17 Spain dishes that you must try when you visit Spain
December 21, 2021
By guy yefet

Planning to visit Spain? You must try the Spain dishes. in this blog post, you will find all the best Spanish food that you must eat when you visit Spain!

17 best Spanish food you need to try

Spain is a country that has something to eat and lots.

Tapas bars are the basis of traditional Spanish food and you can find ancient dishes that pay homage to the great ingredients in Spain, along with innovations that will surprise the salivary glands. The idea is repeated in every Spain dishes - a fine raw material with light touches that make it stand out and a form of preparation that brings out the best in it. And all at equal prices for each person.

Unlike other cuisines (Italian, French) Spanish cuisine does not freeze in time and is constantly renewed, so you will find countless fusions in it. In addition to tapas bars, you will also find excellent and tempting restaurants at varying price levels.

But let's start with the basics, since Spanish cuisine is first and foremost a workers' kitchen, a "simple" cuisine, so it is worth getting to know it is the most basic dishes that are found in almost every common tapas bar.

There are many more Spain dishes and ingredients that are worth tasting but start with the common traditions.

Tortilla de patatas

Translated from Spanish: 'Potato Omelette'. This is a particularly chunky and bombastic omelet that in addition to eggs contains potatoes and sometimes also caramelized onions. What is special about it is that in terms of the degree of preparation, the dish is made like beef fillet - seared on the outside to get a stable shape of a pie, and on the inside, it is soft and vibrating.

The Spaniards are divided into two camps on this matter - one, those who like fried onions in a tortilla, and the other, those who do not like onions in a tortilla. But one thing is for sure - everyone loves a tortilla de patatas. It is served as a respectable slice and the Spaniards will usually snack on it as a quick breakfast, or at any hour of the day when hunger is tickling and want to close a cheap corner with light saliva.

Tortilla de patatas spain dishes

Jamón ibérico

If one had to condense Spanish cuisine into one unique dish, it would undoubtedly be the hottest. It is an aged pork thigh that undergoes a process of salting and drying. Thinly slice the whole thigh (using a knife or a carving machine) and eat. The Iberico pestle (as opposed to the Sereno pestle) is a pestle produced from an organ breed. The final products of the Hamon differ from each other in taste and quality.

Quality is measured by a number of parameters - the breed of the pig (is it pure organs), what is fed to it (grains, legumes, or acorns, when the pigs that ate acorns are considered the highest quality), the freedom of movement of the pig while alive (pigs roaming freely in extensive grazing areas Higher quality) and of course time and way of aging which is a professional secret of every manufacturer.

The Hamon stars big everywhere - pork legs hang in delicacies, writers, markets, bars, and restaurants. Many Spaniards have a whole brown leg in the kitchen from which they slice pieces of snacks whenever they want to cheer. It is usually customary to eat the Hamon without any sophistication - thin slices as it is, or with manchego.

Because it is consumed here like water, it is pushed to every meal and dish, and there are many traditional dishes that are based on it, including croquettes with ham, huevos rotos - a breakfast of fried potatoes with egg and slices of ham, as a topping on salmon and even potatoes Hot-flavored yips. For those who do not eat pork, there is also "beef" beef: Cecina de León

Where to eat: Really, but really, in every hole in Spain. If you want to experience a real show, you should come to one of the chain's branches - Museo del Jamón, where you can eat all kinds of donuts, and especially feel like in one big pork leg aging room.

Jamón ibérico spain dishes

Gambas al Ajillo

Spanish translation: garlic shrimp, and free translation: one big wow. A dish originating in the Galicia region of northern Spain. These are particularly reddish and sweet shrimp (gambas) fried in olive oil, lots of garlic, chili, and parsley, and served in a pottery vessel while the oil is still bubbling in it.

I can say with complete confidence that this is my favorite dish in Madrid. First of all, because the shrimps taste murder, and in addition, they are fried with all the good things that Spanish cuisine has to offer in one dish. It is important to mention that the olive oil absorbs all the sweet flavors of the shrimp and garlic, and fragrant olive oil is created in a dish that is no more fun than dipping white bread in it and savoring it.

