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Spanish Tapas Food: 35 Best Spanish Tapas in Spain

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Are you traveling to Spain and now you are interested in tapas food? Want to try famous Spanish tapas? Or, you are just curious about amazing tapas from Spain?
Great! Here is the ultimate list of Spanish tapas covering authentic Spanish tapas, common tapas in Spain, and the most popular tapas in Spain.

Spanish tapas bar in seville
Tapas bar in Seville, Andalusia © World Travel Connector

Flavorsome tapas are famous Spanish appetizers or snacks.
Spanish tapas are some of the most delicious appetizers in the world.

Tapas are the heart of Spanish Cuisine and the soul of the Spanish lifestyle. 
Tapas in Spain are traditionally enjoyed with a glass of good Spanish wine (think of Sherry, Rosado, Cava, Rioja …some of the most famous Spanish drinks) and in good company at tapas bars. 
The magic of tapas lies in socializing over delicious bites. 

Bodega in Malaga, Andalusia
Ladies socializing over tapas in a bodega in Malaga © World Travel Connector

Tapas originate from Andalusia in southern Spain. However, tapas dishes are enjoyed throughout Spain these days. The city of Granada in southern Spain is best known for the tradition of free tapas that you get when you buy a glass of wine. 
Tapas mean covers. A legend says that the first tapas developed in Andalusia where a glass of sweet sherry wine was covered with a slice of ham to protect the wine against flies in hot Andalusia. 
Traditionally Spanish tapas were served as simple dishes to travelers in bodegas (taverns), albergues (hostels), and posadas (inns). Today, tapas bar hopping is one of the must-have experiences in Spain.

Taberna D'Ucles in Cordoba
Taberna D´Ucles in Cordoba, Andalusia © World Travel Connector

Tapas dishes are typically easy to make, but they are super tasty and healthy. 
Not surprisingly, tapas from Spain are some of the most popular appetizers worldwide.

Tapas types

There are different types of tapas. Types of tapas in Spain are finger food tapas, tapas with a utensil, and small tapas dishes (often with a sauce). 

spaanish tapas finger food
Spanish tapas finger food

Spaniards traditionally eat tapas between 1.30 pm and 3 pm and between 8.30 pm and 10.30 pm.
Tapas in Spain may be served cold and hot. 
They cost around 3 EURO on average in Spain (tapas are more expensive in big cities than in small untouristy places), but seafood tapas are on the more expensive side with an average price of 13 EURO. 

Spanish tapas bar menu
Tapas bar menu with prices © World Travel Connector


Are you planning a trip to Spain last minute?
Are you interested in sampling traditional Spanish food tapas in Spain?
If you are traveling to Spain last minute, I prepared for you a short summary of the best food and drinks tours in Spain!

Barcelona: Paella Cooking Experience & Boqueria Market Tour (the most popular foodie tour in Barcelona)
Barcelona: Tapas and Wine Small-Group Walking Tour (a top-seller foodie tour in Barcelona)
Barcelona: Flamenco Show at Tablao Flamenco Cordobes (the most popular tour in Barcelona with optional dinner and drinks)

Madrid: Wine and Tapas Walking Tour (the most popular food tour in Madrid)
Madrid: The Original Tapas Crawl (a top-seller food tour in Madrid)
Madrid Region Wineries: Guided Tour and Tastings (the most popular day trip from Madrid for wine lovers)

Málaga: Evening Wine and Tapas Tour (the most popular food tour in Malaga)
Malaga: Tapas and Wine Tour with Flamenco Show (a top-seller tour in Malaga with food and drinks)

Seville: Tapas Crawl (the most popular food tour in Seville)
Seville: Flamenco Show in Triana ( a top-seller tour in Seville with food and drinks)

BEST SPANISH TAPAS IN SPAIN: 35 Famous Spanish tapas dishes

Here is the finest selection of the best Spanish tapas: cold Spanish tapas, hot Spanish tapas, seafood tapas, meat Spain tapas, and vegetarian Spain tapas…. with the names of tapas in Spanish and Spanish tapas recipes!

