Hungry but can’t decide on just one dish to eat? No problem if you’re traveling through Spain, have a little of each!
In Spain, there is a famous local custom of eating tapas (also called
On our Spain Bike, E-Bike, & Wine Adventure, we enjoy Spain’s famous custom as the locals do by setting out on a tapas bar crawl in Haro on the second night of the tour. We’ll enjoy one or two dishes at an establishment before moving on to the next bar.
Pay attention to what each bar’s specialty is. It is usually written on a chalkboard near the bar or you can ask your server to make sure you aren’t missing out. To help you form an idea of how delicious this night will be, we’ve compiled a list of tapas dishes to look forward to.
Eating Tapas In Spain
Jamón (ham) is one of the most iconic foods in Spain. There are two types of jamón to know about – Jamón Serrano and Jamón Iberico. Jamón Serrano is your everyday, lower level ham that comes from white pigs and are usually fed typical pig feed. You’ll find Jamón Serrano as an ingredient in dishes rather than served alone .
Jamón Iberico, on the other hand, comes from black Iberian pigs. The Iberian pigs freely roam oak forests eating as many acorns as they please which is what creates their delectable marbled meat. It would be blasphemy to serve Jamón Iberico any other way that thinly and expertly sliced and on its own – though pairing it with a lovely glass of Spanish wine is not only acceptable but encouraged.
Patatas Bravas are deliciously fried potatoes bathed in paprika and oil and topped with aioli. Their origin is debated whether they came from Madrid or Barcelona but one thing is for sure – they are quite tasty and a perfect addition to your tapas crawl agenda.
Gambas a la Plancha
Gambas a la Plancha
Tortilla de Patatas
Tortilla de Patatas or Tortilla Española has been called the national dish of Spain. It is made of eggs, sautéed potatoes and onions in olive oil. Though simple, it is a perfect mix of texture and taste. It is cut into wedges and can be served warm or cold.
Calamari or Sepia
Chances are you know what calamari is already (squid) but you may not know the term sepia, which means baby squid. Both are commonly found on tapas menus throughout Spain, some fried, some grilled.
Another popular tapas dish is croquetas which are small fried rolls that are most commonly filled with jamón serrano and a creamy bechamel sauce (olive oil, butter, flour, and milk). Some tapas bars like to experiment with their croquetas and may fille them with wild mushrooms, chicken, or even chocolate.
Chorizo is a tasty smoked pork sausage made with garlic and smoked Spanish paprika. It can be served on its own or within a more complex dish such as cojonudo de chorizo which is chorizo and spicy red pepper from Rioja topped with a fried quail’s egg and served on bread. Yum!
This is just a sampling of the countless number of tapas dishes that are served all over Spain. When enjoying a tapas bar crawl, we encourage you to taste as many of these incredible dishes as you can. Not only is it fun to try to new things, but you’re also taking part in a Spanish tradition!
Have you been to Spain? What was your favorite tapas dish? Tell us in the comments below!