Apfelstrudel 

Many Europeans don't realise just how lucky they are to have such a vast spread of international cuisine right on their doorstep. From Finland in the north to Greece in the South, flavours vary greatly, and no country's cuisine replicates another's entirely.

Read on for just some of the highlights of Europe's delicious food map.

 

Austria

Historic Austria with its darling capital city of Vienna is particularly well known for two dishes: the Wiener Shnitzel and the Apfelstrudel. The schnitzel is traditionally made with veal, and is coated in the finest breadcrumbs. Apfelstrudel is fruit pastry perfection with subtle undertones of cinnamon.

These delicacies are best enjoyed in traditional cafes and patisseries in the residential areas of Austria's biggest cities, or in local eateries in smaller towns and villages. Avoid overpriced tourist traps near to the biggest visitor attractions.

Ask your hotel receptionist or sales assistants for honest, local advice.

Belgium

Beautiful Belgium is a paradise for gourmets who love a bit of good old comfort food. City streets are lined with kiosks and cafes selling mouthwatering local delicacies like waffles and fries.

It's not easy to choose what to buy from these cheap eateries. Visitors are faced with difficult decisions such as choosing from an array of sauces from mayonnaise to Thai chilli for your fries, and toppings from chocolate sauce to fresh strawberries and cream for your waffles.

This type of hearty street food won't break the bank, and will fill you up considerably.

Those looking for a little something lighter should savour some of the country's excellent seafood, mussels being the speciality. Again, you'll be faced with the tough decision of choosing a sauce but fries on the side are almost always a given.

Wash it all down with a locally brewed beer. Again, however, you have decisions ahead of you as beers come in flavours from cherry to chocolate to pumpkin.

The Netherlands

The Dutch are renowned for their high standards of agriculture. Many of Europe's vegetables are grown in its vast plains, and many livestock reared in its luscious fields.

One of the foods that puts The Netherlands firmly on Europe's best foods map is the country's cheese. Local cheese markets are such a sight to see! Visit the few remaining commercial ones at Woerden and Gouda, or the more touristy ones of Alkmaar, Edam, and Hoorn where cheese trade is re-enacted every summer to please the crowds.

Gouda, Edam, and Maasdamer are arguably the best known cheese varieties, but visitors should also try less conventional types such as Boerenkaas (an unpasteurised cheese), smoked cheese, pesto cheese, and Leidse cheese (cumin cheese).

For a heavier evening meal, try stamppot that is a traditional meal of mashed potato mixed with other vegetables, meat or fish.

After all that eating, everyone deserves a good night's sleep. Book yourself a stay at <a href="http://doubletree3.hilton.com/en/hotels/netherlands/doubletree-by-hilton-hotel-amsterdam-centraal-station-AMSCSDI/index.html">hotel in Amsterdam</a> city centre, Antwerp, Innsbruck or wherever you end up. Enjoy your culinary journey, and don't just stop there. Europe is home to so many more gourmet destinations.