Spain is famous for many things – flamenco, sangria, paella, and of course, the stunning beaches. It is rich in tradition and culture, and this is also transferred into its food, especially its tapas.
Millions of tourists visit Spain every year. And, like the locals, they too enjoy the Spanish traditions. One of which you can see in almost every bar: the tapa. Therefore, going out for tapas (“ir de tapeo” as it is said in Spanish) is not just about food. It is the whole experience. Furthermore, these delicious bite-sized dishes allow you to chat with and soak up the local atmosphere.
Related post: The history of tapas
To celebrate this wonderful Spanish tradition, Spain-Holiday, the portal for holiday rentals in Spain, has ranked the top 10 best Spanish cities where you can have tapas. The final ranking was made using the number of tapas bars in each city, the average rating of each bar and the Google search volume for tapas in every city. According to the study, Seville is the best city to have tapas in Spain. And not only that, with 5 cities in the top 10, Andalusia is the best region in Spain for tapas!
Seville is the capital and largest city of Andalucia. There is much to discover in this cosmopolitan city. Said to have been built by Hercules, it has a fascinating history and some incredible architecture. It is also said to be where flamenco was born. Known for its culture and gastronomy, Seville´s tapas are a must during your time here.
The city has become a foodie’s paradise! Here you can enjoy traditional and avant-garde tapas in one of the 215 tapas bars and restaurants throughout the city. Order a delicious gazpacho, cazón en adobo (marinated and fried school shark) or a montadito de pringá (sandwich with Andalucian meat spread). Moreover, these are all typical tapas of this region that you can order almost everywhere.
Recommended tapas bars in Seville:
- Espacio Eslava (4825 reviews, 4.7 stars): Calle Eslava 3
- Bodega Palo Santo (1336 reviews, 4.6 stars): Plaza de la Gavidia 5
- Ovejas Negras Tapas (2982 reviews, 4.5 stars): Calle Hernando Colón 8
Nestled in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains, Granada is not only known for the Alhambra Palace but also for the traditional free tapas. In almost every bar in the city, when asking for a drink, you will receive a free tapa. The best way to enjoy the culture and rich architecture of Granada is to wander from bar to bar sampling the amazing tapas on the way.
Furthermore, with over 150 bars and restaurants that specialise in tapas, you will be spoilt for choice. In Granada, people prepare the tapas with local food products such as meat from the nearby Sierra Nevada, fresh fish that they catch on the Costa Tropical and vegetables that local farmers grow.
Try some traditional tapas of the city like jamón asado (oven-roasted ham), croquetas (croquettes, usually filled with ham or fish) or carne en salsa (slow-cooked beef in tomato sauce) and enjoy the views of the Alhambra and the incredible architecture of Granada.
Recommended tapas bars in Granada:
- Taberna La Tana (1648 reviews, 4.6 stars): Placeta del Agua 3
- Ávila Tapas II (2644 reviews, 4.6 stars): Calle San Isidro 11
- Mesón Rincón De Rodri (1931 reviews, 4.6 stars): Calle Músico Vicente Zarzo
3. Santiago de Compostela
Every year thousands of pilgrims make the trip to Santiago de Compostela in the north of Spain, to reach the Saint James cathedral at the centre of the city. When you are in reach of your goal, you can sample the wonderful tapas from bar to bar.
The region is known for its seafood and fine meat products like dry-cured sausages. Furthermore, its closeness to the Atlantic Ocean and the verdant landscape surrounding the city has created a culinary paradise! All of this results in delicious tapas that will make you savour every bite. Even better if you pair them with a bottle of local Albariño wine. Try it out and enter gastronomic heaven!
Recommended tapas bars in Santiago de Compostela:
- Mesón 42 (2203 reviews, 4.5 stars): Rúa do Franco 42
- Moha (1759 reviews, 4.4 stars): Praza de Santo Agostiño 7
- El Papatorio (2289 reviews, 4.4 stars): Rúa do Franco 20
In South-west Spain Cádiz is a port city filled with history and culture. It boasts amazing beaches and more than 3000 years’ worth of history. Not only does it attract history buffs and beach lovers. but also anyone who likes good food will love Cádiz!
