Spain is a food lover’s paradise, with a rich culinary tradition that spans centuries. From the mouthwatering flavors of paella and tortilla española to the refreshing coolness of gazpacho, Spanish cuisine is a vibrant and diverse reflection of the country’s history and culture. If you’re a fan of Spanish food or looking to discover new culinary experiences, Spain should definitely be on your list of travel destinations.
In this blog post, we’ll introduce you to 10 must-try dishes from Spanish cuisine that will have your taste buds dancing. Whether you’re a seasoned foodie or a curious traveler, these dishes are sure to delight and inspire you.
So grab a fork and get ready to explore the delicious world of Spanish food!
When it comes to Spanish food, paella is arguably the most famous dish of all. This beloved typical Spanish dish made with rice originated in the Valencia region and has become a staple of Spanish cuisine, with many regional variations and styles.
People typically prepare paella using short-grain rice, saffron, and a combination of vegetables, meats, and seafood. A wide, shallow pan called a paellera cooks the dish over an open flame, resulting in the perfect crispy crust on the bottom of the rice.
Among the most beloved paella variations are seafood paella, showcasing a variety of fresh seafood such as shrimp, mussels, and squid, and Valencian paella, which includes rabbit, chicken, and green beans.
If you’re looking to try paella in Spain, there are many restaurants and markets that specialize in this iconic dish. In Valencia, the birthplace of paella, you’ll find the best paella in Spain, while in other regions like Catalonia and Andalusia, you’ll find unique regional variations.
No matter where you try it, paella is one of the top popular dishes in Spain that’s sure to leave a lasting impression on your taste buds.
If you’re looking for a true taste of Spain, you can’t miss paella! With its rich history and unique flavors, this is one of the top popular dishes in Spain that any foodie must try. Make sure to seek out the best paella restaurants in your area and savor every bite of this delicious rice dish.
A beachfront restaurant that has been serving paella for over a century. It’s one of the most iconic places to eat paella in Valencia.
Another iconic dish in Spanish cuisine is the tortilla española, also known as the Spanish omelet.
Families and bars across Spain consider this uncomplicated yet delightful dish a staple, relishing it as either a tapa or a main course.
Tortilla española comprises only a handful of simple ingredients: eggs, potatoes, onions, and olive oil. The potatoes and onions are cooked until tender, then combined with beaten eggs and cooked until golden and fluffy.
The result is a satisfying and flavorful dish that’s perfect for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Whether served hot or cold, tortilla española is a versatile dish that can be enjoyed on its own or with a side salad or crusty bread.
If you’re looking to try tortilla española in Spain, you’ll find it on the menu at most bars and restaurants, as well as in many markets and bakeries. Look for places that specialize in homemade versions of the dish for the best taste and quality.
Tortilla española stands as a classic dish cherished by both locals and visitors alike, and any visit to Spain would feel incomplete without savoring it at least once.
Bodegas de La Ardosa
A historic tavern in Madrid, established in 1892, renowned for its traditional “tortilla española” and vintage decor, making it a favorite spot for an authentic Spanish experience.
When the temperatures rise in Spain, there’s nothing more refreshing than a bowl of gazpacho. This cold soup is a popular dish throughout Spain, particularly in the southern regions where the heat can be intense.
Gazpacho is typically made with fresh vegetables like tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, and onions, which are blended together with olive oil, vinegar, and bread to create a thick, flavorful soup. The soup is then chilled before serving, making it the perfect dish for a hot summer day.
There are many variations of gazpacho, from classic red tomato gazpacho to green gazpacho made with avocado and cucumber. Some versions even include watermelon or strawberries for a sweet twist.
If you’re looking to try gazpacho in Spain, you’ll find it on the menu at most restaurants, particularly those that specialize in traditional Spanish food. You can also find it in many supermarkets and markets, where you can purchase freshly-made versions to take home and enjoy.
Don’t miss out on the chance to try this beloved food in Spain during your travels, especially during the hot summer months when it’s the perfect way to cool down and satisfy your appetite.
Seville’s oldest bar, established in 1670, renowned for its traditional Andalusian dishes and historic ambiance. The establishment offers a journey back in time with its vintage decor and classic tapas, including gazpacho.
No trip to Spain would be complete without trying patatas bravas, one of the best tapas in Spain.
Bars and restaurants across Spain typically serve these crispy fried potatoes alongside a spicy tomato sauce or aioli, making them a staple dish.
Patatas bravas are a simple yet satisfying dish that perfectly captures the flavors of Spanish food. The potatoes are fried until crispy and golden brown, then drizzled with a spicy tomato sauce or aioli for a burst of flavor.
