Spanish Food: 20 Must-Try Dishes in Spain

Spain is a culinary paradise, with a rich food culture steeped in tradition and regional diversity. From every corner of this vibrant country emanates a unique flavor palette, where centuries-old recipes intertwine with the freshness of locally-sourced ingredients. Join us on a gastronomic journey through Spain as we explore the must-try dishes that truly capture the essence of Spanish cuisine.

Gazpacho

Gazpacho is a delicious and refreshing soup commonly enjoyed as an appetizer. This cool and refreshing soup combines ripe tomatoes, crisp cucumbers, bell peppers, garlic, and onions, blended with olive oil and vinegar. Gazpacho is chilled or at room temperature, adding to its delightful appeal.

Tortilla Española

You can’t visit Spain without trying the beloved tortilla española. Whether hot or cold, this traditional omelet is a savory combination of potatoes, eggs, and onions that is tasty. It’s often an accompaniment to tapas dishes or in sandwiches for a hearty meal on the go.

Patatas Bravas

Patatas bravas are a popular tapas dish consisting of cubes of fried potatoes with a spicy sauce. This classic Spanish snack has become one of the most beloved tapas dishes, thanks to its satisfying texture and bold flavors.

Paella

When it comes to Spanish cuisine, paella takes the spotlight. This exquisite rice dish has various styles, featuring delightful seafood, vegetables, and chicken or meat combinations. Among them, Paella Valenciana is the original version, defining the essence of this timeless classic.

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Jamón Iberico

Treat your taste buds to an exquisite culinary experience with the Jamón Ibérico. Delight in this cured meat’s unmatched flavor and aroma, carefully crafted with utmost precision and expertise, originating from the scenic Iberian Peninsula, renowned for its time-honored customs.

Croquetas de Jamón

Croquetas de Jamón is another classic Spanish dish. To make these mouthwatering bites, combine finely chopped ham with a creamy béchamel sauce, shape them into small cylinders, coat them in breadcrumbs, and then fry them until golden and crispy.

Churros con Chocolate

Indulge in the exquisite churros con chocolate, a perfect combination that promises to gratify your sweet tooth. It consists of freshly deep-fried pastry strips, crunchy outside and soft inside, and a rich hot chocolate sauce. This traditional Spanish dessert is delicious and takes you on a journey to the streets of Spain with every delightful bite.

Albóndigas

Albóndigas are meatballs made with a blend of ground pork, beef, and exquisite spices, immersed in a simmering tomato sauce that infuses them with enticing flavors. This enticing dish is served alongside crusty bread or potatoes, an indulgent and satisfying dining experience.

Fideuá

Fideua, a traditional Valencian cuisine, consists of delicate noodles, aromatic garlic, saffron, and smoked seafood. This delectable dish offers a delightful alternative to paella and is widely savored across numerous Spanish restaurants.

Cochinillo Asado

Cochinillo asado is a Spanish delicacy consisting of tender suckling pig slow-roasted and seasoned with a blend of garlic, aromatic herbs, and exquisite spices. Typically served as the centerpiece of a meal, this dish harmonizes flawlessly with a side of savory potatoes, crisp vegetables, or a refreshing assortment of salads.

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Queso Manchego

Queso Manchego, originally hailing from Spain’s La Mancha region, is a firm and subtly salty cheese made from sheep’s milk. Renowned for its distinct flavor, it has rightfully earned a reputation as one of Spain’s most famous cheeses.

Pair it with the sweet and tangy quince paste, which complements the cheese’s richness alongside a glass of fine Spanish wine.

Pisto

Pisto is an essential part of Spanish cuisine. This stew-like dish is made with fresh tomatoes, green peppers, zucchini, and onions slowly simmered in olive oil until tender and flavorful. It’s served as a side dish or on toast for a tasty snack.

Salmorejo

Salmorejo is another chilled tomato-based soup with a much thicker consistency than gazpacho. Top it with hard-boiled eggs, jamón serrano, and olives- this delicious soup is the perfect way to cool down on a hot Spanish summer day.

Empanadas

Empanadas are savory pastries with a fusion of meat or tuna, vegetables, cheese, and spices. Originating from Spain, this traditional culinary masterpiece can be an appetizer, snack, or main course. They come in various shapes and sizes, and their versatility makes them a perfect choice for any occasion.

Chorizo

Chorizo, a sausage crafted from pork, garlic, and paprika, graces the essence of countless Spanish delicacies. Whether it accompanies a side of potatoes or eggs, imparts its flavor to paella, or enhances other culinary creations, this iconic staple captivates the taste buds.

Fabada Asturiana

Fabada Asturiana is a robust stew with the perfect blend of flavors. This traditional culinary masterpiece hails from Asturias and takes center stage as the pièce de résistance. It features chorizo, Spanish blood sausage (morcilla), creamy white beans, and a touch of saffron to elevate the culinary experience.

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Pulpo a la Gallega

Pulpo a la Gallega is an iconic Spanish dish from the northwest region of Galicia. It is prepared by boiling Octopus tentacles and serving it with paprika, sea salt, olive oil, and potatoes. It is a simple yet delicious combination.

Pimientos de Padrón

Pimientos de Padrón is petite green peppers fried in fragrant olive oil with a sprinkle of sea salt. Although some carry a fiery spiciness, these peppers make for a delightful tapas dish, exuding unique flavors.

Tinto de Verano

To accompany your Spanish meal, try a glass of refreshing Tinto de Verano. This summertime drink with red wine, lemonade, and garnishes of sliced fruit for a splash of flavor is perfect for cooling down on a hot day while you savor the flavors of Spain.

Crema Catalana

End your Spanish culinary journey on a sweet note with crema catalana. This delicious custard flavored with cinnamon, lemon zest, and sugar before being caramelized for a crisp top is perfect for indulging your sweet tooth after savoring some of Spain’s finest dishes.

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