Because it is a peninsula, most of Cádiz’s cuisine consists mainly of fresh fish and seafood. Some foods that you must try during a stay in the city are cuttlefish and red tuna, both caught off the coast of Cádiz. Furthermore, the rich and varied seafood of Cádiz is also clear to see in the tapas of the city!
The tortitillitas de camarones (shrimp fritters) and caballa con piriñaca (mackerel accompanied by finely chopped, raw vegetables) are two traditional tapas from Cádiz. Or try the ‘ensaladilla de langostinos’ with fresh langoustines cultivated in the delta of the Guadalquivir in nearby Sanlúcar de Barrameda. But there are plenty more dishes to choose from, also prepared with local fish and produce.
Recommended tapas bars in Cádiz:
- Bar La Tabernita (1206 reviews, 4.7 stars): Calle Virgen de la Palma 32
- La Candela (1393 reviews, 4.6 stars): Calle Feduchy 3
- Bar Nono (1090 reviews, 4.6 stars): Calle Valverde 13
5. Tapas in Málaga
Located between the sea and the mountains, the capital city of Costa del Sol still has its traditional Mediterranean ambience, even after the city became a world-class holiday destination in recent years. This coastal city with a mixture of authentic and cosmopolitan vibes has many terraces where you can relax, enjoy the sun, and try fantastic tapas. Moreover, you will find the choice of the historical centre is overwhelming!
Málaga’s gastronomy consists of high-quality products, healthy ingredients, a lot of variety and most importantly, a fair price. Therefore, it is a perfect example of the Mediterranean diet. Among the traditional tapas of Malaga are the pescaito frito (different types of fried fish), ensalada malagueña (potato salad with cod, or tuna, olives, hard-boiled eggs and oranges) and ajoblanco (cold almond and garlic soup).
However, don´t forget to order espetos! These are sardines on a stick roasted on a wood fire. Combine your tapa with a nice glass of sweet local wine called Moscatel or Pedro Ximenez and enjoy a night out in Málaga!
The recommended tapas bars in Málaga:
- Casa Lola (5999 reviews, 4.5 stars): Calle Granada 46
- Uvedoble Taberna (2076 reviews, 4.5 stars): Calle Alcazabilla 1
- El Mesón de Cervantes (1530 reviews, 4.5 stars): Calle Álamos 11
Salamanca is more famous among language students all over the world than as a holiday destination. Still, a lot of Spanish know this as one of the most elegant cities in the country. Furthermore, the historical centre is declared World Heritage by UNESCO. With its beautiful architecture, important monuments, and the impressive ‘Plaza Mayor’, it attracts visitors from all over Spain wanting to explore the city.
But Salamanca is also famous for its culinary excellence! The Salamanca gastronomy is incredibly varied, and the locally grown vegetables of the highest quality have received the Denominación de Origen certificate. Apart from its vegetables, Salamanca also produces excellent meat products, like the famous Spanish ham and chorizo. Also, you will find chefs in local tapas bars use all these products to prepare delicious tapas at very fair prices.
Recommended tapas bars in Salamanca:
- Cuzco Bodega – Salamanca (1486 reviews, 4.6 stars): Calle Juan del Rey 5
- Bambú Tapas y Brasas (4022 reviews, 4.4 stars): Calle del Prior 6
- Taberna de Dionisos (1465 reviews, 4.4 stars): Calle Íscar Peyra 16
Toledo is one of the most magical cities in Spain. It was up until 1560 the capital of Spain. Then Philip II of Spain moved his court to Madrid. The historic centre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a glorious past has left its traces at every turn.
A visit to this city is a unique experience because of Its medieval streets and architecture that take you back in time. However, besides the impressive architecture, there is another thing in the city that will leave you speechless: its gastronomy!
Toledo’s cuisine has very strong medieval roots. Moreover, the locals have been preparing and eating these dishes for hundreds of years. Typical tapas of Toledo is the apollo del Ludeña (a savoury spread made of leftover crab meat), pulpo a la brasa (grilled octopus) and the bomba del Trébol (fried potato with meat filling and served with aioli and tomato sauce). Surprise yourself with Toledo’s magical tapas!
