Welcome back to part two of our culinary journey across Europe. We really hoped you enjoyed part one and are ready to find our some more of our favourite places! Myself (Emma) and James have been busy writing this article over the last month as there really is so much to chose from. Having to whittle places down means we could not mention them all, but if we’ve missed your favourite place or you want to let us know about a highlight, please leave a comment or find us on social media!
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James: Heading up to North Germany now, I wanted to talk a little bit about one of my favourite parks in Europe, which puts on an amazing autumn event. This event,“Herbstzauber,” boasts an amazing show program as well as the whole park lit up in the night with twinkling lights. Hansa Park is located by the sea and the event is truly magical with a fireworks show and a magical parade with floats decorated with warming golden lights. This mystical event also means that the park is decked with extra food stalls, which are located near to the park entrance and create a food festival atmosphere. From this food festival you can enjoy a traditional German Bratwurst in a bun, or other types of German sausage. You can also pick up some handmade cookie dough or get a hot drink to enjoy the lights parade in a special Hansa Park mug. Here we opted for a delicious white hot chocolate and a delightful German mug of glühwein.
Aside from the amazing autumn event which Hansa Park puts on annually, the park also boasts amazing food offerings all year round. There’s so much to choose from and this article simply wouldn’t be complete without talking about the mouth-watering food offering at Hansa Park. To start off with, the park has a soft whip ice cream stall where they dunk the ice cream upside down in molten chocolate and then it solidifies on the top! I absolutely love this concept and it’s not something we have in the UK, but it’s really popular in Germany, for example at ice cream stalls at the Kirmes. They also offer different flavours of ice cream and sauces too. Simply delicious! The park also has plenty of other stalls with sweet treats and snacks. I chose to pick up a traditionally German lebkuchen heart with the hansa park logo written in icing. I still have it hanging up at home- more a souvenir, although also an edible treat! I guess what I love about Hansa Park is how traditionally German the food is and they also sell regional delicacies too, such as marzipan which is made in nearby city Lübeck.
Hansa Park also sells plenty of other different delicacies and exciting treats, such as potato swirls, waffles, candy floss, crepes, pretzels and many more. The park is also home to a couple of sit down restaurants. The main restaurant is known as “Weltumsegler” which roughly translates to “around the world sailer” in English. The food in this restaurant is about as traditionally German as it could possibly get. On the menu you can choose from delicacies such as Wiener Schnitzel, Bratkartoffeln (fried potatoes), currywurst or hearty soups with Frankfurter sausages. There’s also delicious cakes to choose from such as apple cake. We ate here for lunch and the food was delicious, reasonably priced and the atmosphere very pleasant too. I would highly recommend this restaurant if visiting Hansa Park. Overall, I have to recommend Hansa Park for it’s lovely attractions, theming, atmosphere and delicious, traditional German dishes.
Emma: Throughout parks all over Europe you will notice sponsorships. Companies may sponsor a specific ride or attraction or they may just feature heavily inside the park. These can have quite a positive effect on a park or ride and sometimes will allow for speciality food to be served.
James: Sponsorships can be viewed in both a positive and a negative light. On the positive side, theme parks create a strong relationship with a brand which can be used to promote the brand to the public. On the other hand, people might say sponsorships seem out of place at theme parks as they aren’t unique or original concepts and these companies can be seen in everyday life. This could be said to take away some of the escapism created in a theme park. Some of the biggest parks in Europe for partnering up with other companies when it comes to food are Europa Park, Energylandia and a couple of the UK parks too.
Emma: I will always remember when Tidal Wave at Thorpe Park was sponsored by Dr Pepper! I love Dr Pepper and I thought it was awesome you could stand on the splash zone which was the logo at the time and get totally soaked! Blackpool Pleasure Beach has had a lot of different sponsors over the years. The most obvious being Pepsi Max The Big One, no longer sponsored by Pepsi but still retaining the Pepsi can decoration just before the lift Hill, and the Irn Bru sponsorship of Revolution which saw the ride painted orange and blue!
Tayto Park in Ireland is of course completely designed around Tayto Crisps. The parks features all sorts of rides and attractions and have also just been giving the go ahead for a new roller-coaster, I hope it’s named after a flavour of Crisps!
You could also visit Energylandia to ride their log flume sponsored by the tasty Toffifee!
