Spanish Gastronomy & Cuisine (Regional Tastes + Top Dishes + Tips)

Last Updated on March 28, 2021

Here you can read our Insider guide for best eating out and dining opportunities in Spain, including the best of Spanish gastronomy and cuisine, regional tastes. Spanish gastronomy and cuisine is one of the most popular ones in Spain.

Cooking in Spain is based on two common ingredients that include garlic and olive oil. The fish and sea food of the north regions, the rice dishes of the east regions, the roasts of the central regions, the hams and fries of the south regions has world wide reputation.

Eating Out

Travellers may find variety of world famous and quality restaurants, pubs, tapas bars, cafes and bars in all regions of Spain. It is very popular in Spain to start the day with 2 breakfasts.

First one at about 07.00-08.00 am. and second one at about 10.00-11.00 am. Breakfasts in Spain are most made at the tapas bars. Tapas Bars are very common and famous in Spain. Typical nights in Spain starts at 09.00-10.00 pm. with an evening meal at the variety of great restaurants and tapas bars.


Tapas is a great Spanish dish with variety of tasty food such as pickles on cocktail sticks, homely omelettes, cheeses and hams, baby earthenware casseroles with sizzling hot dishes and elegant mayonnaise-topped mouthfuls.

Visitors may 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.


Paella is the most obvious food to eat in Valencia. Paella is a great dish that originates from the restaurants in this city and is probably the best known dish to come from Spain.

It is made from short grain rice and can include a range of seafood or meat, as well as vegetables such as peas and peppers. Eating Paella in Valencia is definitely one of the best things to do in Spain.

Regional tastes and top dishes


Gazpacho and ajo blanco (made from grape, garlic and almond), fritura mixta or pescaito frito (a fish dish) and huevos a la flamenca


Esqueixada salad (fried or stewed vegetables with olive oil), fried fish with romesco sauce (hazelnut, red pepper, tomato, garlic and small pieces of bread), stew with sea food such as zarzuela and suquet de peix

Basque Country

Sea food, morina in hot garlic sauce, little squid, spicy tuna fish (marmitako), meat stew with tomato & potato and the whiting fish with mussel & shrimp (merzula con almejas y gambas)


Stew (Fabada asturiana) made from bean and sausage, the whiting fish (merzula a la sidra) with apple wine sauce and the blue cheese (queso de Cabrales)


Sea food, octopus (pulpo), vegetable soup (caldo gallego), the dough dish (empanada) made from meat or sea food, the “hams” fried in turnip stems and the dishes made with “red pepper”

Canary Islands

Mojo picon (spicy red sauce) and mojo verde (green sauce served with fish), papas arrugadas (baked potato)

Balearic Islands

Tumbet (stew with meat or fish or potato)


Spain is also the leading country for wines in the world after Italy. Popular wine regions are Penedes (red, white and cava), Priorat (red), Rias Baixas (white), Ribera del Duero (red), Rioja (red) and Toro (white).

The popular Sherry drink is Jerez region’s special.


As for desserts; Creme caramel is the most popular one in Spain.