Traditional European Dishes

32 Most Traditional European Dishes You Should Try

For all of the adventurous eaters looking to explore new traditional dishes here is a selection of 32 traditional dishes, ranging from the Greek classic moussaka to the flavorful French croissant, there will be a suitable traditional dish for everyone!

The traditional European dishes are inspiring in their complexity and deliciousness. With this selection of 32 traditional dishes, ranging from the Greek classic moussaka to the flavourful French croissant, there will be a suitable traditional dish for everyone! From rustic shepherd's pie to rich Bavarian goulash, each traditional dish stands as a monument to its culinary history and culture. 

Sample these traditional dishes that have been deliciously prepared over generations and take a delightful journey through European cuisine.

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Bon Appétit!

Bacalhau a Gomes de Sá - Portugal

Bacalhau a Gomes de Sá from Portugal is a traditional dish that has been an integral part of the country's cuisine for hundreds of years. It is made with layers of potatoes, cod fish, and vegetables. All of these ingredients come together to create a delicious medley bursting with flavour.

This traditional dish is as much about cultural heritage as it is about taste and artistry. Every bite provides the opportunity to connect to past generations and honor their legacy, as well as enjoy a beautiful meal that looks as good as it tastes.

Mix it with some nice Portuguese olive oil and pour yourself a glass of white wine.

There's no wonder why Bacalhau a Gomes de Sá from Portugal remains one of the most popular dishes to this day!

Traditional European Dishes 

Goulash (Gulyás) - Hungary

Goulash, or Gulyás in Hungarian, is an old and treasured international culinary favourite from Hungary. Most traditionally enjoyed as a stew made from beef or veal with potatoes and vegetables, this hearty dish can also take other forms such as noodles with paprika, sour cream and cheese.

Long popular across Hungary for centuries, Goulash is internationally recognized as one of the most traditional European dishes still served today and its popularity continues to soar.

Make sure to enjoy a bowl of this delectable dish the next time you have the chance to hear its name - you won't regret it!

Traditional European Dishes

Sauerbraten - Germany

The classic German dish, Sauerbraten, is a renowned dish from German cuisine. It has originated from the welcoming and vibrant culture of Germany as a mainstay in households for many generations. The dish itself is eye-catching and incredibly inviting with its unique dark brown color and intense flavor combination of aromatic spices.

Most Sauerbraten recipes use wine or vinegar to create a tangy marinade that gives the beef a delightful flavor. Besides beef, pork or venison are also popular sourer ingredients used to make Sauerbraten.

If you're feeling daring, try your hand at this traditional meal with a wiener schnitzel and let your taste buds wander into an exciting journey unrivaled by any other!

Traditional European Dishes


Fish and chips  - United Kingdom

Goulash, or Gulyás in Hungarian, is an old and treasured international culinary favorite from Hungary. Most traditionally enjoyed as a stew made from beef or veal with potatoes and vegetables, this hearty dish can also take other forms such as noodles with paprika, sour cream, and cheese.

Long popular across Hungary for centuries, Goulash is internationally recognized as one of the most traditional European dishes still served today and its popularity continues to soar.

Make sure to enjoy a bowl of this delectable dish the next time you have the chance to hear its name - you won't regret it!


Traditional European Dishes


Croissant - France

The comforting and delicious dish of the Croissant is an experience like no other - an authentically French pleasure that’s been enjoyed in Europe and beyond since the 1700s. Most Westerners agree that croissants rank amongst the most traditional European dishes, celebrated for their lovely buttery flavor, flaky outside layer, and light fluffy inside.

It’s a mouthwatering treat that should be savored alone or with some powdered sugar, jam, and cheese.

The indulgent buttery goodness of the croissant will never disappoint, a scrumptious delight worth exploring and inspiring us to be adventurous with our food choices.

Traditional European Dishes

Pizza - Italy

The Italian gift to the culinary world, Pizza, is one of the most popular and traditional European dishes. When the first Pizza emerged in Naples centuries ago, it quickly became a favorite among food lovers all around the world. Its combination of tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and flavorful toppings is an experience like no other.

Most important, though, is the thin and crispy crust and grated cheese that has also become an important part of any true Italian pizza.

