Spain is one of the top 3 most visited countries in the world, there are beautiful places to visit, stunning beaches to relax, the weather is amazing… But being honest, the main reason why so many people want to go to Spain is its food!
If you are looking for the best Spanish food and recipes, you have just arrived to the right places
Different types of Spanish food
First of all, before we show you the most popular food in Spain, we have organized them in different categories, so you can find exaclty what you are looking for. There are many types of food in Spain, but these are some of the most important ones. Just click in the name of the type you are most interested in.
The best Spanish food recipes list!
In traditionalspanishfood.com we have been studying and learning about the foods in Spain to make sure you get to try the best ones. Below we are going to show you our Spanish foods list with the best plates and its recipes. If you click in each of the Spanish food names, you will find an article with the exact recipe.
Of course, Churros had to rank 1st in this list of the popular Spanish food. Churros are known everywhere in the world, even Mexicans have their own churros, and of course we all love them.
You can eat them for breakfast, as a snack or as a dessert with a hot cup of chocolate. Many people tend to think churros are hard to make and take a lot of time, but they are super simple, and you can make them at home too!
2) Spanish olives
Olives are typical from the south of Spain. They are usually served as tapas, but you also find them in many types of salads. They are delicious and can be cooked in many ways.
Its most important ingredient is the olive oil, also typical from the South of the country. We can already tell you that the “aceitunas de campo real” are the best ones, but if you want to know about other types or if you are interested in learning more, we made an specific article about them.
3) Spanish fried calamari
There is nothing better than enjoying a Spanish calamari tapa with a beer at the beach. The calamaries are typical from the areas near the ocean, but as they are so good you will find them everywhere in the country. For example, the famous “bocadillo de calamares” is from Madrid (even though there aren´t beaches there) …they are must try and one of the most authentic spanish food recipes !
One of the best things about this plate is how simple it is to make. If you are lazy to do it, don´t worry because every Spanish restaurant have it on their menus.
4) Pan tumaca
The Spanish bread with tomato or also known as “pan tumaca” is a traditional food from Spain eaten all over the country, but it´s original from Catalonia.
It´s the easiest Spanish food and it will literally take you about 5 minutes to make. Perfect for breakfast, snack or even as a side dish on a big meal.
5) Canarian mojo
It´s not just about the popular dishes, the Spanish sauces are also incredibly good. One of the best sauces is the mojo picon from the Canary Islands. It´s just a mix of garlic, pepper, and cayenne (if you want to make it spicy).
In this case, it´s true that you may be able to find mojo in other places of Spain, but the best ones are only in Canary Islands. The ingredients are easy to find, and you will be able to make it at home too.
6) Chorizo sausage
The chorizo is just one of the million types of sausages or “embutidos” you can find in Spain. It comes from the pig and Spaniards love it. It´s made from chopped pork and pork fat, with garlic and of course paprika.
Honestly, chorizos are extremely hard to make, even more if you don´t have the right instruments. Anyway, we made an article teaching you the easiest way to make it, just in case you want to give it a try. You will also find other interesting information there, like different plates where you can use chorizo so they taste better…
7) Salmorejo soup
Soups are normally made for the cold days of the winter season, right? Well, salmorejo is the opposite. It´s a tomato-based soup made for the summer days, it´s served cold and although it´s a heavy dish you will truly enjoy eating it.
It originally comes from Córdoba, but you will be able to try it all over Andalucía.
Salmorejo is one of those Spanish food recipes that are easy to make and you will have it ready in less than 10 minutes, have a look at the recipe if you want to make it at home.
3) Jamón Ibérico
You can´t say you have been in Spain if you haven´t tried the Iberian ham. If you decide to go on a Spanish food tour, trying different places and restaurantes, ham is the one thing you will find everywhere, as it is one of the most common foods in spain. There is just one problem with jamón, it is very difficult to find in other countries, and whenever you do, it is usually way too expensive. Because of these reason, whenever you go to Spain, you better try evey kind of Jamón you see.
2) Polvorones cookies
The first sweet we add to this list, but it just deserves to be here. Believe us when we say it´s worth trying it. This dessert is typical from Christmas and you won´t usually find it during the rest of the year, plus it probably isn´t the healthiest food, so you don´t want to be eating it all the time.
We have discovered the way of making the authentic polvorones! Even from your home, don´t miss it!!
1) Paella: The Spanish national food
On first place we are going to talk about the most famous food in Spain: «The paella». It´s a typical food in Spain, but being more specific, from Valencia and from Catalonia communities.
There are infinite variations of the paella, some types with meat others with fish and even some vegan ones.
Just so you know how important it is, if you ask a spaniard, what is the Spanish national food, they will for sure tell you the paella.
Other famous Spanish foods you may like!
Not everyone will agree with us on this top 10 Spanish food list we have made, therefore below we are going to show other famous Spanish dishes that you sure have heard of!
Typical Spanish foods by region
The food in the different regions of Spain is quite different. Not just the dishes, but also their traditions and ways of eating. Below you will find some of the regions with the best food in Spain:
Typical food of Madrid:
The capital of Spain is extraordinarily rich when talking about food. The temperatures in Madrid are extreme and it can get really cold during winter, that´s why it´s very common to eat warm and heavy dishes like cocido or callos.
