Tapas is a great way to have dinner or lunch. Spanish people do tapas regularly. And there are so many different options and styles out there! But what are tapas? We have made a selection of the best tapas in Spain (or at least our favorite ones!). But first, let’s talk a bit about Tapas in Spain.
A ‘Tapa’, for those who still don’t know, is a small portion of food. So, when you go out to eat tapas, what you are really doing is ordering a few different small dishes. Usually you order two or three tapas per person (depending on how hungry you are) and everybody shares them. Isn’t that a great idea?! It is also a great way to discover new dishes without fear of ordering just one dish and not liking it (ergo end up eating almost nothing at all!).
Tapas in Spain vary depending on the region. And in the Basque Country, they also have pintxos! But we’ll talk about pintxos some other day.
Do you want to know which are the best tapas in Spain? We (The Spanish Touch team) have made this list and we hope you will taste most of them in your next trip to Spain!
Our 10 Best Tapas in Spain
Here is our selection! From the least favorite to the best-loved! Ready?
10. Chorizo al diablo (Devil’s chorizo)
Eric loves this tapa … One of his favorites. The chorizo is served with alcohol (usually rum) and they light it in front of you. Chorizo al flambé is very spectacular as a tapa. And hot!
9. Champiñones rellenos (Stuffed mushrooms)
Usually the mushrooms are stuffed with cheese. But it’s a pretty flexible dish since they can also be stuffed with vegetables, meat …
8. Berenjenas fritas con miel de caña (Fried eggplant with molasses)
This is a tapa very traditional in southern Spain. The only factory in Europe that still produces molasses is located in Frigiliana (Malaga), so makes sense that this tapa is very common there. The unique flavor of molasses is divine served with the fried eggplant!
7. Croquetas (Croquettes)
Croquettes are another flexible tapa. You can find cheese croquettes, spinach and pine nuts croquettes, seafood croquettes, cod croquettes … but the most traditional ones are the chicken croquettes. Who doesn’t like croquettes! Every child’s favorite too!
6. Chipirones fritos (Fried baby cuttlefish)
Spain is big on seafood. And maybe some people have developed allegies but for those who can eat them … It is delicious! We can find many tapas with fried or grilled seafood or combined with a simple sauce: steamed mussels, clams with a marinara sauce, fried calamari, etc. Fried baby cuttlefish is usually served with lemon (squish the lemon on top!).
5. Tortilla de patatas (Spanish omelette)
Everybody knows what a Spanish omelette is! The traditional recipe calls for potatoes (and maybe onion). That’s it. And eggs, of course. But we have seen Spanish omelette recipes out of Spain that also include green or red peppers, zuchinni and many other ingredients. I am sure this is a fantastic omelette but it won’t be a traditional Spanish omelette!
4. Pà amb tomàquet (Bread with tomato)
This Catalan recipe is so good! It is not a tapa per sé, but in Catalonia you will always see a tapa of it in any tapas table. We prefer when they bring all the ingredients separately so you can prepare the bread with tomato from scratch. First, spread the garlic on the toasted bread. Then spread the tomato. Finally, add oil and salt. Simple but delicious! Definitely one of Elna’s favorites (of course, she is from Barcelona…).
3. Cazón en adobo (Marinated dogfish)
The secret of this tapa is to marinate the fish over night. Fry it the following day and eat it right away! The fresher the fish is, the better. Also usually served with lemon so you can squish it on top of it.
2. Pulpo a feira (Octopus a feira)
A Galician specialty. Boiled octopus with paprika. You will know when is well cooked and fresh because the octopus has to disolve in your mouth. Always a must on any tapas menu!
1.aPatatas bravas (Spicy potatoes)
And there we go! Patatas bravas were our favorite! Another must in any tapas lunch or dinner and the best tapa in Spain according to… us! They key is the sauce. Every bar has its own sauce recipe. Many people do bar crawls just to try different spicy potatoes! Who gets tired of this? Not us …