The thought of this delicacy brings a smile to anyone’s face and fills their heart with happiness for taking part in such a magnificent culinary experience!

 Traditional European Dishes

Pelmeni - Russia

Pelmeni from Russia is a true masterpiece of European cuisine. Most commonly, one can find these delightful dumplings filled with minced beef, pork, or fish mixed with an array of spices.

Served both hot and cold, this dish combines the perfect balance of flavor and texture that will leave you craving more. While it is one of the most traditional dishes in Europe, it surprisingly holds some unique variants.

For example, in Ukraine, it's common to find blueberry pelmeni! Whether you prefer the conventional or creative versions Pelmeni will tantalize your taste buds and even inspire your imagination.

 Traditional European Dishes

Paella Valenciana - Spain

Paella Valenciana from Spain is widely regarded as a Spanish original dish. It's made of a selection of ingredients - primarily meat, rice, and vegetables - usually with an intense yellow color, this beautiful meal will bring together cultural influences from all over the region.

If you're looking for a way to bring the taste of Europe into your own home, this simple yet flavourful original recipe has a long history and unique regional character that can't be beaten.

Whether you use traditional methods or expand the recipe with twists of your own making, Paella Valenciana will no doubt be an inspirational feast!

 Traditional European Dishes

İnegöl köfte - Turkey

İnegöl köft is a unique and delicious dish originating from the region of İnegöl in western Turkey. Not only is it one of the most traditional European dishes, but it has been around for centuries, giving us a real taste of authentic Turkish cuisine.

The flavors found in this dish are truly outstanding - succulent chunks of meat mixed with fresh herbs and spices served either on its own or over rice or fries. Most people opt for the latter option, as the combination of flavors and textures creates a truly divine culinary experience that no other dish can match.

A tasty meal that you can find anywhere as it is a popular street food meal.

 Traditional European Dishes

Pancakes - Netherlands

There is something special about the Dutch Pancake that sets it apart from all other pancakes around the world. Most traditional European dishes, such as pancakes, can trace their roots back centuries when they were first prepared and enjoyed by families.

The Dutch-style pancake is slightly different in consistency than most pancakes we experience in North America and other parts of the world; what makes this version unique is its buttery flavor.

With its thick texture and golden crispiness, the Dutch pancake can be served with a variety of toppings or simply enjoyed on its own to have you begging for more!

Traditional European Dishes 

Rosti  - Switzerland

When it comes to most traditional European dishes, few can compete with the Swiss classic, Rosti. This simple dish of grated potato fried in butter or oil has been a staple of Swiss tables for hundreds of years and remains popular today.

While home chefs may cook Rosti quickly on their stovetop, the dish is typically celebrated as a slow food with potatoes that have been grated over time and layered together before being slowly roasted until the outside is golden crisp and the inside tender.

Served simply with a dollop of smoky bacon lardons and runny egg yolk, Rosti is truly an experience like no other - deliciously unassuming yet oh-so-satisfying!

Traditional European Dishes 

Pierogi - Poland 

Pierogi, one of Poland's most famous dishes, has made its way around the world as one of the most beloved and popular European dishes. Pierogi are dumplings filled with either a savory or sweet filling; some of the most popular fillings include mashed potatoes, ground meat, cabbage, spinach, and cheese.

It's no wonder this delicious dish has been such a hit; it's quick to make and can be enjoyed by almost anyone due to its various fillings.

Pierogi is a seemingly simple yet unforgettable dish that is loved both in Europe and across the world.

Traditional European Dishes

Moules frites - Belgium 

Moules Frites is one of the most traditional European dishes. Originating from Belgium, this hearty dish consists of mussels and fries - two ingredients that are widely available in the country.

A meal that many might consider quintessentially Belgian, Moules Frites embodies the spirit and culture of Belgium, making it a must-try at least once in your lifetime! Moules Frites is essentially a delicious bowl of steamed mussels accompanied by thick Belgian chips or French fries.

Eating such a simple yet delicious meal is bound to be an incredible experience that you will remember for years to come.

So what are you waiting for? Indulge in some classic Moules Frites today!

