Spanish Tapas Guide

Hi there! I am sure the word ‘tapas’ rings a bell but, do you know exactly what tapas are? And more important… do you know how to order them in a bar? If you are moving to Spain and you want to avoid ridiculous when you go out for dinner keep reading! This article is an insight guide to Spanish tapas.


Tapas are little plates of Spanish deliciousness served in the middle of the table in order to be able to share. It is said that they come from the King Alfonso X, ‘the Wise’. They are a reflection of Spanish culture, where meeting with friends around the table and sharing food is a very important part of the culture.

Plus, if you are an indecisive person and you never know what to choose when you get to the restaurants, with tapas you can taste everything! However, if you don’t like to share your food with other people, tapas might not be your style of food.



There is no exact definition of the type of food. Tapas can be any type of food warm or cold, fish or meat… that is shared in the middle of the table over a drink. The world ‘tapa’ means ‘lid’ or ‘cover’ because not that long ago a slice of Jamón or cheese was served on top of the glass of wine.

Nowadays, many cities in Spain have the tradition of ‘pintxo+tapa’ which means that for every drink that you order they bring a free ‘pintxo’. Pintxos are small slices of bread with different toppings. Whereas before the pintxo used to come for free with the tapas, nowadays it is quite rare.


Even though tapas are popular all around Spain, there are some cities which are well known for the quality of its ‘tapas’ for instance, Sevilla, Granada, San Sebastián and Madrid.

Sevilla: It is very common to move from one place to other so you can taste many different places. ‘Sol y Sombra’ (Castilla 147) is a classical tapas bar which opened in 1961 and serves dishes rooted in traditional Sevillian cuisine.

sol y sombra

Granada: it is the perfect place for ‘tapeo’ because you get one free meal for each drink that you get. Elvira Street located in the centre is one of the most popular ones to go for tapeo. Learn the best tapas places in Granada in our article.

San Sebastian: San Sebastian is well known for its amazing pintxos that are served along with a drink. Tapas here have evolved and today you can find gourmet tapa at affordable prices. One of the most recommendable pintxos place is ‘A Fuego Lento’ (31 de Agosto) which combines traditional Basque pintxos with a modern touch.

a fuego negro

Madrid: one of the most famous streets is Cava Baja in La Latina neighbourhood serving really tasty tapas. Casa Gonzalez (Calle León 12) is especially recommendable. It is the perfect representation of a Spanish tapas scene.



Croquetas (Croquettes)

Croquettes are small breadcrumbs fried food roll containing a base of béchamel and different ingredients such as chicken, squid, jamon, morcilla, curry… name it and you have it!

Check how to do your own chicken croquettes with turmeric.



Tortilla de Patatas (Spanish Omelet)

A real Spanish omelet looks more like a cake than a regular omelet; it must have a thickness of at least two fingers! The main ingredients are obviously egg, potatoes and the controversial ingredient…onion. Some people love the onion some people hate it, you must taste it to judge by yourself!

Here you can find an easy recipe to cook your own Tortilla de Patatas




Pintxos are by far the easiest tapa to cook. It is just a slice of bread with anything on top and the more the tastier! You can’t go wrong with the pintxos.

If you want some ideas for delicious ones just check here!



Now that you are tapas expert you can start planning to move to Spain! Find your accommodation in our webpage and have the best time of your life!



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