As the temperatures drop in Europe, the festivities ramp up and your nose will follow the scent of piping hot delicacies being sold (some exclusively) during the winter months. Whether you’re looking for foods to warm your hands or your stomach, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite bites that will keep you cozy as you travel through Europe this winter...
The ubiquitous beverage found in every corner café in France – café crème (or café au lait) is the perfect pick-me-up when you just want to warm up. We recommend ordering the café at the counter rather than sitting down – it is often cheaper to stand at the bar and drink a café or even an espresso.
Chimney cake (kürtöskalács)
Known as ‘Chimney Cake”, this sweet treat can be found on the streets of Budapest. Dough is wrapped around a wooden bolt and then slowly baked over hot coals. You can add a variety of toppings, such as cinnamon, coconut, or brown sugar. It’s wrapped in a plastic bag because it’s piping hot! Peel away the plastic and unwrap the deliciousness!
Gluhwein (Hot Mulled Wine)
In Germany and Austria, get your hands on a cup of hot red wine that has been steeped with the flavors of cinnamon, cloves, and citrus – the gluhwein or mulled wine. This beverage is a must-have at the famous German Christmas markets, warming your stomach with a delicious concoction of alcohol and spices.
Warm, doughy, and perfectly salted – the Bavarian pretzel can be found at many a Christmas market in Germany. They can be the perfect companion to a glass of mulled wine, enjoyed with friends as you huddle for warmth, or an easy-to-grab treat so you don’t have to stop in the cold too long.
If you want a hefty meal that you can eat with your hands on the streets of Europe, then grab yourself a bratwurst – thin German sausages served in a bun. If you have a bit more time, get a bratwurst plate with sauerkraut – but here’s a tip: that bread basket on the table isn’t free – you will be charged for each roll you eat!
While the national drink in Ireland might be Guinness, when the temperatures drop, it’s time to warm your belly with the sweet siren known as whiskey. A mesmerizing concoction of coffee, Irish whiskey, brown sugar and topped with some heavy cream. It’s a wicked combination for those cold Irish nights and will warm not just your stomach, but likely your ears as well!
Pražská Šunka (Prague Ham)
Fancy a smoked, boneless hock of ham roasting over a spit of fire? This is the ultimate in street food during the winter months. Stand near the pit for some warmth as the Prague ham slowly roasts, sending enticing aromas that ignite your taste buds. Don’t be deterred by this street meat – the Prague ham is a delicacy that many can’t wait to try.
Spanish Drinking Chocolate with Churros
When you marry cinnamon and chocolate, magic happens. Spanish drinking chocolate with a side of churros is the perfect combination of textures – silky smooth chocolate paired with crispy pastries. Combine the two and you have an amazing winter treat (one that we’d enjoy year-round!)