A lot of countries in Europe are a dream destination for many because of the rich culture of the Old Continent, the numerous iconic historical sites, and the delicious local cuisines but street food is one underrated aspect of traveling to Europe. Sure, most countries in Europe don’t have a street food scene as rich as some East Asian countries or India but there sure are a lot of delicious street food snacks you have to try. So, if you’re not too familiar with the street food scene in different parts of the old continent, keep reading; here’s the best street food in Europe you just have to try. We have at least one dish from all 44 countries in Europe.
Portugal is the country with one of the richest street food scenes in Europe and bacalao is one of the local favorites. There are a lot of different preparation methods for this dish depending on the region but the main ingredient (codfish) remains the same. The two most popular street food snacks are Pataniscas de Bacalhau (salted cod fritters) and Pasteis de Bacalhau (salted codfish cakes).
We can’t speak of street food in Europe without mentioning Portugal’s favorite staple, bifana. You can find bifana everywhere, from fancy restaurants to street food stalls. It’s basically a sandwich of light, crusty bread filled with sautéed pork seasoned with spices, garlic, and white wine. This sandwich is a bit greasy but you can enjoy it without making a mess unlike some other Portuguese street food snacks, such as…
Francesinha or how I like to call it, heart attack on a plate is a greasy, Portuguese sandwich made of white bread, wt-cured ham, chipolata sausage, and roast meat covered with melted cheese and a hot tomato and beer sauce. The sandwich originates from Portugal’s own foodie haven Porto but it’s quickly becoming popular in other parts of Portugal and even outside of the country as well.
Pastéis de nata, Portugal
Before proceeding to street food in Portugal’s neighbor, Spain, we have to tell you about Portugal’s very own pastry- pasteis de nata. This egg-tart pastry seasoned with cinnamon goes perfect with a cup of coffee, is loved by everyone, and can potentially become your new favorite coffee snack.
Tapas (Pintxos), Spain
Tapas are Spain’s most popular appetizers and one of the most beloved street food in Europe. You can find different kinds of tapas in different parts of Spain. In the northern part of Spain and Basque, they’re called Pintxos. The ingredients vary, some tapas are served hot, some cold, some are served in expensive restaurants some are served in tapa bars or on street food stalls, some are free, others not but one thing is certain; tapas are a real treat. Most of the time, they’re served with a toothpick that makes them even more appetizing.
If I have to compare it to something, I would say that empanada is the Spanish version of samosa. One of the reasons why Spanish people eat dinner so late are delicious snacks like empanads that can keep them full throughout the day. Empanadas are fried turnover filled with meat, cheese, corn, or other ingredients that can be found at most street food stalls across the country.
Bocadillos are Spain’s most sought-after sandwiches. Made in rustic, baguette-like breads filled with ham, tuna, cheese, potato, and egg, bocadillos were traditionally perceived as a humble food. However, its low cost and delicious flavor have turned it into an irreplaceable part of Spanish street food.
This elongated, crunchy snack consists of deep-fried yeast dough topped with sugar. Even though this might not be the healthiest combination out there, it’s certainly one of the most delicious ones and a snack that street food in Spain wouldn’t be the same without.
Patatas Bravas, Spain
Who needs French fries when you can have Patatas Bravas? Patatas Bravas is a delicious street food dish that consists of deep-fried cubes of white potatoes topped and served with a spicy tomato sauce. The dish origin dates back to the Great Famine when potatoes were one of, if not, the main staple in Europe. Spanish people had to work with what they had and they invented patatas bravas, which is today, without a doubt, one of the best street food in Europe.
Does this one really need an introduction? Gelato, the Italian version of ice cream, is one of the world’s most beloved desserts in the world. It was invented in the Middle Ages in Florence when the Medici family threw a banquet for the Spanish king. It comes in different flavors and you can find it at street food stalls anywhere from Turin to Sicily.
If gelato is Italy’s favorite dessert, zeppola has to be a close second. This sweet is basically a deep-fried dough ball topped with powdered sugar, custard, jelly, butter, and honey. It’s a perfect on-the-go snack to enjoy while exploring famous historical sites or while having a cup of cappuccino.