Tapas Spain


Gazpacho is one of the most popular Spanish tapas
Gazpacho tomato soup

Gazpacho is a famous tomato soup from Spain

Cold Spanish gazpacho soup is a perfect Spanish appetizer in the summertime.
Unlike common soups, Spaniards consume cold (not hot) gazpacho. 
In addition, it is traditionally drunk from a gazpacho bowl (and not eaten with a spoon like a typical soup).

Delicious Spanish tomatoes, green peppers, cucumbers, onions, garlic, vinegar, and extra virgin olive oil are the ingredients of refreshing gazpacho.  

This famous Spanish tomato soup is the most popular summer appetizer in Spain. It is one of the most popular cold tapas in Spain as well. That’s why gazpacho tops this list of tapas dishes!
WATCH: Gazpacho recipe – one of the most famous Spanish tapas recipes


salmorejo cordobese is one of the most famosu Spanish tapas from Corodoba in Andalusia
Salmorejo Cordobese with chopped hard-boiled eggs and ham © World Travel Connector

If you like creamy tomato soups, you will love salmorejo cordobese.

Salmorejo tomato soup is similar to gazpacho tomato soup. 
The main difference is in the texture. Salmorejo soup is thicker and more creamy than gazpacho. 

Salmorejo soup looks like tomato puree. 
Pureed tomatoes, bread, garlic, and vinegar are the main ingredients of Spanish salmorejo. A chopped hard-boiled egg or small pieces of ham often come on top.
As you might have assumed, salmorejo cordobese originates from the city of Cordoba in southern Spain. Salmorejo is also enjoyed cold, just like gazpacho. Cold salmorejo soup is a favorite Spanish appetizer in southern Spain. 
WATCH: Salmorejo recipe


pan con tomates is one of the most famous Spanish tapas
Pan con tomate © World Travel Connector

Tomatoes, tomatoes, …, and more tomatoes.
Savory tomatoes are a staple food in Spanish cuisine. 

Bread with tomatoes, or pan con tomate in Spanish, is one of the most popular appetizers in Spain.
Pan con tomate is a popular Spanish tapa dish made of toasted bread with garlic and fresh ripe tomatoes. In addition, it’s sprinkled with extra virgin Spanish olive oil and salt.
Spanish pan con tomate is a perfect example of a healthy Mediterranean dish. 

Pan con tomate is also called pa amb tomàquet in Catalonia
So, when in Barcelona, be sure to order pa amb tomàquet, a famous Barcelona dish

Pan con tomate is among the most popular Spanish tapas. It is a popular breakfast in Spain, but it is also a popular Spanish appetizer served before meals in Spain. 
WATCH: Pan con tomate recipe


Pimientos de Padron are popular Spanish food
Pimientos de Padron © World Travel Connector

Are you interested in hot Spanish appetizers?

Grilled blistered Padron peppers are the favorite hot tapas in Spain. 

Padron peppers are delicious Spanish tapas. Spanish food is delicious. But wait to try these tiny Spanish peppers! They are sweet, a little bit nutty, and overall, piquant!
The tiny green peppers got their name after Padron municipality in the Galicia region in northern Spain they originate.
Pimientos de Padron peppers are some of the most famous Spanish tapas. WATCH: Pimientos de Padron recipe


croquettes are popular Spanish tapas
Croquettes are popular Spanish tapas

Fried breadcrumbs with different fillings are popular tapas in Spain.

Breadcrumbs in Spain get filled with cheese, codfish, black sausage, spinach, and other ingredients. However, fried breadcrumbs filled with authentic serrano ham are typical tapas in Spain. 

There are vegetarian Spanish croquetas and meaty Spanish croquetas.
Leftover meat and vegetables are the most common ingredients of traditional Spanish croquettes. 
But, some of the most popular Spanish appetizers are ham croquettes, or croquetas de jamón serrano. WATCH: Croquetas de Jamón recipe


Finger food in Spain is a popular food
Montaditos are Spanish tiny sandwiches © World Travel Connector

Montaditos are popular Spanish appetizers. 

