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Spain restaurants

Thanks to star chefs like Ferran Adrià; and Juan Mari Arzak, Spain's restaurants have piqued the interest of epicureans the world over. But it didn't take these maestros' innovative fare to create a passion for food in Spain. Quality ingredients, simple sauces, excellent wines, and a true love of eating have long made Spain a gourmand's paradise.

It's impossible to generalize about Spanish food; each region has its own specialties. The Basque country is rightly proud of pintxos (bite-size tapas), served at a variety of cozy bars and restaurants, and seafood dishes like baked cod, while Galicia is renowned for its amazing variety of shellfish. Don't leave central Spain without sampling the hearty roasted lamb and suckling pigs, and be sure to try southern Spain's crunchy fried calamari, succulent olives, and flavorful cured hams. Valencia is the birthplace of paella, and in Catalonia, Spain's nouvelle cuisine has reached its maximum expression.

No matter where you travel, breakfast is usually a simple affair featuring coffee, pastries, or a small sandwich. At least once, indulge in a serving of chocolate with churros; a big plate of these fried dough sticks is a sure cure for the previous night's excesses. Lunch starts around 2 pm and is the biggest meal of the day. Hearty specialties like paella, cochinillo (roast suckling pig), or a mariscada (mixed shellfish platter) are best enjoyed now, when they can be followed by a leisurely siesta. Early evening is the time to sample tapas, the bite-sized snacks that are served in bars across the country. Olives, a plate of cheese, tortilla española (potato omelet), or crumpled slices of jamón serrano (cured ham) are the most common tapas, but bars may serve more elaborate dishes like chickpea stew, spicy padrón peppers, or fried seafood. Dinner begins no earlier than 9 pm and can last into the wee hours of the morning, especially on weekends. While Spaniards generally have a light soup or sandwich supper at home, restaurants are an excuse to go all out and order multiple courses, as well as dessert and wine.

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Casa Mingo

Set just below the Parque del Oeste near the Príncipe Pío train station, Casa Mingo is the one place every madrileño takes out-of-town guests to....more

see the Madrid guide
Editors' Pick
Casa Paco

In Madrid, tortilla is served in almost every bar—and almost every bar claims that theirs is the best in the city. At Casa Paco, the tortilla is indeed in...more

see the Madrid guide
Editors' Pick
Cervecería Giralda, Seville

There's some stiff competition among Seville's tapas bars, and Cerveceria Giralda is one of the best. Take a pavement table, order a glass of sherry and a tapa...more

see the Seville guide
Editors' Pick
Hotel Photo
Comerç 24, Barcelona

Chef Carles Abellan's pedigree (nine years of training under Ferran Adrià) shows up in his witty food, most of it served in tapas-sized portions as part...more

see the Barcelona guide
Editors' Pick
Coure, Barcelona

The blank canvas of Coure's surroundings cedes center stage to chef Albert Ventura's exceptionally good—and unexpectedly seductive—combinations at...more

see the Barcelona guide
Editors' Pick
Dassa Bassa, Madrid

Darío Barrio is another school-of-Adrià alum, and that's what the Madrileños are hungry for, if the instant success of this place after its 2004...more

see the Madrid guide
Editors' Pick
Egaña-Oriza, Seville

With its splendiferous dining room set inside the conservatory of a restored mansion beside the Jardines de Murillo, Egaña Oriza is a long-standing...more

see the Seville guide
Editors' Pick
El Alto de Colón, Valencia

Built in 1916, the Mercado de Colón is an iconic Modernist market hall in cast iron and red brick; in 2003, it was transformed into a Covent...more

see the Valencia guide
Editors' Pick
El Bungalow, Palma de Mallorca, Mallorca

Located in the beachy suburb of Ciudad Jardí, El Bungalow is where the island's top chefs head for seafood dishes and sumptuous paellas when their own work...more

see the Ibiza + Mallorca guide
Editors' Pick
El Cucurucho del Mar, Madrid

When a delicate fillet of sole ennobled by an aristocratic reduction of fish stock and cava is priced at such an inexplicably low level, you might come to...more

see the Madrid guide
Editors' Pick
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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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