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Top Euro Food: Great Breaks for Glutton

San Sebastian isn’t the only city with a gourmet reputation. Here’s our pick of Europe’s top spots for great grub on the cheap.

Paris
The only European city to equal San Sebastian’s clutch of Michelins, Paris possesses plenty of expensive restaurants. But what’s great about a culture so obsessed with food is that you can pick up high-calibre morsels in any old deli.

Fine cheese and wine comes cheap, and there are scores of little bistros dishing up decadent cooking at low prices. Try Chez Germaine in the 7th arrondissement, where exquisite main meals cost from just £13. (30 rue Pierre Leroux; tel. +33 1 4273 2834)

Rome

Known for being a passionate lot, the Romans lavish this ardour on their cuisine as much as anything else. But while the city’s three-Michelin-star La Pergola restaurant might be on every greedy gourmand’s to-do list, there are plenty of cheap neighbourhood trattorias dishing up pizzas and pastas that’ll stay with you for life.

For a really memorable taste of Rome, seek out Er Buchetto. This three-table hole in the wall serves one dish only – sandwiches stuffed with ecstasy-inducing slowroast pork. Pair with a glass of red for about £3 in all.  erbuchetto.wordpress.com

Brussels

Chocolate, waffles, buns, frites … Belgium is renowned for its food, and the weight gain it inevitably portends.

Foodies will find a galaxy of Michelins in the capital, but bellies on a budget can be filled at the cavernous Au Stekerlapatte bistro near the Palais de Justice.

Sample some more offbeat traditional delights such as grilled pig’s trotters. Mains from £11. (rue des Prêtres 4, Upper Town, tel. + 32 2 5128681)

Tolosaldea

This region to the south of San Sebastian is just as crazy about cuisine as its more famous neighbour.

Perhaps best known for the native (and mouth-numbing) Ibarra chili pepper, Tolosaldea holds foodie fairs year-round, offering free samples and discount dishes.

The town of Tolosa hosts the most, including an annual ‘battle of the beans’ to show off the much-hyped Tolosa black bean – best served with Ibarra peppers and blood sausage – and a summer beer festival. Get in. tolosaldea.net

Photos: TNT, Getty, Thinkstock


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