Tapas have become one of Spain’s most popular culinary exports, small dishes served alongside local wines at cozy bars throughout the country. Tapas bars are popular gathering places and an excellent spot to rub elbows with locals.
Pull up a barstool and join us as we introduce you to some of the most common dishes you may find at the bar on your next visit to Spain. Alongside cured ham and olives, here are some delicious things you will encounter.
This egg dish is ubiquitous in Spain, a bar snack you can find just about anywhere. It is a simple sort of omelette made with thinly sliced potatoes and sometimes includes onion. It’s the perfect Spanish comfort food.
Gambas al Ajilo
Shrimp doesn’t get more exciting than this, sauteed with spices, garlic, and olive oil, creating a spicy sauce that you will want to sop up with extra bread. Look for this and other shrimp preparations.
Croquetas de Jamon
Croquettes are a very satisfying little hit of salt and fat and a popular Spanish snack. These breaded and fried treats are widely available. While you may find them with chorizo, salted cod, or other filling, Serrano ham may be the most popular filling.
Squid is a staple and pairs well with cava and white wine. Fried calamari is especially good in Spain and common in tapas bars. Here it is prepared ‘a la Romana’ with squid ink and lemon.
Boquerones en Vinegare
White anchovies on toast is a simple finger food that pairs well with a crisp white wine or cava. Forget the super-salty burgundy anchovies you know from the pizzeria. These are fresh, marinated in oil and vinegar (or lemon), and very appealing.
Every culture has its own treatment of potatoes, and Spain is no exception. These fried potatoes are perfect bar food, cubed or long cut potatoes served with a spicy tomato sauce for dipping.