Gambas al Ajillo spain dishes

Spanish Croquetas

A reduced chive sauce (usually with chunks of ham in it), in the shape of balls or a roll, coated in bread crumbs and deep-fried in oil. The result is crispy croquettes on the outside and liquid and warm on the inside. It is a dish that rises and falls on its texture, and when you eat it in the best texture you will become hard addicts. The classic toppings are the ham or cod, but in bars, with a slightly more modern head, you can find a variety of toppings like mushrooms, spinach, blue cheese, and even chorizo.

Spanish Croquetas spain dishes

Calamari Sandwich / Bocadillo de calamares

Please get to know the Madrid sandwich - calamari fried in a bun. These are large calamari rings coated in flour, deep-fried in oil. Instead of putting them on a plate and calling them fried calamari, they decided to shove them into a loaf bun so that the dish could be eaten on the street.

That's how you got a classic Spanish street food for 3 euros, with usually the amount of calamari significantly exceeding the proportion of the bun (like a good sausage in Munich). Do not be confused - although street food but delicious, tender, and especially meaty. If you turn up your nose at the fact that you are missing a sauce, then you can always squeeze a lemon or ask them to add a bravas sauce or garlic aioli.

A good place to eat: La Campana. If it's not a day of mourning in Madrid, then there will be a queue at the place, but it progresses fast and is worth every second.

Calamari Sandwich / Bocadillo de calamares spain dish

Queso manchego

Semi-hard sheep's cheese is produced exclusively in the province of La Mancha in Spain, hence its name. It is a bit spicy (in terms of cheese) as a lot of sheep cheese, and its taste varies from one to another.

It is produced in 3 types of aging - from the softest (Sami Cordo) which is aged for 3 months to the most aged (Viho) which is aged for up to two years. The older the cheese, the more intense it tastes. It is customary to eat it in thick slices as it is, without cooking, or in a sandwich with ham or anchovies, with which the saltiness of each of the two goes well.

Queso manchego spain


Cold and thick cream of tomatoes, garlic, bread, olive oil, and sherry vinegar with a pinkish-stained color.

It is much thicker and creamier than its gazpacho cousin, thanks to a considerable amount of olive oil and bread.

The dish is served cold, with chunks of ham and hard-boiled egg grated on top. In some places, it will be served with fish instead of ham.

Since the cream is a wonderful base for many dishes, it can be found in Madrid combined with dishes from modern restaurants that make fusion, and this of course in addition to the original version that is most common in places with a southern Spanish orientation.

This is my favorite Spain dish to eat (and also prepare) especially in the summer.

Salmorejo spain dishes

Boquerones en vinagre

Spain is known for its fine and delicious anchovies, and here we taste it in the pickled version.

These are fillets of fresh anchovies that have been slightly missed with vinegar and garlic, which paints the anchovies a milky white hue or rather removes the color from them.

To me, the dish is very special, and although at first, it raises an eyebrow, the taste is none other than pickled anchovies. They are amazingly delicious on bread or accompanied by green olives.

Boquerones en vinagre spain dish

Pimientos de Padrón

Green, small and oval peppers are grown in the city of Padrón in northern Spain.

The Spaniards fry them in olive oil, sprinkle them with coarse salt and eat them like nuts. If you think it's weird to eat peppers like that then once you taste it you'll understand what the fuss is about, because just like peanuts, once you eat one you can't stop. You can also find meat dishes and dishes with fish that the peppers are served next to.

Pimientos de Padrón pain dishes

Spanish Churros

Churros is basically a dough batter in the shape of an oval loop that is deep-fried in oil until crispy. The dough itself is not sweet at all, but it is customary to dip it in hot, sweet, and thick chocolate. The Churros are eaten for breakfast (those on the diet are immersed in coffee) and most of the chorries close at noon.

The cousin of the chorus is the Porra, which is actually a thicker and more meaty version that is fried in a huge loop and then cut into pieces. In terms of freshness, Churros ​​is like French fries - it must be eaten right after frying and not after lying in a display case for a while.

