Dining in Spain can range from eating your way though informal Tapas bars to indulging in the haute cuisine of Michelin star restaurants. Whether you are in the mood for something rustic or refined, Spain has you covered. Many of the products common in modern day Europe were brought over by Spanish explorers and the breadth of what they found is evident in the diversity of Spanish Cuisine. Traditionally, Spanish cooking made the most out of what was available locally. As a result, the typical foods you’ll find to eat in Spain reflect the gastronomy’s regionality. Some of the most beloved dishes of Spanish cuisine are simple and prepared in the same way that they have been for centuries, with emphasis on quality ingredients and seasonal cooking.

The Spanish are passionate people and make no exception when it comes to their food. By familiarizing yourself with the typical dishes of Spanish cuisine, you will gain a better understanding of the culture and develop a deeper appreciation for the innovative chefs who interpret Spanish classics more creativity.

Must-Try Spanish Food Specialties: What to Eat and Where to Find It

(To learn more about each dish, click through from the images below.)

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Patatas Bravas

“Brave potatoes”, one of the most common dishes found in Spain, is named for its sauce, which may or may not be spicy

flamenquin

Flamenquín

A perfectly crispy, fried pork roulad that’s common across southern Spain

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Pisto

A medley of sautéed local veggies bathed in a saucy tomato gravy

migas

Migas

Who says crumbs aren’t filling?

papas_arrugadas

Papas Arrugadas

Wrinkled Canarian potatoes served with a spicy red pepper sauce or a green sauce that’s herbal and garlicky

gazpacho

Gazpacho

A chilled, summer tomato soup that’s made a name for itself well beyond the borders of Spain

tortilla

Tortilla Española

A comforting potato omelet that’s found in every corner of Spain and is enjoyed at any time of day

salpicon

Salpicón

Chilled seafood “salad”, with a few veggies

paella

Paella

The globally recognized rice dish that’s Valencia’s claim to foodie-fame

empanada

Empanada

Savory Spanish pies that make for a satisfying snack at any time of day

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Coca

Like a Spanish pizza, without the cheese, that can be made with sweet or savory toppings

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Ropa Vieja

A comforting Canarian stew made with chickpeas and leftover meats

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Caldo Gallego

A hearty Galician soup that combines chorizo, greens and beans

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Escabeche

Gourmet marinated meats from the land and from the sea

bienmesabe

Bienmesabe

Tangy, fried dogfish from the southern coasts of Spain