Happy Wednesday! I’m in the midst of packing up everything I own to move down to Florida this weekend, but thought I’d take a break to reminisce about my recent trip to Europe. Today, it’s all about the food we ate (and didn’t eat). If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram (@lbbakes) you’ve probably seen a bunch of these pictures already, but I put together a list of do’s and dont’s for dining in Europe. Of course, these are based on my own personal experiences.
Enjoy bon appetit!
Do eat croissants (and/or similar pastries) for breakfast every day in Paris. They’re the best I’ve ever had, and I bet you’d be hard pressed to find one even half as good in the US.
Don’t dine at Hard Rock Cafe for your one night in Florence — even if you’re fatigued and homesick. Not that I would know…
Do attempt to read the menus in-language before asking for an English menu or help from the waitstaff. E for Effort!
Don’t order an Americano with your breakfast (which is Europe’s version of traditional American coffee). Instead, go for something the locals drink — cafe, cappuccino, etc. When in Rome!
Do take advantage of your hotel breakfast, if it’s offered. We often fueled up enough to just snack through lunch, which was helpful since we were constantly on the move.
Don’t try to adjust your dish (you know, “can I have the _____ but without the ____, ____, ___). First reason: things can get complicated quickly when you don’t speak the native language. Second reason: you might discover something you didn’t think you liked — in my case, black olives!
Do drink wine with dinner. Quite often, it’s cheaper than water or soda, so really you’re just doing the financially responsible thing.
Don’t question the butter that’s spread like mayonnaise on your ham and gruyere sandwich. You’ll walk it off!
Do periodically grab a baguette in France for a snack. You’ll quickly learn it’s what all the
cool kids locals do!
Don’t try to pay for your food with slightly damp euros. They might think you’re trying to get away with counterfeit money… even if your money really is legit, and you were just swimming in the ocean with it.
Do eat gelato at least three times. It’s the creamiest, richest you’ll ever eat. I only enjoyed it twice, and I’m wishing I’d had that third cone.
Don’t try to hunt down Chobani, or a similar alternative. You know it’s not there, so stop looking (I’m mostly talking to myself on this one).
Do seek out Indian food in London. I’m regretting that I didn’t do this, but it’s everywhere, and I’ve heard it’s top notch.
Don’t try to hunt down peanut butter while you’re in Europe — I didn’t see it anywhere except London.
Do embrace Nutella instead. And speculoos. And butter and jam!
Don’t settle for fish ‘n chips from a random pub in London. Instead, seek out some of the best — I highly recommend Geales in Notting Hill!
Do stock up on European candy before you return to America. Cadbury, Kinder, and Haribo became my best friends while road tripping across Europe.
Don’t worry if you’re not eating as many fruits and vegetables. You’ll catch up when you get home. Apples taste the same in the US as they do in Europe, but croissants don’t (but when you do eat them, they’ll be fresh and delicious!).
If you’ve traveled to Europe before, feel free to leave your own do’s and don’ts in the comments!