Spain is full of delicious foods to try. Each city and region have their own specialties, and this list is a good start for anyone first timers in Spain. Some of these are on the touristy side, but popular for good reason and easy to find.
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Last Updated: July 3, 2019. First Published: December 21, 2015
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WHAT TO EAT IN SPAIN (15 Spanish Foods You Must Try)
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). 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!
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.
4. Tortilla Española
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.
This is by far the most popular drink in Spain readily available anywhere you go. You can order it by the glass or enjoy a pitcher amongst 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.
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. 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.
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 – burnt Spanish custard creme similar to creme brulee. There’s controversy over where this dish originated.
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.
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What to Pack for Your Trip to Spain
Best Places to Stay in Spain
- The Westin Palace Madrid (luxury) – Certificate of Excellence
- Hotel 1898, Barcelona (luxury) – Certificate of Excellence
- Only YOU Boutique Hotel Madrid (mid-range) – Tripadvisor Travelers Choice Award 2019
- Hotel Barcelona 1882 (mid-range) – 5 stars on Tripadvisor
- Hotel Samos, Majorca (mid-range) – Tripadvisor Travelers Choice 2019
- Artiem Madrid (budget) – Tripadvisor Travelers Choice 2019
- SmartRoom Barcelona (budget) – Certificate of Excellence
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?
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“Discovery consists not of seeking new lands but in seeing with new eyes” – M. Proust
Esther + Jacob
Esther and Jacob are the founders of Local Adventurer, which is one of the top 5 travel blogs in the US. They believe that adventure can be found both 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.