While the basic recipe for patatas bravas is simple, there are many variations on the dish that incorporate different sauces, spices, and ingredients. Some versions include a smoky paprika sauce, while others feature garlic or chili peppers for an extra kick.
If you’re looking to try patatas bravas in Spain, you’ll find them on the menu at almost every bar and restaurant, particularly those that specialize in tapas. Look for places that use high-quality potatoes and fresh, homemade sauces for the best taste and texture.
Patatas bravas are a must-try dish in Spain that perfectly captures the essence of Spanish cuisine. Be sure to add it to your list of must-try foods during your travels in Spain.
El Tomás de Sarrià
A traditional bar located in the Sarrià district of Barcelona, often hailed for serving some of the best patatas bravas in the city. Its longstanding reputation and classic ambiance make it a favorite among both locals and tourists.
Churros con Chocolate
For a sweet and indulgent treat, look no further than churros con chocolate. These deep-fried pastries are a beloved Spanish dessert that’s perfect for satisfying your sweet tooth.
Churros are made from a simple dough that’s piped into long, thin strips and then deep-fried until crispy and golden brown. People usually enjoy them hot, accompanied by a rich chocolate dipping sauce that’s just right for dipping.
Churros con chocolate is a popular snack or dessert in Spain, particularly during the colder months when a warm, sweet treat is just what you need. You’ll find churros being sold from street vendors and bakeries throughout Spain, as well as in restaurants and cafes.
For the best churros con chocolate experience, look for places that make their churros fresh to order and serve them piping hot. Some versions even include a sprinkle of cinnamon or powdered sugar for an extra touch of sweetness.
If you’re a fan of sweet treats, churros con chocolate is one of the most popular dishes in Spain that’s sure to satisfy your cravings. Don’t miss out on the chance to indulge in this delicious dessert!
Chocolatería San Ginés
An iconic establishment in Madrid, open since 1894, renowned for its delectable churros con chocolate. Open 24/7, it has become a beloved spot for both locals and tourists seeking the traditional Spanish treat.
Another timeless tapa dish in Spain consists of croquetas, which are bite-sized fritters filled with creamy options such as ham and cheese or mushrooms.These indulgent treats are perfect for snacking on while enjoying a drink at a local bar or restaurant.
Typically, chefs prepare croquetas by combining béchamel sauce with various fillings, shaping the mixture into small balls, coating them with breadcrumbs, and frying them until they achieve a crispy and golden brown exterior. You can use a wide range of fillings, such as chicken, shrimp, chorizo, and others.
If you’re looking to try croquetas in Spain, you’ll find them on the menu at most bars and restaurants that serve tapas. Look for places that specialize in homemade versions of the dish, which are often the best and most flavorful.
Croquetas are a beloved dish in Spanish cuisine that perfectly capture the indulgent, satisfying flavors of the country’s food culture. Whether you’re a fan of creamy fillings or crispy coatings, croquetas are a typical Spanish dish that you have to try!
A renowned eatery in Valencia, celebrated for its traditional Valencian cuisine. The establishment is particularly noted for its authentic dishes, including its mouth-watering croquetas.
Pisto is a classic Spanish vegetable dish. It is a stew that’s popular throughout Spain, particularly in the southern regions. This hearty dish is made with a mix of vegetables like tomatoes, onions, peppers, and zucchini, which are stewed together until tender and flavorful.
People frequently serve pisto as either a side dish or a main course, and it represents a popular vegetarian choice in Spanish cuisine. Some versions of the dish also include eggs or meat for added protein.
The flavors of pisto are bright and fresh, thanks to the use of ripe, seasonal vegetables and a healthy dose of olive oil. The dish is often served with crusty bread for soaking up the delicious juices.
If you’re looking to try pisto in Spain, you’ll find it on the menu at most restaurants that serve traditional Spanish food. Look for places that use fresh, local ingredients for the best taste and quality.
Pisto is a comforting and satisfying dish that’s perfect for vegetarians or anyone looking for a healthy and flavorful option in Spanish cuisine. Don’t miss out on the chance to try this classic dish during your travels in Spain.
La Pequeña Taberna
A cozy and traditional restaurant located in Murcia, known for its authentic Spanish and Murcian dishes. The establishment offers a warm ambiance and is particularly favored for its variety of tapas, including the regional favorite, pisto.
Huevos rotos, which translates to “broken eggs,” is a popular dish in Spanish cuisine that’s perfect for breakfast or brunch. This simple yet satisfying dish features fried eggs served on top of a bed of crispy fried potatoes and is typically served with bread for sopping up the runny yolks.
