List of the most important Spanish tapas

Spanish tapas are an appetizer or entree typical of Spain. Known in the Basque Country with the name of skewers, you can find tapas bars in all Spanish cities. There are from easy, fast and cheap to the most elaborate for a more gourmet audience. If you want a typical entree in Spain, do not miss our ranking.

Below you have an index with all the points that we are going to deal with in this article.



Olives are considered as the queens of tapas and there is a wide range of varieties of table olives, such as: hojiblanca, gordal, carrasqueña, chamomile, cacereña …

"OlivesThe variety of gordal olives can also be combined with pickles, which creates a texture of contrasts, since gordal olives are a very fleshy variety and the pickles, on the other hand, are crispy. In any case, every olive lid always has a touch of vinegar.

There is also a variety called Kimbitos, violated olives or violas, cover that arises from the combination of the chamomile olive stuffed with pickles, which is usually flavored with anchovies.

Pickled anchovies

Pickled anchovies are a typical tapa especially in southern Spain, that is, in Andalusia. These are clean anchovies of anchovy marinated in abundant vinegar, garlic and parsley.

Before serving, they must be bathed in the vinegar for at least 6 hours at rest, so that the loins will turn from a brown color to white as the vinegar takes effect.

Pickled anchovies

Once these hours have passed, they drain and they are served cold with abundant chopped garlic, parsley and olive oil. The anchovies in vinegar are one of the tapas that can be seen more in the trays of the bars of the Spanish bars.

Roman squid

Roman squid is also known under the name fried squid or rabas in the northern regions of Spain (Navarra, Basque Country, Cantabria and Asturias).

These are squid cut in the form of a ring or ring, battered in flour and fried in very hot oil (about 160 ° C). It is another of the best tapas in Spanish cuisine. They are usually taken with Mayonnaise and a slice of lemon.

They can also be taken in the form of a sandwich spread also in mayonnaise. Its popularity is such that it can now be found frozen in most supermarkets in the country ready to cook. Fried squids are also popular in other Mediterranean countries, such as in Turkey, where they are called kalamar tava, which does not mean anything other than fried squid In the Turkish language.

Roman squid

In Latin America it has become popular and is dressed with the most typical sauces of each country; Thus, in Mexico they are usually eaten with tabasco or other spicy sauces and in Peru they are served with Creole or rocoto sauce.

Squid or sprig

The top of fried squid or lace It consists of small squid, which are called squid or txipirones (in Basque). They are also known by the name of squid in its ink or onions, when the recipe includes onion.

The way to make this lid is the same as the Roman squid and can also be taken with lemon and some mayonnaise.

Fried squid or sprig


Croquettes are, in fact, a typical French dish, but they are currently popular in Spain, Sicily and the Netherlands. Each croquette is nothing more than a portion of dough stuffed with a paste made of various ingredients, among which there is never a lack of bechamel, which provides thickness to the mixture.

Once stuffed, batter in egg and breadcrumbs and fry in plenty of hot oil. They are given round or oval shape. The dough can be made with small pieces of ham, chopped chicken, fish (usually cod), spinach, raisins, pine nuts, cheese, prawns …

There are countless varieties in the filling of croquettes. There are variants of croquettes in different cultures, namely: Japanese cuisine calls them korokke and the dutch kroket. Those stuffed with potatoes are very popular in Germany and Belgium.

Galician Empanada

As its own name indicates, the Galician empanada is originally from Galicia. Today, it has become popular throughout Spain, so there are many variants.

The original recipe consists of a dough made of yeast, flour and salt that is filled with tuna, onion, tomato, red pepper, garlic and Galician Empanada

The origin of this cover dates back to the time of the Goths, in the seventh century, when the empanada was the ideal dish for travelers, since when the contents were covered, the entrance of the dust from the roads was avoided.


The empanadillas are another of the tapas that has become more popular throughout Spain and that almost everyone likes. Actually, the recipe is very similar to that of Galician empanada, although the difference is that they are fried in olive oil.

The dough is usually filled with minced meat and other ingredients, among which the ratatouille. Its texture is crispy on the outside and pasty on the inside.

Usually, the empanadillas are filled with salty ingredients, but there are also sweet potato, walnut or quince jam cakes, which are really nothing other than sweet empanadillas. The dough is made tortilla-shaped and sealed with the teeth of a fork.

There are variants of the empanadilla at international level, such as the samosa and the aloo pie from India or the spring roll of Chinese cuisine.

Russian salad

The Russian salad, also called Olivier salad, is a typical dish of Russia, hence its name. Its base ingredient is the potatoes and the rest of the ingredients vary by region.

