11 Signature Spanish Dishes You’ve Gotta Try (& Where To Find Them)

In this ultimate breakdown, I’ll give you a heads-up before your next trip to Spain with my 11 favorite Spanish foods you’ve got to try. Plus, I’ll recommend the best restaurants and what makes these places so special. Paella  de Marisco At a glance, Spanish cuisine is heavily influenced by the terrain and history. Once upon a time, SpainR…

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In this ultimate breakdown, I’ll give you a heads-up before your next trip to Spain with my 11 favorite Spanish foods you’ve got to try. Plus, I’ll recommend the best restaurants and what makes these places so special.

Paella  de Marisco

At a glance, Spanish cuisine is heavily influenced by the terrain and history. Once upon a time, Spain’s landscape was dominated by olive trees and grapevines. But, as time rolled on and various influences shaped its cuisine, things got interesting. The Muslim conquest brought treasures like saffron, adding a dash of Middle Eastern flair.

On top of that, Spain’s intimate relationship with the ocean allows seafood stew to become a thing. 

Fast forward to the 16th century when the age of grand exploration took the world by storm. From then on, the so-called “New World” dished out a culinary jackpot to Spain, bringing a wild ride of everything from tomatoes and potatoes to peppers and cocoa. For that reason, Spanish cuisine today shines its torch on full-flavored seasonings that reflect the principles of the Mediterranean diet.

Now, let’s dive into the heart of Spanish flavor.

Arroz Caldoso de Mariscos (Seafood Rice)

Let’s start with something hearty and lesser-known. If seafood is your middle name, don’t forget the decadent bite of Arroz Caldoso de Mariscos. This Spanish seafood rice takes root in Veracruz, Mexico, bringing the warmth of the Pacific to your taste buds. Arroz Caldoso de Mariscos is great to enjoy anytime during the day, no matter if it’s a sunny lunch or a cozy dinner.

Where to find?

Can Majó takes seafood really seriously. Their lobster stew, known as Caldero de arroz con Bogavante, is a seafood lover’s dream come true. If squid is what your heart desires, go for their Chipirones a la Andaluza and teleport yourself straight to Andalusia with every tender bite.

Sangria Cocktail

Speaking of heavenly concoctions, we have Sangria. This traditional Spanish fruit wine pairs heavenly with anything from smoky and spicy to salty and cheesy.

Sangria is simply summer in a glass. A thirsty sip of this tantalizing blend of wine is steeped in summer fruits and a sparkle of soda water – a response to the punch of the summer heat.

If possible, try to find autumn-themed sangrias, embracing fall flavors like pear, persimmon, pomegranate, and cinnamon.

Where to find?

Bubo Tapas Bar Barcelona is a match made in heaven, where the award-winning pastry chef crafts magic without breaking the bank.

Els 4Gats is my favorite gem down the street of Carrer de Montsió in Barcelona. This spot has seen the likes of Dali and Picasso savoring its offerings. This artsy hub isn’t just about fantastic food but also about artists taking over the bartender’s role.


Do I need any introduction to tapas? I don’t think so!

When in Spain, tapas is an absolute must! The best thing about tapas is the way it’s packed with the finest Spanish landscapes in the tasting profile, from Mediterranean goodness to the crispy charm of fried baby squid and the savory satisfaction of meatballs and chorizo.

Where to find? 

Jamon Y Vino is a hidden gem near Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. Right here, the passionate chefs serve up everything from fried chipirones and razor clams to tomato bread and anchovies in oil.

Colom Restaurant goes forward with its broad profile of diversity. The caring staff makes sure their tapas last for a lifetime in your heart.

Jamon Iberico (Iberico Ham)

Only Black Iberian Pigs from the central highlands and southern Spain are qualified for the making of Jamon Iberica. Why is that? These pigs have a pretty unique diet – munching on acorns and bits of the natural forests around them. For that reason, this special diet works its magic on the meat, infusing it with a wonderfully nutty and evocative flavor.

