A Short Tour of Yummy European Snacks
It’s cold outside and I’m day-dreaming of something delicious to snack on, but gourmet treats are even better when enjoyed in a dream location. If you’re a foodie like me, here are just a few memorable European specialties. Okay, you’d need to buy a plane ticket, but that’s what dreams are made for.
Chocolate in Amboise, France. Yes, France is gourmet through-n-through but dark chocolate is my downfall and Pâtisserie Bigot includes a prime terrace view of the cobblestone street leading up to the Chateau d’Amboise. Founded by Madame Bigot’s grandfather, it’s a salon de thé with savory and sweet offerings. The chocolates are sublime—so incredibly made with fresh cream that you should eat them within a few days. (Seriously, no problem.)
Pasteis de Belem, Portugal. To the west of central Lisbon, Belem’s fascinating history includes sites such as the beautiful Mosteiro dos Jeronimós (a UNESCO World Heritage site) and the 16th century Torre de Belem (and much more) but save time for a traditional Pastéis de Belem. In season, you may know it by the line to get in, but here’s a tip: Sometimes that line outside is actually for the take-out part of the bakery. If you want to sit down at a table, check the other door. That line is often much shorter.
Gelato in Siena, Italy. Sitting at a teeny table on the medieval Piazza del Campo with a gelato in hand is a relaxing way to rest up while taking in the amazing architectural wonders surrounding you. There’s a lot of gelato competition but choose one… do a bit more sightseeing then try another flavor (guilty as charged.)
Moules/Frites in Bruges, Belgium. They really know how to prepare fresh mussels and fries in Belgium and charming Bruges provides dozens and dozens of places to enjoy them. The Market (Markt) Place, however, provides the central setting to enjoy sitting outside with a view of famous Belfry Tower while watching the world stroll and bike by.
Afternoon Cake in Munich, Germany. Yes, beer is the best in Munich’s Beer Garden, but walking within the city in the late afternoon Germans (and tourists who know they’re onto a good thing) pack the multitudinous pastry shops to enjoy hearty slices of cake and other goodies. Just remember to take up the German habit of lots of hiking.
Copenhagen, Denmark Lagkagehuset. The exception to an aversion to chains is the popular and ubiquitous pastry shop located throughout Copenhagen from the train station to airport countless outlets in between, making it super easy to grab a chocolate croissant, sandwich or other snack.
PS: Lagkagehuset has branches (called Ole & Steen) in England and recently opened one Ole & Steen in NYC!