15 Tapas to try in Spain

15 Tapas to try in Spain

Experience Spain like a local with a selection of traditional tapas.

In Spain, dinner is typically served between 9 and 11 p.m., leaving significant time between work and dinner for hunger to strike.  Enter the country’s beloved tradition of eating tapas, a wide variety of appetizers, or snacks, that have evolved into an important part of Spanish cuisine.

Tapas may be served cold (such as mixed olives and cheese) or hot (such as chopitos, which are battered, fried baby squid).  And they can be enjoyed as a prelude to dinner or as dinner itself.

You can experience a variety of tapas at restaurants and tascas (taverns) across Spain.  Because tapas are informal, and these bars are often busy, it’s not uncommon to eat standing up at the bar or at small tables.  Order a caña (small beer), or a chato (glass of wine) to sip as you enjoy the selection of small bites and convivial atmosphere.

Try these 15 tapas while traveling in Spain:

Aceitunas: olives, often served with herbs, peppers or anchoview

Bacalao: salt cod, breaded and fried or stewed in tomato sauce

Calamares: fried squid rings

Croquettas: deep-fried croquettes filled with potatoes, cod, or meat

Tortilla: potato omelette

Patatas bravas: fried potato wedges served with a spicy alioli sauce

Jamón Iberico: thinly sliced salt cured ham

Pimientos rellenos: stuffed peppers

Albóndigas: meatballs with sauce

Boquerones: white anchovies served in vinegar or deep fried

Gambas: prawns in salsa negra (peppercorn sauce), al ajillo (with garlic), or pil-pil (with chopped chili peppers)

Sardinas en tomate: preserved sardines served over a crusty bread with tomato

Pulpo al la gallega: Galician-style octupus

Chorizo al vino: chorizo sausage slowly cooked in wine

Montaditos: small filled buns, often served toasted



One thought on “15 Tapas to try in Spain

  • January 20, 2021 at 7:41 am

    I never knew that it’s common that you eat standing up at small tables. My brother is in town this weekend and he wants to get some authentic Spanish food while he’s here. I’ll have to find a place that also does takeout so we don’t have to be around people.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *