You are currently viewing What to Eat in Spain – 15 Spanish Foods You Must TryPin

What to Eat in Spain – 15 Spanish Foods You Must Try

Visiting Spain? Don’t miss these Spanish foods and dishes.

Spain is full of delicious foods to try. Each city and region has its own specialties, and this list is a good start for anyone visiting Spain for the first time. Some of these are touristy but popular for good reason.

Spanish Food List - 15 Foods You Must Try in SpainPin

This post may contain affiliate links, where we receive a small commission on sales of the products that are linked at no additional cost to you. All opinions are always our own. Read our full disclosure for more info. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Local Adventurer possible.

Last Updated: March 13, 2023

What to Eat in Spain (15 SPanish Foods You Must Try)

1. Paella

Though Spain has many different rice dishes, paella is by far one of the most popular and traditional Spanish dishes. If you’re looking for something a bit different, try the Arroz Negro (Spanish Squid Ink Rice) which is a famous Spanish dish itself. If you’ve never had squid ink, it might look strange to you, but we loved the flavors it added. We’ll definitely be ordering it from now on if we have the choice!

Restaurants to Try: Bon Aire, El Palmar | Restaurante Cheriff, Barcelona – best paella in Barcelona

Local Tip: Don’t let your luggage hold you back. Find a secure and convenient spot to store your luggage at Luggage Hero.

See More: 21 Remarkable Things to Do in Madrid Spain

Paella is a dish you must try when visiting Spain. Here are the other 15 Spanish Foods You Must Try | Paella Spain

2. Jamon Iberico

You will see giant legs of jamón serrano and jamón ibérico hanging in local tapas bars and shops. Spain is the world’s number one producer of dry cured ham and is still made using century-old techniques. Jamon Iberico or Iberian ham is made from black Iberian pigs, while Serrano ham covers most other varieties.

We would have loved to take some home, but unfortunately, it’s not legal to bring into the US. Our friend from Singapore got to take some home as a perfect souvenir to remember Spain. You can try to smuggle some back, or just don’t forget to leave Spain without eating plenty!   I know I’m not about to get blacklisted. We had some on tapas tours and anywhere you can get Spanish tapas, it should be an option on the menu.

See More: 21 Remarkable Things to Do in Madrid Spain

Spain is known for their Jamon / dry-cured ham using century-old techniques. It's a must eat when visiting Spain. Also see the other 15 Spanish foods you must try | SPanish Food Facts
Spain is known for their Jamon / dry-cured ham using century-old techniques. It's a must eat when visiting Spain. Also see the other 15 Spanish foods you must try.

3. Gazpacho

This authentic Spanish dish is usually served cold and is made of ripe tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, bread, peppers, and cucumbers. It’s not simply tomato soup. The ingredients are blended smoothly together, making it the perfect summer dish.

Restaurants to Try: Inclan Brutal Bar, Madrid | La Pepita, Barcelona

traditional gazpachoPin


This is the Spanish version of omelets and made of eggs, potatoes, and onions. After slow frying the potatoes and onions in olive oil, you beat the eggs to make a delicious dish. Like any omelet, you can add ingredients to your taste.

Restaurants to Try: Bodega de la Ardosa, Madrid | El Rinconcillo, Seville

Tortilla Espanola is a spanish omelette that you need to try when traveling to Spain. Also check out the other 15 Spain Foods You Must Try

5. Patatas Bravas

This is one of the most common dishes from Spain, and it’s on every tapas menu. Each region has its own spin on it. Although the sauces vary, they all consist of fried potato chunks.

Restaurants to Try: Bar Tomas, Barcelona | Docamar, Madrid

Patatas Bravas - must try in Spain - It's one of the most common tapa in Spain. Also see the other 15 Spanish foods you must try when visiting Spain | Spanish Food Recipes

6. Pisto

This great starter or side dish is the traditional Spanish version of ratatouille. It’s commonly served with fried eggs or chorizo.

Restaurants to Try: Taberna Malaspina, Madrid | Restaurante Tamara Lorenzo, Madrid

7. Sangria

You can’t list famous foods from Spain without including Sangria. This is by far the most popular drink in Spain, readily available anywhere. You can order it by the glass or enjoy a pitcher with friends.

It’s generally found at celebrations and get-togethers, and if you order it at a bar or restaurant, you might stick out as a tourist. But, hey, if you like it, you do you. Drink and be merry. If you can’t drink red wine, like Jacob, who has a wine allergy, try Cava. It’s the champagne of Spain and is a light and bubbly wine.

Restaurants to Try: Casa Lolea, Barcelona | Taberna el Sur, Madrid

Don't forget to try Sangria in Spain! Each place has their own recipe. Also see the other 15 Spanish foods you must try | Spanish Famous Food
Don't forget to try Sangria while in Spain. Each spot has their own recipe. Also see the other 15 Spanish foods you must try Spanish Food Menu

8. Chorizo

Spain has a lot of top-notch pork products, one of which is chorizo. This pork sausage is a savory treat that can be an add-on to other dishes or enjoyed on its own. It’s a simple but delicious Spanish food.