Polish theme parks
James: As Emma just mentioned, at Energylandia in Poland you can experience a log flume which is sponsored by the popular confectionary brand, Toffifee! Energylandia has also partnered up with a couple of other companies which represent their brand in the Polish theme park. This includes on the Energus rollercoaster, which is sponsored by śmiejżelki, a popular sweet brand in Poland. If you head to the Dragon zone, you can also discover a Lindt store where pick and mix is on offer. On the whole, the food offering in Energylandia is definitely not at the top of its game compared to other European parks. The food is mostly fast food and cheap quality. I suggest eating in the nearby town of Zator instead, which has nice restaurants. However, the ice cream parlour, located near to the Space Gun attraction, has really high quality, delicious ice cream. The ice cream is so creamy and there’s so many different flavours to choose from at a cheap price! You can also discover additional delights such as tiramisu!
Staying in Poland and heading north, I wanted to talk a little bit about Legendia. Legendia is located in Katowice and is a small park which is very picturesque, set around a huge lake. Legendia is known for its quirky attractions, beautiful theming and charming atmosphere. Legendia also has lovely food on offer too, including a signature soft whip ice cream with a purple colour and golden chocolate flakes. As we were visiting the park during its birthday celebrations, we were handed free cupcakes with purple icing, the park’s signature colour. Next to the world-famous Lech rollercoaster, visitors can discover Oberza Lecha, a sit down restaurant with beautiful theming. Here you choose from a wide selection of meals and go up to a canteen-style area to receive your food. This restaurant specialises in traditional Polish dishes which is a great way to discover the local cuisine and you can also sit outside watching the rollercoaster and overlooking the beautiful lake. There’s plenty of other food outlets around the park too, including a cafe on the main street, a take-away fast food style restaurant with burgers and fries and Baba Jaga Chips, with its fun and quirky theme in front of the double looping coaster Diabelska pętla.
Other European park suggestions
Emma: It seems we have a sweet tooth when it comes to our park visits, but a few of our other members of the European Coaster King’s suggested some other thing that you don’t want to miss on your next visit. Over in France at the great Parc Asterix you can enjoy a lovely meal at the Restaurant du Lac. Oberlixs favourite restaurant is situated by the Grand Lac and can be spotted by the giant fruit in its entrance. This table service restaurant serves a variety of meals with ingredients sourced from all over France. They also have a set menu for 26€ which includes a starter, main and dessert of your choice. You could start with my favourite Chevre Miel salad, burger and chips and finish off with another favourite of mine a Cafe Gourmand!
Heading to Walibi Belgium now and we have to mention Delhi’cious! Another restaurant overlooking another lake and boasts a range of Indian cuisine. A lot of recommendations to take a break here for your lunch or an early dinner.
James: There’s a huge region of Europe we still need to talk about. Scandinavia has to be one of Europe’s most loved holiday destinations and it’s known for friendly locals, great food, amazing and picturesque sights and eco-friendly initiatives. Scandinavia is home to dozens of theme parks including one of Europe’s most popular, Tivoli Gardens. Tivoli offers an abundance of restaurants, cafes, snack stalls and bars, where you can try out delicacies relating to the different themed areas of the park. There are some really sophisticated restaurants and some to-go options. The park even has a liquorice store and its very own Wagamamas!
Moving to Finland, Särkänniemi and Linnanmaki are highlights when it comes to food offering. At Särkänniemi we enjoyed a buffet-style lunch in the bottom of the Näsinneula Observation Tower, which had a wide variety of salad options and meatballs. At the top of the observation tower, you can enjoy a fine dining experience in the restaurant Näsinneula, where you dine at a height of 124m over Tampere.
On the other hand, Linnanmäki is the perfect place for sweet treats. From liquorice and raspberry soft whip ice creams to popcorn soft whip ice creams, liquorice laces and more liquorice themed to the park’s heritage wooden rollercoaster. There’s plenty of places to enjoy a sit down lunch too, from a pizza and pasta restaurant to a more fast-food style offering with little frankfurters and chips, salads and ben & jerrys ice cream.
Moving to Sweden, my personal highlight when it comes to food has to be Gröna Lund. Gröna Lund offers visitors plenty of choice in food and drink at various bars, snack stalls and restaurants. They offer cuisines from Mexican to Italian. You can really discover food from all around the world. A personal highlight has to be the crepe stand where you can get a variety of different crepes with different fillings. We had spinach, goats cheese and walnuts.
The park also has a beautiful lake-side restaurant where you can enjoy Italian cuisine such as pizza, pastas and salads. I love the setting and atmosphere of this restaurant. As Gröna Lund is on an archipelago, the views are simply stunning. The food is delicious too.
