Tapas!

Tapas. Oh, How I love tapas! What are tapas? They are a small, personal appetizer you order. It’s an incredible way to try a variety of dishes and man, do I love trying new foods! They are available in almost every restaurant and cafes in Spain but what is offered, how much and if you choose depends on the region you’re in.

Map of Andalucia

I’m lucky to live in one of the 3 regions (Almeria, Jaen y Granada) in Andalucia and nowhere else in Spain where tapas are complimentary to every drink you order- vino tinto/blanco (Red and white wine), vinto tinto de verano (Think wine and lemon soda), cerveza (beer), clara (beer with lemon fanta), mosto ( grape juice- before the wine has been fermented). Sodas, typically do not come with a tapa. I believe this is because all Coke products are served in glass bottles, so it’s not as cheap as a soda machine. These are the most common drinks to order. In the Almeria region, not only do you get a complimentary tapa with the drinks mentioned, you get to CHOOSE. Every restaurant has a tapas menu offering anywhere from  6- 100 tapas. Typically, restaurants offer 15-20 but I’m always prepared with a back up option because half the time, they don’t have one of the tapas I want to try!

In Granada, you get a complimentary tapa but the waiter decides what he’ll bring to everyone.

Yes, I’m spoiled. I eat very well. And this is why I go out for tapas 2- 4 times a week!

A very typical Spanish tapa: 

If more than one person orders the same tapa, they put them on the same plate! Normally a tapa of Croquetas is 4-6.

Croquetas!

Berenjena Frita- Fried Eggplant

Pincho (grilled meat on a stick) con camarones y verduras- Grilled shrimp with vegetable

Un pincho mexicano con salsa picante y patatas (Meat with a 'Spicy sauce" and potatos

An adventurous and delicious tapa- they bring it to your table and then light the bottom of the plate/bowl. The flame goes out on its own after 3-5 minutes!

Chorizo al inferno- Spicy Sausage "on fire"

Living along the coast, there are a lot of Fish/seafood tapas

Cazon is a type of white, flaky, mild flavor fish!

Cazon frito- Fried (type of) fish

Calamari frito con alioli

You know you’re in Spain when you have many Jamon options!

El jamon iberico famoso con almendras y queso con membrillo- Famous Spanish ham, almonds y cheese with membrillo (quince)

Sometimes your tapa is muy grande (very big). This is from a restuarant named La Cabana de Tio Tom (yes, Uncle Tom’s Cabin) who are known for big tapas and over 100 to choose from!

Pork loin, fried egg, salad and fries and the 2nd plate of grilled fish with tinto de verano!

Green Salads are rarely on tapas menus. Ensalladilla Rusa (Russian salad= potato salad) and seafood salads are common. Imagine my surprise when I found a salad on the tapas menu and a Caesar salad at that!  My new favorite tapas place with the unique choices!

Chicken Caesar salad- this didn't quite taste like Caesar but it was a yummy salad!

What I love most about tapas in this region is there cheap! You pay based on the cost of the drink, ranging from 2-3 euros. Average price I pay per drink is 2.50 euros ($3.20). The bill never surprises you.  Life is good. 

And the bill is always incredibly (cheap)

If you live in the Andalucia region, how often do you go out for tapas? What is your favorite tapa?

If you live in a different region in Spain, have you found  a good spot for “cheap” tapas?

Have I convinced any of you to come visit me yet???

Please, leave a comment below. Thanks.

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10 thoughts on “Tapas!

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  5. My new favorite tapa from Tio Tom’s is Gallego – I’m not sure it actually has anything to do with the area of Galicia, but it reminds me so much of home it’s my new go-to. It’s a piece of carne asada with a fried egg, and probably french fries. My mom always makes carne asada when I come home, and while I usually have it with rice, I do love me a fried egg.

    Other highlights include croquetas (I wish they were a standard at more places!), hamburgesa (fact: I was embarrassed to order hamburgesa for at least a month and a half upon arriving because I didn’t want to reinforce American stereotypes), carne con tomate, and any kind of meat with alioi (YUM). Give me the meeeeeat. I don’t go out for tapas as much as I used to, and it’s mostly on the weekends. Maybe once or twice a week!

  6. Yum Yum!! Maybe when you come home you can open a tapas bar since you will be such a tapas expert by then. A Spanish tapas bar; I don’t think we have one here.

    • Hi Mom,
      There are plenty of tapas bars in the Bay but the prices are typically high. When I return, I’ll be on highlight checking everything Spanish…but I’ll likely be making my own tapas before going to a tapas restaurant because there EXPENSIVE! NO Gracias!

    • Christine- you’re welcome to come visit anytime. I currently have an extra bedroom in my piso by the sea! Would be great to see you!

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