Montaditos are tiny and mouthwatering sandwiches served in every tapas bar in Spain. 
Tiny slices of bread topped with cold cuts, cheese, meat, fish, and vegetables make yummy montaditos. 
Montaditos are finger-licking must-try Spanish tapas. WATCH: Montaditos Españoles recipe


Seafood pintxos from northern Spain
Seafood pintxos © World Travel Connector

Pintxos in the Basque language (also spelled pinchos in Spanish) are appetizers from northern Spain (most notably, from the Basque Country, La Rioja, Navarre, Cantabria, and Asturias ). 

But pintxos are probably most associated with the Basque Country. 
Pintxos are the Basque food everybody raves over.

Basque pintxos are small slices of bread topped with meats, seafood, cheese, and vegetables …, spiked with a toothpick
Just to mention, pincho means to spike.
These popular Spanish appetizers are must-try in Northern Spain. 
No visit to San Sebastian and Bilbao is complete without pampering yourself with tasty pintxos. WATCH: Pinchos recipe


Gilda pintxos are the most famous pintxos from the Basque Country.

Gilda pinchos (pl.) consist of olives, salted anchovy fillets, and pickled Ibarra chilies (Gipuzkoa chilies). WATCH: Gilda pintxos recipe


Stuffed mussels re some of the most popular Spanish food
Spicy stuffed mussels in Spain © World Travel Connector

Interested in some more tapas dishes in Spain? What about seafood tapas in Spain?

Spicy stuffed mussels are a treat for seafood lovers in Spain. 

Mejillones rellenos are also known as tigers as they are spicy. Spanish tiger mussels are steamed whole mussels left in the shells and then topped with bechamel sauce (made with white wine and a pinch of spicy Espelette peppers). 
Finally, mussels and sauce are fried together with dry breadcrumbs. WATCH: Mejillones Rellenos


Pulpo a la Gallega is one of the most famous tapas in Spain
Pulpo a la Gallega © World Travel Connector

The Galician-style octopus is a hot Spanish tapa dish. 

Pulpo a la Gallega is one of the most famous Spanish tapas. It originates from the Galicia region, just like pimientos padrones and zamburinas.

Pulpo a la Gallega is a Spanish tapa dish made of boiled octopus sprinkled with olive oil, salt, and sweet paprika
Pulpo a la Gallega traditionally comes on a wooden platter with toothpicks.
This delicious Spain tapa is also known as Pulpo a Feira

Galicia in northern Spain is famous for fabulous seafood dishes.
Pulpo a la Gallega and Zamburinas en salsa Gallega are some of the best seafood dishes in Spain.  WATCH: Pulpo a la Gallega recipe


Scallops are widely eaten seafood in Spain
Scallops with a glass of Spanish white Cava wine © World Travel Connector

Grilled scallops are delicacy tapas from Galicia.

Zamburinas a la plancha are grilled fresh Galician scallops garnished with parsley, chopped garlic, salt, lemon juice, and extra virgin olive oil. 
There is no doubt that Zamburinas a la Plancha are some of the best tapas in Spain. 


Scallops with Galician sauce are the favorite Christmas tapas in Spain. 

Cooked chopped ham, white wine, garlic, onion, fried tomatoes, olive oil, salt, pepper, and (optionally) hot paprika are the main ingredients of the Galician sauce. 

Baked scallops are sautéed with the Galician sauce … ya está, zamburiñas a la gallega are done!
They are served warm, of course. WATCH: Zamburiñas a la gallega recipe


Calamares Fritos are popular Spanish tapas
Calamares Fritos are popular Spanish tapas

Fried battered rings of squid are a popular tapa in Spain. 

Calamares a la Romana are some of the most common Spanish tapas. They are easy to prepare, soft, and yummy to eat. 
Calamares Fritos are typical Spanish tapas found in every corner of Spain. WATCH: Calamares Fritos recipe


Aceitunas olives are popular tapas in Spain

Olives are among the most popular Mediterranean food

Olives in Spain are an ingredient in many Spanish tapas dishes. 
Aceitunas tapas in Spain refer to olives alone or olives filled with anchovies or red bell pepper. 


boquerones en vinagre are classic Spanish tapas
Boquerones en vinagre are classic Spanish tapas

Anchovies, or boquerones in Spanish, are popular appetizers in Spain.