Spanish Churros spain dishes

Patatas bravas

In short: the Spanish fries, and at length: fried potato cubes served with Bravas sauce - a spicy sauce with flavors of tomatoes, garlic, onions, and paprika.

Please remember that Spanish paprika is a source of national pride.

The smooth and thick sauce wraps the potatoes in the most Spanish flavors available.

What could be wrong with a fried potato and pasta sauce in a trek in South America, ground to a smooth texture? That's how you got the upgraded version of French fries and ketchup.

In the best places will make the sauce a bit spicy.

Where to eat: At any tapas bar in Spain.

patatas bravas spain dishes


A uniform base, three colors, dozens of versions, and a soup that has become an intuitive extraction whenever someone is asked to answer the question "What is a classic Spanish dish?". The gazpacho soup embodies within it class divisions, colonialist conquests and buds of globalization, a whole history between a new world and an old world.

The broadest consensus that exists is that the gazpacho originated in Andalusia in southern Spain. This is despite some believing that this dish migrated with the Moorish peoples during the conquest of the Iberian Peninsula and its environs in the 8th-12th centuries. Despite this, it is the most famous Andalusian dish and one of Spain's greatest contributions to world cuisine (according to La Marquesa de Parabere in her book "The History of Gastronomy").

The red gazpacho is basically a cold and uncooked vegetable soup and will therefore usually be accompanied by various toppings. In Cordoba, the soup is served with quarters of hard-boiled eggs. In the rest of the district, chopped almonds and cumin or orange slices are served alongside the soup. A large number of tomatoes and small amounts of cucumbers and green peppers are added to the base.

The simplicity of preparation and availability of ingredients are the ones that spawned different versions in different cities and counties. Despite this, the great secret of a perfect gazpacho soup is finding the proportions between the ingredients. Therefore, despite its modest origins, it has become in Spain a revered dish that must be precise and meticulous in its preparation.

Gazpacho spain dishes

Paella -  national dish of spain

The paella consider The national dish of spain is a rice dish with varying toppings that comes from the Valencia region. Over the years it has become the home dish of seafarers who have utilized their fish leftovers (crabs, shells, lobsters) into a huge pan with rice. The dish became so popular that in Spanish the word "paella" became synonymous with a pan.

In the past, the dish was considered very "masculine" because it was used by those who went hunting or fishing but today it has a feminist element. On Sundays, in Valencia, it is customary for the man alone to be obliged to cook the dish for his wife.

Paella spain dishes

Spanish Chorizo

Chorizo ​​is the name of a variety of sausages and pork sausages that originated in Spain, and all of them use smoked dried red pepper, which gives them the color red. In Europe it is usually a sausage, spread out and eaten as is or in a sandwich. It can also be added to stews. Elsewhere chorizo isre sausages that should be cooked in water or as a stew in cider, fried in oil, roasted on the stove, or grilled. Chorizo ​​can even be used as a substitute for minced meat in certain dishes.

It is usually made from fatty pork, chopped to a coarse texture, and seasoned with chili or paprika. There is a sharp version and a moderate version in its sharpness. There are varieties that are preserved by hanging them in a cold, dry place, as they do with "Seron hamon". It sometimes also contains flesh therapies, such as cheeks, salivary glands and lymph nodes.

In the Pamplona version, the meat is more chopped. In some areas, such as Extremadura, where pork has been a staple food for centuries, the dish "eggs and chorizo" is common. This dish includes chorizo ​​(and not sausage) sausage fried in olive oil or lard and eggs deep-fried in oil until it is smoky.

Sliced ​​chorizo ​​sausages are very popular at Tapas Bar. The chorizo ​​is also popular in Basque cuisine.

Spanish Chorizo spain dishes


Empanada is a stuffed and baked dough dish that originated in Galicia, Spain. In Galicia, empanadas are made from dough stuffed with cod or chicken.

