Each Tapa in Its Place
Spain has excellent and varied cuisine, which is also very regional. That means that each region has its own specialties, which we can see in the tapas we find there. Want to know which ones you can’t miss in each of the areas you may visit?
- San Sebastián: The Basque Country is the Mecca of the pincho (a small bite of food). Everything you can find at the bars there is worth a try, from the most classic to the most avant-guard. What would we choose? A pincho of chistorra of course (a type of fancy chorizo served fried or cooked in cider).
- Santiago de Compostela: Galician cuisine is famous around the world and in Santiago you can see why. Excellent seafood, octopus cooked perfectly and in many different ways, meat, tuna and vegetarian empanadas. But what we love the most there are the pimientos de Padrón, a type of small green pepper with a twist: some (but not all) are very, very spicy!
- Salamanca: The cuisine you find in inland Spain is robust and is not a stranger to tapas. The bars in Salamanca serve wonderful stews such as pig’s ear stew, or other dishes such as rice and morcilla (blood sausage) scrambles. We’re lost with chanfaina, although we understand that the mix of lamb’s blood and tripe, onions and garlic might not be appetizing to some of the more sensitive stomachs out there.
- Madrid: As the capital of the country, you can find bars and restaurants of all varieties, conditions and origins here. But that doesn’t mean that the city doesn’t have its own specialties. What’s our favorite? The classic tortilla de patata (Spanish omelet) of course… and with torreznos (slices of fried pork fat) to go with it!
- Barcelona: This city has become the capital of avant-guard gastronomy. To be honest, in Barcelona, rather than recommending one specific tapa, we recommend going to La Boqueria Market to try whatever catches your eye.
- Valencia: You might think that this is where they serve the best paella tapas… and you would be right! But if you want to try something different, we also recommend clóchinas (a kind of small and flavorful mussel) and Valencian style patatas bravas (fried potatoes) with bravas sauce (spicy tomato sauce) and ali oli.
- Granada: Andalusian cuisine is lovely, but that of Granada is something special. What can we order as a typical tapa in Granada? Don’t forget about the tortilla del Sacromonte (a Spanish omelet with brains and other innards) or the singular remojón (cod with orange, eggs and olive oil).
- Seville: Typical Andalusian cuisine can be summed up in Seville. There are many places to choose from there. But what do we like best from this city? We’re crazy about serranito, a little bite of pork loin, tomato, Spanish ham and peppers.
- Malaga: Its proximity to the Mediterranean makes the freshness of its fish and seafood stand out. But it also stands out for being home to our favorite tapas: pickled anchovies, Malagueña salad (made with cod, onion, oranges and olives), fish fries and the porra antequerana (similar to gazpacho, but different if you try it).
We were going to finish this article with a few lines glorifying all of these dishes; but instead we’re going to end here. More than anything, because so much talk of tapas is making us hungry.