The Culture of ‘Tapas’ in Spain

Tapas – Small Dishes to Share

If you’ve been to any restaurants in Spain, you’ll notice that people are often sharing several small plates instead of ordering their own personal dishes. These small plates, known as tapas, can be either warm or cold dishes and vary greatly by region and season.


Tapas Spain

Tapas can be served at any meal, but are especially common for dinner since it is typically a small meal in Spain. Ordering small dishes is easy and fun since it allows you to try different things!

There is even a verb in Spanish that means ‘to eat tapas’; the phrase “Vamos a tapear!” means “Let’s go eat tapas!” Many times rather than sitting down to dinner at a restaurant, a group of friends may decide to meet and tapear, (make the rounds at their favorite tapas bars) – this is especially common in the south of Spain where one small tapa is often served gratis (free) when ordering a drink.

There are hundreds of tapas to choose from, a few of the most popular tapas which can be found all around Spain are listed below:

  • Tortilla Española: Spanish Omelet, or omelet made with potatoes and onions
  • Patatas Bravas: potatoes with spicy tomato sauce
  • Croquetas de Jamón: Ham Croquettes are small, lightly breaded and fried fritters, made with bechamel and ham.
  • Gambas al Ajillo: Shrimp in Garlic
  • Calamares a la Romana: Fried Squid Rings
  • Jamón, Queso y Chorizo con Pan: Ham, Cheese and Chorizo with Bread
  • Pulpo Gallego: Galician-Style Octopus, cooked octopus served with boiled potatoes, olive oil and sweet Spanish paprika.
  • Ensaladilla Rusa: Spanish potato salad

Find out more about what types of cultural activities you can participate in with Euroace here.

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