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One of the great joys of travel is eating.
Each country in Europe has its own distinct cuisine.
Leave the tourist zones.
Find places filled with locals enjoying seasonal and regional specialties.
The variety of food is endless and, if you know how to choose a good place,
you don't need to spend a fortune.
A few basic rules for eating your way through Europe:
Go for the local specialities. You'll get better quality and price. Eat seasonally.
Don't miss truffles on your pasta in the fall or fresh berries in Norway in summer.
The location can make the meal.
Bosnia may not be famous for its food
but dining under the bridge in Mostar makes a life-long memory.
Most of all, eat fearlessly.
Try things you've never had
in places you've never been.
There are eateries to fit every budget.
And while I recommend an occasional gourmet splurge, especially in countries
famous for their high-end cuisine like France and Italy,
you'll save money and improve your experience with Europe's countless
budget options.
Some of the most affordable and enjoyable food in Europe can be found
not while seated at a table
but while standing in the street or the market.
Every country has its own
beloved street food.
It's fast, cheap
and delicious.
In Greece, try the corner souvlaki stand.
And in Istanbul on the Golden Horn,
grab a fish sandwich fresh from the guys who caught it at one of the venerable and
very tipsy fish boats.
For a step up and a seat, there are lots of casual bars and bistros—hometown
hangouts where you can enjoy local cuisine in comfort without going broke.
One of the best examples of this is in Spain.
Every town tempts you with tapas bars.
where you belly up to the bar and just point at things you'd like to try.
In Denmark, I love the open face sandwiches
which manage to be both simple and elegant at the same time.
You can munch the best pizza ever
for the price of a fast-food hamburger in Naples, where pizza was invented.
The rustic simplicity of sausages and fondue
feels just perfect
high in the Swiss Alps.
And these days, pubs are more than just friends gathered for a beer.
They can come with tasty meals, too.
By the way, interiors in Europe, from restaurants to hotels to pubs, are now
essentially smoke-free.
Especially in France, consider the cuisine sightseeing for your palate.
And, when you know your budget options, eating at the corner cafe or bistro costs
only a little more than lunch at a fast food joint.
Most countries have a plate of the day; that's a "plats du jour" here.
A handwritten menu in the local language only with a small selection indicates a
good value.
And the house salad makes a quick and healthy meal.
In France, bread is free.
Just hold up your basket to ask.
In France, a free carafe of tap water is either on the table or will be quickly if
you ask.
When it comes to drinking, I go local.
In Bavaria
its a liter of lager.
Tuscany: a robust red wine.
Provence: a nice rosé.
Ireland: a hearty guinness. Spain: a rich rioja.
In Denmark:
a fiery aquavit.
And in Greece,
it's ouzo, with a sunset.
Adapt to the culture you're visiting.
Over here, dining's not rushed. Slow service is often good service.
In a nice restaurant, the table's yours for the entire evening.
To get the bill you need to ask for it.
As service is often included and waiters are generally paid a living wage,
tipping is less expected and often unnecessary.
This varies from country to country;
get advice from locals.
Picnics are fast and fun and give you a purpose in Europe's colorful markets
and shops.
When picnicking,
you can buy whatever looks good regardless of price.
Choose an atmospheric place to make your picnic memorable.
We've put together a cheap and healthy meal for two.
Delightful cheese, tiny quiche, strawberries,
grapes, wine,
a little something for dessert,
and a reasonable view.
Traditionally, on the continent, breakfast is small.
In France, locals just grab a croissant and coffee on the way to work. But these days, most
hotels are offering hearty breakfast buffets, complete with cheese, meat, yogurt
and fruit.
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European Travel Skills: Eating and Drinking

7030 Folder Collection
盧怡靜 published on May 31, 2013
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