This Sicilian delight is one of the most famous street food sweets in the world. It’s a pastry with a crispy shell filled with various sweet ingredients. My personal favorite is the one stuffed with cheeky chocolate chips and whipped ricotta.
Lampredotto is the reason for the longest queues on street food stalls across Tuscany. This Florentine delicacy is basically a cow stomach sandwich cooked in mixed vegetables and even though it doesn’t sound appetizing once it’s dipped in the cooking broth and topped with some salsa verde, it’s delicious.
If you’re a vegetarian, don’t worry; Italy still has some vegetarian-friendly street food options. One example is piadina; a flatbread made of flour, olive oil, salt, and water cooked on a terracotta plate topped with fresh mozzarella and chicory and served as a wrap. It’s a perfect light roadside snack.
Panzerotti is Puglia’s favorite snack and there’s a good reason for that. This stuffed, half-moon-shaped pastry is filled with cheese and tomato and deep-fried until it gets golden and crispy. This street food was so popular in Puglia that it quickly made its way to some of Italy’s most famous restaurants.
Pani ca meusa, Italy
Pani ca meusa is Palermo and Sicily’s favorite sandwich. It consists of chopped veal’s spleen and lung. Just like its Florentine counterpart, the Lampredotto, it doesn’t sound appetizing but if you do decide to try it, you’ll be pleasantly surprised. The combination of tender meat, local cheese, and a slice of crunchy, nutty bread is almost perfect.
Pesce fritto al cono, Italy
Who says gelato is the only street food in Italy that comes in a cone? You can also get fresh, tasty seafood in a paper cone in practically all coastal towns in Italy. During the high-season, you can see a lot of fishing boats arriving at the port bringing fresh seafood to the street food vendors who fry it right in front of you. It doesn’t get much better than this.
Does this one really need a special introduction? No trip to Italy is complete without trying pizza from one of the countless improvised roadside pizzerias.
Hobz Biz Zejt, Malta
The dish’s name translates to ‘oil bread’ but this delicious snack is so much more. This simple sandwich contains tomato paste, olive oil, olives, and tuna. It’s one of the cheapest and most delicious things you can buy from street food vendors in Malta. Hobs Biz Zejt originates from WWII when the island was under occupation and all of the food supplies were cut so locals had to come up with a staple that features only local ingredients.
In France, crepes are eaten for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and anything in between. France’s favorite street food snack is one of the most popular street food dishes in Europe. It comes in two basic varieties; ham and cheese or chocolate and fruits but nowadays, you can find different variations of crepes in different places in France and parts of Europe.
Is there a better breakfast than a flaky, buttery croissant while you’re exploring the streets of Paris? Even though you can try this delicious pastry practically anywhere in Europe, it won’t be the same as the ones you’d get in France.
Socca is something like a thin crepe but it’s made of chickpea flour. This dish actually originates from Genoa but it quickly became popular in Southern France and Monaco, where socca is the nation’s favorite street food snack today.
Looking for a perfect on-the-go meal/snack while sightseeing in Germany? Even though you can always go for doner and kebab (which are not truly German snacks) you should definitely try currywurst; a steamed-then-fried sausage seasoned with curry ketchup and onions and French fries on the side.
Stroopwafel, The Netherlands
There’s no open-air market in the Netherlands where you can’t find stroopwafel. It’s arguably the most popular traditional dessert in the Netherlands and there’s a good reason for that. Stroopwafel consists of two thin layers of baked waffles joined by a caramel filling.
Bitterballen, The Netherlands
Unlike its name suggests, these bite-sized, deep-fried balls are savory snacks filled with minced beef, butter, herbs, and spices. Add some mustard, grab a cold beer and see why this is the most popular street food snack in this part of Europe.
Nothing can satisfy a sweet tooth like a hot sweet Belgian waffle you just picked up from the street. Served with whipped cream, Nutella, nuts or strawberries, waffles are one of the finest street food items in Europe. No wonder waffles conquered the world and are easily available in practically every corner of the world!
Belgian Fries, Belgium
Did you know that French fries are actually Belgian? There are several stories why the fries are called French and not Belgian but we won’t get into that. Call them as you please but definitely do try them when visiting Belgium. The sauce some of the street food vendors use is absolutely delicious and this list of the best street food in Europe couldn’t be complete without this popular snack.