Liseberg also aims to take you on a culinary experience around the world as they have so many different restaurants offering so many different cuisines. One of the awesome things about Liseberg is also the free water fountains which offer still or sparkling water! However, the absolute best thing about Liseberg has to be the incredible ice cream stall located near to the wave swinger. The ice creams are huge, cheap and absolutely delicious! There’s loads of flavours to choose from too- you cannot miss out on these incredible creations!
Emma: After reading your amazing series of articles about your visits to Scandinavia and all this yummy food, it’s certainly on the top of my list to visit now. I have been lucky to visit Denmark myself on a trip to Legoland Billund and The Lego House. This trip was amazing and we enjoyed some great food when we were there too. In the Lego House we had dinner in their Little Chef, where we created our dinner with lego bricks with corresponding colours for certain food items. This was then sent to the kitchen and prepared, you got to watch the little lego chefs making your food on the screen at your table. Your food then came out of the kitchen on a rail type system similar to the Rollercoaster Restaurant at Alton Towers. Down a spiral and handed to the giant lego chefs waiting at the bottom. A very interactive experience and one I definitely recommend on your visit.
On my day In the original Legoland In Billund we enjoyed a few snacks and drinks. We were so desperate to get on all the rides and see everything there was to see. One thing that does stick out for me was the tasty hot dogs that we had for our lunch. There were a lot to choose from but we went for the classic Hot Dog with fried crispy onions, gherkins, ketchup and mustard. They were so good we went back for another one on the way out of the park!
Emma: The last park on our list to talk about is of course the incredibly popular Europa Park. Sitting on the West German border and a close hop over from France, this park has it all. Embark on a culinary adventure and enjoy food from all over Europe in traditional settings.
You can really have a lot of fun at Europa Park but you’ll need a long stay or quite a few trips to experience it all. With 53 places to eat in the park to choose from you really are spoilt for choice. Not to mention the fabulous hotels and their restaurants too. James you’ve stayed at Europa Park many times and like me really love to visit the park. But tell me what do you love most about the parks food offerings?
James: That’s a great question, Emma! I think the sheer variety of different cuisines and choice of different food options is something that makes Europa Park stand out. Whatever mood you are in, there’s something which will tickle your fancy. That being said, Phantasialand does pip Europa Park when looking at who has the best food in my opinion. With the park having 18 different themed areas, there’s so many different options to choose from. I’d like to start off with talking a bit about the newest restaurant addition for 2020: Bamboo Baai. When Piraten in Batavia and Scandinavia burnt down in a huge fire in 2018, the Mack family were determined to revive these areas and make them even more splendid than before. The brand new Piraten in Batavia, located in the Netherlands area, has an immersive theme and you can enjoy a sit down meal in the final scene of the ride. Bamboo Baai offers Asian cuisine and you can sit overlooking Piraten in Batavia gracefully moving through the final scene. How about you Emma, where is your absolute favourite spot to eat in Europa Park?
Emma: Well over the two days I spent at Europa Park I tried to eat as much as possible to really get a taste for the park’s food offering. But like you said there are 18 themed areas all with different food to choose from. For me I think my personal favourite would have to be the mezze plater I had in Greece. It was a very tasty selection of Greek food such as olives, feta, squid, salad and with a glass of wine. We sat and really had a chance to relax in the sunshine and watch Poseidon and Wodan in the distance. Find out name of restaurant
My next favourite has got to be the lovely coffee and cake I had for breakfast that day in France at Le Petite Boulangerie. Surrounded by ducks and overlooking the can-can Coaster, this little French cafe was perfect. They had a good selection of cakes and pastries with coffee and other drinks available too. You could really sit in any of the locations and become fully immersed within the country. It’s also worth mentioning that you can try all sorts of delicacies at the park, from cheese fondue in Switzerland to traditional style pizzas in Italy. You should always make a stop at the lindt chocolate store too!
When I stayed at the park I decided to camp. At the campsite you have the Silver Lake Saloon, a western themed restaurant which is open in the evenings to serve the camp site and surrounding accommodation. They have a large menu of burgers, ribs, salads and fish too. Inside the restaurant there is a big stage area which on that evening was occupied by a man and a piano playing toe tapping tunes. It looked like you could enjoy dinner and a show on certain weekends! The food was lovely and the service was great too.
James did you eat at any of the hotel restaurants on your stay?
