15 Things to Know About Spain Tapas

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Tapas SpainSource: cyclonebill

Spain is one of the most amazing city in the world, its rich culture , cuisines and historical architecture attracts tourists from all over the world.Tapas is one of the most known terms in the name of Spanish Foods, Tapas generally is an array of variety foods like snacks or appetizers. It is not only a food but also a way to eat food and interaction with people. Tapas can be said of the style of eating rather than a form of cooking. There are a number of types of Tapas available in Spain and varies throughout the Spain, even from town to town. Tapas are served for throughout the day in bars and bistros all through Spain, however, each has its distinctive translation of the word, and different prices. Tapas are intended to be light food taken before the main dinner to swallow down some wine or lager. Here are a few things you have to think about Spain Tapas.

1. History of Spanish Tapas

TapasSource: JohnPickenPhoto

The history of Tapas is not known but there are a number of theories that roots the history of Tapas with Spain. Spanish King Alfonso X is the most famous personality who is regarded as the originator of the Tapas. Some say he used to take small and light foods with the wine before the dinner and from that the Tapas originated. Tapas can be said of the style of eating rather than a form of cooking.

2. Tapas Competition in Spain

There is a number of Tapas competition which is held every year in Spain at different places like National Tapas Competition and International Tapas Competition. Most famous competition among them is held in City of Valladolid and Avila. Twelfth National Pinchos and Tapas Competition will be held in Valladolid from 7th – 9th November where you can see some of the best cooks will be participating in the competition. The festival is celebrated every year. And the winner is given a prize money. This competition will let you explore the world of Tapas in Spain.

3. Free Tapas in Spain

Tapas SpainSource: Javier Leiva

While going to any restaurant or a Tapas bar in Spain , most of them will charge you for Tapas order. Their menu has a separate section for Tapas with wide varieties. The price may vary from 2 to 10 Euros. The price generally depends on what have you ordered, it’s size and ingredients used in it. But there are various places and cities like Granada, Madrid, and Alcala de Henares have some traditional Tapas cafe and restaurants which offer Tapas at free of cost with you drink.

4. Ingredients in Tapas

Olive TapasSource: Kim

Tapas is a wide variety of light food that can have numerous forms and variety. The bars and the restaurants in Spain usually have more than 12 unique kinds of Tapas kept in trays and are served with the wine. The food items in Tapas are richly flavored with olive oil, garlic, cumin, Pepper, paprika, saffron and much more. Some most commonly used foods are seafood like Shrimp , Squid, Tuna, sardines, and other served with tomato sauce. Other non-veg items are also present in a number of Tapas.

5. Types of Tapas in Spain

veg tapasSource: Dan

There are a number of varieties of Tapas in Spain. Some most famous and common Tapas are Aceitunas which are generally olives filled with red bell pepper and anchovies, sardines, small fishes meatballs, pinchos de encurtidos which are cold Tapas prepared from small and light foods skewered with pickles or vinegar and cheeses which are generally served on top of slices of white bread. Most of the famous tapas consist of non-vegetarian ingredients like seafood.

6. Gourmet Tapas

Gourmet TapasSource: Jermaine Hou

With increasing tourism and popularity of the Tapas all over the world , the tapas custom has developed into an art form. Many famous chefs from Spain have taken the Tapas into next level and lead to the Gourmet Tapas. Culinary experts like Ferran Adria have raised the idea into the most elite classes of Spanish gourmet sustenance. Present day boutique eateries have pushed the scene with more tapas experiments , for example, pescadito frito con algas which is a battered fish served with seaweeds or ensalada de naranja y zumo de oliva which is a mixed salad of olive and orange juice . But the prices of these types of Tapas are generally high compared to other traditional Tapas.

7. Tapas for Vegetarians

Tapas for VegetariansSource: Jessica Spengler

Most of the Tapas have meat as their ingredients, while there is frequently a couple veggie lover alternatives on most tapas menus, you ought to know that numerous bars may neglect to say that their barbecued mushrooms are cooked with the stuffed courgette or the Jamon serrano is really loaded with ground meat. The normal potato plate of mixed greens is presented with prawns, and even a blended salads will frequently have small fish and tuna on them. So the best option is to ask the waiter that you want some Vegetarians Tapas.

8. Timings and Prices for Tapas

TapasSource: Herry Lawford

There are a number of types of Tapas which varies from town to town and prices vary from town to town and what you are ordering. But expect to pay about 2-3 Euros for a typical one, though now there are many varieties of Tapas available with the modern twists especially in Tapas bar where the prices for Tapas can from 5-10 Euros. Restaurants and Bars serving tapas remain open from 1-4 toward the evening, and then open from 8 to midnight, however, a few bars will stay open between 5- 8 serving beverages and chilly snacks.Tapas are intended to be light food taken before the main dinner to swallow down some wine or lager.

