10 Best Foods to Eat in Spain


It goes without saying that Spain wouldn't be Spain without its mouth-watering cuisine. From the world-famed paella and a great variety of yummy tapas to excellent seafood dishes and wonderful desserts, Spanish food has everything to win your heart and stomach. To ease the agony of choosing a dish (which will definitely appear once you open a menu of some Spanish restaurant or a small family tapas-bar during your Spain travel), we've prepared a list of Spain must-tastes you should try first. But be careful as reading this piece on an empty stomach is, indeed, a bad idea!


What to Eat & Drink in Spain

1. Spanish Paella
Spanish Paella

You haven't been to Spain if you haven't tried amazing Spanish paella! Being the hallmark dish of traditional cuisine, traditional paella originates from Valencia and is loved by both, locals and travelers. The core ingredient of any paella is quality rice which perfectly absorbs flavors. In fact, there are plenty of paella recipes, including the most popular ones with seafood, chicken, and vegetables. But whichever type of paella you choose, you'll be eager to taste the saturated paella flavor over and over again. Checked!

2. Jamon
Spanish Jamon

Another signature delicacy of Spain gastronomy is jamon, or cured ham, which shouldn't be missed while in Spain. Jamon is one of the most celebrated local specialties, it's a great starter, perfectly accompanied by dry red wine or beer. There are two popular types of jamon: Serrano and Iberico, primarily varying by the preparation technique and salinity. As a rule, jamon is enjoyed in thin slices which literally melt in your mouth on their own, but sometimes it is served with melon or pear to savor the flavor contrast.

3. Gazpacho
Spanish Gazpacho

This popular Spanish soup is a nice mix of raw vegetables, primarily tomatoes, most famous for being served cold. Apart from the tomato basis, traditional gazpacho consists of cucumber, pepper, garlic, and olive oil. Originally cooked in the southern region of Andalusia, refreshing gazpacho is just perfect for a hot summer day. Nowadays, this delicious soup is cooked throughout the country, so don't miss the chance to taste a bowl of this wonderful specialty dish in Spain!

4. Tortilla
Spanish Tortilla

If you used to think that tortilla is only Mexican flatbread, you'll definitely be surprised how the Spanish analog differs from what they have in Mexico. Spanish tortilla is the local version of an omelet which is cooked from eggs, potatoes, and onions, and usually reminds some kind of a pie. The dish can also be enriched with jamon or the famous Spanish pork sausage, chorizo. In fact, tortilla is a universal dish that can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or even dinner.

5. Gambas al Ajillo
Spanish Gambas al Ajillo

Spain is a true paradise for all seafood gourmets, and one of the most remarkable Spain "culinary gems" is "gambas al ajillo", or garlic shrimp. Cooked together with olive oil, loads of garlic and a pinch of paprika, the shrimp emit a tantalizing aroma and have a no less wonderful taste. The dish can be found in almost every restaurant across Spain so you'll have no obstacles in treating yourself with this simple yet tasty dish.

6. Tapas
Spanish Tapas

In case you are searching for something typically Spanish, but not too hearty, tapas will become a real catch. The signature snacks, tasty tapas, have ingrained in the everyday life and culture of Spaniards and become some kind of a ritual for a get-together with a glass of wine or beer with family or friends. Spanish tapas usually vary from cold to hot appetizers: a simple bowl of olives, slices of cheese or jamon, shrimp, Padron peppers, fried potatoes, and so on. A good idea would be to order a big set which can even replace a full meal.

7. Churros
Spanish Churros

If you ask the locals about the most popular Spanish desserts, probably the first thing they'll mention is churros. These fried dough pastry sticks of a sausage shape are a popular Spanish street food as well as a must-have on traditional home celebrations. Moreover, churros dipped in hot chocolate sided with a cup of coffee are quite a common variant of Sunday breakfast in Spain. We'd like to assure you that this dessert won't leave you indifferent!

8. Turron
Spanish Turron

One more Spanish pride among desserts is turron, a sweet treat with a nougat texture. The classic turron is a blend of eggs, sugar, honey, and nuts. In fact, turron comes in many sizes, shapes, colors, and flavors, depending on the ingredients and the region where this sweet delight was made. Thus, you may taste turron with various nuts, chocolate, fruit, and berries. Turron is extremely popular among Spanish people during the Christmas season, being an inevitable dessert of the festive table.

9. Sangria
Spanish Sangria

The absolute number one among Spanish drinks, refreshing sangria, is loved by Spaniards and people around the globe, not in vain. Traditionally consisting of red wine and chopped seasonal fruit, primarily citruses, delicious sangria is a hands-down winner not only during a hot summer day but all year round. You can find sangria everywhere, no matter what restaurant or cafe you choose to dine at, as this wonderful drink is a must-have during any celebrations, parties, get-togethers with friends and family!

10. Cava
Spanish Cava

The Spanish sparkling wine, cava, is a kind of response to French champagne. Mostly produced in the Catalonia region and near Barcelona, this light and bubbly wine usually comes in white and rose varieties. Despite the fact that cava in many ways reminds champagne, having bubbles and a similar sweetness level, you'll definitely catch the pleasant distinctive aroma of citrus when tasting this drink. As for the food compatibility, you can never go wrong if you couple cava with the famed tapas, cheese, and, of course, jamon.