LONDON, Oct 21 ― Europe's top destinations for dining out may not be the ones that first come to mind ― at least if you're looking for vegetarian cuisine. If you are vegetarian, you may want to plan a visit to Belgrade, Serbia, where animal-free food options come in top spot. And that's not the only surprise found in this British study that aimed to identify the best spots for different kinds of dining on the Old Continent.
London is known for its iconic cocktail bars. Paris for its delicious fine-dining restaurants. Copenhagen for its avant-garde gastronomic scene. If you thought you knew the culinary specialties of each European destination, your preconceptions may be challenged by this Uswitch study that tallied the number of restaurants, bars, cafés, or pubs in 1,356 European cities. To create the analysis, 236,854 restaurants with at least four stars or more on Tripadvisor were scrutinised and the price scale of each was explored. All to come up with a list of European destinations where you can eat well for a reasonable price.
Defying expectations, in the “vegetarian” category, Belgrade, Serbia came out on top, just a hair ahead of Valletta, capital of Malta. In a different category, the study has deemed Skopje in North Macedonia the capital of fast food in Europe. Casual quick eats seem to be particularly delicious in the largest Macedonian city, as the score reaches 9.14 out of 10. Skopje is also the city where a restaurant meal is the cheapest, with an average bill of 16.30 dollars, or about 14 euros.
And if brunch is your thing, prolong your visit in the Balkans, as Tirana, Albania tops the list of European destinations with the best brunch offerings.
The study completed its comparison by aggregating all the data to identify the best destinations to eat. Athens, Greece, came out on top with a score of 88.47 out of 100, boosted by its dense network of cafes. As for Rome, London, Paris and Stockholm, these capitals, which are often praised for the quality of their cuisine, only came 19th, 23rd, 24th and 30th respectively.
The top 10 European destinations for food lovers:
1. Athens, Greece
2. Belgrade, Serbia
3. Sofia, Bulgaria
4. Tirana, Albania
5. Valletta, Malta
6. Lisbon, Portugal
7. Vilnius, Lithuania
9. Zagreb, Croatia
10. Bucarest, Romania ― ETX Studio