Top Food Cities in Europe

Europe’s food scene is completely different.  It’s a much different culture than in the United States, Middle East, Latin America, and Asia.

The Europeans take pride in their food.  They value quality over quantity.  They like simple flavors over big flavors.  In other words, they’re complete food snobs, but that’s okay.  It’s a different world view that I appreciate.

In the United States, we’re about big portions and big flavors.  However, it doesn’t always translate well when it comes to quality food.  The Swedes invented the smorgasbord, but we took it over the top.  For example, look at Vegas.  The place is filled with AYCE buffets.  It’s ridiculous.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I love to stuff my face as much as the next fatty.  However, after traveling the world, my palate and taste has evolved into the belief that small quality portions are a much better meal.  I want to leave satisfy, but not disgustingly full.  I want the restaurant to make me want to come back again and again.

With that said, I’ve compiled my top food cities in Europe for any foodie to visit.  Here are my ‘winners’:


  • Barcelona – I would consider Barcelona the food capital of Europe.  The tapas culture is a lot of fun and there is no other place in the world like it.  There’s a tapas bar on every corner in Barcelona next to the abundant Gothic architecture.  The food culture is centered around being social, drinking wine, and eating small bites.  Where else in the world promotes afternoon naps?
    Ticket Bar in Barcelona
  • San Sebastian – San Sebastian is Spain’s food capital.  The city is a resort town and there is no other place where pinotxo (i.e., tapas) bars are plenty.  The vast wine quantity topped with endless pinotxo makes a day or a week in San Sebastian a foodie’s paradise.  Don’t forget to bring your stretchy pants cause weight gain is going to happened.
    Pinotxo bars in San Sebastian
  • Paris – Paris has long been the food capital of Europe.  France gave birth to the Michelin Guide and French cooking techniques is revered everywhere in the world.  The city boasts more than 130 Michelin stars and that’s an incredible achievement.  Paris is home to fine dining, macarons, pastries, and bread.
    Foie Gras at L’atelier de Joël Robuchon
  • Rome – There is one thing the Romans do well and it’s simple sandwiches.  The cities doesn’t have many Michelin stars but it doesn’t matter to many people.  The little Roman cafes around the city serves some of the best coffee and sandwiches in the world.  Let’s not forget the gelato shops.
    Roman cafes
  • Lisbon – Lisbon’s inclusion on the list might come as a surprise to a lot of people.  However, I will have you know that the seafood in Lisbon is absolutely amazing since it’s a port city.  The seafood restaurants serves massive portions with robust flavors in each dish.  Sacramento and Cervejaria Ramiro are examples of the quality seafood in Lisbon.
    Cervejaria Ramiro’s shrimp

Those are my top European food cities.  With so many cities in Europe, I decided to narrow it down to my top 5 cities where I found the food to be unforgettable.  There are a lot of good food cities like London, Berlin, Antwerp, and Milan.  However, I found the mentioned food cities to be my favorites.  Let me know in the comment sections if I should have included other cities.  Safe travels.

Foodie. Traveler. Dreamer. Blogger.