Spanish boquerones en vinagre refer to marinated white anchovies in vinegar.
If you like salty marinated anchovies, you will enjoy boquerones en Vinagre tapas in Spain. WATCH: Boquerones en vinagre recipe


Fried fish is well liked seafood in Spain
Spanish fried seafood tapas © World Travel Connector

Fried anchovies (boquerones fritos in Spanish), just like fried calamari, are typical Spanish tapas, especially in southern Spain. 

Fried anchovies are enjoyed the best with a sprinkle of lemon. WATCH: Boquerones fritos recipe

17. PISTO 

Pisto is a popular tapa in Spain
Spanish pisto with an egg on the top

Pisto is a mixed vegetable stew. 

Spanish pisto is similar to Middle Eastern shakshouka.
Diced eggplant, zucchini, onion, freshly chopped tomatoes, red peppers, green peppers, and plenty of extra virgin olive oil make a perfect pisto.

Colorful pisto is a hot Spanish tapa. 
It traditionally comes with Manchego cheese, egg on the top, and bread. WATCH: Pisto recipe


Empanadas are famous Spanish tapas
Empanadas are famous Spanish tapas

Delicious empanadas are classic Spanish tapas.

Traditional empanadas are fried or baked pastries filled with cheese, meat, vegetables, and fruits. 
Empanadas can be savory or sweet (what depends on the filling). WATCH: Empanada Gallega recipe


Tortilla espanola is one of favorite Spanish breakfast food
Tortilla Espanola

Spanish omelet is a favorite appetizer in Spain. 

Tortilla Espanola is a national dish of Spain and one of the most typical Spanish tapas.
Classic Tortilla Espanola is made with potatoes, eggs, olive oil, and (optionally) onion. WATCH: Tortilla Espanola recipe


Espinacas con garbanzos is one  of the most common Spanish tapas in Spain
Espinacas con garbanzos © World Travel Connector

Spinach with chickpeas stew is an easy Spanish tapa.

Spinach, chickpeas, finely chopped onion, garlic, a tablespoon of sweet paprika, a pinch of cumin, salt, pepper, and olive oil for seasoning is all you need to prepare this simple Spanish tapa dish.

Espinacas con garbanzos stew originates from Seville, but today it is a popular tapa dish throughout Spain.
This popular Spanish tapa dish reflects the Moorish history of Seville and Andalusia. The main ingredients of the dish: are chickpeas, spinach, and cumin brought by Moors to Andalusia.
Spinach with chickpeas is a traditional dish for Semana Santa (Holy Week) and Easter in Spain
However, today espinacas con garbanzos is an all-year-round tapa dish. WATCH: Garbanzos con espinacas recipe


gambas al ajillo are popular spanish tapas
gambas al ajillo

Prawns in garlic are a classic Spanish tapa served in every tapas bar throughout Spain.

Gambas in Spain is the name for medium size prawns
Gambas al ajilo is a simple Spanish tapa made of medium-sized prawns cooked with garlic, a little bit of red pepper (or a bay leaf), sherry vinegar, and parsley.

This simple tapa dish originates from Andalusia.
Cooked prawns in garlic are must-try tapas in Spain. WATCH: Gambas al ajilo recipe


Gambas a la plancha are some of the best spanish tapas
Gambas a la plancha

Grilled prawns are traditional Spanish tapas. 

Grilled prawns are seasoned with olive oil and (optionally) white wine. They are often served with lemon juice and traditional Spanish aioli sauce (made of olive oil sauce emulsified with mashed garlic) and sometimes with mayonnaise. 

Gambas a la plancha dish is a popular Christmas appetizer in Spain.
Grilled prawns belong to the hot tapas in Spain. WATCH: Gambas a la plancha recipe


Almejas a la gaditana are famous Spanish tapas from southern Spain

Clams with sherry wine are a famous tapa dish from Andalusia.

Fresh clams are cooked in broth. The broth is made of olive oil, finely chopped garlic, chopped parsley, sweet Sherry wine, and a pinch of salt and pepper.

Almejas a la Gaditana are paired well with Sherry wine, of course. WATCH: Almejas a la Gaditana recipe


Almejas en salsa verde are famosu Spanish tapas from northern Spain
Almejas en salsa verde

Almejas a la Gaditana (with Sherry wine) is a tapa dish from southern Spain. 
But Almejas en salsa verde is a tapa dish from northern Spain. 

