A Foodies Guide to Europe: The Best Cities For Couples Who Love To Eat and Drink

Caleb and I have been to nearly every single country in Europe and we basically travel to eat and drink…so we know a few things about the best European foodie destinations!

After all our exploring, these are the 7 cities that we thought had the best food to explore if you’re also a couple to wants to eat and drink all the things on vacation! In this quick guide, we’ll share why we love it, what you must try and some of our favorite restaurants to eat!

Forgive some of the photos – they were taken before I documented every living and breathing moment of our trip/knew how to take nice photos. 😅

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A close-up of grilled mushrooms topped with herbs and tomato on a white plate with toothpicks, served as tapas on a wooden bar counter, embodying a traditional Spanish appetizer.

Madrid, Spain

Madrid is a city where it’s ALL ABOUT THE FOOD and where we’ve spent countless evenings hopping from one tapa bar to another, eating our way through the super-lively streets and sipping on Rioja along the way. Because when the question is wine? The answer is always OH HECK YES, are we right?

Why it’s awesome: It’s not just about the food, but the whole experience—sharing plates of Croquetas de Jamón and Patatas Bravas, sipping on vermouth (not sangria – that’s for tourists) and hopping from bar to bar like a local.

A plate of grilled lettuce garnished with green pistachios, served on a patterned plate, representing a refined and delicious tapa.

You’ll love the laid-back dining culture here, where meals stretch into the wee hours of the morning. Madrid feel so authentic compared to other cities like Barcelona, which is why it’s our top pick!

Must-tries in Madrid:Don’t leave without trying pan con tomate with Iberico ham, Spanish albondigas (meatballs), patas bravas, Tortilla Espanola, and Gilda (skewers of pickled peppers, olives, and anchovies. Promise they’re so good with vermouth!)

MUST DO FOOD TOUR: if you want to save yourself the hassle of making restaurant reservations and possibly going somewhere not very good, you must do a food tour! You’ll get VIP access to some of the best, local places to eat!

We did this one twice it was so good!

Rome, Italy

In Rome, good food is pretty much on every corner, and it’s all rooted in carbs and wine, so…um…how could you go wrong? Rome is the perfect city for couples like us who enjoy a little romance served with a side of EPIC EATS and carbs…carbs…carbs.

Why it’s awesome: Imagine wandering through picturesque streets and stumbling upon quaint trattorias where you can indulge in the best pizza and pasta made by a little Italian grandma that you’ve ever had. Plus, there’s always gelato for dessert.

Must-tries: Cacio e Pepe, Saltimbocca, Supli, and Pasta all’Amatriciana (holy crap, that one is SO GOOD.). For sweets: Sicilian pistachio gelato and pistachio creme-filled croissants. Yes, they’re as good as they sound.

Recommended food spot: Tonarello for dinner

If you don’t do this food tour, we can’t be friends. Literally, one of the most amazing tours in Europe. You’re going to dream of the food forever and you get into places that are usually always booked!

Paris, France

Do we even need to say why Paris made this list? It’s PARIS – the land of food, wine and love. It’s a no-brainer for foodie couples like us!

Why it’s awesome: From flaky croissants in the morning to sophisticated dinners featuring classics like Coq au Vin, Paris knows how to EAT. The café culture here is unbeatable—ideal for people-watching and sipping on a glass bottle of wine together!

Must-tries: Almond croissant (the best kind are pressed flat, just FYI), macrons, escargot (promise, they’re so good!), all the cheese, French onion soup, and crepes.

Recommended food spot: Maison d’isabel for almond croissants and Tradi for a classic dinner.

A well-presented plate of sliced roast duck garnished with green microgreens and red onion rings, served on a white plate with a blue-rimmed border in an elegant restaurant setting.

Copenhagen, Denmark

Copenhagen celebrates ingredients for their simplicity, purity, and seasonal freshness and we think you can taste that in their eats! Did we also mention that it has the BEST BAKED GOODS IN THE WORLD? Seriously, we’ve never eaten better sweets anywhere across Europe! Perfect for sharing together!

