As a former Contiki Trip Manager, I’ve enjoyed my fair share of European delicacies. I’ve been lucky enough to lead over 1000 travellers through Europe, eating and laughing our away across cities big and small. While every traveller I’ve lead on a tour has been different, there’s one thing that everyone can agree on: there’s nothing like a freshly baked treat to brighten your day.
Keep these carb-heavy delights on your short list of must-tries during your summer Eurotrip. The best part? There’s always an excuse to enjoy a waffle or croissant, no matter the time of day.
The European’s baker dozen: 13 treats to eat in Europe
1. Brussels Waffles, Belgium
No visit to Brussels is complete without a hot and fluffy waffle. Top it with strawberries and cream, Nutella or keep it simple with a light sprinkle of icing sugar. These differ to other Belgian waffles which can be made of heavier and often sweeter dough.
2. Cannoli, Italy
Say ciao to the irresistible crunchiness of fried pastry dough with a delicately smooth ricotta filling that will leave a sweet yet satisfying aftertaste. Good luck trying to not make a mess with these!
3. Pastéis de Nata, Portugal
Every baker and his cousin makes these in Portugal. These egg custard tarts are bite size for a reason; you can definitely eat more than one in a sitting. The slightly brûléed tops compliment the sweet egg custard and crisp pastry. The best part? They’re completely affordable!
4. Princess Cake, Sweden
Green and mean with sweetness, this is a layered cake with airy sponge, pastry cream, topped with green marzipan and decorated with pink marzipan detail. Fit for a princess indeed.
5. Pretzel, Germany
Get twisted in all of the right ways with a traditional German pretzel. They come in all shapes and sizes and with their chewy texture and coarse sea salt topping, they are just the right savoury snack for any time of day (and go great with any kind of beer)!
6. Scone, The United Kingdom
When in England you should be quintessentially British and try a fresh scone. Top it with jam (strawberry is fabulous) and clotted cream, which is the fattiest but tastiest of all the creams. The soft crumbly texture of the scone will make you completely forget about the calories.
7. Oilebollen, The Netherlands
Traditionally served on New Year’s Eve these deep fried balls of dough definitely hit the spot after a night out on the town. Sprinkle them in icing sugar or roll them in Hagelslag (chocolate sprinkles)–the choices are endless. You won’t need to worry about the calories with this one as it will be long gone before the New Year’s resolutions arrive.
8. Dobos torta, Hungary
Commonly known to visitors as the Dobos cake, this is a chocolate and buttercream layered sponge cake topped with crystallized caramel and nuts. Dobos cake is sold all over Hungary as the local favourite and it is no wonder why when you consider all of the delicious ingredients layered from the inside out.
9. Churros, Spain
Sprinkled in cinnamon and sugar, these long, horizontal hot doughnut treats can be eaten solo or dipped in chocolate for an indulgent experience that will certainly get you coming back for more.
10. Baklava, Greece
Prepare your sweet tooth for these bite-sized syrup drenched delights. Baklava is a Greek classic and a must try when you’re wandering the streets of Athens, desperately searching for a cure to your sweet tooth. Made with fine layers of filo pastry, chopped nuts and what seems like an endless supply of syrup, these treats will render you helpless. The best part is that each Greek bakery has their own version so it would be rude not to try them all.
11. Strudel, Austria
The Austrian classic; strudel will please you no matter which kind you choose. The original is done with stewed apples encased in paper thin sheets of dough and served hot, often in a pool of custard. If you’re feeling adventurous you could try many different inventive variations.
12. Croissant, France
This crescent tanned brown and crumbling pastry is often what travellers think about when they head to the land of France. The key is to ensure that they are fresh from the bakery and even though they are primarily made of butter there is no harm in adding a little bit more along with your favourite topping. Be it jam, cheese or ham, croissants are the stuff of dreams.
13. Tredelnik, Czech Republic
Commonly known as a chimney cake this coiled doughnut pastry is wrapped around a hot rod and baked over a fire before being smothered in cinnamon and sugar. Tredelnik can be found all over market squares and are best served hot. Once cooked they simply unwrap, making them easy to share or easy to devour all on your own.