Madrid is also the place where famous desserts like the torrijos and churros were originally from.
In the Spanish cuisine you will be able to find many dishes from Catalonia. The Catalan area is known for having some incredible pig sausages like the Spanish fuet and the butifarra (both eaten all over Spain).
Another thing you must try when visiting Barcelona or any other place in Catalonia is the Catalan cream.
Most of the Spanish seafood meals come from the north of Spain, specially from the community of Galicia. The octopus is without any doubt the best dish in Galicia, but you must also try their mussels.
Padron peppers are also from this area of the country, but be careful, because they can very tricky (do you know why?)
Food in Valencia
The community of Valencia is the one most people choose for vacation. Good weather and delicious FOOD! If you have heard about the Spanish paella and tinto de Verano, you should know that both are typical from this region of Spain.
In Valencia there are also delicious sweets and desserts like the turron (a traditional Christmas Spanish food) and the fartons.
How to make Spanish food: Recipes easy to make
Not everyone is able to travel to Spain, to go to the best Spanish restaurants in their cities or to just get the right products to make the best Spanish food. But don´t worry, you don´t actually need any of that to experience the delicious traditional food from Spain.
Some of these foods are so easy that you will even be able to make them from home! Below, you will find some of the easiest traditional spanish recipes:
Spanish food culture
If you have been in Spain, or just after reading about the traditional Spanish food recipes, you may have realized that the food in Spain is not like in any other country. In Spain, the food is a cultural thing, that is why each region, city and even each town has not only a unique type of food, but also an specific way of cooking.
Even during these times when part of the spanish culture is being forgotten, one of the only things that still is well preserved is the food. Just so you can imagine how important food is in this country, some recipes are passed from one generation to the next, as if it they were a treasure!
When are Spanish meal times
Typical Spanish mealtimes are crazy! You probably don´t know of any other country in the world where people have dinner at 10 pm right!? But why do they eat so late? The reason is still unclear, but there´re two theories around it. The first one says that it´s because of the Mediterranean lifestyle, which makes them do everything latter, not just eating, but also waking up, heading to work… The second theory says that it´s because Spain doesn´t have the time zone they should have.
During World War II, Francisco Franco, the dictator of Spain, changed the Spanish time zone to have the same one as Germany. This happened after the Spanish Civil War took place, so no one complained. They just kept doing the same life but being one hour later. The time has not changed since then, so people still do everything later than they should!
History of the Traditional Spanish dishes
Spain is a country with history, many different cultures have lived in the Iberic Peninsula throughout the years. Of course, that have had a huge impact in the lifestyle of the people in the country and it has also affected the Spanish cuisine. It´s the main reason why it is so diverse today. The Phoenicians, Romans and Jews are responsible for some parts of the Spanish cooking style and the variety of food, but the Greeks and Moors, are the ones that really affected the Spanish gastronomy. The Moors introduced many of the seasonings and fruits we see in the Spanish diet. The Greek, were the ones responsible of bringing the olive trees.
After the discovery of America many elements like tomatoes, vanilla, chocolates or beans were brought from those areas. This also caused a very strong impact in the Spanish cuisine and even today, most of them are used daily.
Spanish food facts
Even though the traditional food of Spain is very well known around the world, there are many things and interesting facts you still probably don´t know about the typical Spanish recipes and food.
Olive oil production in Spain
One of the most asked questions about the Spanish cuisine, is how is it so healthy. There is a very good reason for it: Spain makes 44% of the oil in the world, and of course Spanish people use it all the time when cooking. Other countries use instead butter and as you will probably know it isn´t as healthy.
Paella!! Seafood and chicken…
Another interesting Spanish food fact is about the paellas. There is a big discussion in Spain about the paella, seafood or chicken?? Even most of the people would say the favorite and the original is the seafood paella… the truth is that the chicken paella is the original one!! (Both are delicious so at the end, it doesn´t really matter!)
Spanish fried fish: The origin of fish and chips
The famous dish, fish and chips is known for being typical of the United Kingdom, but what you may not know is that the fried fish is originally from Spain, as well as the traditional British dish.
Bars in Spain
Something that will not surprise you, but it´s still a really curious fact about the Spanish food, is that Spain is the second country in the world with more bars, and we said that it won´t surprise you, because most of us would always say that Spain is the first, well apparently in Cyprus there are even more!!
This are some of the facts of the Spanish food, but we are sure there are many more, do you know any good one? Let us know in the comments!!
Other traditional Spanish food menu ideas?
Traditionalspanishfood.com main purpose is to teach and talk about what is Spanish food like, show the different ways of making it and answer any question you may have about it.
If you want to know more about the traditional food of Spain, we advice you have a look at the different articles and if you have any specific question, let us know in the comments.
And by the way, we want to take the chance and ask you… if you had to make a Spanish food menu, which plates would you add to eat? Any dish that we haven´t mentioned in our top 10?