Best Traditional Tapas From Spain
WHAT ARE THE MOST POPULAR TAPAS IN SPAIN?
Here is our list of famous Spanish tapas dishes:
“Brave potatoes” are fried potatoes served with garlic allioli mayonnaise and a red mildly spice sauce or oil. In Barcelona, locals pilgrimage to some bars said to prepare the best patatas bravas, and there is even a controversy between those who favor the ones at Tomàs and those preferring the ones by Mandri (although there are many other great bars that could perfectly rival them).
Tortilla de patatas
Do not confuse them with the Mexican tortillas: the Spanish tapas dish is made with fried potatoes, eggs and optional caramelized onion, and it’s actually more similar to the Italian frittata (the main difference being frittata is baked and tortilla is fried). Spanish love tortillas, and you’ll often find them with different fillings: eggplant, parsley & onion, artichokes…
But the king of Spanish tapas remains that of potatoes. Learn how to make the real Spanish omelette in our blog – it’s very easy!
Chipirones (baby squid)
Yes, that’s probably the kind of Spanish tapas you might not be too likely to order yourself. However, chipirones are another classic tapa you should try. You’ll often find them battered and deep-fried, but they are also served “encebollados” (cooked with onion) and with scrambled eggs. BTW, in this other post you’ll find other great seafood tapas.
Montaditos (also called pintxos)
A slice of bread with a variety of toppings, this tapas dish is original from the Basque Country. The name “montaditos” refers to the process of “montar” (assembling) the toppings over the bread, while “pintxo” is also how we call the toothpick that they stick on them (don’t throw them away: at the end of the meal the waiter will count the toothpicks to know how much units to charge you).
Spanish ham, salmon, fish paté or cream cheese are our favorite flavors. We always visit at least one pintxo bar in our tapas tours because they are fun.
Pimientos del Padrón
Spanish tapas also include veggie options, and the green peppers from Padron in Galicia (North of Spain touching Portugal) are undoubtedly the most popular. They come simply fried and sprinkled with sea salt.
What makes them special is that most of these peppers aren’t spicy, but from time to time you get one that’s really hot, and there is no way to guess which one will be: a platter of Padron peppers is like a Russian roulette, in this sense!
AND BONUS! My personal favorite Spanish tapas?
A favorite of both kids and adults alike, these small bread-crumbled fried rolls are never made with mashed potato in Spain, but with a thick bechamel white sauce instead, to which other ingredients are added. Chicken or ham are the most common flavorings, closely followed by cheese, codfish and mushrooms. I recommend asking what are they made of before ordering.
What’s your favorite tapas dish?
Marta is the founder of ForeverBarcelona. She is a passionate tour guide that loves Barcelona and loves writing too. She is the main author of our Blog, and is committed to sharing her knowledge about Barcelona and her best tips with our readers.
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