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Tapas in Spain the Complete Flavour – all over Spain

Free Tapas in Andalucía

Tapas is also about socialising and you will see everyone and every age in tapas bars

People eat seafood at a tapas bar inside La Boqueria public market in the Ciudad Vieja district of Barcelona.
People eat seafood at a tapas bar inside La Boqueria public market in the Ciudad Vieja district of Barcelona.

MALAGA: Lunching some just-caught sardines and fresh tapas along any Spanish beach is one of life´s great pleasures. And the beaches on either side of Malaga harbour is a perfect place to do a tour of Spanish tapas. Some of the more traditional places in the city have joined the trend of offering free tapas with your drink in a bar. Actually, serving free tapas with a drink is an old tradition in parts of Andalucía. Best known for this is Granada, but you can also enjoy it in Almeria and some other towns. This is our guide to Tapas in Spain.

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Looks good, taste even better - cheese at La Deriuda in Soho, Malaga
Looks good, taste even better – cheese at La Deriuda in Soho, Malaga

Drinks and Free Tapas

Malaga is perfect for “tapeo eating”, then not a typical city of serving free tapas with your drink. But there are some places to recommend. Among them is Chopp located in Muelle Uno and Plaza de la Solidaridad. Two more is Bar Jamones located in Calle Carreteria 87, and Los Gatos, in Plaza Uncibay.

And there are tapas-bars and restaurants with reasonable prices. Taperia Esencia in Las Pirámides district is one of them, and La Granaina is another. You can find free tapas with your drink out of Malaga city. Such as La Taperia and Bodeguita la Canita in Benalmádena and in Arroyo de la Miel.

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“Freshly made tapas a must for our guest” Said Aman, manager at Taberna Didi. Kathrin is a local always keen on tapas at Taberna Didi.
“Freshly made tapas a must for our guest” Said Aman, manager at Taberna Didi. Kathrin is a local always keen on tapas at Taberna Didi.

Taberna in Arroyo

Hispania and Chopp Playamar in Torremolinos, and La Reina de las Tapas in Fuengirola are normally three tasty alternatives for eating tapas along Costa del Sol.

Taberna Didi along the main street (Av. Constitución, 35) in Arroyo is one of the best places for food, tapas included. A proper locals bar, spotlessly clean and superb interior alongside a busy street.

Eight tapas served at Taberna Didi in Arroyo de la Mil, on Costa del Sol
Eight tapas served at Taberna Didi in Arroyo de la Mil, on Costa del Sol. Such as potato aioli, port, chicken, sausage, and russian salad.

Modern Tapas

In Malaga, La Revuelta is a modern place for tasty tapas and sharing plates. Here traditional dishes get a touch of fusion on a menu that changes weekly. Expect to find sardines in cashew cream, octopus with saffron aioli and scallops in Chennai curry. Address: Avda Pio Baroja 20, in the heart of El Palo.
Another modern variation is La Deriva. Address: Alameda de Colón 7 in the Soho district. Well known for Ensaladilla Rusa – Russian salad – some rate as the best in town, and for its steak tartare and risotto.

Looking for cheeses from all over Spain? La Deriva offers more than 50 types, hard and soft – and wines from more than 20 nations.

A typical tapas bar - you find it all over Spain
A typical tapas bar – you find it all over Spain

Drinks and Tapas

Tapas in Spain are a variety of appetizers, or snacks, and may be served cold or warm, such as baby squid. In Spain, tapas have changed into a complete, and sometimes sophisticated cuisine.

The most famous are Tortilla de patatas (Spanish Omelette), Fried squid (Calamares) and Manchego cheese and Iberian ham.
Traditional tapas include mixed olives, friend baby squid, meatballs and chorizo

Tapas is also about socialising and you will see everyone and every age from grannies to toddlers at tapas bars until late at night. The scene is lively, from one bar to the next, juggling drinks and tapas.

This is Tortilla, a Spanish omelette
Tortilla de patatas is simply a Spanish Omelette

Different style

The style of tapas is different from region to region. The tapas scene in Barcelona has grown into a culinary movement where top chefs use their talents to these small dishes.

Empanadillas is the most popular dish from Galicia, a coastal area in the northwest of Spain. The filling usually includes tuna, sardines or chorizo.

Bilbao is famous for "pintxos" served all over the basq city

Basque in glory

In Basque country tapas is another story, it´s all about Pintxos and a way of sampling regional specialities for a few euros. In Bilbao, the bilbainos consider good pintxos a fundamental joy of life. The best place to get a flavour of what´s on offer, start a pintxo crawl in Calle Ledesma, in the centre of Bilbao where the street is stuffed full of pintxos bars.

Pulpo a la Gallega or Pulpo a Feira (meaning ‘fair style octopus) is a traditional dish from the region of Galicia.
Pulpo a la Gallega or Pulpo a Feira (meaning ‘fair style octopus) is a traditional dish from the region of Galicia.

From the international tapas competition in Valladolid in November 2021.
From the international tapas competition in Valladolid in November 2021.

Capital of Tapas

Valladolid in the region of Castile and Leon has become the Spanish Capital of Tapas. National competitions, food festivals and the World Tapas Championship made this city a destination for food and wine. Typical local gastronomy is connected with lamb, bread, pine nuts, asparagus, lentils, mushrooms and cheese.

The winner of the world championship was Pascal Etcheverria from restaurant Le Carrè in Bayonne, France. His tapa Mejilla was made of beef, carrots, duck pate and passion fruit.

Roasted suckling of lamp - a typical tapa from Valladolid
Roasted suckling of lamp – a typical tapa from Valladolid

Celebration of Life

After visiting Malaga, the south region of Spain and tested food in all variations, I came to a new conclusion. The dream is to live in Andalucía. You know, do some work in the morning, have a lunch and a one-hour siesta in the afternoon. At night, go out and have that night, eat tapas and drink red wine.

In Spain they say: Life without tapas, is like a heart without love. Tapas is a celebration of life.
Every year World Tapas Day is celebrated the third Thursday in June. In Spain, however, every day is a Tapas Day.

Spanish Jamón -Iberian ham-, within the world of “tapas”, takes the limelight because it is the most delicatessen Spanish tapa.
Spanish Jamón -Iberian ham-, takes the limelight because it is the most delicatessen Spanish tapa.

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Gudmund Lindbaek
Gudmund Lindbaek
Journalist founded King Goya a few years back. Meeting people, local food and engaging stories are my passion. I plan for ambitious once-in-a-lifetime trips. My delight is the prospect of Future Travels: Longer, Slower, Farther! I just want a tiny slice of adventure to be alive, and then excited to return home.

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