Often when we travel our tastes dictate our experience or choice in destination. Travel is about experiences, and food pushes us further into the experience — you book a flight to Italy, you think of garlic butter melting on top of a crunchy loaf. You go to Barcelona and scour the streets for a good paella place. In France, a flakey croissant and a glass of orange juice in the morning is a must.
Food enriches your sense of place and adventure. As a solo traveller, food can even give you travelling confidence — the fresh fruit market that pulls you out of bed on a Saturday morning, the bao bun making class where you meet fellow travellers. We’ve compiled a list of must-experiences for culinary tourism in Europe, especially for solo travellers.
Stay where the food is good: Hotels with Michelin restaurants
For foodie solo travellers staying in a hotel —why not book where you can get top quality dining and a hotel room in one? Look for that Michelin star so you won’t have to sacrifice comfort or taste.
Hotel Signum Sicily, Italy
At Signum restaurant, chef Martina Caruso runs the kitchen – the youngest female chef to receive a Michelin star in Italy, she is the budding queen of Italian cuisine.
Book your stay at Hotel Signum Sicily with Bidroom for up to 15% off your booking compared to other sites combined with free extras including free rooms upgrades, welcome drinks, early check-in and late check-out, and spa access.
Akelarre – Relais & Châteaux, Spain
This 5 star hotel is home to a famous 3 Michelin star restaurant ‘ Akelaŕe’ with a gorgeous terrace to enjoy the Spanish sunshine.
Book your stay at Akelarre – Relais & Châteaux with Bidroom for up to 5% off your booking compared to other sites combined with free extras including spa and wellness access and free parking.
Caro Hotel, Spain
Not only is the food at Sucede restaurant Michelin star quality, the restaurant itself is said to be one of the most stunning locations in Valencia.
Book your stay at Caro Hotel with Bidroom for up to 5% off your booking compared to other sites combined with free extras including early check-in and late check-out, welcome drinks, and high speed wifi.
ABaC Restaurant Hotel Barcelona, Spain
This 3 star hotel hosts a restaurant with avant-garde Catalane food — to date it has been awarded 3 Michelin stars.
Book your stay at ABaC Restaurant Hotel with Bidroom for up to 5% off your booking compared to other sites.
Fresher than fresh: Food markets
Staying in? Make it an occasion. Company is overrated anyway —think about the leftovers. Pick up some fresh delicacies at the local market, moist olive bread, fresh fish, and not to mention, samples. Nothing adds some pizzazz to early city break mornings like fresh tiger loaf or watermelon.
- Maltby St. Market, London
Fresh food, bars, and produce traders. Grab a burger to tide you over while you sift through the best of English foodstuffs.
- Markthalle Neun, Berlin
Baked goods, fresh eggs and funky cheese. They even have bright flower stands and other local store stands with kitchen trinkets.
- Mercado de San Miguel, Madrid
The 100 year old gastronomic market in Madrid hosts the best fresh food and produce from Spain. Tapas and pubs meet divine ingredients; shellfish, ham and fish brought in daily from Galicia.
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Dining solo: insta-worthy food
Whether you’re dining on a budget or have some pocket money saved to splurge, you can experience high caliber food around the world. One of our favourite money friendly restaurants in the UK is @Pizza in Birmingham for ‘the best pizza you’ve ever had’. Yep, seriously. If your budget is mid-range, Ox and Finch in Glasgow is perfect for delicious tapas in a trendy setting.
If you’re looking for something a little more sophisticated, Muddlers Club in Belfast has top quality food with locally sourced ingredients. Another fancy pick we recommend is L’Enclume, a gorgeous Michelin star riverside restaurant in London.
Chef’s kiss: book a cooking class
Cooking classes are an amazing (and totally delicious) way to immerse yourself in culture as a solo traveller, or maybe connect with fellow travellers that have the same foody interests.
- The Paella Club, Barcelona
Learn how to make authentic Paella, pan tomaquet (yummy tomatoe-y bread), and a mix of other traditional Spanish cuisine.
- Gourmet French Cuisine, Paris
Plan your menu, grab your ingredients at the market in the Latin Quarter, and cook up a feast which you’ll learn how to pair with the right wines.
- Chocolate workshop, Brussels
Make your own box of genuine Belgian confectionaries, from pralines to mendiants. Learn techniques from chocolatiers that you can take with you, then enjoy your creations with a hot mug of cocoa.
Food travel is a great way to meet new people, especially as a solo traveller, or to just immerse yourself in the culture of your destination —learn local recipes, taste something new, or even find an event or festival; Taste of Dublin in Ireland is an event for foodies hosted in a beautiful city garden. No matter where you go or who you travel with, there’s nothing better than travelling with your tastebuds.
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