 Traditional European Dishes

Tafelspitz - Austria

Tafelspitz from Austria is one of the most traditional dishes in European cuisine. Many believe that this rich, savoury soup is a symbol of opulence and comfort. The centrepiece of Tafelspitz is usually a large cut of boiled beef that is usually accompanied by creamed spinach, fried potatoes, and some sort of roasted horseradish condiment.

Cooks have been making this dish for centuries and each generation adds its own twist to this popular meal.

Tafelspitz truly stands the test of time as it continues to delight palates both young and old and will likely continue to do so for many years to come!

Traditional European Dishes 

Fårikål – mutton stew - Norway

Fårikål, a mutton stew from Norway, is one of the most traditional European dishes around. It has been a cherished part of the nation’s cuisine for centuries, with many families across the country still gathering each fall to prepare it - often in large batches - as part of Thorsteinsfest, a traditional holiday celebrated in mid-October.

Fårikål is not just beloved by Norwegians; it has earned worldwide recognition and praise as well. An easy yet delectable dish to make, Fårikål conjures feelings of comfort and nostalgia with its hearty ingredients and rich flavour, making it an ideal comfort food perfect for all seasons.

Savouring Fårikål is like taking a journey through Norwegian culture - one bite at a time.

 Traditional European Dishes

Stegt flæsk - Denmark

Stegt flæsk is a dish hailing from Denmark, and it is one of the most traditional European dishes around. Made primarily with pork and potatoes, this dish has been a staple in Danish households for centuries and continues to delight diners today.

The grilled meat is cut into cubes and then fried until crisp on the outside, while the potatoes are usually boiled or baked before serving alongside the pork for a hearty meal. The combination of simple ingredients results in an iconic taste, bringing warmth and joy to any occasion.

Enjoying a plate of Stegtflæsk is guaranteed to leave lasting memories, so be sure to give it a try when discovering traditional Danish cuisine!

 Traditional European Dishes

Karelian stew - Finland

Karelian stew is a traditional Finnish dish that can warm even the coldest of hearts. Most traditional European dishes have managed to endure centuries of change, and Karelian stew is no exception.

This delightful stew can often be seen on dinner tables across Finland during special occasions, but it does not take special events for the people of Finland to enjoy the comforting flavour and heartiness that this flavorful dish brings.

If you are looking for something truly unique and delicious to incorporate into your mealtime routine, then Karelian stew should be at the top of your list!

 Traditional European Dishes

Vepřo Knedlo Zelo - Czech Republic (Czechia)

Vepřo Knedlo Zelo, a traditional European dish from the Czech Republic, is a staple throughout the region and is loved by many. Many European chefs consider this intricate dish to be one of the most authentic and delicious dishes the country has to offer thanks to its flavorful combination of pork with sautéed cabbage, caraway-scented dumplings, and tart apple sauce.

Eating it brings fond memories of hearty home-cooked cuisine often shared between family members who come together to enjoy this meal.

Not only that, but we should celebrate traditional dishes such as Vepřo Knedlo Zelo which have been enjoyed for generations - this showcases a rich culture and heritage which must be preserved in the coming years.

 Traditional European Dishes

Sarmale (Cabbage Rolls) - Romania

Sarmale, the traditional pork and vegetable-filled cabbage rolls of Romania, is certainly one of the most beloved and traditional eastern European dishes.

Every aspect of its preparation is a time-honoured custom, from preparing the plump strands of minced meat to delicately rolling each savoury cigar inside soft leaves of cabbage or vine leaves.

Most commonly served with polenta atop a bed of sour cream and sprinklings of fresh parsley, Sarmale is an absolute delight as both a comfort-food classic and a marvel to behold on any kitchen table.

It's no wonder this delectable dish has been revered by cultures across Europe for centuries!

 Traditional European Dishes

Moussaka - Greece 

Moussaka from Greece is one of the most traditional European dishes with a rich blend of delicious and unique flavors. A flavorful mixture of eggplant, beef, potatoes, onions, tomatoes, and cheese is cooked and layered together bringing out the best in each ingredient.

Most moussaka recipes also include creamy béchamel sauce which gives this classic dish its magical taste that has been loved through centuries. Known for being truly comforting and warming a plateful of moussaka will most certainly bring people closer together by reminding them of a simpler time shared around the dinner table.

This amazing dish can only be found at reputable restaurants or made authentically right at home to enjoy in cozy company - making this traditional Greek delight a must-try pleasure!

