The romantic countries of Spain and France make for great places to take a European food trip for those adventurous enough. If you’re a self-professed foodie though, it’s an absolute must. Sure, you can hop planes and trains and wander about all the typically touristy places. You’ll find plenty of epicurean delights that way, but there’s something extra special about meandering your way to these gorgeous locations in search of the finest fare.
Here, we offer some suggestions for the ultimate foodie road trip that will take you from Spain to France in a blissful food coma.
Stare your European food trip in Barcelona, Spain
Enjoy a scenic walk through the winding Barri Gotic and stop in the Picasso Museum. After getting a taste of Picasso’s famous works, you’re likely to be hungry. Plenty of cafes will beckon to your rumbling belly, but one that should not be skipped over is Tapeo, a wonderful place for tapas and regional wines. Another option is to indulge in a new form of molecular gastronomy that couples science with cuisine for indulgent items that are infused with liquid nitrogen and other unusual but spectacular delights. You can find those at Tickets, where you can also watch the chefs prepare your food, however you’ll need reservations well in advance.
Venture to Carcassonne, France
Right before arriving, if time permits and you’re a lover of wine, stopping in Banyuls-sur-Mer as you cross the French border is a perfect pit stop. From there, you can roll into Carcassonne, a grandly medieval place that looks like something straight out of a fairytale. There, you’ll find a Michelin-starred restaurant called La Barbicane that will turn your fairytale dreams into a complete French foodie reality. And of course a European food trip isn’t complete without some wine tasting and this is a great place to do it. In wine terms, the western extremity of the Languedoc is perhaps lesser known than more famous areas to the east, even if Carcassonne is a popular choice as an international tourist destination. There are three distinct, neighbouring wine appellations, for the most part set among the hills and woodlands to the south, west and north of the historic city. Many good Vins de Pays are produced in the area too.
Onward to San Sebastian
Even though it’s a relatively small city, you’ll find four Michelin-starred restaurants here. Akelarre, Martin Berasategui, Mugaritz, and Arzak are all prime choices for dining. However, word is out that La Cuchara de San Telmo boasts some brilliant cuisine that is anything but basic including a grilled foie gras and fresh goat cheese at prices that won’t break your budget. Spending time in San Sebastian will net you more incredible foodie fare than you can possibly imagine, so don’t be in a hurry here.
Roll on to Rioja
Before driving back to Spain, go a different way so that you can experience Rioja, an amazing wine region. If you’re a true foodie, you’ll appreciate this scenic detour back to Spain, particularly at the Marques de Riscal winery where you’ll find another Michelin-starred restaurant to dine in.
The opportunities for wining, dining, and enjoying the finest of life truly abound on this delicious gourmet road trip. Grab your passport, pack your bags, and get ready to feast on this grand foodie flight!