Tapas, the delicious small plates of food that are a staple of Spanish cuisine, are one of the country’s biggest culinary exports. From patatas bravas to jamón ibérico, there are a wide variety of tapas to suit every taste. If you’re visiting Spain, be sure to try some of the best places to eat tapas in the country. Here are some of the top cities, places and spots for tapas in Spain.
Tapas is originated as a free bar snack, which has evolved and can be found on most of the menus across the many tourist and metropolitan cities of the country. You can find numerous tapas restaurants and tapas bars in all the cities of Spain. Eating Tapas in your Spain visit is definitely one of the best things to do in Spain.
Best Places to Try Tapas in Spain
Majority of the Spanish cities each have their own unique culinary traditions and are known for their delicious tapas. So whether you’re in the north, south, east, or west of Spain, you’re sure to find some great tapas to enjoy.
Barcelona is known for its vibrant food scene, and tapas are no exception. The city is home to many excellent tapas bars and restaurants, including the iconic El Xampanyet, Cervecería Catalana, and Bar La Plata.
Madrid is the birthplace of tapas, and the city takes its tapas culture seriously. You’ll find tapas bars and restaurants on every corner, with classics like Casa Lucio and La Casa del Abuelo, as well as modern spots like Juana La Loca and Estado Puro.
Seville is another great city for tapas, with a mix of traditional and modern spots to try. La Azotea, El Rinconcillo, and Bodega Santa Cruz are just a few of the excellent tapas bars in the city.
Granada is known for its free tapas culture, where bars and restaurants will offer complimentary tapas with each drink. Head to Taberna Pepe Blanco, Los Diamantes, and Bar Poe for some of the best tapas in the city.
Valencia is a coastal city that is famous for its paella, but the city also has a great tapas scene. Check out La Taberna del Gourmet, El Camerino, and La Pilareta for some delicious tapas.
San Sebastian (Donostia)
San Sebastian is a foodie’s paradise, with a variety of Michelin-starred restaurants and pintxo bars serving up delicious food. Some of the top tapas spots in the city include Bar Nestor, La Cuchara de San Telmo, and Bar Zeruko.
Malaga is a coastal city in the south of Spain that is famous for its fresh seafood and traditional tapas. Head to the lively Atarazanas market to try some of the city’s best tapas, or visit popular spots like El Pimpi or La Cosmopolita.
Bilbao is a modern and cosmopolitan city in the Basque Country of Spain. The city has a thriving pintxo culture, which is the Basque equivalent of tapas. Some of the best pintxo bars in the city include La Viña del Ensanche, La Cepa, and Gure Toki.
Salamanca is a historic university city in western Spain that is known for its beautiful architecture and lively tapas scene. Some of the best tapas bars in the city include La Hoja 21, Bar Restaurante El Corrillo, and Bambú.
Córdoba is a historic city in Andalusia that is famous for its beautiful mosque-cathedral and traditional tapas. Some of the best tapas bars in the city include Bodegas Mezquita, Taberna El 21, and Sociedad de Plateros María Auxiliadora.
10 of the Best Tapas Bars in Spain
Here are some of the top places and spots for tapas in Spain:
- El Xampanyet, Barcelona: Located in the trendy neighborhood of El Born, El Xampanyet is a classic tapas bar that has been around since 1929. This lively bar is known for its cold cava (a sparkling wine) and delicious anchovies, as well as a wide variety of other tapas dishes.
- Casa Lucio, Madrid: This classic restaurant in the heart of Madrid has been serving up traditional Castilian cuisine for over 40 years. Their specialty is huevos rotos, a dish of fried potatoes, ham, and eggs that is a must-try. Be sure to book in advance, as Casa Lucio is a popular spot with both locals and tourists.
- La Azotea, Seville: La Azotea is a popular tapas bar in Seville’s bohemian Alameda neighborhood. With a focus on fresh, seasonal ingredients, their menu includes dishes such as tuna tartare with avocado, and pork cheeks with red wine sauce. Be sure to try their signature cocktail, the “Azotea sour.”
- Cervecería Catalana, Barcelona: This bustling tapas bar in the Eixample neighborhood of Barcelona is a popular spot with locals and tourists alike. Their extensive menu includes everything from patatas bravas to grilled octopus, and they are known for their friendly service and casual atmosphere.
- La Casa del Abuelo, Madrid: La Casa del Abuelo is a historic bar in Madrid’s Chueca neighborhood that has been serving up their famous gambas al ajillo (garlic shrimp) for over 100 years. Be sure to pair your tapas with a glass of their house-made vermouth.
- Taberna Pepe Blanco, Granada: Located in the historic Albaicín neighborhood of Granada, Taberna Pepe Blanco is a charming tapas bar with a cozy atmosphere. Their specialties include grilled sardines, jamón ibérico, and a variety of cheeses and olives.
- Bar La Plata, Barcelona: This small tapas bar in the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona is a local institution. Their menu is simple but delicious, with a focus on traditional dishes such as anchovies and sardines, as well as their famous fried squid.
- El Rinconcillo, Seville: El Rinconcillo is the oldest bar in Seville, dating back to 1670. The bar has a historic atmosphere, with tiled walls and a long wooden bar. Their tapas menu includes traditional dishes such as tortilla española and salmorejo (a cold soup made with tomatoes and bread).
- La Taberna del Gourmet, Alicante: This modern tapas bar in the coastal city of Alicante is a popular spot for seafood lovers. Their menu includes dishes such as octopus with black garlic and grilled tuna belly, as well as a wide variety of creative cocktails.
- Bodegas Mezquita, Cordoba: Located in the heart of the historic Jewish quarter of Cordoba, Bodegas Mezquita is a charming tapas bar with a cozy atmosphere. Their specialties include flamenquín (a fried pork roll) and salmorejo, as well as a wide variety of local wines.
Summary of All
Spain is a foodie’s paradise, and tapas are an essential part of the country’s culinary tradition. Whether you’re in Barcelona, Madrid, Seville, or any other city in Spain, there are plenty of great tapas bars and restaurants to explore.
From historic bars to modern gastropubs, there is a tapas spot to suit every taste and budget. So be sure to make time for some tapas on your next trip to Spain, and discover the delicious flavors of this iconic cuisine.