 Traditional European Dishes

Borscht - Ukraine

Borscht, thought to be one of the most traditional European dishes, has been served in Ukraine for centuries. The hearty soup is made with a variety of ingredients including beetroot, cabbage, potatoes, and carrots. With so much flavor packed into one dish, it's no surprise that Ukrainians often serve borscht at family gatherings and celebrations.

It's not only delicious but also said to be a bowl full of vibrant colors. Whether you're looking for a unique dish to try or just want something comforting and cozy on a chilly day, borscht from Ukraine is an excellent choice.

 Traditional European Dishes

Dumplings with sheep's cheese (bryndzové halušky) - Slovakia 

Slovakian dumplings with sheep cheese, known as Bryndzové Halušky, are among the most traditional European dishes. Traditionally a staple dish amongst the Slovak people for centuries, this hearty bowl is sure to warm your heart and keep you satisfied.

A combination of flour dumplings, boiled and then fried until golden brown and topped off with bacon, sheep’s cheese, salt, and pepper make an unforgettable dish. The interesting mix of flavors creates a unique and comforting experience that truly speaks to Slovakia's rich culture and history.

Whether from eating it in its homeland or trying it at home yourself – Bryndzové Halušky is something extraordinary not to be missed!

 Traditional European Dishes

Judd mat Gaardebounen - Luxembourg

Judd mat Gaardebounen, a dish from Luxembourg, is one of the most known European dishes. Featuring a combination of tender pork neck, baked beans, and mashed potatoes, this beloved national dish is truly a crowd favorite.

Its simple yet hearty ingredients capture the essence of Luxembourg’s culinary culture – robust flavors to feed every soul at home. Every bite is filled with traditional flavors that embody the region’s rich history and culture.

From large family gatherings to private celebrations, Judd mat Gaardebounen will live on as a timeless classic for generations to come - an inspiration to all who are fortunate enough to experience this incredible dish.


Traditional European Dishes 

Bob Chorba – Bean Soup - Bulgaria

Bob Chorba - Bean Soup from Bulgaria is an amazing European recipe that has stood the test of time. This hearty soup is a deliciously warm and comforting food enjoyed by Bulgarians for centuries.

It is packed with protein, fiber, and vitamins, making it a very nutritious meal. Best of all it's incredibly flavourful, combining classic aromatics like onion, garlic, and parsley with smoked paprika and creamy cannellini beans.

Melt-in-your-mouth dumplings are added at the end to create an unforgettable bowl of warmth. Whether it's served hot or cold, Bob Chorba - Bean Soup from Bulgaria is an incredibly delicious European classic that can easily become your next family favorite!

 Traditional European Dishes

Peka - Croatia 

Peka, a European recipe that originated in Croatia, is an incredible dish that has stood the test of time.

This traditional combination of meats and vegetables is often cooked over a fire or in an oven-safe cooking vessel and can take up to several hours to prepare. This slow cooking helps develop the flavor of the ingredients, blending them into something more than just their original components.

The result is something that is proudly served to family and friends alike, perfectly reflecting Croatian culture in its sumptuousness. Peka is truly a magical dish that has been threaded throughout European history - one worth exploring for anyone seeking out unique experiences from around the world!

Traditional European Dishes

Draniki - Belarus 

Draniki, a European recipe from Belarus, is the perfect dish for a weekend cooking session. This fried potato pancake takes mere minutes to prepare but packs a flavorful punch that is guaranteed to keep diners coming back for more.

The main ingredients are boiled potatoes or roasted potatoes, onions, and eggs – pantry staples that can easily be found at any local grocery store. Enjoyed as a side dish or even as your main course with the right accompaniment, drank is sure to have everyone’s mouths watering.

So why not give it a try? You won't regret it.

 Traditional European Dishes

Štruklji  - Slovenia

Štruklji is a famous dish from Slovenia that can be enjoyed both as a savory meal or a sweet dessert. It is an interesting and tasty dish, made with simple ingredients such as cheese, meat, or fruits that are wrapped in dough and then boiled.

A perfect Štruklji will have the dough enveloping soft and flavorful fillings that create an unforgettable combination of tastes.

