By Shikha Lakhani – Marketing, Sales and Growth, Holachef
My first trip to Europe was no less ambitious than most first timers – too much to travel and too little time! The 15-day long itinerary covered 5 countries, several cities and lots of activities. Although we were quite comfortable keeping it impromptu with hostel stays, exploring places on foot and consulting locals for information, I was perturbed by one thought – good food. Being a vegetarian I had serious doubts on finding any options at all. My previous trips to South East Asia had made me find solace in French fries and packed junk food. This time, I was going to be wiser and carry lots of homemade snacks with me. However, the trip surprised my palate and introduced me to lots of delicacies. Here’s a food-travel trail of my holiday for those who might want to know how these beautiful cities look food wise.
Day 1: Paris
The city is full of desserts and breads, and from stations to quaint lanes, people can be seen grabbing them hot and fresh. Don’t miss out on delicious croissants for breakfast. Within desserts I loved macaroons.
Paris is quite expensive for food as compared many other cities we visited during the rest of the trip nevertheless, the cafes are cute and plenty all around the city.
Day 2 & 3: Rome
Pizzas and pastas were everywhere and I had them in their most authentic version, bland and plain! They are served with no oregano and pepper, use a lot of tomato sauce and are not as cheesy. Don’t forget to try the gelato ice creams from any of the numerous stores spread across the city. It’s ubiquitous and with many many flavours.
Day 4: Venice and Day 5: Pisa
Venice was one of those cities that were overloaded with veg options but of pizza and pasta. You can choose from a variety of fresh veg toppings for your dish. However, it’s a challenge finding any other cuisine in this city and all the local stuff is around tomato and cheese. The pretty cafes are by the water side and beautiful when lit in the evenings.
We couldn’t explore much of Pisa however the relatively small place did have fast food joints like Subway, which were nowhere to be seen in Venice or Rome.
Day 6 to 8: Interlaken
I found this one a super expensive city for food including breads & regular grocery store products.
We lived in a cute hostel, that put out leftover food every day for free consumption once people checked out. We managed to find some awesome pasta sauce bottles, bread, spices lying there and preferred to cook our own meals using them!
Jungfraujoch, the highest train station at Alps has a nice Indian restaurant at the top. In fact, Interlaken was the first city where we found Indian eateries after days.
Not to forget: Lindt chocolates with lots and lots of variety. One can also find a lot of gourmet chocolate stores around the market side, if not buy, do go taste them all.
Day 9 & 10: Munich
The Bavarian culture with lots of alcohol all around the streets was quite evident here and Munich is a heaven for vegetarians. I finally could locate a variety of cuisines at extremely reasonable prices. Lebanese and Chinese cuisine is recommended for all those who miss ghar ka khana – they spice it up quite like home, theekha and masaledar, and is a great respite after having had what can be termed as insipid food according to Indian standards of course!
Day 11 to 13: Amsterdam
The home styled food journey continued and it was also an ‘easy on pocket’ city. Plenty of options for food across cuisines once again and even the fine dine places seemed quite affordable with some good platters for vegetarians.
Don’t forget the fries – fat potato slices with assorted topping are a must have, and you can find stores at short distances all around the city. We also happened to be there during a city festival so got to have some great pancakes and pizzas on the street with live dance & music.