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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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Hakkasan, Madrid

Maybe you didn't think you'd be eating in Asian restaurants of any kind on this trip, let alone a Japanese-Chinese-Peruvian restaurant—fusion yet! But...more

see the Madrid guide
Editors' Pick
Hotel Photo
Hisop

An outsider on the city's circuit of avant-garde eateries, Hisop received its first Michelin star in 2011, putting it in the same rank as top dining...more

see the Barcelona guide
Editors' Pick
Horchatería Santa Catalina, Valencia

Want to blend in with the locals? Then you'd better develop a taste for horchata, a sweet, milky, nonalcoholic drink, served cold, that is made from...more

see the Valencia guide
Editors' Pick
Jolastoky, Neguri

A bastion of highbrow, old-school gentility, Jolastoky occupies an elegant villa 15 minutes' drive from Bilbao. The surrounding community of Neguri is home to...more

see the Bilbao + Basque Country guide
Editors' Pick
Kabuki, Madrid

This nouvelle Japanese restaurant in a residential neighborhood has made chef Ricardo Sanz into one of Madrid's newest culinary darlings. Kabuki's interior is...more

see the Madrid guide
Editors' Pick
Kumharas, Cala de Bou, Ibiza

The softer side of clubbing, this is a beachside trance venue, which means it's a cross between a souk in Marrakech, a bedouin tent, a beach in Goa, and a...more

see the Ibiza + Mallorca guide
Editors' Pick
Hotel Photo
La Azotea

This tiny bar is always packed with a loyal crowd of locals and anyone else who can squeeze in. The husband-and-wife team of Sevillano Juan Gómez Ortega...more

see the Seville guide
Editors' Pick
La Boveda, Palma , Mallorca

Set on a busy yet charming square across from the 15th-century Lonja building—now used for temporary exhibitions—La Boveda serves the best tapas in...more

see the Ibiza + Mallorca guide
Editors' Pick
La Brasa, Ibiza Town, Ibiza

This enchanting walled garden shaded by purple bougainvillea, ivy, and palm trees on the edge of the D'Alt Vila in Ibiza Town is a classic—though it's...more

see the Ibiza + Mallorca guide
Editors' Pick
Hotel Photo
La Cesta de Recoletos

After spending years together working for the late chef Santi Santamaría, the maître d', sommelier, and chef at Santceloni struck out on their own...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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