Clams in green sauce is a traditional Christmas tapa in the Basque Country. 
Plenty of fresh parsley, garlic, white wine, olive oil, and a pinch of salt make the green sauce (salsa verde). 
If needed, a tablespoon of flour may be added to make the sauce thicker.
Cleaned fresh clams are cooked in the sauce for 5 minutes. 
That’s all you need to make this perfect Spanish tapa dish. Buen provecho! WATCH: Almejas en salsa verde recipe


Mussels are high in demand seafood in Spain
Mussels tapas in Spain © World Travel Connector

Steamed mussels, or mejillones al vapor in Spanish, are simple Spanish tapas.

Spaniards love eating mussels. They prepare mussels in various ways: pickled mussels, stuffed mussels, mussels with vinaigrette, pickled mussels, mussel croquettes … but the simplest dish made with mussels is steamed mussels.

Mejillones al vapor are popular Spanish tapas enjoyed throughout Spain. The most flavourful and the best mejillones al vapor in Spain are fresh mussels from Galicia. WATCH: Mejillones al vapor recipe


Iberian ham and Manchego cheese are the trademark food of Spain. 

Some of the quickest and most delicious Spanish tapas are simple slices of bread covered with Manchego cheese and Iberian ham


Ensalada Rusa is a classic Spanish tapa
Ensalada Rusa

The Russian salad, or ensaladilla Russa in Spanish, is one of the most famous cold Spanish tapas served in the summertime.

This refreshing salad is made with boiled potatoes, eggs, tuna, vegetables, and mayonnaise
The most used vegetables in ensaladilla rusa are green beans, peas, red peppers, and capers.  WATCH: Ensaladilla Russa recipe


Banderillas are popular Spanish tapas in Spain

Banderillas are traditional Spanish tapas of pickled olives, onion, gherkin (pickled baby cucumber), and chili on a skewer

These colorful pickled vegetable skewers are some of the most interesting Spanish tapas. WATCH: Banderillas recipe


Chorizo a la sidra, patatas bravas and calamares fritos are popular Spanish tapas
Chorizo a la sidra, patatas bravas and calamares fritos are popular Spanish tapas

Patatas bravas means spicy potatoes in Spanish.

Patatas bravas are classic tapas in Spain. Actually, they are among the top 3 popular tapas in Spain.

Spanish deep-fried potatoes come with red and somewhat spicy bravas sauce (made with a mix of sweet and hot pimentón paprika).
Sometimes patatas bravas in Spain are topped with aioli sauce too. WATCH: PATATAS BRAVAS RECIPE


A Spanish snail tapas bowl
Snail tapas at Bar Caracoles in Cadiz in Spain © World Travel Connector

Snails are a favorite Spanish tapa in springtime (May and June).

Caracoles a la Andaluz is a top Spanish tapa dish from Andalusia.
Andalusian-style snails are simple to prepare yet delicious Spanish tapa. Cleaned, and washed snails are cooked in water with onion, garlic, tomato, pepper, bay leaf, salt, mint, and lemon rids.  

Snails are a delicacy in Spain. 
Spaniards eat about 16 million tons of snails a year. 
Only France eats more snails than Spain in the world. French people eat 25 million tons of snails a year. 

Snail tapas are some of the unique tapas in Spain. WATCH: Caracoles a la Andaluz recipe


Caracoles con alioli are favorite Spanish tapas in the springtime
Caracoles con alioli © World Travel Connector

Caracoles con alioli is another type of tapa de caracoles. 

Thoroughly washed and cleaned snails (with removed slime and any dirt) are cooked in a saucepan with water, salt, garlic, bay leaf, rosemary, and thyme.
Cooked snails come with aioli sauce on the side. 
Cracoles con alioli is a traditional spring tapa in Catalonia and Majorca. WATCH: Caracoles con alioli recipe


Chorizo a la sidra, patatas bravas and calamares fritos are popular Spanish tapas
Chorizo a la sidra, patatas bravas and calamares fritos are popular Spanish tapas

Spanish sausage (chorizo) cooked in cider is one of the most delicious tapas in Spain. 

Smokey pork sausage spiced with paprika blends perfectly with a sweet apple beverage.

