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A Guide to Spanish Tapas Bars

Monday, March 17th, 2014

So you are thinking of Tapas? The first thing you need to know is that the very nature of Tapas means that manners and protocols are forgotten in the flurry of sharing, finger using and general digging in. Basically, that is the essence of tapas; a style of eating and not cooking. It encourages sociability among friends and family. Tapas are at the very heart of Spanish lifestyle. In every city you visit in Spain, you will find lively, noisy bars serving local Spanish delicacies.

spanish Tapas(photo by:

How to Order

You might be seated in one of the cheap hotels in Barcelona or enjoying your time at an expensive three star hotel in Madrid and the thought of Tapas crosses your mind; what you need to do is just go to the bar section of the hotel. When ordering Tapas, you don’t need to order everything at once as you may end up with 5-6 dishes arriving at once. Most bars will usually open a tab, which you pay after eating. Other bars prefer charging the Tapas alongside drinks.

Where to get the Best Tapas

When in Barcelona, Spain, some of the best Tapas bars include Quimet I Quimet, La Cova Fumada, Roure, and Tossa among others. On the other hand, if you are spending your time in three star hotels in Madrid or other places, you could go to Bodega de la Ardosa, La Vanencia, Almendro 13, and Restaurante Txirimiri among many other places.

Main Ingredients

Just so you know, as with many Spanish dishes, Tapas in general are made of traditional Mediterranean ingredients. Even though beef and lamb are also popular, pork is the most common type of meat. In fact, every part of the animal is used including blood. There are also a wide variety of cheeses and salads, which are usually simple dishes of tomato, lettuce, and onion. However, the salads are not common in small Tapa sizes.

For vegetarians, there are a few vegetarian options offered by some Tapas bars. A typical vegetarian Tapas features potato salad, which is served with prawns and sometimes with a mixed salad that comes with tinned tuna on top.

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