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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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Restaurante Sevilla, Granada

Near the cathedral, the Sevilla was founded in 1930 and became a favorite haunt of native poet Federico García Lorca and his artistic friends. Nearly 80...more

see the Granada guide
Editors' Pick
Riff, Valencia

Chef Bernd Knöller may be German, but his understanding of local traditions (he's lived in Spain for more than 15 years) has made Riff one of the city's...more

see the Valencia guide
Editors' Pick
Rosal 34, Barcelona

This Poble Sec tapas bar has been around for four generations, but a recent facelift exchanged the cold, clinical tiles and fluorescent lighting for a...more

see the Barcelona guide
Editors' Pick
Ruta del Azafrán, Granada

Situated next to the river, this lively restaurant is where the young and trendy get their sustenance, drawn in by the simple, modern interior and abstract art....more

see the Granada guide
Editors' Pick
Ruta del Valleta, Cenes de la Vega

This roadside restaurant in the village of Cenés de la Vega is well worth the two-mile drive out of town for some of the best regional cuisine anywhere...more

see the Granada guide
Editors' Pick
Sa Capella, Near San Antonio, Ibiza

The setting of this restaurant in the country outside San Antonio is a never-consecrated 16th-century church—a marvelously atmospheric, candlelit barn of...more

see the Ibiza + Mallorca guide
Editors' Pick
Hotel Photo
Sagardi, Barcelona

Even proud Catalonia isn't immune to the gastronomic pull of the Basque country. Barcelona now has several outposts of Sagardi, a rustic-modern restaurant...more

see the Barcelona guide
Editors' Pick
Santa, Barcelona

Chef Paco Guzman has made a name for himself as the merry prankster of "new wave tapas" at Santa Maria. Santa, his second restaurant, aims to put less stress on...more

see the Barcelona guide
Editors' Pick
Saüc, Barcelona

Winningly low-key in the manner of many of Barcelona's best new-wave restaurants, this friendly place in the Eixample is nevertheless one of the most...more

see the Barcelona guide
Editors' Pick
Senyor Parellada, Barcelona

Ramón Parellada is a veteran restaurateur with his fingers in a number of the city's culinary pies. Part owner of La Vinya del Senyor, he has a share in...more

see the Barcelona 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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