Needless to say that Europe has some of the greatest and diverse cuisines in the world. You will never be without good options to eat and dine throughout your travels in Europe.

What’s in a name? Well in some countries the name indicates the type of eating institution and the level of services offered. Names can determine whether it is an establishment of formal or casual dining and the amenities and service. Here are some of the differences and what one can expect in several countries


Boulangerie – Bread shop featuring sandwiches for breakfast and lunch

Crêperie – Specializing in sweet crêpes in takeaway sites, cafés or restaurants

Patisserie – Bakery specializing in cakes and sweet pastries

Café – French coffee shop with light offerings like croque monsieur or salads

Brasserie – French version of a pub as it means brewery in French. Casual dining and more informal then a Bistrot.

Bistrot – Intimate casual dining offering simple traditional fare and similar to Brasseries. Typically family owned.

Restaurant – High end gastronomique dining where you find Michelin star rated restaurants. Many feature Haute Cuisine.


Mercado – Public food market featuring produce, bread, eggs, meat, fish, cheese, preserved food, sweets and prepared foods.

Paninoteca – A Sandwich Shop. The food offering varies from one region of Italy to another

Tavola Calda & Rosticceria – Cafeteria style service of readily cooked meals

Osteria – Casual dining at modest prices. The the days menu may be on a chalkboard

Pizzeria – Casual dining featuring Pizza. Some may be takeaway only

Trattoria – More formal than an Osteria but less formal than a restorante

Restorante – Formal fine dining usually featuring the best local cuisines

Depending on what countries you travel to, learn what the restaurant types are to know your offerings

Finding Places to Dine…


They feature and review certain restaurants and the let users add reviews to Concierge’s review.


Fodor reviews restaurants. You can search by price or cuisine type.


Michelin is famous for finding the best restaurants and it’s 3 star ratings are highly conveyed by chefs. Full gastronomic dining at its best but, the cost is relative.

Spotted By Locals

Read reviews posted by local residents on dinning and points of interests. A way to experience cities like a local and discover hidden gems.

Taste Atlas

Type in the country you want and find popular local and regional foods, beverages and restaurants.

The Fork

Features restaurant information and allows users to post their personal reviews online

Travel And Leisure

Offer their opinions on restaurants by country and area.

Trip Advisor

Reviews are posted by regular travelers who have eaten at these establishments and offer their own personal opinions


While used a lot in the US, Urbanspoon is limited to reviews of restaurants in the UK & Ireland only.


Reviews are posted by Yelp members who have eaten at these establishments and give their own personal opinions

Virtual Tourist

Let’s users submit reviews of restaurants and rates them with a 0 to 5 thumbs up


Reviews on restaurants and nightspots in Amsterdam, Barcelona, Florence, London, Madrid, Paris, Rome & Venice.

You’ll have to figure that out by looking at reviews and making a decision. Your hotel can suggest places to eat but, some hotels are paid to push people to eat at some locations. That doesn’t necessarily mean they’re bad but, it also doesn’t mean they’re really good or a value. I would talk to people who have visited previously and get some recommendations that way. You can find food reviews at the web sites listed below. While some publications personally review restaurants they have visited and dined at, they tend to be the more noted ones and may be a little bit on the expensive side. Other sites will have reviews from travelers who have dined at theses locations. You have to read through several reviews to get a overall picture of the restaurant. The reviews by actual travelers can vary a great degree. An example is, 8 out of 10 reviews have very good ratings and comments by the travelers but, then there are two that may say the place was horrible. Makes you wonder if they were actually at the same place. So sift through comments carefully and take some with a grain of salt.