Recommended tapas bars in Toledo:
- Taberna Embrujo (1751 review, 4.5 stars): Calle Santa Leocadia 6
- El Trébol (5630 reviews, 4.3 stars): Calle de Santa Fe 1
- Tabernita Tapas Bar (1032 reviews, 4.4 stars): Calle de Santa Fe 14
8. Tapas in Almería
The city of Almería attracts many tourists thanks to its warm all-year-round climate and the volcanic coastline with the natural park Cabo de Gata nearby. The city is located in the heart of Almería province, “the greenhouse of Spain”. The surface of greenhouses – in Spanish ‘el mar de plásticos – is so large that it can be seen from space. As a result, it is the country’s centre of agriculture. Moreover, this is translated to the local cuisine, which incorporates much local produce in its dishes!
The traditional local recipes are often simple but made of high-quality ingredients. Apart from fruits and vegetables, the recipes incorporate fresh fish and seafood, given that the city lies on the Mediterranean coast.
Local tapas include huevos en vinagreta (hake roe with finely chopped tomatoes and bell peppers), several types of grilled fish and patatas a lo pobre (potatoes fried on low heat with onions and green peppers). Almeria’s tapas will leave you wishing for more!
Recommended tapas bars in Almería:
- Tortillería La Mala (1059 reviews, 4.5 stars): Calle Martínez Almagro 6
- Taberna el Andaluz (2674 reviews, 4.4 stars): Calle Felipe II 80
- Taberna Entrevinos (1346 reviews, 4.4 stars): Calle Francisco García Góngora
9. A Coruña
A Coruña is the Spanish mecca for every foodie! Besides that, it is an interesting and vibrant coastal city to visit. You can climb up the world’s oldest working lighthouse, drink fresh Estrella Galicia beer or take the glass lift to Mirador San Pedro. Admire its unique architectural style of constructing galerías – enclosed glass balconies – onto the side of its buildings. Therefore, people refer to A Coruña as the ‘Glass City’.
Its privileged location at the Atlantic Ocean means that the city has access to fresh fish and beautiful cuts of meat because of the lush fields surrounding the city. Many local products like cheese and beef are of excellent quality and various organisations rewarded these products. Resulting in a typical, mouth-watering tapa from A Coruña!
In any tapas bar in the city, you can enjoy tapas of the best quality, together with a glass of wine, a beer and the best atmosphere you can wish for! So, what are you waiting for? Come and try the cheeses, the empanadas and the lacón (shoulder ham) of A Coruña!
Recommended tapas bars in A Coruña:
- Mesón El Serrano (1670 reviews, 4.5 stars): Rúa Galera 42
- A Taberna de Cunqueiro (3425 reviews, 4.4 stars): Rúa Estrella 22
- Taberna da Galera (1011 reviews, 4.5 stars): Rúa Galera 32
10. Tapas in Pontevedra
Pontevedra is the third Galician city in the top 10. Despite this city being quite unknown and doesn’t attract many tourists, it is worthwhile a visit! The maritime heritage of the city is strong and you will find charming squares and historic pieces of religious architecture in its centre.
With beautiful architecture, elegant ambience and a welcoming atmosphere, it’s an original city trip destination in the north of Spain. Also, you can choose between many tiny and traditional bars in the historic city centre.
Thanks to the local tapas you can enjoy the delicious Galician cuisine where chefs usually put seafood in the spotlight. Enjoy delicious fresh oysters, or try a typical empanada filled with cockles, the local speciality. Foodies also know the city for the lamprey eels, a true delicacy! Visit this unassuming city and discover its unique tapas.
Recommended tapas bars in Pontevedra:
- Casa Fidel O’Pulpeiro (2103 reviews, 4.5 stars): Rúa San Nicolás 7
- Casa Román (1042 reviews, 4.4 stars): Avenida Augusto García Sánchez 12
- Sidrería Montañes (1487 reviews, 4.2 stars): Gonzalez Zúñiga 6