Restaurants in Spain
Whether you're looking for light tapas, hearty seafood Paella or a gourmet dining experiences in the Basque country, you can find restaurants in Spain to cater to your culinary needs.
Spain's most popular dining category is tapas, which are typically small servings of cured meats, olives and cheeses, grilled squid or meatballs. There are regional variations of tapas, for example pintxos are small plates served in the north. You will find some of the best tapas restaurants in Spain in Madrid, San Sebastian and Seville.
Other Spain restaurants to try include asadores, which specialize in grilled meats and marisquerías, which serve fish and seafood.
Some of the best restaurants in Spain are now some of the best restaurants, with the now closed el Bullí putting Spain on the map as a culinary destination. It is possible to find great food all over the country, but Valencia, Barcelona, San Sebastian, Andalucía and Seville are among the best cities in Spain for a foodie holiday.
Order tortilla española—runny like a good omelette and slathered with house-made red sauce ($2)—and chase it with the neighborhood’s best bargain: Bodegas Prudencio Larrea’s Los Porrones de Nedurp 2006 (90 cents).
The museum holds a modest restaurant, decorated with old black iron hydraulic olive presses and several scales.
A fine-dining institution since 1967, Via Veneto uses fresh ingredients from the Mediterranean coast in its authentic Catalan cuisine. Helmed by the father-and-son team of José and Pedro Monje, the restaurant's interior is elegant, with Jacquard fabrics, heavy drapery, and jewel-toned accents.
Located in El Palace Hotel, this Michelin one-starred restaurant serves French and Catalan fare from acclaimed chef Romain Fornell.
Order the saucy albóndigas with a glass of vermú de (vermouth on tap) slid across the antique onyx counter at Casa Alberto, in a building where Cervantes once wrote.
Part industrial-looking art gallery, part cooperatively run, vegetarian-friendly café (try the house-made spinach ravioli), La Báscula has one of the city's most idyllic sun-filled dining rooms.
Pizza? In Spain? Absolutamente. If the toppings include delicious sobrasada sausage and the slowly fermented sourdough crust is featherlight. The pizzeria in question is theis mod, white-and-red newcomer opened by the avant-garde chef Jordi Vilà.
The quiet dining room in L’Eixample experiments with a cuisine at the intersection of Vietnam, New Orleans, and Catalonia. The result: lamb carpaccio topped with caramelized ginger and green-apple relish, and dorado steamed in a banana leaf with coconut milk.
In a sleepy hamlet 35 miles west of Alicante, the chef at Paco Gandía layers rice in a pan the size of a bicycle tire, along with rabbit, tomatoes, saffron, and snails that feed on wild herbs. Licked by flames from an open fire, the paella is not just good—it’s near-mythical.
Part restaurant and part nightclub, Arola Madrid is located in the Museo Reina Sofia (Queen Sofia Museum), which houses a renowned collection of 20th-century art, including Picasso’s Guernica.
Located on the shaded Plaza de la Paja, Delic muddles mojitos that are considered among the best in the city.
Known for its market-sourced Mediterranean cuisine, Chantarella is headed by chef-brothers Álvaro and Enrique Díaz. The brothers opened the restaurant on Calle Luisa Fernanda in 1999 and moved to this larger space after two years.
Patrons stand elbow-to-elbow at this tiny bustling tapas bar just off of Pral Lel. With walls of shelves filled with wine, this fifth generation restaurant is not much larger than a typical home dining room.