European street food is a great way to experience a region’s local flavors. Here’s a look at a few of our favorites by country. These treats are usually low-priced and perfect to snack on while you wander the cobbled streets of Europe.
The Best Street Food in Austria
Vienna is known the world over for its coffeehouses, and no sweet treat in Vienna is better savored with a coffee than Apfelstrudel. Café Landtmann don’t just know strudel; their bakers give daily displays making original Viennese strudel in Schonbrunn Palace, the royal Habsburg summer residence in Austria. Their dough is rolled daily and covered with local apples, buttery pastry, and rum-soaked raisins.
After a long day wandering Viennese streets, you’ve earned a hearty meal and a chilled local wine. Wiener schnitzel is the no-nonsense food you need when looking for what to eat in Vienna.
You’ll find a restaurant labeled “Home of the Schnitzel” in Figlmüller Baker Street, a few streets from St Stephen’s Cathedral. Figlmüller’s opened as a small wine tavern in 1905 and has served its iconic Schnitzel. Figlmüller’s secret is soft pork tenderloin rolled with a mallet before cooking for a deliciously thin and crispy bite.
The Best Street Food in Belgium
Restaurants worldwide offer attempts at a “Belgian Waffle." However, few can compare once you've tasted this iconic treat's crispy, fluffy dough and custardy flavor straight from the source - a friendly, local street vendor. Try one hot and topped with Nutella or whipped cream for the full (and true) Belgian Waffle experience.
Traditional Belgian fried potatoes are cooked twice, giving them an extra crunch and steaming hot interior. They are usually served with mayonnaise or aioli, but you can also try them with curried ketchup or vinegar.
The Best Street Food in The Czech Republic
Trdelnik is quickly a familiar sight for the locals of Prague. You may not have heard of a chimney cake, but this wrapped dough creation, named for its shape, is classic Czech street food and can be made in front of you. A sweet pastry treat, this rolled bread is served warm and often topped with cinnamon, sugar, and chopped nuts.
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The Best Street Food in Italy
Gelato can be found anywhere in the world, but the Italians do it best. Combining milk, cream, sugar, and flavors, this icy treat is perfect on a sunny day. Options go far beyond simple chocolate and vanilla to rich caramels, inviting berries, and floral flavors. Why not try something completely new at one of Florence’s best gelaterias?
For a more savory option, try this Southern Italian specialty. Crocche is made from mashed potatoes and bread crumbs mixed with egg and cheese and then fried to perfection.
The Best Street Food in Germany
Picking up a pretzel or bratwurst from a street food stand can be a quick and inexpensive way to experience a few local specialties. Pretty much a mainstay on the streets of Berlin, Currywurstn is a dish that features a pork bratwurst seasoned with curried ketchup. The sausage is usually served with a side of potato fries.
If you’re in the mood for something a little different, be sure to try a Doner Kebab. Also known as Donerbuden, this Turkish-inspired thinly sliced meat is similar to what Americans call a “gyro” and is served with lettuce, onion, cucumber, and tomatoes on flat pita bread. Kebabs are sold at food carts in every major German city and are so popular they outsell all other types of street food combined!
The Best Street Food in France
You simply cannot go to France and miss the opportunity to try a fresh crepe. There are sweet breakfast-style options served with chocolate and fruits. There are also incredible savory choices like brie and mushroom or spinach and onion. Try one topped with ham and cheese, or be decadent with Nutella and custard.
Another sweet treat, these raspberry-filled pastry pockets are best hot from the pan. Often topped with powdered sugar, these are the perfect complement to your French latte.
The Best Street Food in Greece
Often made with pork or lamb, souvlaki consists of small pieces of meat marinated in lemon juice, garlic, and olive oil, then grilled on skewers. The meat is sometimes served on bread or in a fold-over sandwich with lettuce, tomato, onions, and a light sauce.
Widely known as a Turkish Bagel in the USA, Simit in Turkey, and Simit, Ka'ek in Jerusalem, these savory bread rings are a Greek favorite for a quick breakfast. Often dusted with salt, olive oil, and sesame seed, the ringed bread is usually plain or with jellies, cheeses, herbs, or vegetables depending on the region. You'll often see street vendors wearing hats of the ringed bread, if so, you'll typically buy them plain - right off their heads - and add your own acctremounts.
The Best Street Food in Spain
The chances are that you have tried a version of these deep-fried donuts, popular worldwide. Don’t miss your chance to try them the way they were meant to be enjoyed: Served piping hot with a side of hot chocolate or dipping sauces on the streets of Spain.
These tiny little sandwiches are made from baguette-style bread filled with savory, rustic foods like egg, cheese, ham, tuna, or potato. They’re often toasted and served crispy and warm.