Gromperekichelcher is basically a potato pancake. It originates from Germany/ Austria but it’s arguably the most popular street food in Luxembourg.
You might not think Denmark is a street food haven but this country actually has a very strong food truck culture and you can find a lot of street food delicacies from different parts of the world. However, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t any good local street food dishes. One of the main food truck inventions is smørrebrød. Smørrebrød is a rye bread sandwich filled with spreads, cheese, cold cuts, and local herbs.
Potato Lefse, Norway
Potato Lefse is the Norwegian version of the potato pancake. It looks similar but it’s bigger and crispier. You can find them at any food corners, and even in supermarkets and coffee shops. The two basic variations are with either butter or sugar and jam.
No trip to Sweden is complete without trying the best local street food invention. Tunnbrödsrulle is basically a sandwich consisting of sausage, onions, shrimps, and mashed potatoes wrapped in a warm flatbread. It might not sound like a good combination but it’s actually very tasty and a great way to stay warm in Sweden’s cold winters.
These pastries started off as a local snack from the Karelia region but quickly became one of the most popular street food snacks in Finland. This pastry is made with rice, butter, and rye flour. You can buy this street food at most street food stalls and at supermarkets and kiosks. This popular snack is also loved by locals in Estonia and parts of Northern Russia.
To put it simply, Kiluvõileib is a sprat sandwich. The Baltic Sea is full of sprats, so it’s no surprise that sprats are included in a lot of traditional dishes. The sandwich usually includes rye bread, a boiled egg, a pickled cucumber, and some sauce.
Similarly to Estonia, you won’t find an abundance of street food in Latvia (maybe because winters are very cold) but there are some local snacks you just have to try with the most famous one being piragi. Piragi consists of buns filled with bacon and chopped onion. You can find this snack at street food stalls or in some of the local bakeries.
This snack is similar to Latvia’s piragi except this pastry uses mutton instead of bacon that makes this pastry less greasy but it adds a nice texture. Definitely, a must-try when visiting Lithuania.
If you’re ever wondering around Kyiv and see a very long queue in front of something that looks like a small Soviet-style shop, it’s probably because of perepichka. Perepichka is a popular snack that originates from the Ukrainian capital and the best way to describe it is as the ‘Ukrainian version of hot-dog’. Perepichka consists of fried dough with a sausage inside. I know it sounds very simple but it’s one of the tastiest street food snacks in Europe.
Sirniki, Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus
Sirniki is a pastry that looks like a mini-pancake filled with cottage cheese, sour cream, and sugar topped with either jam or honey. It has a dough-like mixture, goes very nice with a cup of coffee and can be eaten as both, breakfast and dessert. It’s equally popular in Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus.
Pirozhki, Russia & Ukraine
Pirozhki is arguably the most popular street food snack in the former Soviet Block. It comes in two varieties- baked and deep-fried but both are equally delicious. Most pirozhki are salty but you can even find some sweet ones. The most common fillings include ground meat, mushrooms, mashed potato, scallions, or cabbage.
Originating from Crimea, Chebureki is the Tatar version of burek. This greasy, deep-fried turnover has a crescent shape and is usually filled with minced meat and onions. However, because of its popularity in the Caucasus, Central Asia, and Eastern Europe alike, you can find a lot of variations in different parts of the world.
Located at the border between Europe and Asia, Georgia’s cuisine offers the best from both worlds and this list of best street food in Europe wouldn’t be complete without at least one Georgian street food. Our choice is khachapuri or as locals call it ‘Georgian pizza’. It’s basically a cheese-filled bread (if you didn’t know Georgia is famous for its cheese among other things) topped with an egg. It’s eaten and beloved in all former Soviet countries and in parts of Eastern Europe too.
If I have to describe simit, I would say it’s a bagel topped with sesame seeds. It’s usually consumed as a substitute for bread but a lot of people have it just like that or with a cup of tea. You can find simit sellers at practically every street around Turkey.
Doner is a special type of kebab cooked on a vertical rotisserie similar to a gyro. The meat is cooked slowly for hours and always served warm with fresh vegetables and finger-licking home-made sauces. No wonder it has become a dish locals can’t leave without not only in Turkey but on the Balkans, Central Europe, and Germany too.
