Food & tapas in Spain
Tapas and food in Spain
There is much more to Spanish food than Tapas, though it is true that Tapas is a very Spanish thing, and that they go very well with wine.
What are tapas?
They could be considered as appetizers, though if eaten one after another they may well make a dinner. They are very varied and range from a small cheese portion or olives to a piece of fried fish, omelettes, chorizos, etc.
"Ir de tapas"
This is the Spanish expression for dining eating tapas. Dining like this is equally about being social as it is about food. Locals do not stay at one place, but shift bars and enjoy the speciality at each place. You should expect quite a noisy atmosphere at Tapas bars and we recommend that you get ready for it before you go for this experience.
Another tip is about time: Spaniards are used to late dinners and restaurants do not usually start serving till as late as 9 p.m. Tapas can be enjoyed earlier since bars are open all day long and most tapas are ready to serve and do not require major preparation. We would like to stress again that "Tapas" is not a particular type of food but small portions of many different things served cold or hot. Years ago Tapas used to be given for free at most places. This is still the case sometimes, mainly in the South, where a Tapa is given for free to accompany a drink. However, you should expect to pay in most places, mainly if the tapa is of certain size.
Tapas is very much a portrait of the Spanish way of life: friendly dinners, where socializing and talking is very important, and with rarely pretentious food. Spain is however well-known also for renowned restaurants, and the last ten years have witnessed an important development in this area, with many Spanish chefs gaining world class recognition and awards.
Typical Spanish food dishes
Gazpacho. It is a chilled tomato soup, excellent for hot summer days and very healthy. Gazpacho is made out of tomato, olive oil, garlic and sometimes bread. It is very typical of Southern Spain.
Paella. This world-known recipe can today be found anywhere in Spain, but the “real thing’ originated in Valencia. It consists of a mix of rice, fish and shellfish, though it can also be made with meat, or chicken, or only with vegetables: there are in fact many versions of Paella and probably the best place to enjoy it continues being the seaside in Valencia… facing the sea with a glass of rosé. You get it.
Pisto Manchego. Original from La Mancha, this is a vegetable dish, where all ingredients are slowly cooked together. It can be very tasty, and is normally served with a fried egg on top.
Tortilla (Spanish omelette). The most typical one is made with onions and potatoes. The secret of this tortilla lies in the olive oil used for frying it and in the quality of the potatoes. When a tortilla is good you will understand that the result is much more than what the ingredients suggest.
Fabada Asturiana. This could well be described as the Spanish version of the French Cassoulet. Fabada is tyical from Asturias, and its secret lies in using the best quality ingredients included (beans, chorizo, morcilla, etc) Normally it is enough by itself for a full meal.
Bacalao con tomate (cod in tomato sauce). Spaniards mainly use salted cod. To prepare this recipe, the cod is soaked in water to get rid of the excess of salt. It is then fried with tomato sauce and roasted red peppers. This recipe is typical from the Northern regions in Spain.
We recommend you always try and taste wine with your food in Spain. Spanish recipes usually rely on the quality of the ingredients to get the best result, and are not as elaborated as French cuisine in general. There is for sure a perfect wine to match all Spanish dishes. It is normally correct to say that the local wine of the region pairs in the right way with the local food, but do not limit yourself to that: the wine diversity in Spain has expanded so much (even for whites) that you will have chances to taste and enjoy many different things. If you plan a holiday in Spain, a short-break in Barcelona or a getaway in Madrid, we strongly suggest you visit markets, and get well informed about local food to make the most out of your trip.
A perfect introduction to the wines of the Rioja region. A self-guided tour in Rioja, including regular bus service from Bilbao. From the bus station, you will walk to 2 of the best wineries in Haro, the wine capital of Rioja. Enjoy a winery visit & wine tasting guided by an English-speaking wine professional. Continue your thirst for Rioja wines with a second wine tasting. Half & full-day option available. Choose our full-day tour option for a quality Riojan meal at a local restaurant and extra free time to explore Haro
Includes: Accomodation in a special hotel, a traditional Riojan meal and guided visit to a top winery with wine tastings. This is a unique experience that you will not find on any other website
Includes: One night accommodation, breakfast, meal of 5 typical La Mancha dishes This is a unique getaway that cannot be found on any other site. Stay in a beautiful private villa with living room, bedroom and bathroom next to a beautiful vineyard and gardens. The estate is located on the Don Quixote route, just a few kilometers away from the famous windmills of Campo de Criptana or the Belmonte castle
Includes: Accommodation in a modern hotel winery, with rooms that offer views of the vineyards, river and Toledo hills. The hotel has a restaurant, outdoor seasonal swimming pool, games room and library, plus the winery offers the opportunity to do wine tours, tastings and courses. The hotel offers other local activities such as golf, horse-riding and hiking
Includes: Accommodation at the Hotel Los Bracos, a 4 star hotel located in the center of Logroño, buffet breakfast, winery visit, and lunch in Logroño. The hotel is 2 minutes from the famous Calle Laurel, known in Rioja for its abundance of pinchos and tapas bars. You will visit a known winery in Logroño and enjoy traditional Riojan gastronomy in a restaurant in the center of the city. You will not find this package on any other website. Please contact us for extra beds or groups
Includes: Accommodation, buffet breakfast, and gastronomic lunch or dinner. Segovia was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, a grand recognition for its important historical and architectural buildings. With this getaway, you will be able to enjoy all of the wonders this city has to offer and to discover its magnificent gastronomy. For additional beds and groups, please contact us
Includes: Accommodation and buffet breakfast at the Mesón del Cid Hotel and one high quality meal in a renowned restaurant of Burgos. Burgos was named the 2013 Spanish capital of gastronomy, a recognition for its great quality as well as for its creativity. With this getaway, you will discover the great heritage of Burgos and, of course, its magnificent gastronomy. Optionally, you can also add a visit to the interesting Museum of Human Evolution to your getaway located just 10 minutes from the hotel
Includes: Accommodation with breakfast in the Barceló Bilbao Nervión Hotel and lunch or dinner at one of the best grill restaurants of Bilbao. As an option, you can include a 1-day trip to La Rioja where you will visit 2 wineries and indulge in delicious Rioja wines (recommended if you in book 2 nights)
Includes: Hotel room and buffet breakfast at the 4-star, Hotel Gran Hotel Victoria, and lunch or dinner in a prestigious restaurant located in the city center. The Santander Getaway allows enjoyment one of the most beautiful cities in Spain. Located on a small peninsula, the city is almost surrounded by the Cantabrian Sea which makes it very appealing for walks along the nearby coast
A pleasant activity of wine tasting with food pairing in Madrid. Unlike a traditional dinner, this new concept presents you with a variety of wines from different wine regions of Spain chosen by the sommelier. A wine tasting journey through Spain with wines that will surprise you accompanied by a delicious combination of gourmet tapas. All in an environment where wine is the absolute protagonist