Chorizo a la sidra is a clasic Spanish tapa from Asturias în northern Spain. 
It is made with fried chorizo in extra virgin olive oil with a cup or two of cider with chopped parsley and bay leaves.
This simple tapa dish pairs best with a glass of sparkling Asturian cider!  WATCH: Chorizo a la sidra recipe


Berenjenas con miel de caña are vegetarian Spanish tapas
Berenjenas con miel de caña

Fried eggplants with honey are the must-try sweet tapas in Spain. 

This vegetarian Spanish tapa dish is made with eggplants that had been soaked in milk and dried on towel paper before frying. 

Berenjenas con miel de caña is another tapa made with fried eggplants and molasses. It is one of the best vegan Spanish tapas. This sweet vegetarian tapa is a famous tapa dish from Malaga province. And, it is also one of the most famous tapas dishes from Andalusia. WATCH: Bastones de berenjenas con miel de caña recipe


Alcachofas al Ajillo are traditional Spanish tapas in the springtime
Alcachofas al Ajillo © World Travel Connector

Garlic artichokes, Alcachofas al Ajillo in Spanish, are popular Spanish tapas in the springtime.

Alcachofas al Ajillo are an easy Spanish tapas dish. Artichokes are first boiled in water, and afterward drained and sauteed in Spanish extra virgin olive oil and garlic. Boiling artichokes gives them a perfect texture for absorbing flavors of olive oil and garlic.

Spain has a long tradition of cultivating and eating artichokes. Artichokes harvesting season in Spain starts in March. And, garlic artichokes are traditional tapas in Spain in the springtime. WATCH: Alcachofas al Ajillo recipe


sea urchins are tasty seafood in Spain
Sea urchins in Spain © World Travel Connector

Sea urchins, or erizo de mar marisco in Spanish, are popular seafood tapas in Spain.

Salty sea urchins are popular Spanish tapas in the regions of Galicia and Catalonia in Spain. They are traditionally enjoyed with white sparkling Spanish white.

If you are a seafood lover and you have never tried sea urchins before, Spain is one of the best countries to sample them. WATCH: Erizo de mar marisco recipe


Join food tours in Spain, do some tapas bar hopping, have fun, and learn about Spanish tapas.


When in Madrid, don’t forget to check out one of these amazing tapas tours:


Barcelona is a perfect place to crawl tapas bars. So, check out one of these great Spain tapas food tours:



Choose one of these fabulous tapas tours and learn about authentic tapas in Malaga:


What are tapas?

Tapas are appetizers or snacks in Spain.
There are three types of tapas: finger food tapas, tapas with a utensil, and small tapas dishes (often with a sauce). Tapas can be hot or cold.

What does tapas mean?

World ‘tapa’ means ‘cover’.
A legend says that the first tapa was invented when a glass of sweet sherry wine in southern Spain got covered by a slice of ham to protect the wine against flies.

What country is famous for tapas?

Spain is famous for its delicious tapas appetizers and tapas snacks.

What are tapas in Spanish?

Tapas are popular Spanish appetizers and snacks. Tapas are finger food and small dishes enjoyed before meals or in between meals in Spain.

What are tapas in Spain?

Tapas in Spain are bite-sized food (finger food and small dishes). Tapas in Spain are popular snacks and appetizers. Some of the most popular tapas in Spain are montaditos (open-faced sandwiches), gazpacho and salmorejo soups, pinchos (finger food sandwiches spiked with toothpicks), tortilla Espanola, croquetas, empanadas, pimentos padron (small grilled green peppers) …

What is tapas food?

Tapas food is snacks and appetizers from Spain. They can be small dishes or tiny finger food. There are cold tapas food and warm tapas food. Gazpacho soup is probably the most famous cold tapas dish. Spicy patatas bravas are among the most popular warm tapas dishes.

What are Spanish snacks called?

Spanish snacks are called tapas. Tapas in Spain refers to finger food and tiny dishes savored as snacks or appetizers. Tapas culture is a synonym for Spanish cuisine.

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Rosana DublĂ­n

Thursday 23rd of June 2022

Wow, so many options! Everything looks so delicious, definitely looking over this post again for my trip to Spain.