Tapas is one of my very favorite things about Spain. Who doesn’t love trying a few bites of everything? With tapas, I can both snack throughout the day and try many different dishes in one sitting. It’s ideal.
My favorite tapas bars in Barcelona allow you to go up to the case or the buffet, depending, and point at or pick up your dishes of choice. Some places charge different prices per item (usually just a couple of euro) while others have you hold on to the toothpicks that come stuck in the tapas. Either way, pair your items of choice with a beer or sparkling wine. Even though it’s not really authentic, I always opt for red sangria—sometimes it’s cool (and delicious) to be a bit touristy.
Here’s a look at some of my favorite tapas to indulge in when I’m in Spain.
Any way you look at it and in any culture, fried potatoes are pretty great. Patatas bravas are small pieces of potato served fired with bravas sauce. The sauce usually includes a tangy tomato style sauce with a bit of a kick alongside a mayonnaise-based cream sauce.
Pan con tomate
Pan con tomate is one of the simplest dishes on the planet, and that’s what makes it so good. It’s just excellent flavors from fresh ingredients. It’s toasted bread which is rubbed with a garlic clove and then a special kind of tomato, which essentially disintegrates over the crusty bread. Topped with some excellent olive oil and sea salt, it’s perfection.
Quite literally “the bomb,” la bomba is a croquette made of potato and ground beef. It’s topped with delicious bravas sauce. Crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside, la bomba is one of my very favorite tapas. It’s so filling, you really don’t need more than one la bomba alongside a couple of other tapas choices.
Cured jamon is available all over Spain. Jamon Serrano and the rarer Jamon Iberico, which come from special pigs, are two of the many reasons why I love Spain. All freshly sliced to order (and often served with cheese), this is some of the best ham in the world.
Spain has its own type of tiny chorizo sausages. With a little bit of a kick and served in olive oil, these are a must-eat on any trip to Spain.