Usually, tuna and boiled eggs are usually lacking. There are also variants that include prawns, chicken, peas, crab sticks, olives, peppers, etc.

Russian salad

The name of Olivier salad It is due to its creator, Lucien Olivier, a renowned chef in Moscow (Russia), who made the first dish of Russian salad in 1860 in his restaurant called Hermitage. This cover is also very popular in Mexico and the Southern Cone. It is taken cold.

Shrimp Scampi

Garlic prawns are common especially in southern Spain and in the center of the country. The main ingredient is the peeled prawns, as well as garlic and olive oil. They are usually served in a clay pot and with a little parsley sprinkled on top.

In some variants, some slices of chilli are added, so that they have a spicy touch, and others include a stream of sherry wine. They are served at a warm temperature and are usually accompanied by a glass of wine, whether white, black or red.

Shrimp Scampi

Andalusian gazpacho

The Andalusian gazpacho is, in fact, a kind of cold soup It is made with olive oil, vinegar and raw vegetables, all crushed. Among the vegetables included are tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, onions and garlic.

It is a typical Andalusian dish, hence its name, which is taken especially in the summer months. Usually, its color is reddish, orange or slightly orange. This color depends on the maturity of the tomatoes used.

Andalusian gazpacho

The first dishes of Andalusian gazpacho are estimated to date from the time of al-Andalus, since this was the typical dish that fed the Iberian peasants of the time.

Broken or crashed eggs

The typical Andalusian tapa called crashed eggs or broken eggs consists in fried eggs in oil (olive or any other variety) that are accompanied with chips and Ham, bacon (bacon) or some sausage, such as chorizo ​​or chistorra.

This dish is always taken hot and some people take it for breakfast. There are some variants of this lid in which eggs are served scrambled instead of fried and chips are used instead of french fries.

Andalusian tapas: broken or crashed eggs

Iberian Ham

Iberian ham is a classic of Spanish tapas and Spanish cuisine in general. There are different varieties, the most prestigious being known black legged ham, which comes from the Iberian pig fed on acorns. Often, this variant of ham is considered a gastronomic luxury and is used in gourmet cuisine.

The quality of the Iberian ham is measured according to the purity in the animal’s breed; Thus, to be considered Iberian ham as such, it must contain a minimum of 50% purity. Apart from the Iberian ham of black leg or acorn, there are other variants, of lower quality: Iberian ham of bait, Iberian ham of bait field and Iberian ham of recebo.

Iberian Ham

Mussels to the vinaigrette

Vinaigrette mussels cover consists of steamed mussels in vinaigrette sauce, which is made with vinegar and oil and is a popular dressing in the cuisine of Spain. Mussels can be served with vegetable hash, although this is optional.

Those that are considered of better quality are the mexillions from Galicia, who are raised in Galician Rias.

Mussels to the vinaigrette

Shepherd crumbs

Bread crumbs, ruffle crumbs or shepherd crumbs are made with pieces from the spongy soft part of the bread, that is, the inside part. This cover is considered a typical shepherds dish, since in the past they were made with the leftovers of hard bread and, at present, they are still done in this way.

In the southeast of Spain, they are made with flour crumbs. They are typical of the interior of Spain, in particular of La Mancha, the Montes de Toledo, La Jara, Murcia and Castilla y León. They are accompanied with a wide variety of salty foods such as fried eggs, sausage, sausages, fried peppers, sardines, etc. Actually, the origin of this dish is the Maghreb couscous.

Shepherd crumbs

Tumaca bread

The name of tumaca bread It comes from Catalan and has other names like Pa Amb Tomàquet, for amb tomato or for amb tomaca. This lid is nothing more than toast with tomato bread and seasoned with olive oil and salt.

This dish is typical of the Catalan cuisine, Aragonese, Valencian and Balearic, and is very similar to the bruschetta Italian They are representative of the Mediterranean diet and Catalan cuisine in general.

Tumaca bread

In the original recipe, rub the ripe raw tomato on a slice of bread, although there are also versions that spread crushed natural tomato on the bread and others that add a slice of serrano ham.

Spicy potatoes

Brave potatoes or, simply, brave, are a lid especially known throughout Spain and that can not be missing when eating or dining of tapas. This lid is very easy to prepare, since it consists of potatoes cut in the form of dice that are fried in oil and served accompanied by spicy tomato sauce and garlic oil or aioli.

This lid is served hot. In addition to being easy to prepare and very economical, this dish is suitable for vegetarian people.

Spicy potatoes

Piquillo peppers

Piquillo or Piquillo peppers are a variety of pepper that is produced in the Foral Community of Navarra (Spain), more specifically in the Lodosa region.