Gozleme is a simple, savory street food snack and a nice go-to option if you’re looking for a quick and cheap bite. It’s basically a thin-dough pancake-like pastry filled with minced meat and vegetables. Try eating only one, I dare you!
Locals call it Turkish pizza and I think that, having the cultural differences and the fact that Turkey is the ultimate melting pot of European and Asian cuisines in mind, I’d say the description is fair. Lahmacun is super-easy to prepare; all you have to do is make a really thin dough, top it with minced meat, onions, red peppers, and some other optional vegetables, bake it for a few minutes, and serve it. It’s a real hit in Turkey and becoming increasingly popular on the Balkan too which is why we just couldn’t leave it out from this list of the best street food in Europe.
If you visit Greece, you’ll inevitably notice street food vendors grilling meat and selling meat on a stick. That’s souvlaki; the Greek version of the shish-kebab. This delicious snack consists of pork, lamb or chicken meat and sometimes vegetables cut into squares and grilled to perfection. It’s usually served with pita bread or French fries.
Gyro is the Greek counterpart of the doner. The meat is cooked on a vertical spit, sliced in tiny pieces, and accompanied with a lot of fresh, Mediterranean vegetables. The only difference is that some variations of gyro consist of pork meat and are topped with delicious tzatziki sauce.
Bulgaria’s most popular breakfast is the ultimate mix between a pie and a burek. The most common filling is cheese even though you can also find it with spinach, egg, meat or even sweet milk. I know this might sound weird for some but this delicious pastry tastes even better with a glass of salty yogurt.
This list of best street food in Europe included Italian pizza, Georgian pizza, Turkish pizza, and finally, Macedonian pizza (this is the last one, I promise). Every city has its own variation of pastramajlija (good luck pronouncing that) but none can compare to the one you would get in Stip, the city this dish originates from. This tasty treat consists of an oval-shaped dough topped with sliced pork, chicken or beef cubes, and melted cheese, served with a local pickled chili pepper.
Simit Pogaca, Macedonia
I know two dishes for such a small country might be too much considering the rich street food scene in Europe but no trip to Macedonia is complete without simit pogaca. Locals describe this delicious snack as bread inside a bread and even though it sounds bizarre, it’s taste. Simit pogaca is basically a relatively greasy salty pastry stuffed inside a bun. You can find it anywhere around Skopje’s Old Bazar but for a real treat, head to Cair where you can have an original 18th-century-style simit prepared on a wooden furnace.
Petulla is a simple doughnut-like Albanian snack made of flour, yeast, eggs, and milk. It’s fried until it becomes crispy on the outside but the inside is very soft. The two most common toppings are hot chocolate and powdered sugar. You can get it as a breakfast in a lot of coffee shops or served in a cup at one of the many street food stalls around Albania.
Njeguska Prsuta, Montenegro
High in the Montenegrin mountains, you’ll find the small remote village of Njegusi famous for its dried meat, including sausages, steaks, and most important of all prsuta. The Njeguska prsuta is a Montenegrin version of Italian prosciutto. It’s produced in this tiny village but you can find it across the country in supermarkets and meat shops packaged and on street food stalls used as the main ingredient in a sandwich with fresh local bread and cheese.
Leskovacki Rostilj, Serbia
Leskovac is a small town in Serbia famous for one thing- barbecue. Leskovacki rostilj is a mix of different types of barbecued (lamb) meat spiced up with local spicy paprika powder. Even though this traditional way of preparing meat originates from the Leskovec region, you can find street food stalls and fast food shops across Serbia and Macedonia preparing leskovacki rostilj and serving the meat either straight up or in a burger.
Burek, Bosnia and Herzegovina
I could mention this one in Turkey, Serbia, Macedonia, Croatia, Albania, and even Slovenia but despite the fact that this dish originates from Turkey, Bosnians have mastered the art of burek-making to perfection. This greasy pastry comes in different shapes, sizes, and fillings, including minced meat, cheese, potatoes, spinach, and even pizza. The preparation method isn’t easy because it includes numerous layers of thin dough with the outside layers being baked until they become gold and crispy. It’s probably the Balkan’s favorite snack and one of the most popular breakfast choices on the Peninsula.
