An essential part of visiting Spain is indulging in sangria and of course, tapas! Each region of Spain has starters unique to the area and their twist on traditional Spanish tapas. If you want an affordable and practical way to sample traditional Spanish food is with tapas.
Tapas are great because they are an affordable and practical way to taste local dishes. In fact, in Andalucia, tapas are still served on the house, which means free bites with every drink.
Traditional Spanish Tapas to Try
1. Patatas Bravas
This Spanish classic is native to Madrid and is a crowd favourite. patatas bravas are small bites of fried potatoes covered with a tangy tomato sauce. The bravas sauce is house made, and if you ever have it the same way twice, you’re lucky! Every place puts its unique spin on it, and some even add a creamy garlic aioli.
2. Tortilla Española
Considered the national dish of Spain, tortilla española is a toss-up between a quiche and a frittata. Traditionally, the only ingredients are eggs, onion, olive oil, salt and pepper. To order as a tapa and not a full pan, be sure to ask for “pincho de tortilla.”
3. Calamares a La Romana
Calamares a la Romana aka fried squid is a real treat when in Spain. Another simple recipe with few ingredients like lemon, olive oil and of course, squid make for a fresh and tasty starter with your caña! The best Calamares, in our opinion, is in Barcelona and Valencia but you can enjoy it all over the country.
4. Pulpo Gallego
Hailing from the Galician region of Spain, Pulpo Gallego is unique, slightly spicy and made from Octopus and paprika. Octopus is a speciality in Gallicia, and they know how to do it right with just the right amount of lemon, sweet paprika and olive oil.
Tigres also known as mejillones rellenos or in English, stuffed mussels, is another Galician staple. Cooked to a crisp in wine and typically served alongside a mouthwatering tomatoey anchovies sauce, this tapa is a must taste.
6. Pan Con Tomate
Here is another perfect example of simple, no-fuss ingredients that bring Spanish food to life. Pan con tomate is bread with tomato paste and uses only french bread, olive oil, salt and garlic. It’s perfect as a tapa or a breakfast with a warm cafe con leche.
These mini sandwiches are essential in any tapas bar across Spain. The variety of these palm-sized slices of french bread are never-ending with toppings like jamón, cheeses, pickles, calamares, crab, fried onions, cod, egg and more.