DILEMMA - What’s a foodie to do when you want to eat your way through all of Europe, but don't want to do it within the confines of a restaurant?
ANSWER - The sublime European street food scene, offering often 5 star meals at peanut prices. If you like your food on-the-go as we do, here are 10 dishes you’ve gotta add to your Munch list:
Montaditos in Barcelona
The best toppings Spain has to offer and a mini baguette all come together to make a tiny open-faced sandwich with a world of flavour possibilities. Ham, mozzarella, pesto, salmon, manchego cheese, chorizo, peppers, olives, anchovies – you name it, it tastes delicious on a montadito; hot or cold. We’ll just take one of each, please and thanks.
Bocadillo in Spain
If you’re looking for simplicity and consistency on the go, there’s no better European street food than a bocadillo. It’s like a refined sub sandwich, without the extra toppings and mess, and with only the tastiest sandwich staples; meat, cheese and sometimes egg, with a bit of a tomato rub or an oil drizzle on the bread. No frills, just flavour. The below is an extreme example.
La bouillabaisse in Aix-en-Provence
If you’re partial to snacks in bowls, there’s no more comforting and cozy option than the French flavour explosion of a bouillabaisse. This French stew made with a few kinds of fish and vegetables is best slurped up with some French bread and topped with a rouille sauce. It’s rich, savoury and everything we love about French cuisine in a compact cup or bowl.
Farcis niçois in Nice
Vegetables on the go may not sound like the tastiest option, but when you stuff them, French-style, you change the street food game. Roasted to perfection and filled to the brim with meats, spices and bread, they’re like the refined and superior older cousin of the stuffed peppers you tried to make from a Pinterest recipe that one time.
Focaccia al formaggio di Recco in Genoa
Bread and cheese are two classics we’d never kick out of bed, so when you make that bread an Italian focaccia and stuff it with fresh melty cheese, OM friggin’ G. It’s like a sneaky cheese pizza with all the goods hidden in the middle, so the mess is minimal and you don’t lose any of the tasty goodness to gravity.
Lampredotto in Florence
Another sandwich may seem like overkill, but this isn’t your traditional sandwich, and anyway, who’s ever seriously going to say no to delicious bready carbs? This Italian sandwich features tripe (the lining of a cow’s stomach) but before you judge, give it a try. The Italians know their meat, so put your trust in the fact that they know what they’re doing.
Ribollita in Florence
Move over Italian wedding soup, because the Ribollita is here to snatch your soupy crown. Bread, vegetables, beans, potatoes, cabbage and kale all marry together to create this hearty and slurp-worthy soup that will convert even the biggest soup hater.
Pistachio gelato in San Gimignano
If we’re walking the streets of Italy in the summer, you better believe we have a gelato in hand, and chances are, it’s gonna be pistachio. Made with real pistachio nuts so it’s refreshing and decadent, don’t mind us when we go in later for seconds, thirds, and damn it, maybe even fourths… #hatersgonnahate
Tortellini al ragù in Bologna
If anything could make you feel more horrible about all the cheap cans of Chef Boyardee you’ve consumed in your life, it’s the knowledge that children in Bologna have access to fresh and authentic tortellini al ragù every day. Tortellini is always a ‘yes’, and meat sauce is always an ‘absolutely’. Put them together and our taste buds are next level happy.
Milanese Panzerotti in Milan
For the same reason we love number five, we will always say yes to this pizza-adjacent meal option. Fresh dough, hot toppings, real Italian tomato sauce and fresh cheeses, all in a more portable format than a slice of pizza, all made in the home of pizza. A panzerotti to go is something so unanimously ideal that we saved the best for last.