Fritule is one of the most popular Croatian pastries. It’s a deep-fried delicacy that can best be described as a mini-donut served with powdered sugar and chocolate, caramel or other toppings. It’s a perfect sugary snack to gain some energy while exploring the streets of Zagreb, Dubrovnik or other beautiful cities around the country.
Struklji is one of Slovenia’s favorite snacks. The most common variation includes cheese filling flavored with tarragon and chives and can be either deep-fried, baked or steamed. However, throughout the years, new variations of this dish have been created. Today, except for cheese, you can also find struklji filled with meat and gravy or apples and walnuts. Traditionally, it was a dish for special occasions but it has become a snack that you can find anywhere including bakeries and street food stalls.
Bakeries, the Balkan
If you ever visit the Balkan, especially in the former Yugoslavian countries, don’t forget to check out the local bakeries. Except for burek, you can find a wide range of delicious pastries that will blow you away.
Cevapi, the Balkan
Similarly like burek, cevapi, kebapi, or kebabs originate from Turkey but there are a lot of vendors around the Balkan that have mastered the art of kebab-making to perfection. There’s no clear winner about which country makes the best kebabs but if you ever visit Bosnia, Macedonia, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, or Albania, do not leave without trying kebab!
The best way to describe Romania’s favorite street food snack is like a mix between a pretzel and a simit. This pastry is covered in poppy or sesame seeds but different street food vendors sell different varieties of covrigi. Hence, you can expect to find covrigi filled with sausage, cheese, and even apples or chocolate.
Kürtőskalács is a unique spit cake that originates from Transylvania but is equally beloved across Romania and in parts of Hungary. If you visit any touristy place in Transylvania, you’ll inevitably notice this striking, attention-catching, bamboo-like cake at street food stalls, especially during the Christmas Markets. The cake is made by wrapping a twine od dough around the length of the spit and rolling in sugar. For the final touch, the cake is rolled in a coating of the customer’s choice.
The most common option is cinnamon but there are plenty of other options too, including coconut flakes and walnuts.
If you ever wonder Chisinau’s (or any other city in Moldova) streets, it’s impossible to miss the street food vendors selling this tiny round cake. You can also find it in most convenience stores across Moldova and Romania. Placinta has two basic varieties- salty, stuffed with brinza (home-made cheese), varza (cabbage) or cartofi (potatoes) and sweet, stuffed with apples, pumpkins or sour cherries.
Langos is a frisbee-sized deep-fried dough topped with shredded cheese, sour cream, and garlic. I know this combination sounds rather bizarre but trust me, langos is surprisingly delicious, especially during the cold winters. There’s a good reason why this is one of the most popular street food in Europe.
Can we talk about the best street food in Europe without mentioning the pretzel? Sure, it’s a basic snack but it’s the forefather of some of the most popular street food snacks you can find on the old continent. Pretzels are equally popular in Switzerland, Austria, and Germany and you can find a lot of street food stalls serving pretzels in this part of Europe.
Würstel Stands, Austria
Street food in Austria starts and ends with Würstel (sausage). Würstel is without a doubt, Austria’s favorite street food and you can find Würstel stands anywhere in Austria, from the biggest cities to the smallest towns. The most popular variations include käsekrainer (stuffed with cheese), frankfurter (smoked pork sausage in a casing of sheep’s intestine), and the above-mentioned currywurst.
Tredlnik, Czech Republic and Slovakia
This roasted spiral pancake coated in cinnamon, sugar, and walnuts can be found at most food carts and roadside stands across the territory of former Czechoslovakia. It looks similar to Romania’s Kürtőskalács and even the ingredients are similar. The main difference is that tredlnik is grilled instead of baked/fried.
Klobásy, Czech Republic
Prague’s street food scene gets richer every year but still, only a few street food inventions can compare to the legendary Klobásy. Klobásy are meat products made from ground meat with the two most common variations being smoked ham and sausages. Usually prepared over an open flame and sliced in front of your eyes, this delicious treat is often paired up with rye bread, old-style mustard, and sometimes, grilled cheese. It’s one of the best sausages I’ve ever tried and I think it can give the currywurst a serious run for its money!