Indeed, today empanadas are very much identified with Argentine cuisine, but like the choruses and other dishes, it came to South America along with Spanish immigrants and there gained momentum. So this is a completely Spanish dish, its origin is in northern Spain, more precisely in the region of Galicia.

The original shape of the original empanadas in Galicia (called - Empanada Gallega) is not of a dumpling as we know it, but a kind of square pie - a layer of dough (usually puff pastry), on which pile filling and close with another square of dough and bake. The fillings are usually of fish and seafood, which are very common in Galicia - tuna, sardines, cod, mussels and even scallops.

Outside of Galicia, the dumpling version is also common, from the crispy dough and it will usually be baked, and then it will also be called Empanadilla, which is a small empanada in free translation. In Argentina and in general, in South America, you can see almost exclusively the empanadas as a dumpling and the Argentines, of course, took it in the direction of the meat filling. And there too most of the empanadas will be fried and not baked. Today, empanadas stalls with a variety of fillings are something that is everywhere in Spain, and as mentioned - the winning street food.

Empanadas spain dishes


The Bacalao, salted and dried codfish, is a key part of the Spanish menu.

which has been soaked for at least 36 hours, and of boiled potatoes. The classic ratio is twice as much as coded potatoes, but in this matter there are variations. The mixture (usually with a little egg yolk) is shaped into small balls, which are quickly fried in deep oil and served to the table either as a separate dish or as part of a selection of fries. In Catalonia (and Portugal) it is customary to add hot pepper to the mixture, in Madrid it is customary to wrap in the remnants of the mixture the parts closest to the bone of the code and distribute the result free of charge to customers. In any version, this is one of the most successful and typical hot dishes for tapas restaurants.


The sangria, which originated in Spain, has become a popular drink around the world, and its name originates from the word Sangre ("blood" in Spanish) because of its prominent red color.

It comes in a variety of colors and styles, in winter we will drink it hot, and in summer with ice, and it will always be spicy, exotic, and delicious for every palate.

The sangria, which has been served for many years in every Spanish bar alongside local tapas, was actually born long before anyone knew the word tapas and its meaning, as early as around the beginning of the Christian era.

The sangria does not have a single official recipe, and everywhere you will find different and weird versions according to the imagination of the bartender. What is clear is that there should be wine, citrus and other fruits that are desirable, depending on the supply of the seasons, with another type of alcohol, brandy or red vermouth.

Sangria spain

Things to know about the Spanish food culture

1/ There are no short meals in Spain. Sitting at the table, in a restaurant, or at home, is considered a significant activity that needs to be paid attention to and done leisurely. Every meal is an important social activity. The first fact to know when going out to eat in Spain is that the meal will last a long time.

2/ In the evening it is customary to go out and eat at relatively late hours. Often, especially in the big cities, dinner is only started at ten o'clock. Many restaurants are closed on Sundays.

3/ The food in Spain is very diverse. There are considerable differences between the dishes served in the different regions of Spain. Each area has food that characterizes it, and food that is considered local. Because Spain is a tourist country, many regions also serve food from other regions. You should avoid these pitfalls.

4/ Breakfast may include many ingredients but most Spaniards just drink strong coffee. In most cases, the coffee will be served with milk. There are two options - Coffee Kav Lecha will include about half of the cup of milk. Cortado coffee is actually an espresso that is served with a little milk.

5/ Lunch is usually served between one and four. The meal includes three or four servings. It opens with soup, followed by often serving an egg or fish and then the main course - meat with vegetables. At the end of the meal, a sweet dish is served, usually a homemade cake.

6/ The most delicious soup in Spain is asparagus soup or potato soup. Places by the sea often serve excellent fish soup.


7/ The Basque Country in the north of the country is known for the excellent food served there. Basque cuisine has its own unique characteristics and is based in many places on cooked fish.

I hope this post will make you want to taste and try all the delicious Spain dishes that are in Spain.

If you are already planning to visit Spain you can read my Madrid itinerary for 3 days.

Madrid the capital city of Spain is full of culture, history and of course many Spain dishes worth eating. Enjoy!