Restaurants to Try: Taberna Malaspina, Madrid | Casa Roman, Seville

Spanish Chorizo (What to Eat in Spain / 15 Spanish Foods You Must Try) | Food from Spain Near Me

9. Churros con Chocolate

These fried, sugary sticks are even better when paired with a cup of Spanish hot chocolate. It’s more of a hot fudge than a chocolatey drink and is unique to Spain food culture.

This one is from the famous Chocalateria San Gines in Madrid, which is good, but I personally think it’s overhyped. It’s still worth trying, whether at this touristy spot or elsewhere.

We’ve found that it’s one of the food trends in Spain that can be found in many other cities, like NYC (see our favorite desserts in NYC).

Restaurants to Try: Chocolateria San Gines, Madrid | Granja La Pallaresa, Barcelona

See More: 17 Best Desserts in NYC (we recently had some of the best Churros con Chocolate)

Churros con Chocolate from the famous Chocolateria San Gines in Madrid. Also check out the other 15 Spanish foods you must try | Typical Food of Spain

10. Suckling Pig

This is a big part of traditional food in Spain, even how it’s prepared in families. Men typically prepare it over a fire while the women prep the rest of the food.

Restaurants: Botin, Madrid | Asador de Aranda, Barcelona

11. Gambas al Ajillo

A typical food in Spain found in tapas bars, gambas al ajillo is a sizzling dish of prawns in olive oil seasoned with garlic, green chili, and parsley.

Restaurants to Try: El Raco de l’Aguir, Madrid | Cerveceria Catalana, Barcelona

Gambas al Ajillo is a sizzling Spanish dish of seasoned prawns in olive oil. It’s a must try if you’re in Spain. Click through to see the other 15 Spanish foods you must try when visiting Spain | Tapas Barcelona

12. fabada Asturiana

This hearty stew is a popular Spanish dish that’s typically served during the cold winter months, but you can still find it on most menus. It’s basically pork and beans in Spanish.

Restaurants to Try: El Neru, Madrid | El Chigre 1769, Barcelona

13. Pimientos de Padron

This traditional Spanish food is a simple and healthy dish, and great to share. Most tapas bars in Spain serve these small green peppers fried in olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt.

Restaurants to Try: La Bombeta, Barcelona | Casa Paco, Seville

See More: A Great Spot for Pimientos and Other Tapas in Madrid Spain

Pimientos de Padron is a green peppers dish served at most tapas joints. Also see the other 15 Spanish foods you must try | Traditional Spain Food

14. Manchego Cheese

This cheese is made in the middle of Spain with manchega sheep’s milk. They create a slightly salty cheese with a specific diet, and most delis and bars carry it.

Restaurants: Poncelet Cheese Bar, Madrid | Recansens, Barcelona

What to Eat in Spain - 15 Spanish Foods You Must Try | Typical Food from Spain

15. Bocadillos

A bocadillo is a sandwich made with Spanish bread. You’ll find them filled with potatoes, cheese, ham, and pork loin. If you’re in Madrid, try their bocadillo de calamares (fried squid). I brought my own condiments. ;)

Restaurants to Try: La Campana, Madrid | Can Paixano, Barcelona

Bocadillos is a Spanish sandwich and ones that are filled with calamari are famous in Madrid. Also check out the other 15 Spanish foods you must try when visiting Spain | Dinner from Spain

Bonus: A Souvenir to Take Home

Did you know that Andalusia in Southern Spain is the largest producer of olive oil in the world? We couldn’t resist taking some home with us.

More Food in Spain to Try

  • Bacalao – If you’re traveling to the Basque country, try the most popular version of bacalao made with pil pil sauce.
  • Crema Catalana is burnt Spanish custard creme similar to creme brulee. The dish’s origin is controversial.

Best Places to Stay in Spain

Madrid, Spain

Barcelona, Spain

Planning Checklist

Do you love Spanish cuisine? What Spanish foods have you tried and what are some others you would recommend? Which of these would be at the top of your list if you visited Spain? If you cook, what’s your favorite Spanish recipe?

Did you enjoy this post? Pin it for later

Esther and JacobPin

Esther + Jacob

Esther and Jacob are the founders of Local Adventurer, one of the top 5 travel blogs in the US. They believe that adventure can be found near and far and hope to inspire others to explore locally. They explore a new city in depth every year and currently base themselves in Las Vegas.

Follow on Instagram (E + J), YouTube, TikTok, and Pinterest.

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Philip Ward

    That’s amazing. I love it. thanks for sharing this such beautiful things

  2. bob

    very helpful but u forgot the main food of spain a taco and a burger with fries

  3. INes

    Oh my gosh, you guys! Even though I live in the USA, I come from Spain and you just made me crave all of the Spanish food that I’ve been missing for so long! Haha!
    I’m very impressed that you’ve included the fabada asturiana into this list because it’s not something that most people know about…I actually come from the region of Asturias, where this dish is from, and for that you just made my day! Have you actually been to Asturias?
    Thanks so much for sharing! I loved reading it!

    1. Esther JuLee

      Thank you so much for your comment! We’ve only been to Madrid, Toledo, Seville, and Granada. It was too short of a trip, we need to go back and explore much more of Spain. Hopefully soon!

  4. Wow! Really mouthwatering. I want to visit Spain to taste all these dishes. The images are amazing.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.