Europe's top 5 foodie destinations

The quality of local food can make or break a destination – and if it's really good, it can make a trip truly outstanding...

Italy wine glasses (Shutterstock: see credit below)

In association with Flybe


These destinations offer Europe's tastiest bites – all of them authentic to the region, so you know you're getting the genuine flavours and cooking techniques. Better yet, you can also fly to any of the following destinations using Flybe – so all you have to worry about is what to pick from the menu...

Paris, France

France is renowned for producing some of the most exquisite food in the world. As a nation it is inherently proud of its cuisine, and the capital is the perfect place to try some of the delicious gastronomy – you'll be spoiled for choice in its bistros and cafés.

Paris has a plethora of Michelin-starred restaurants, and haute cuisine is very popular, but there are plenty of other options as well. Side-street bistros offer authentic dishes galore, or you can head to a boulangerie to pick up some fresh ingredients for a local-style picnic in one of the city’s beautiful gardens. Think stuffed baguettes, choux pastry treats, and macaroons galore...

Milan, Italy

Italy is renowned for its great cuisine, wherever you choose to visit. Thanks to its temperate climate, you'll find fresh fruit and vegetables in abundance – as well as all those tempting pasta and pizza dishes, of course...

Although globally recognised for its fashion, Milan also boasts cool street cafés and quaint restaurants where you can sink your teeth into freshly-made regional dishes such as risotto alla Milanese – a creamy, saffron-infused rice dish.

Milan uses more rice than pasta for its cuisine, and veal also features heavily in its most popular fare. Be sure to try some of the city’s delicious panettone cake, washed down with a sweet espresso.

Image above: Italian food market (Shutterstock)

Tallinn, Estonia

Although the city is spectacular year-round, Tallinn’s cuisine is perfect for a wintery day. The sweet scent of roasting almonds fills the air (pick up a cone from a street-side vendor), and charming medieval-style restaurants serve hearty duck dishes with mead or herbal wines. Meanwhile, smaller ‘holes in the wall’ sell bowls of elk soup and pastries for as little as €1.

In some of the restaurants you can order bear meat, elk and reindeer, while pub snacks include options such as a pig’s ear – yum!

London, United Kingdom

Classic English fish and chips are a foodie highlight for every food-loving UK visitor – just make sure you order a side of mushy peas, too. However, London's varied menus are what set the capital apart from other cities. East London is known for its international food, the south for its street food, and the west for its finer restaurants.

You can't go wrong at one of London's many food markets, either – there's no better way to sample nibbles and drinks from all over the world, as well as many quintessential British treats too.

Image above: Fish & chips (Shutterstock)

Madrid, Spain

Just like Italy, Spain has an entire selection of regions – each with their own culinary styles. Dine on platters of Manchego cheese and succulent serrano ham in Andalucia's tapas bars, feast on mountain-worthy fare in Catalonia, or tuck into whole suckling pig and locally-produced wine in Castilla y Leon... Wherever you end up, you'll find incredible cuisine!

Madrid has the best of all worlds: this central city offers an abundance of dining options and style, combining the finest regional fare from across the country. Better yet, it's got culture, history and charm in abundance too – as well as a vast range of world-class museums and art galleries.

Main image: Wine glasses and grapes in Italy (Shutterstock)