Its shape is triangular and not too large (about 7 cm long) and they are deep red. As a lid, roasts are served and covered with oil and salt. There are variants in which they are filled with bonito, meat, potato omelette or blue fish.

Piquillo peppers

Morunos skewers

The moruno skewer consists of several pieces of meat nailed to a wooden stick that is called skewer. Its origin is located in the regions of Ceuta and Melilla, and they have Arabic origin; in fact, they are very similar to kebab (which means roasted on the coals) or at shisk kebaba Iranian.

Formerly, the meat was punctured on wooden sticks so that those who cooked it would not burn their hands to the fire, that is, the skewer we know today was a kitchen utensil for our predecessors. Nowadays, the skewer is still being put on, because tradition governs it.

Morunos skewers

The marinade of the morunos skewers is made with cumin, ground black pepper, ginger, sweet paprika, turmeric and saffron, hence its orange or even reddish color. As for the meat, the lamb, although you can use chicken, veal or pork too. They are usually cooked on the grill, but they can also be done in a pan or on an iron.

Pintxos or Basque skewers

The skewers or pintxos in Basque they are the equivalent to the classic Spanish tapas of the Basque Country. They consist of a small slice of bread on which a small portion of food is added. They are small snacks open to the imagination of who prepares them.

The skewers differ from the tapas because they tend to be larger and are ordered separately, that is, in the bars they are not served as a companion to the drink. The original cold skewers are usually placed on the bar on a tray for the customer to pick them up at will.

Original skewers from the Basque Country

They are usually pricked a stick over (hence the name of skewers) so that, once the diner has finished, the waiter can count the total number of chopsticks and, thus, calculate the amount to be paid. In San Sebastián and Bilbao, however, it is customary to throw them to the ground.

Galician octopus

Galician octopus or pobo á feira Galician is a dish from Galicia whose consumption has spread throughout Spain given its popularity. This is cooked octopus in a copper pot in boiling water.

The cooking process is done three times, that is, it is put in boiling water for a few seconds and extracted, a process that is repeated up to three times. This is done to soften the nerve and the process is called frighten, and is done so that the octopus retains the skin after cooking. It is especially consumed in the fairs or pilgrimages of Galicia, as well as in El Bierzo (León).

Galician octopus

Manchego cheese

Manchego cheese is protected with Denomination of origin of La Mancha. It is a type of cheese made with sheep’s milk from La Mancha. It is a fatty cheese, firm, compact and ivory-yellowish in consistency.

It is covered by a hard crust that can be yellowish or greenish or black, depending on the brand. Usually, it is taken with Iberian ham.

Manchego cheese

Cordoba Salmorejo

The Salmorejo Cordoba is a typical tapa of Cordoba, Andalusia, as its name indicates. It is a cream or mash that can be taken as a lid or as a main or starter dish.

It is made from crushed bread crumbs, which are called wet or telera, to which garlic, olive oil, salt, tomatoes and vinegar are added. It is usual to serve it with ham shavings, croutons or pieces of hard-boiled egg on the surface.

Cordoba Salmorejo

Grilled cuttlefish

It is a simple lid to prepare and requires only a few basic steps. Its ingredients are sepia, which can be either fresh or frozen, garlic, parsley, olive oil and salt.

For its preparation, the cuttlefish should be cooked in a very hot pan and saute until it changes color. Once all the water has been released, oil is poured into the pan and heated over maximum heat again for 2 or 3 minutes. Finally, the oil touch is added, chopped garlic and parsley.

Grilled cuttlefish

Christmas tapas

Christmas is a time open to the imagination of each family, bar or restaurant. However, there are a number of easy and original tapas recipes to make at home that can be prepared at home, as is the case with canapés. It is an ideal Christmas dish to surprise.

The Canapes, like the skewers, they are slices of bread on which various ingredients are added: from fresh cheese to pates of all kinds. They are taken as an entree, snack or appetizer, and it is usual to eat them cold.

Easy Christmas tapas: canapés

Smoked salmon canapés with cheese spread and caviar are common, for example. Those of varied pate or foie gras are also common in most Spanish houses. But there are much more elaborate, as much as you want: anchovies, piquillo peppers, goat cheese with caramelized onions …


The potato omelette is also known as Spanish tortilla, since it is one of the most classic dishes of Spanish cuisine. It consists of an omelet (beaten eggs) with potatoes and onions, the latter being an optional ingredient. Some people add yeast during their preparation so that the result is a thicker, taller and fluffier tortilla.


Many tapas bars in Madrid serve the so-called tortilla brava, which includes the same spicy tomato sauce used in white potatoes. If you are looking for a place to eat in Madrid, we recommend you go somewhere where this delicious appetizer is served.

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