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These are officially the top-rated European foods and drinks you HAVE to try

Group of friends eating in Portugal

From oozy Swiss fondue to hot Belgian waffles – the best way to get to know Europe is to eat your way around it. So, we asked 15 Contiki Trip Managers and six-two staff to rank their favourite European* dishes, desserts and drinks and wouldn’t you like to know which came out on top?!

Yep, our travel experts scored each of the top bites in order from 10 (being their fave) to 1 (their least fave) and the results are IN. These are the best top-rated European foods and drinks according to the travel experts…

*Yes, we know that Morocco is not in Europe, but it IS included in many of our European Contiki trips, so we’re including it here, k?

Main dishes

In 1st place… Austrian schnitzel 

Score: 91/150

The verdict: It’s no surprise that this national Austrian favourite (AKA Weiner Schnitzel) made the top spot as the best European food. Vegetarians look away! We’re talking succulent pork (or turkey), pan-fried with a crispy coating of bread crumbs. It’s a dish that’s so versatile and goes perfectly with an ice-cold Austrian beer. Trip to Austria, anyone?

Highly commended:

  1. Italian carbonara 90/150
  2. Swiss fondue 87/150

The best of the rest:

  1. Hungarian goulash
  2. British pie and mash
  3. Moroccan tagine
  4. German Bratwurst
  5. Spanish paella
  6. Turkish kofta
  7. Swedish meatballs
  8. Greek moussaka
  9. French coq au vin

Amy, Contiki Trip Manager, says: “Special shout out to spinach and cheese Croatian burek. it’s delicious AND affordable!” 

Delicious Spanish food

Image source:Contiki

Sweet dishes

In 1st place… Portuguese pastel de nata

Score: 109/150

The verdict: These golden, custardy, flaky pastries are our official dessert winner. You’ll find them in every decent cafe across Portugal and since they were first created by monks in the 19th century, they’re basically part of ever Portuguese locals’ DNA (especially in Lisbon)! They’re the perfect sightseeing pitstop snack, especially for breakfast to start the day. Just add a strong Portuguese coffee.

Highly commended:

  1. Italian gelato 95/150
  2. Belgian waffles 88/150

The best of the rest:

  1. British apple crumble
  2. Danish cinnamon buns
  3. French crème brûlée
  4. Spanish churros
  5. Austrian apple strudel
  6. French croissants
  7. Turkish delight
  8. Greek baklava
  9. German stollen cake

Zach, Contiki Trip Manager, says: “Let’s not forget how many of these dishes can be eaten for breakfast instead of dessert! When is it too early to eat cake?!”


In 1st place… Italian Aperol Spritz

Score: 116/150

The verdict: Name a more iconic drink! Whether you’re sunbathing on the Isle of Capri or chilling out in a Tuscan villa, this gorgeous orange spritz is the perfect aperitivo – an Italian art in itself. How do you make it? Two parts Prosecco, one part Aperol, a splash of soda water and a wedge of Italian orange, of course.

Aperol Spritz

Image source:Contiki

Highly commended:

  1. German Pilsner 106/150
  2. Spanish sangria 105/150

The best of the rest:

  1. French rosé
  2. Belgian hot chocolate 
  3. Turkish coffee
  4. Irish Guinness
  5. Moroccan mint tea
  6. Scottish whisky
  7. British cup of tea
  8. Greek ouzo
  9. Portuguese port

Gabriella, Producer at Contiki, says: “Good to know that whisky beats a cup of tea. But am I the only one who thinks an English G&T is the best drink of all?!”

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