Many people may know that Lyon is the gastronomic capital of France, and San Sebastian is the place to sample the delights of the greatest concentration of Michelin star restaurants in Spain.
But why not be a little more adventurous and look for one of Europe & # 39; s emerging foodie destinations?
From the Belgian city of Bruges to the Albanian city of Lezhe, there are numerous gems waiting to be discovered off the beaten track.
Vienna is the place to go for coffee and sachertorte (chocolate cake), but the gastronomic capital of Austria is Graz, which is surrounded by farmland and vineyards.
With its wurstelstands – literally, sausage stands – buschenschanks (traditional Austrian taverns) and restaurants, it has something for everyone.
Top table: Eat like a local and go to the 17th-century Gasthaus zur Alten Press (zuraltenpress.at), where a three-course menu can cost less than £ 20.
How you do that: Lufthansa via Munich from £ 233 return (lufthansa.com). Stay at the Grand Hotel Wiesler, Arnold Schwarzenegger's favorite hotel in the city, from £ 95 per night (grandhotelwiesler.com).
Porto, home to everyone's favorite Christmas drink, has a lot to offer in terms of food and drink
Top quality: an example of the food at the Yeatman Hotel, which has its own Michelin-star restaurant
Porto, home to everyone's favorite Christmas drink, has a lot to offer in terms of food and drink. Street food markets are next to 100-year-old port cellars in UNESCO's Old Town. Because the Portuguese city lies at the mouth of the Douro River, where it meets the Atlantic, it also offers great seafood, including the national delicacy bacalhau (dried cod).
Top table: Restaurante Pedro Limao (pedrolimao.com) has only six tables, but the tasting menu with ten courses – there is no a la carte offer – offers an excellent price of £ 38.80.
Under Albania's strong communist, Enver Hoxha, food was rationed, cookbooks burned and recipes lost. Now a generation of young chefs has returned from the West to breathe new life into modernizing Albanian cuisine. A number of them are located in Lezhe – 37 miles north of the capital Tirana – where farm-to-plate restaurants serve the country's most updated traditional dishes.
Top table: Rapsodia offers a range of tasting menus from £ 13 to £ 18, including an option & # 39; 0 km & # 39 ;, which consists of products from the restaurant of the restaurant and local suppliers.
How you do that: Wizz Air from Luton to Tirana from £ 80 return (wizzair.com). Take a bus or car to Lezhe. Stay at the Mrizi i Zanave Agroturizem in the nearby village of Fishte from £ 36 per night (mrizizanave.al)
Belgian cuisine has more to offer than mussels and fries, and Bruges – peppered with canals and described as the perfect medieval city in pocket size – is the place to find it
Belgian cuisine has more to offer than mussels and fries, and Bruges – peppered with canals and described as the perfect medieval city in pocket size – is the place to find it.
Everywhere you want to go is within walking distance of the beautiful market square (photo).
Start the day with hot chocolate and marshmallows in one of the city's many charming cafés
Continue with a delicious lunch in an authentic Belgian brasserie and end the day with a refreshing glass of beer from brewery De Halve Maan.
Top table: Brasserie Raymond is as traditionally Belgian as it gets. Lunch costs from £ 17, dinners from £ 40 (brasserie-raymond.be).
The birthplace of Archimedes, Syracuse in Sicily was once the most important city of the Greek empire.
As a result, the food comes with the flavors of the southern Mediterranean, introduced by the ancient Greeks, in combination with the Arab influence of the Moors who ruled Sicily in the 10th century.
The best seafood can be found at the restaurants of Ortigia, the historic island center of the city separated by a narrow canal from Syracuse.
Top table: Regina Lucia, with tables on one of the most beautiful baroque squares in Sicily, offers delicate dishes such as potato gnocchi with a spicy fish sauce.
Pasta and main courses range from £ 16 to £ 19 (reginaluciaristorante.com).
How you do that: Ryanair to Palermo from £ 70 return. Doubles at the Ortea Palace for £ 250 a night (orteapalace.com).
