Home > Culture > Food

Foods from Spain | What are Spanish Tapas

The food from Spain is probably the most diverse in the world. Since 1100 B.C. Spain is a country that has been invaded by many different tribes and religions. First came the Phoenicians, who planted the first vineyards in Andalucía to produce wine, the Romans arrived around 210 B.C. and planted the first olive trees, and in A.D. 711 the most influential of all, the Moors arrived and planted the first almond trees, rice paddies, and citrus fruit, as well as middle eastern spices and coffee, the Spaniards favorite drink. All this combined with what the Spaniards already had, has made its kitchen truly unique. Spanish food is humble, they don't use heavy sauces, ingredients are cooked simply (most every food in Spain is cooked in olive oil, garlic, and a pinch of salt) and most plates consist of (1) course. You wont find a plate with fish, rice and salad together. All the food is divided into different courses.

It is said that Spaniards eat all day and part of the night. Here is the Spanish eating schedule. 

  • Desayuno (breakfast) between 7 and 8 AM: It's usually a glass of orange juice, coffee and a pastry.

  • Almorzar (Lunch) around 11:00AM: Can be a Bocadillo of Tortilla Española or Jamon Serrano, the famous air-dried ham, or a plate of fresh fruit with a coffee or tea.

  • La Comida (The Main Meal) 2:00PM: It's time for the most important meal of the day, all kids are out of school to go home and eat, and most businesses are closed between 2:00PM and 5:00PM to allow the people to either go home or to a restaurant to eat this meal. It usually consist of some tapas and then a 3 course meal with some wine or beer.

  • La Merienda (Snack) Around 6:00PM: Most people will have a plate of fruit or a piece of cake, always enjoyed with either a coffee or a tea. Most children will eat a small bocadillo.

  • La Cena (Dinner) between 9:00PM to 10:00PM: Is usually a simple dish of fish or meat with a salad.


When visiting Spain, it's good to know the eating schedule, as most restaurants will not serve you food at 5:00PM. When going to a restaurant to eat, consider ordering from the "Menu del Dia", it includes 3 courses plus wine, and is usually the best deal. You will have several choices per course and it usually cost somewhere between 9 to 20 Euros per person, depending on your location. Try to locate restaurants away from the crowds for the best deals. Always follow the locals! Even at the higher priced tourist haunts, you can still dine in cities like Barcelona and Madrid for much cheaper than most other cities in Europe.

Spanish food has everything to make any eater happy, from a vegetarian to a carnivore. As stated before, most dishes are cooked simple, Olive Oil is used as the main fat ingredient, unlike most countries that use Butter, Lard or Canola Oil. The most common spices and herbs used are: Pimenton (Paprika), Saffron, Salt, Rosemary, and Parsley.

Some of the most popular tapas in Spain are: Almonds, Olives, Sardines in Olive Oil, Boquerones (Anchovies in Vinegar), Jamon Serrano, Jamon Iberico, Queso Manchego, Tortilla Española, Calamares a la Romana, Gambas al Ajillo, Championes al Ajillo, Sepia a la Plancha, Patats Bravas, Croquetas, Morcilla, and Pan con Tomate . We recommend all of the above for a true experience of the Spanish kitchen.















Protected by Copyscape Duplicate Content Checker

Region of the Month


Need a Hotel?

Visiting Spain and don't have your hotel booked yet? No problem. Visit our hotel guide to find the perfect hotel at the price you want. We have sourced the best hotels from the most popular cities in Spain just for you. Visit our Hotel Guide.


What is your favorite thing about summer?

Pass All Cisco Exams | Copyright © 2010-2012 Travel Thru Spain. All rights reserved