Food is one of the big attractions about travelling around Europe, especially in food obsessed countries like Italy, Spain and France. So after our long trip around Europe, and after hundreds of meals, we’ve put together a map of our favourite places to eat for you to use if you happen to be in the area.
It’s not all fancy fine dining restaurants. (We actually didn’t eat at that many fancy places). There’s simple family-run restaurants, burger places, tapas bars, and lots and lots of patisseries and ice cream shops.
This isn’t a complete list of all the good places to eat in that particular town or city. In big cities like Paris you’d need years to get around to review all of them! These are our favourites from the places that we did manage to try out.
Tips for picking a good place to eat
- If the place is busy with local customers (not tourists) then it’s a good bet that it’s worth trying out.
- If it’s at least one block away from a major tourist attraction (like St Mark’s Square in Venice) then the quality will be a lot better. And prices will be much cheaper too!
- If the menu only has a few options then they have to be very good at making these few dishes to keep people coming back.
- If, on the other hand, they specialise in one type of food (e.g. gelato). And if they have some really crazy sounding options, like pumpkin seed and olive oil gelato, then they clearly know what they’re doing. You don’t have to get the adventurous flavours, but it’s a sign that their traditional flavours are top quality too.
- If they don’t have a menu with photos of the food, or have photos displayed out the front of the restaurant, then they aren’t focused on tourist customers. These places are generally geared towards tourists who can just point at the picture of what they want. Since they’re focused on tourists, they don’t need to have good quality food to keep locals coming back.
In Spain, Italy and France we really struggled to find a bad meal. There were some average meals, but the majority were good or great. So don’t feel worried trying to find a good meal in these countries, there’s a high chance it will be pretty damn good regardless.
The map is powered by Google Maps so it should be nice and straightforward to use. Use the + and – in the bottom left corner to zoom in and out. Click on an icon to see the details and the description of a place, and if you want to see the list or filter icons then just use the icon in the top left corner of the map (the one that looks like a rectangle with an arrow).
The dish in the photo at the top came from The Fat Duck restaurant in the UK. You can read a full review of it here: The Fat Duck Experience.