Budget-friendly foodie trips in Europe
Boasting some 52 individual chocolate shops, Belgium's unofficial chocolate capital is perfect for travellers looking to sate sweet-tooth cravings. But Bruges's meandering cobblestone streets and canals are also great for sampling two street-food Belgian standbys: Belgian frites (£2.12) and steaming waffles with hot caramel (£2.55). (brugge.be)
De Vlaamsche Pot is run by celebrity chef Mario Cattoor. Try his Zeeland mussels served with celery, onion, parsley and crushed pepper, £14.90, and Stoofvlees op z'n vlaams, Flemish beef stew, £13.20. Many of Mario's dishes have come straight out of his gran's recipe book and into his own best-selling cookbook.
Take a local beer home. At de Bier Tempel, you can choose from 600 different types of bottled beers. Come for dainty boxes of 17 Belgian chocolates, £10.22 at The Chocolate Line and see pralines being made in their workshop.
You don't come to the simple, worn Café 't Brugs Beertje to grab a beer; you come to nurse and treasure one. Among vintage billboards, they sell several hundred of Belgium's finest brews, including the bitter, malty blond Delirium Tremens, £2.75.
Once serving as the city's butter market, the renovated Boterhuis offers 11 rooms with exposed wood flooring, traditional furniture and wide double basins in the bathrooms. Serves a large breakfast buffet, packed with meats, cheeses, and kramiek, the local brioche. Doubles from £82.
In medieval times, Norway's second city was one of Europe's centres for maritime trade; now it's the country's seafood capital, with dishes such as cod, monkfish and lutefisk (traditional Scandinavian dried white fish treated with lye) appearing on local menus. It's also the quintessence of rustic Scandinavian charm, thanks to a colourful quarter of wooden wharfside warehouses and cellars dating from the 1700s. (visitbergen.com)
A short walk from the UNESCO-listed harbour is the newly renovated, rustic chic Hanne på Høyden, where award-winning chef Hanne Frosta comes up with organic, exclusively Norwegian-sourced products. Try her pumpkin soup with birch oil and apple-glazed red onions, £11.90, and seasonal berries and fruit compote with gooseberry sorbet, £12.99.
The orange-tarped stalls at the bustling outdoor harbourside Fish Market sell prawn baguettes, £5.50, and fish cakes, from £9.60. You can also get vacuum-packed bags of salmon to take home, from £21.50/kg for farmed, £43/kg for wild. Visit the city's recently opened organic food shop Reindyrka for goodies such as Isrosa's winter ice-cream, with spices, pineapple and chocolate.
Linje Akvavit (Aquavit) is aged in oak casks on ships that cross the equator; the rough seas and changes in climate add flavour to the concentrated potato-based spirit. To try a glass, £8, visit the Femte I Andre Bar, one of Norway's best stocked and most respected cocktail bars.
Sisters Yvonne and Renate run the refined b&b To Søstre. White wooden walls and bare wooden floors form the backdrop to the two double bedrooms (shared bathroom) and the ensuite attic loft. It is best known for breakfasts of homemade breads and jams, smoked mackerel and salmon, reindeer sausage and muesli. Doubles from £119.
Last year Roger Norum ate his way through 29 cities around the world for publications that included O, Departures, Sunday Express and Rough Guides.