James: Yes! I’ve stayed in the Europa Park Hotel resort twice now so I’ve been lucky enough to have opportunities to eat both in the park and the resort hotels. I’ve stayed in the Bell Rock Hotel, which is themed to New England and also the El Anaduluz, which is the Spanish themed hotel. The Bell Rock had to be the favourite out of the two for me. It must be said, the food in the Europa Park hotels is of an exceptional quality, however the price point is also much higher than the food in the park. The “Don Quichotte” restaurant in the Castillo Alcazar offers a medieval dining experience where you have the choice between paella, tortillas and king prawns. However, my absolute favourite hotel restaurant has to be the Pizzeria La Romantica at the Hotel Colosseo. The food is reasonably priced, absolutely delicious and comes in large portions too. Europa Park also prides itself on having sophisticated bars with a wide variety of cocktails, both in the park and in the hotels. The Spirit Of St Louis Bar in the Hotel Bell Rock, Bar Erikssøn at the Hotel Kronosar and the Bar Colosseo are particular highlights of mine. I always opt for a Hugo, which is my favourite cocktail!
I also have to agree that the cake and pastry selection at the bakery located in the French area really spoils park guests for choice! From muffins to croissants to franzbrötchen, your mouth will be watering and you won’t be able to decide which sweet treat you would like the most! On the subject of treats, I also wanted to talk a little bit about Europa Park’s winter event, known as “Winterzauber”. During Winterzauber, the Germany alley is converted to a giant Christmas market. This Christmas market features stalls selling household christmas decorations, edible gifts, clothes and so much more. Of course there are plenty of food stalls too, serving Glühwein, Bratwurst and many more traditional German specialities. Furthermore, I wanted to talk about our favourite stall in the entire Christmas market. It was located towards the front end of the main street, near to the monorail station and was selling traditional German cakes; from fruit bread to Linzertorte, nut cakes to gingerbread houses! We couldn’t help ourselves! Just for this reason alone I have to say that Europa Park is worth a visit during the winter season to try out the amazing cakes! With Europa Park being one of the largest theme parks in Europe, it has one of the widest food selections and therefore it’s a must for any theme park food fanatic.
Emma: Well it has been so much fun to think back at all the wonderful food we have enjoyed at theme parks all over Europe. What’s more exciting is that this isn’t even half of it! We have I’m sure missed so many great and fantastic food stalls and restaurants but we’d love to hear about some of your favourites too.
I personally just love taking a trip to Europe and really soaking up some of the atmosphere and culture and it’s great to be able to enjoy this in most of the parks. In the future I would love to see theme parks really immerse themselves into dining as well as the rides and themed areas. The UK in particular would highly benefit from investing in more hotels and restaurants. We would also like to see more vegetarian and vegan options available throughout the parks.
I think my favourite place to eat overall would really have to be Phantasialand. If I could be anywhere right now it would be In the sunshine watching the Carousel stuffing my face with cake and enjoying a coffee at Heino’s Kaffeehaus . I just really hope it reopens soon!
What about you James? I know you’ll probably agree with me that Phantasialand is one of the best for eating and drinking.
James: I completely agree with you Emma! Phantasialand in the sunshine right now would be heaven. Perhaps I’d go for a waffle, an ice cream, a cocktail, or churros! I can’t decide! Overall, I’d have to say that I think Germany does lead a clear way in Europe when it comes to theme park food, although there are also great places to eat in other countries too. I would like to repeat your point about the UK benefitting from more hotels and sit-down restaurants in parks. I think this would just allow for a bit more relaxation and charm in our parks and to allow people to really soak up the atmosphere.
I’d also like to highlight your comment about more vegetarian and vegan options too. As I’m not a vegan myself, I haven’t actively been looking out for vegan options in the past but as vegan food can be so delicious I wish that parks were able to expand their offering to cater for more people who choose not to eat meat. It was really evident in Energylandia in Poland, whilst visiting with my friend who is vegan, that there just wasn’t enough choice to cater for a growing representation of people. Furthermore, a lot of the parks in Germany for example, do seem to rely a lot on meat on the menu as a lot of meat dishes are quite traditional over there. I would love to see more vegan options in theme parks in Europe, ranging from fast food to sit down meals, as I think it’s really a market which needs to be catered for and I hope the UK can expand their food offering to cater for this market as well.
We’d like to thank everyone for taking the time to read our article about theme park food in Europe! We hope you’ve enjoyed exploring the different theme parks in Europe with us and enjoyed discovering the best food out there from European theme parks. We also hope we’ve inspired you to get out to some European parks and try out some of our suggestions about the best food! We’d also like to know what your favourite meals or favourite spots to grab a bite to eat or drink are in European theme parks. Please let us know in the comments or drop us a message via our social media channels so we can find out your favourite theme park treats and have inspiration for our next visits!