Oscypek is a delicious sheep cheese that’s only made in the Tatra Mountains of Poland. Honestly, it’s one of the tastiest cheeses I’ve tried, probably because of its specific and unique method of preparation. Oscypek is made of salted sheep milk and you can buy it at street food stalls across the country. It’s a common breakfast food and is often paired up with bacon, grilled apple, and cranberry sauce.
Poland’s favorite stuffed dumplings actually started off as peasant food but it quickly evolved to Poland’s favorite street food and not only that; pierogi are quite popular in Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia, making these delicious dumplings arguably the most popular street food in Eastern Europe. The most common fillings include meat, potato, cheese, and sauerkraut but you can also find sweet pierogi, stuffed with different kinds of fruits.
This list of the best street food in Europe couldn’t be complete without Poland’s zapiekanka; an open-faced sandwich made of a baguette-like bread topped with melted cheese, sauteed mushroom, and tomato sauce. It’s a delicious, cheap, and vegetarian-friendly snack.
Cornish Pasty, England
As its name suggests, the Cornish pasty originates from Cornwall but it’s one of the favorite local snacks in all parts of England. It’s a golden, crispy pastry stuffed with meat and vegetables. Since 2011, this beloved snack even has PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) (PGI) status in Europe and according to estimates accounts for 6% of the local economy of Cornwall. How many other street food snacks can match these achievements?
English Yorkshire Burrito, England
There’s a good reason why Yorkshire Burrito is one of the most talked-about street food stalls in all of England. What started off a few years ago as an idea to “allow people to enjoy Sunday roast and all the trimmings anytime anywhere” quickly became one of the nation’s most popular street food snacks. If you couldn’t get it by its name, the Yorkshire burrito is essentially an English Sunday roast wrapped around a burrito. It might not sound like it, but it tastes surprisingly good and this list of the best street food in Europe wouldn’t be complete without this new English street food invention.
Fish & Chips, Great Britain
Many new-comers come and go from the British street food but there’s one constant that never fades away- fish and chips. Even though both of the main ingredients of this favorite local snack were introduced by immigrants, fish and chips was created in England and is one of the most popular street food snacks in Europe today. As its name suggests, it consists of crispy, golden, deep-fried fish and French fries usually accompanied by tartar or some kind of other sauce.
Black Pudding, Scotland
Along with haggis, black pudding is without a doubt, one of the most famous Scottish snacks. A lot of people who see this snack or hear what is it made of wonder how is this even edible (it’s made of pork blood) but if you keep an open mind, you’ll be in for a pleasant surprise.
Sticky Beef Roti, Wales
You might think that this tasty street food snack consists of beef on a roti bread but that’s not quite true. The bread for this tasty snack consists of several different crunchy layers with a texture similar to that of the burek. Already tasty on its own, once this bread gets topped with sticky beef strips, basil, coriander, and some Sriracha sauce, it turns into one of the most sought-after street foods in Wales.
Yellowman Candy, Northern Ireland
If you have the sweet tooth, you’ll just love this Northern Irish version of pulled candy. You can find this dark yellow, chewy, toffee-textured honeycomb behind every corner and in most convenience stores but for the tastiest one, head to the Auld Lammas Fair in County Antrim.
Chicken Fillet Roll, Ireland
Saying that chicken fillet roll is the go-to hungover dish for most Irish students wouldn’t be an overstatement but don’t let this put you off; chicken fillet rolls are absolutely delicious! The roll consists of a crusty baguette, breaded chicken, salad of your choice, and some sauces and can found at most roadside eateries, convenience stores, and deli shops.
Skyr is a traditional Icelandic yogurt. It has a partially sour and partially sweet taste, a thick and creamy texture, and has been a part of local cuisine for more than 1,000 years! I know most Icelandic dishes require an acquired taste but this is one of the rare food items that most tourists who visit Iceland actually adore. The primary version of skyr has a milky flavor but today, there’s a variety of flavors you can choose from.
Did you ever try any of these street food snacks? Did you like this list of the best street food in Europe? Do you think we didn’t mention some other tasty European snacks? Let us know in the comments!
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