There is suggestive, but inconclusive, evidence that dietary factors may affect risk of cancers of the upper aerodigestive tract (UADT). In the context of the alcohol-related cancers and genetic susceptibility in Europe study, we have examined the association of dietary factors with UADT cancer risk. We have analyzed data from 2,304 patients with UADT cancer and 2,227 control subjects recruited in 14 centers in 10 European countries. Dietary data were collected through a semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire that also assessed preferred temperature of hot beverages. Statistical analyses were conducted through multiple logistic regression controlling for potential confounding variables, including alcohol intake and smoking habits. Consumption of red meat (OR per increasing tertile = 1.14, 95% CI: 1.05–1.25), but not poultry, was significantly associated with increased UADT cancer risk and the association was somewhat stronger for esophageal cancer. Consumption of fruits (OR per increasing tertile = 0.68, 95% CI: 0.62–0.75) and vegetables (OR per increasing tertile = 0.73, 95% CI: 0.66–0.81) as well as of olive oil (OR for above versus below median = 0.78, 95% CI 0.67–0.90) and tea (OR for above versus below median = 0.83, 95% CI 0.69–0.98) were significantly associated with reduced risk of UADT cancer. There was no indication that an increase in tea or coffee temperature was associated with increased risk of UADT overall or cancer of the esophagus; in fact, the association was, if anything, inverse. In conclusion, the results of this large multicentric study indicate that diet plays an important role in the etiology of UADT cancer. © 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.