Or eating all to yourself. No shame.

Why it’s awesome: This city will charm you with its smørrebrød (open-faced sandwiches), a staple that showcases local ingredients. If you’re into sustainable dining and flavors that pop, you’ll love Copenhagen’s food scene, from street markets to Michelin-starred havens!

Close-up of a hand holding a traditional Scandinavian cinnamon pastry, dusted with sugar, against a blurred background of a Christmas tree.

Must-tries: Don’t miss out on the traditional cinnamon rolls (kanelsnagel. Fun to say, WE KNOW) and the BEST EVER cardamom buns (Kardemummabullar.) Make sure you get them at Juno bakery – we dream of them!

Recommended food spot: Juno for baked goods and Restaurant Schønnemann for classic Danish food with the best atmosphere.

A woman seated outdoors at a European bistro, smiling as she enjoys a glass of white wine and a platter of cured meats and olives, with the ambient hustle of the alley and a waiter in the background adding to the urban dining atmosphere.

Bologna, Italy

Often overlooked by its more famous neighbors, Bologna is an epicenter of Italian gastronomy and it’s where we had some of the best charcuterie and wine experiences all over Italy! It’s also a less touristy destination which is nice when you’re just over ALL THE PEOPLE and want some time a little more alone together!

Why it’s awesome: Known as “La Grassa” for its rich food heritage, we found that everymeal here feels like you’re a part of an Italian family feast. It’s great for couples like us who love lively eating experiences and sharing things. The vibe feels super authentically Italian!

Must-tries: Sample some Mortadella, especially from a local deli. For pasta: Tagliatelle al Ragù or Tortellini in Brodo. A Piadini sandwich is a must for lunch!

Recommended food spot:  Salumeria Simoni for charcuterie and wine

San Sebastian, Spain

San Sebastian is a dream come true for foodie travelers, and it’s one of our favorite places to eat in all of Europe.

Why it’s awesome: It’s all about pintxos (the Basque country’s answer to tapas), paired with local Txakoli wine. This city is a Michelin star haven, but we think that the real magic happens in the bustling bars of the Old Town. You literally can just walk from bar to bar, eating little food on a stick along the way and it’s just SO FUN. And, you’ll appreciate the close proximity when you’ve had your fair share of wine.

….Not that we know anything about that 😅.

Must-tries: The burnt Cheesecake from La Viña has become world-famous for a reason and you won’t go wrong with literally any pintxos

Recommended food spot: La Mejillonera for the best-ever mussels and Bar Txepetxa for toast that will make you love anchovies for real.

We honestly were really overwhelmed with how to eat in San Sebastian UNTIL we did this food tour. It changed the game for us and made us LOVE the city. You must do it!

Istanbul, Turkey

While it’s sorta-kinda Europe and sorta-kinda not, we LOVE the food in Turkey. The East meets West flavors are different than anywhere else in Europe!

Why it’s awesome: There is a TON of variety—from smoky kebabs to sweet, flaky Baklava and everything in between. Exploring Istanbul’s bazaars and street food stalls is a serious trip for your tastebuds! We did a 6-hour food tour, and everything was SO good and super flavorful!

Must-tries: Lahmacun flatbread, Beyran (lamb soup) Kofta, Pide, Borek, Turkish breakfast and Turkish delight!

Reccomended foot spot: Lezzet-i-Sark for the best hole in the wall with amazing Beyran and Kofta. We talk about it daily still.

This 6 hour food tour is insane. Bring the stretchy pants because it’s all eating, all day, and you’ll have #noregrets!

There you have it! A short guide to where you should visit in Europe if you’re a foodie couple like us! If you have any questions, just let us know in the comments!

Ready to keep planning your trip to Europe? Check out our guide on which country to visit based on what you like to travel for (food, wine, adventure, art etc)!

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A couple embraces while watching the sunset behind the Crystal Palace in Madrid's Retiro Park, a moment of romance and tranquility by the reflective waters.

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