From world-renowned restaurants to rustic country taverns, food is an inextricable part of the European lifestyle. For centuries, artisan bakers, proud chefs, and expert distillers have been perfecting their crafts, whether it’s a crusty baguette or an impeccable glass of wine. Today modern chefs still return to these classic dishes for their timeless appeal. For an authentic experience, ask for these locally revered specialties.
Eating seasonally is woven into Paris’ bistro tradition, where chalkboards announce the daily specialties. These casual eateries often feature familiar dishes, like cassoulet, alongside a few home-cooked surprises from the chef. One bistro classic making a reappearance on handwritten menus across the City of Lights is pâté en croute. This hearty pastry dish consists of pâté baked in a crust and served with jelly.
Heading to Madrid, you’ll find some of the oldest restaurants in the world along with modern epicurean hotspots. A historic melting pot, Spain’s capital was among the first cities to introduce restaurants to cater to its large number of visitors and travelers during the 18th century. Roasted meat dishes, like cochinillo roast pig and cordero roast lamb, are central to typical Castilian cuisine.
In Poland, you’ll discover local chefs taking a creative approach to some of the country’s most cherished recipes. For an authentic Warsaw dining experience, seek out pierogi and borscht. The former are doughy crescent-shaped dumplings stuffed with both savory and sweet mixtures, such as potato, sauerkraut, or fresh fruit for dessert.
Likewise, Switzerland holds some of the continent’s richest regional cuisine drawing from its French, German, and Italian influences. In Zurich, sample a typical dish of thinly sliced veal served with mushrooms in a cream sauce called Zürcher Geschnetzeltes. To savor Switzerland’s acclaimed cheeses, try raclette, a comfort food classic made of melted cheese drizzled over potatoes served with small gherkins or pickled onions.
When you’re traveling to Europe, whether your final destination is Zurich or Warsaw, begin your immersion in traditional hospitality, culture, and cuisine at boarding when you book with Swiss International Air Lines. On board, you’ll find the SWISS Taste of Switzerland program showcasing local menus, cheeses, wines, and other products from Switzerland in rotating menus created by top Swiss chefs.