Iceland's second city, Akureyri, has a cluster of restaurants that offer everything from the local delicacy, reindeer, to the chance to eat in a barn while watching cows being milked (stock image)
The second city of Iceland, Akureyri, has a cluster of restaurants that offer everything from the local delicacy, reindeer to the chance to eat in a barn while watching cows being milked.
However, for a comprehensive introduction to the city's gastronomic attractions, you can hire a guide to treat you to a three-hour Akureyri Food Walk (akureyrifoodtour.com).
Top table: Strikid, with panoramic views over the harbor, offers a wide range of meat and fish, including Norway lobster sushi (£ 19) and duck breast with orange marmalade (£ 28.50), as well as a £ 47 tasting menu (strikid.is).
How you do that: Icelandair via Reykjavik from £ 394 (icelandair.com) or Wizz Air to Reykjavik from £ 70 (wizzair.com) and take a bus or car the 240 miles to Akureyri. Double play at Hotel Akureyri from £ 80 per night. (hotelakureyri.is).
Slovenia is one of the richest countries that emerged from the Eastern bloc, and its foodie credentials have risen in line with its economic fortune.
One of the restaurants has even made the list of 50 best restaurants of The World.
The medieval town of Ptuj, surrounded by the Podravska, Štajerska and Drava wine regions of the country, is undoubtedly the rising star of Slovenia's food destinations.
Top table: It is not surprising that the Gostilna Ribic, or Angler's Inn, on the Drava River, specializes in great fish – I particularly recommend the trout and walleye (pan-restavracija.si).
Lecce is often called the Florence of the South and is only six miles from the coast in the emerging Italian region of Puglia.
It is famous for a cuisine rooted in the cucina povera tradition, which is dependent on fresh, local produce such as chickpeas, olive oil, tomatoes and of course seafood.
Top table: For authentic Pugliese dishes, go to Trattoria Le Zie, which translates as "the aunts". It offers starters from £ 7 and main courses from £ 8 to £ 11.50.
There is no website, but call +39 0832 245 178 with any questions.
How you do that: Ryanair from Stansted to Brindisi from £ 100 return, then take a train, bus or car the 24 miles to Lecce. Doubles at the Hotel Louis C Jacob from £ 150 per night (hotel-jacob.de).
Scales done right
It is no surprise that Hamburg, the largest port in Germany, has a famous weekly fish market called the Altona Fischmarkt
Hamburg has one of only 11 German restaurants with three Michelin stars, The Table Kevin Fehling (dish pictured above). It has a tasting menu that costs £ 172
It is no surprise that Hamburg, the largest port in Germany, has a famous weekly fish market, the Altona Fischmarkt. Another Hamburg institution is a fish restaurant called Fischereihafen, with a balcony overlooking the River Elbe.
In the meantime, a former cattle market has been redeveloped as a space for non-chain restaurants, cafés and stalls with top-quality products.
Top table: Hamburg has one of only 11 German restaurants with three Michelin stars, The Table Kevin Fehling. It has a tasting menu that costs £ 172 (thetable-hamburg.de).
How you do that: EasyJet London to Hamburg from £ 63 return. Stay in Sir Nikolai, with double rooms from £ 109 per night (sirhotels.com/en/nikolai).
Ham it up
The average Spaniard eats 8 pounds of salted ham every year, and the best type – jamon iberico de bellota – comes from pigs roaming the oak forests around Caceres, where they feed on an acorn diet
The average Spaniard eats 8 pounds of salted ham every year, and the best type – jamon iberico de bellota – comes from pigs that roam the oak forests around Caceres, where they feed on an acorn diet.
Connoisseurs consume the sliced paper thin on a plate warmed to 75 degrees, but so is its sweet and nutty unchaste that it is not necessary to be so special.
And ham is not the only game in the city.
In the historic center of Caceres, a medieval walled city, there is a selection of lively tapas bars.
Top table: The Atrio with two Michelin stars. Meal for two (without drinks) from £ 300 (restauranteatrio.com).
How you do that: Iberia from London via Madrid to nearby Badajoz, an hour and 15 minute drive from Caceres (return from £ 181, iberia.com). Doubles in the Parador de Caceres from £ 91 per night (parador.es).
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