Where to find?

Petit Comitè Barcelona is not your average restaurant! This Michelin-starred restaurant is one of the 25 top-rated restaurants in all of Barcelona.

San Miguel Market Madrid brings you a visit full of life and colors. This is a runway for food fashionistas. Other than Jamon Iberico, you can also find refreshing sangria dished up with dignity.

Patatas Bravas (Spicy Potatoes)

Wondering how to make the most of your night in Spain? If that jug of Sangria is already on the table, don’t forget to ask for a chunk of Patatas Bravas!

Picture this: potatoes taking a dip in extra virgin olive oil, sizzling to perfection until they’re crispy outside and melt-in-your-mouth tender inside. And here comes the magic – a generous drizzle (or a downright drenching, if you’re feeling bold) of bravas sauce.

Where to find?

Cafè de l’Òpera is that one place where Patatas Bravas never disappoints. Sitting smack dab in the heart of Las Ramblas, Cafè de l’Òpera is a century-old restaurant with a cozy heritage feel and friendly prices that draw crowds.


Oh yes, my favorite finger food! Well, it’s not downright an alcohol pairing but its delightful mashup of flour, baking powder, and boiling oil sounds just right to sip with some wine.

When this special batter is piped and cooked, it holds onto those iconic ridges that we all adore. And for that finishing touch, don’t forget the mouthwatering combination of cinnamon and sugar that coats these golden beauties.

Where to find?

Granja M. Viader is a legendary café that’s been going strong since 1894. Right here, crispy and light churros make a statement, served with decadent chocolate to complete a heart-warming breakfast that gets your day started.

Rabo De Toro (Spanish Bull Tail Stew)

Living up to Spanish bullfight tradition, Rabo De Toro is the pride of the residents. A hearty meal to match the intense emotions of the day, Rabo De Toro can rival any hangover with its simmering magic that waved its flavorsome wand and swept across Spain. Today, Madrid is known as one of the best places in the country for Rabo De Toro.

Where to find?

Restaurante Olive Granada has been around for generations, using its secret family recipes to dish up incredible tapas and stews with top-notch service that will make your taste buds throw a party.

Carabinero Shrimp

This one is on the higher end of the price spectrum. But don’t let it hold you back in doubt! Dubbed as one of the most sought-after shrimps any professional chef yearns to have in their kitchen, Carabinero is a deep-sea prawn that’s not only enormous but also sports a mesmerizing shade of crimson.

Where to find?

Lua Madrid is a high-end restaurant where the chefs have mastered the art of blending traditional Galician flavors with a creative twist.

Spanish Tortillas

This culinary gem is more like a hearty omelet. First off, dial in some potatoes, and dice to perfection before tossing to sizzling olive oil. But that’s not all. Throw in some tender, sliced onions until they’re just right – soft and golden. After this delightful duo takes a draining bow, they join forces with eggs in a bowl. A little whisking dance and then they’re gently introduced to a pan. And that is how a perfect tortilla is brought to your table!

Salmorejo (Cold Tomato Soup)

The rich and velvety texture of ripe tomatoes casts a dramatic canvas that looks like sunset. A serving of Salmorejo impresses your eyesight with its deep orange shade, accompanied by the spicy note of garlic and a drizzle of olive oil that whirls into a splendid puree.

Croquetas de Jamón (Spanish Ham Croquette)

Crunchy and cheesy, a game day or a friendly get-together is not complete without a plate full of Croquetas! Unlike the usual suspects, these treats are generously filled with a creamy bechamel sauce that adds that perfect touch of decadence. In many Spanish restaurants, Croquetas appear on the table as a common tapas.

Croquetas can be made of various ingredients, including chicken, mushrooms, spinach, cheese, and salt cod can all make their way into these delights – we’re diving into the star of the show today: croquetas de jamon, the cherished ham croquettes.

With this curated list of 11 best Spanish dishes, your adventure to the country’s cuisine is a lot easier.