam Central Station for the little falafel cart outside. For more about falafel in Amsterdam, check out this article.

Drink 
In Italy you can easily find a street-side café or Espresso bar for a quick, pick-me-up espresso.

For places like Prague and Berlin, lift your spirits with some wonderful mulled wine. In Berlin, you can find Glühwein, a hot spiced red wine, usually prepared with cinnamon sticks, vanilla pods, cloves, orange peel and sugar. Sometimes fruit wines, like blueberry and cherry wine, are used instead of grape wine. For an extra kick order it mit rum(with a shot of rum). Glühwein is über popular in Berlin, especially during Christmastime.

In Prague, between the art and craft stands at the Christmas Market in Old Town serves up the most warm and wonderful mulled wine. It’s strong and sweet and unlike anything you’ve ever tried.

Sweets 
Ich bin ein Berliner! Seriously though, if you’re in Berlin, don’t miss out on thepfannkichen, a type of doughnut filled with jam.

In Italy, it’s a gelato dream. In major cities you can find small, bodega-like establishments on pretty much every block. For a few Euros you can cool off with a few scoops of gelato. Stick to places that sell only gelato though. One good rule of thumb for food carts is the fewer the options the better the quality.

If you’re traveling to Belgium, you have to try the waffles. Squeezed between the incredible art and architecture in Brussels are dozens of small stands serving up fresh waffles, covered in fruit, chocolate and whipped cream.

In Paris and other areas of France, crepes are where it’s at. For dessert have one spread with confiture de ait or with salted butter and honey. Or if you’re me, lots and lots of nutella. Crêperies are available on almost every street corner and in addition to dessert-style, you can find Arab versions with feta cheese, spinach, olives and sausage or with grated gruyère cheese, and a softly-fried egg.

Here’s Where to Get the Best Crepes in Paris.

Fried Cheese 
Just stop and think about how good that sounds. One of the most popular and traditional of Czech street foods is syr smazeny, which is breaded and fried cheese, usually of the Edam, Gouda or Swiss variety. It typically comes with tatarska omacka (tartar sauce), along with fried potatoes, and salad or bread.

You can find this treat in Bulgaria too, except it’s made with kashkaval cheese.

Top Picks 
Europe is tricky because it’s a region that encompasses 50 different countries. There are a few top hits though, so we’ll try to point them out (let us know what we missed!)

England is famous for fish n’ chips, seasoned with vinegar and salt served on a paper plate piled high with chips (“french fries”).

Across the Balkans you’ll find the most delicious, hand-formed sausages also known ascevapi or cevaps, served on lepinje, a type of flat bread. On the Dalmatian coast in Croatia, it’s fried seafood and seafood salads, such as lignje na salatu (squid salad).

In Athens, it’s the gyros; Germany has sausage with bread, wurst, kartoffein, and struedel; Bury Market in England serves up the best blackpudding; and Stockholm has cheap knäckis, a sandwich of fried herring, topped with cucumbers and red onions, and served on hard bread.

Speaking of herring, don’t go to Amsterdam without trying the “nieuwe” herring, salted and served on a paper plate with onions and gherkin (pickles). Eat with a toothpick and enjoy the surprisingly mild, savory taste.

More Resources 
Here’s a good, more specialized guide to Eastern European Street Food

Huffpost Travel: The 8 Tastiest Street Foods in Europe

Get the Travel Tips

Get The Savvy Traveler Newsletter

Experiences

Celebrate the Royal Wedding with 10% off Trafalgar London Tours We all love weddings, especially royal ones. Join Tra...
'Gift of Luxury': Book a Crystal Cruise by December 15th for Savings Enjoy fare savings of 10-15% and enhanced value on more t...
You and a Friend Get $500 USD Sailing To Cuba on Azamara Set sail to vibrant Cuba on Azamara and discover a lively...
Avalon Active Discovery River Cruises Introducing Active Discovery Cruises Hike, Bike, Paint...
Globus Celebrates 90 Years with 10 New North American Tours BOOK NOW AND SAVE 10%.Book by November 28th and enjoy sav...