Whether it's served hot or cold, at breakfast or dinner, this traditional Slovenian dish offers a unique experience for all food lovers to enjoy.

 Traditional European Dishes

Cepelinai (Zeppelins) - Lithuania

Cepelinai, Lithuania’s famous dish, is a national culinary icon. This unique dish is made with grated or riced potatoes, pork, mushrooms, and onions that are mixed and then shaped into large dumplings like zeppelins.

The creativity of the Lithuanian people has given way to some of the most delectable dishes found anywhere, also as street food! Devoid of complicated ingredients yet packed with flavor, Cepelinai is sure to impress and inspire even the most discerning taste buds.

For an unforgettable culinary experience, try this famous Lithuanian masterpiece!

 Traditional European Dishes

Gibanica - Serbia

If you're looking for a truly unique European dish, look no further than Serbia's delicious Gibanica! It's a savory pastry that is filled with melted cheese and eggs, making it particularly rich and flavorful. Its history begins in Serbia's highly acclaimed monasteries.

To this day, Gibanica remains a staple of both Serbian culture and cuisine. It's the perfect combination of salty and savory tastes that will tantalize your taste buds.

With the traditional version being vegetarian-friendly, everyone from vegans to meat-eaters can find something they love in Gibanica! Enjoy this European culinary masterpiece like never before when you try this delicious dish.

 Traditional European Dishes

Pelēkie zirņi ar speķi - Latvia

Pelēkie zirņi ar speķi, or grey peas with bacon, is an iconic Eastern Europe dish from Latvia that has been delighting taste buds for generations.

First made using ingredients commonly found in the local region such as peas, bacon, onion, and potatoes, it has stood the test of time, remaining a popular favorite for home-cooked meals as well as being served in high-end restaurants.

It combines comfort food classic flavors into one savory dish that can be enjoyed any time of the year whether served hot or cold. It's no wonder why this European dish continues to bring so much joy to Latvians thanks to its unmistakable flavor!

 Traditional European Dishes 

Mulgikapsad - Estonia

Mulgikapsad is a traditional national dish of Estonia and it is a must-try for anyone looking to sample authentic Estonian cuisine. Utilizing simple yet flavourful ingredients, this comforting stew combines sauerkraut, spicy smoked pork, onion, and bacon to create an invigorating and hearty meal that can be enjoyed any time of year.

The combination of the smoky pork and tangy sauerkraut creates an intense balance of flavor sure to leave anyone wanting more.


With its unique taste, Mulgikapsad is not only delicious but a source of national pride for millions of Estonians around the world, making it the perfect dish to inspire your next culinary journey.

 Traditional European Dishes

Köttbullar – Meatballs - Sweden 

Mulgikapsad from Estonia is the ultimate comfort food dish with long-standing roots in the Baltic nation's cuisine. Simmered for hours in a pot of sauerkraut, onions, and smoked meats, this hearty dish ensures that family dinners are always delicious and comforting.

The smell that wafts through the kitchen while it cooks is enough to make anyone's mouth water! This traditional Estonian dish is easy to make and always brings people together over dinner.

Prepare Mulgikapsad once and you'll understand why it has been so popular with Estonian families for generations - its unique flavors will delight even the pickiest eaters!

Traditional European Dishes

Ending off this tour of the 32 most delicious and traditional European dishes, it's worth mentioning how each country was as unique and diverse in its cuisine as they are in its culture.

Europe is a great destination to try new food because of the diverse cultures represented there. From Spanish tapas to Russian borscht, you can find any type of cuisine imaginable in Europe. Plus, European restaurants often have more adventurous menus than their American counterparts, so you’re likely to find something new and exciting even if you’ve been to Europe before.

From Italy's pillows of soft and savoury meals that make you want to eat Pizza every day to Sweden’s iconic meatballs and creamy mashed potatoes, there's something incredibly satisfying about sampling all the different flavours of these treasured dishes.

If you've ever found yourself dreaming of traveling far away and experiencing life abroad, this culinary journey has hopefully shown you just a fraction of the extraordinary sights and tastes Europe has to offer! 

Ready to elevate your culinary explorations and create unforgettable memories along the way? Get your deck of 50 travel challenges and let the feast for your senses begin. Bon appétit, buon appetito, guten Appetit, and happy travels!

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