You can customize this dish with a variety of toppings, such as chorizo, ham, or peppers, and it holds a prominent place on breakfast menus across Spain.
The secret to a perfect huevos rotos dish lies in frying the potatoes until they turn golden brown and then serving them hot and crispy. Typically, cooks fry the eggs to order, allowing you to enjoy them either runny or fully cooked depending on your preference.
If you’re looking to try huevos rotos in Spain, you’ll find it on the menu at most breakfast or brunch spots, particularly those that specialize in traditional Spanish food. Look for places that use high-quality ingredients and fresh, crispy potatoes for the best taste and texture.
Huevos rotos is a comforting and delicious dish that’s perfect for starting your day off right during your travels in Spain. Don’t miss out on the chance to try this classic dish during your trip.
Los Huevos de Lucio
A renowned restaurant in Madrid, Spain, known for its signature dish, huevos rotos. It’s a sibling establishment to the iconic “Casa Lucio,” attracting both locals and celebrities.
Sepia a la Plancha
Sepia a la plancha is a simple yet flavorful dish that’s a staple of Spanish cuisine. This grilled cuttlefish dish is typically served with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a sprinkle of sea salt, which perfectly complement the tender, juicy flavor of the seafood.
People often serve the dish as a tapa or a main course, and seafood lovers in Spain frequently choose it. Grilling the cuttlefish to perfection produces a crispy outer layer that yields a tender and flavorful interior.
If you’re looking to try Sepia a la plancha in Spain, you’ll find it on the menu at most seafood restaurants and tapas bars. Look for places that use fresh, high-quality cuttlefish for the best taste and texture.
Sepia a la plancha is a delicious and satisfying dish that’s perfect for seafood lovers. Be sure to add it to your list of must-try dishes during your trip.
A renowned seafood restaurant located in Sanlúcar de Barrameda, Andalusia. Celebrated for its authentic Andalusian seafood dishes, it’s particularly famous for its sepia a la plancha and bluefin tuna offerings.
For a truly indulgent and unforgettable dining experience in Spain, try cochinillo asado, or roasted suckling pig. Locals and visitors alike adore this iconic dish, which hails from the Segovia region of Spain and is a specialty there.
Chefs prepare Cochinillo asado by roasting an entire suckling pig until it achieves a crispy, golden-brown skin and tender, juicy meat. They typically serve the dish with potatoes and a simple salad, ensuring that the succulent meat’s flavor shines as the centerpiece.
Although people typically reserve cochinillo asado for special occasions or celebrations, it’s a must-try dish for anyone seeking to immerse themselves in the rich flavors and traditions of Spanish cuisine.
If you’re looking to try cochinillo asado in Spain, you’ll find it on the menu at many restaurants, particularly those in the Segovia region. Certain restaurants even specialize in cochinillo asado, employing traditional cooking techniques to guarantee that the dish roasts perfectly roasted and brims with flavor.
Note that indulging in cochinillo asado may require some extra spending. However, it represents a once-in-a-lifetime culinary experience that food enthusiasts who have a passion for delving into the cuisine and culture of Spain should not overlook.
Cochinillo asado is a perfect example of the unique and indulgent dishes that can be found throughout Spain, and it’s a testament to the country’s rich culinary traditions. Be sure to add this iconic dish to your list of must-try Spanish foods.
Mesón de Cándido
A historic restaurant situated beside Segovia’s iconic aqueduct. Renowned for its traditional Segovian dishes, it’s especially celebrated for its signature cochinillo asado.
Spanish Food: 10 Must-Try Dishes From Spanish Cuisine
Spanish food is a foodie paradise, with a rich culinary tradition that spans centuries. From the mouthwatering flavors of paella and tortilla española to the refreshing coolness of gazpacho and the indulgent decadence of cochinillo asado, Spanish cuisine is a vibrant and diverse reflection of the country’s history and culture.
Here’s a quick recap of the 10 must-try dishes from Spanish cuisine we covered in this post:
- Tortilla Española
- Patatas Bravas
- Churros con Chocolate
- Huevos Rotos
- Sepia a la Plancha
- Cochinillo Asado
We hope this list inspires you to try new and exciting dishes during your travels in Spain. Whether you’re a foodie or just looking to experience the local culture, exploring the food scene in Spain is a must.
Remember, part of the joy of travel is trying new foods and stepping outside of your comfort zone. So be adventurous and embrace the unique flavors and traditions of Spanish cuisine. Buen provecho!