9. How to Order Tapas

Tapas BarSource: vasse nicolas,antoine

The principal thing to do in Tapas restaurant or bar is to see whether you can make an order at the tables. In a traditional tapas restaurant, they just serve it at the bar & you need to arrange raciones at tables or out on the patio. If you get the seat then don’t order all the Tapas you want at once. Many of the orders would have been prepared in advance and it might be the case that you end up with about 4-5 dishes at once. The barman will, for the most part, run a tab , which you need to pay after you have finished eating tapas. There are also many bars where food and drink can be taken outside and you will nee to pay for each round of tapas you take.

10. Tapas Etiquette

Tapas EtiquetteSource: Nicolas Vigier

Tapas are by and large volunteered, however, you will likewise see that some locals ask the question in Spanish if they have got any tapas? to attempt and enjoy a freebie. Since most bars offer free tapas with drinks. If the server gestures and leaves, they will convey the treats. In any case, if they start telling you about the menu, it implies they will charge you for whatever you pick. Where there are free tapas you can’t select what you want to eat and you have to take whatever they serve while where you can choose from the menu if they charge you for Tapas. These paid tapas are typically called pinchos or raciones .

11. Names For Tapas Dishes

Tapas MealSource: Jiashiang

There are a number of ways Tapas are served, some with little amount while some are of large quantity. Every portion of the Tapas you order has a name for it.


  • Tapas:This is the common name for small items of food that are served in the restaurants. They can be olives with fillings, almonds, small fishes or anything in small quantity.
  • Racinoes: Most of the restaurant which do not offer Tapas free have separate prices for Tapas where you can read the term Raciones. Only difference is with the quantity of the Tapas you ordered. Racinoes are same dish with large quantity.
  • Pinchos : The term Pinchos originated from the Basque towns of the Spain which are served always on the top of bread.

12. What to Drink With Tapas

Tapas and DrinkSource: Krista

According to the culture of Spain, Tapas are the small portion of snacks taken with a glass of wine before the actual meals. There are no rules or something as what to drink while having Tapas. It depends on your taste and what sort of Tapas you are eating. Generally locals in Spain like a light white wine called as Txacoli or Basque Cider. Strong drinks are not taken with the Tapas. You will see people taking only light drinks with the Tapas. Light Drinks helps you to enjoy the many flavors the Tapas has to offer.

13. Tapas is Not About What but How You are Eating

Tapas Bar in SpainSource: Nicolas Vigier

Most people think that Tapas are the cuisines of Spain and are generally starters taken with the drink. But it’s wrong ! Tapas can be a light food to a full meal. Tapas is not about what are you eating or which Tapas are you eating. But it is the way of how you are eating. Tapas can be said of the style of eating rather than a cuisine. Tapas are known for having company, friends or family with whom you are sharing your food , conversations and enjoying with a glass of Wine. So if you are new to Tapas enjoy the food with companions and friends while sharing the relishing items.

14. Best Tapas in San Sebastian

The city is known for the pintxos bars which are a very small form of Tapas. San Sebastian is a very famous destination for Spain Tapas. The old streets of the city are dotted with a number of pintxos bars and restaurants. Here you can find both Michelin stars restaurants and number of other local restaurants. Arzak Restaurant is the most famous and renowned place for tapas in San Sebastian. It is a three Michelin stars restaurant. Other best one is Mugaritz, which is a two Michelin stars restaurant. But if you really want to have an authentic experience then you should head out to the local pintxos bars and restaurants.

15. Best Tapas in Seville

One of the most famous tourist destination of Spain , this Andalusian capital is known for its amazing vibe, history, activities to do and much more. The city is home to some of the best Tapas bars in Spain. It proximity to the sea and river Guadalquivir flowing nearby makes it a place with wide variety of foods. Some of the most famous Tapas destination in Seville are Albarama, Becerríta , Eslava, Puratasca, El Rinconcillo, La Azotea , La Cacharreria de Sevilla , La Brunilda and much more. Local Tapas bar is the best way to dive into the world of Tapas and its culture.

Tapas are an assortment of little flavorful Spanish foods, frequently served as a nibble with beverages, or with different tapas as a complete meal. Since tapas are casual, and the bars are regularly occupied, they are ordinarily gobbled standing up at the bar or at little tables. Tapas are the must try things when you are in Spain

Have a good trip and travel!

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Europe, Spain