Spanish gastronomy becomes more and more popular around the world every year. We have prepared a full list of foods from Spain that makes this country famous, for you to do not get lost in all this variety of yummies.
Here we have a guide of Top-42 Spanish tapas, foods, desserts and beverages. For your convenience, the list is divided into groups: “Starters” “Main dishes” “Desserts” and “Drinks”. Also, we include names is Spanish, this way you won’t get lost in a Spanish restaurant choosing from the menu.
Now let’s dive in a little more details about some of this dishes.
Famous small snacks or appetizers that could be served hot or cold. There are millions of variation of Spanish tapas and in every region, they will offer you some new additions.
Spanish cured ham that almost every Spaniard will kill for it. There are 2 main type of Jamon – Iberico and Serrano. Iberico tends to be the highest quality ham and used to have a black hoof (Pata Negra). Serrano ham is usually cheaper and less “gourmet”, but still tastes amazingly good.
Manchego cheese (queso manchego)
Manchego cheese is a Spanish cheese produced exclusively from La Mancha region sheep’s milk and protected by a designation of origin in La Mancha. This is one of the most famous and commercialized Spanish cheese outside of Spain.
Spanish pork sausage with paprika and garlic, which gives it its characteristic flavour and red colour. Chorizo has many variations, it could be fresh or cured, smoked, spicy or sweet.
Tortilla de patata
Spanish omelette made of eggs, potatoes and onion, super traditional tapas which could be found in any bar in Spain. Spaniards used to eat tortilla for breakfast putting the tortilla into 2 pieces of bread as a sandwich, or tortilla solo for a dinner.
Spanish croquettes is an art. Honestly! So many different tastes are there. Chicken, ham, cheese, mushrooms, shrimps, chorizo, cod, blood sausage, spinach and much more. Definitely must try while in Spain.
Pan con tomate
One of the most typical Spanish breakfast. A bread (usually different types of baguette) toasted and covered with mashed tomatoes, salt and olive oil. Could be also served with cured ham or cheese.
Another popular breakfast. A baguette-type bread divided into two and filled with all kind of things you can’t even imagine. Just step into some bar for breakfast and ask “bocadillo de la casa” and let a chef surprise you.
Gambas al ajillo
Garlic prawns, cooked in a small clay pot. These prawns are fried in extra virgin olive oil with garlic, spices, small chilli pepper and tomatoes cherry. But the result of this is stunning! nothing very complicated is here, but amazing results.
Any “Spanish tapeo” won’t be complete without these “brave” potatoes. Cut into irregular slices, fried in oil and accompanied by a spicy hot sauce.
Russian salad which has nothing to do with Russia. Boiled potatoes, carrot, beans, and could be other veggies, with tuna, chicken meat, olives or marinated cucumbers with mayo sauce. Delicious!
Pimientos de Padron
A very popular item on tapas menus. Small size green peppers, originally from the area of Galicia, fried and served with salt. The surprise lies in that one of those peppers usually is hot – a Chef’s usual joke!
Another typical tapas item – meatballs in tomato sauce.
Many confusion is with coca. Because it could be savoury and sweet, seems like a pizza but it is not a pizza. Originated from Valencia and Alicante this dish consists of douth (flour, oil, water, white wine or beer) tuna, tomato, salt and oil, although other ingredients can also be added, such as pepper, some nuts, onion and anise.
Probably the most famous Spanish dish in the world. Traditional rice dish made on the fire using orange tree woods. Traditional paella is made of meat and consists of rice, rabbit meat, chicken meat, beans, vegetables and of course, has a pinch of Shafran. But the most loved by tourist is seafood paella (with all types of Mediterranean seafood that person could imagine). Also exist black paella (with squid ink), vegetarian and mixed paella (meat with seafood).
This dish has the same ingredients and way of cooking as paella, but rice is replaced by pasta. Very typical food in Spanish homes, but not very known by tourists. When you are looking to try some foods from Spain – this should be on your list!
A cold tomato soup, which has ita origin in Andalusia, the hottest region of Spain. Well, not a surprise that they invented cold soup that tastes so good. Used to be served as an appetizer/starter dish, but in summer heat could be the only dish you are able to eat!
Puplo a la gallega
Boiled octopus – a dish from Northern Spain. Served on a wooden platter with paprika, olive oil, salt and potatoes, this is the paradise for any seafood lover.
Sweet fried-dough pastry. Could be with dark, milk, white chocolate or without it. Very typical to eat them during Chrismas time. People used to eat them dipping in dark chocolate.
Spanish Christmas sweets. This foods from Spain has its origin in the Alicante area. Made of honey (or other sugars), almonds flour, eggs or without them, with nuts, caramelized or dry fruits, and many other variations.
The traditional dessert that Spanish mothers cook for their kids, made of milk, egg yolks, sugar and cinnamon. Made of foods from Spain only.
If you wonder how it is possible to fry milk, people living in northern Spain will answer – “Easy!”. And the result is very tasty. Milk pudding fried with crunchy batter and dusted with a mix of cinnamon and sugar.
Caramel custard with origin in Catalunia. Creamy sweet dessert made with eggs and milk, flavoured with cinnamon and lemon peels.
Ah, sangria! Not only foods from Spain are popular. Drinks aslo are here! Although exist many recipes, basically it consists of wine, pieces of different fruits, soda, some strong liquor and sugar. The base is a wine that could be red or white. However typical sangria is made of red wine.
In conclusion, it is a must-try for lovers of fortified and dessert wines. Sort of grape Pedro Ximenez is original Spanish white grape verity, Wines from this grape has strong dried fruit notes, jam, honey, chocolate, vanilla and coffee flavours.
Take this shortlist to your travel notes once you are in Spain and enjoy the Spanish gastronomy as a local.