When heading out to indulge in a local restaurant in Spain, the best thing to order on any menu will always be something that has been locally sourced. Locally sourced ingredients tend to be fresher, tastier, and more accessible too.
But what dishes and ingredients are best in each region? If you’re travelling around Spain, then what should you order? Here are some of the very best, locally sourced dishes in Spain, region by region:
Order Tapas in Andalusia
Tapas is well-known across Spain, but no region does it better than Andalusia! Depending on which province you’re in, you’ll find that each has their own speciality dish that is well worth exploring. In Cardoba you should order the salmorejo: this is a thick gazpacho (cold tomato soup that is incredibly refreshing on a hot day) whilst in Cadiz baby shrimp fritters (called tortillitas de camarones in Spanish) that are on the top of everyone’s wish list.
The small, shareable nature of tapas makes it an incredibly social dish ideal for enjoying with friends and family, and it’s a great way to share unusual local products that you might not have tried before. Berenjenas con miel is hugely popular in Granada, for example: this dish comprises of battered deep fried aubergine smothered in honey or a sweet treacle-like sauce and tastes as delicious as it sounds. Don’t be afraid to be adventurous, and ask the owner of the tapas bar you’re visiting what they recommend each day.
Order Lobster Stew in the Balearics
Caldereta de Langosta, or lobster stew, is incredibly popular in the Balearics and often made with freshly caught lobsters that are fished from the islands each day.
Order Fabada Asturiana in Asturias
Fabada Asturiana is the most famous and popular dish in Asturias: a region where hearty stews rein supreme, no matter what time of year. This particular stew dish is made up of white fava beans, blood sausage and pork. It’s rich and delicious, and is widely available across the region.
Order Seafood in Basque Country
There are more Michelin-starred restaurants in Basque Country than any other region in Spain, and seafood is the focus of many regional dishes here. From baked spidercrab to freshly caught prawns, if you’re a fan of seafood then there’s no better place to be. Perhaps the most popular fish in the region is cod, and you’ll find a huge array of different cod dishes to choose from: there are no bad choices, so explore the options and be adventurous.
Order papas arrugadas con mojo picón in the Canary Islands
One of the most popular side dishes in the Canary Islands are simple baked potatoes served in a spicy sauce, known as papas arrugadas con mojo picon. These baked potatoes have a rich and salty taste, and they are typically boiled in seawater. They are then smothered in a spicy sauce which is made from red pepper and cayenne pepper. If you’re not a fan of spices foods, try dipping your potatoes in mojo verde (green salsa) instead.
Order Pisto In Castilla La-Mancha
You might be forgiven for thinking that you’ve been served a steaming dish of French ratatouille in Castilla La-Mancha but pisto is the Spanish equivilent of this dish and is just as delicious. It’s made from aubergines, courgettes and onions, all fried together in a tomato sauce. Often it’s served with a fried egg and local Manchego cheese on top.
Order Meat Dishes in Castilla y Leon
Castilla y leon is a region that is a carnivore's dream (and a vegetarian's nightmare) as almost all of the most popular dishes here are meat dishes. From roast lamb and roast pork to whole suckling pigs, you’ll also find meat stews, and fish stews. Filling, hearty, and rich dishes are the order of the day here!
Order Sorropotun in Cantabria
As a coastal region, cantabria offers a whole host of different seafood options, but perhaps the most popular and delicious of these is Sorropotun. This is a simple fish stew made of tuna, potatoes, tomatoes, onions and peppers. The sauce is rich and the stew is hearty. This dish has a rustic flavour, and is perfectly enjoyed on a cold winters day.
Order a Glass of Wine in La Rioja
La Rioja is one of Spain’s most popular wines, and this full-bodied red is worth the hype that it receives. It is a rich, red wine and pairs perfectly with the regions many popular meat dishes: lamb stews and beef or pork dishes are often cooked in the red wine here.
Order Paella in Valencia
You’ll find paella in all regions of Spanish (it is considered a national dish) but you won’t find better paella anywhere in the country than you will in Valencia. Valencia is the birthplace of the dish, and the locals here have worked hard to perfect the recipe, serving their version with chicken, snails, rabbit, green and butter beans, rather than the classic seafood you might find elsewhere. You’re sure to be pleasantly surprised.
Order Pulpo a la Gallega in Galicia
Pulpo a la Gallega is an incredibly rich dish that is popular in Galicia: this dish comprises mussels, scallops, oysters, Galician lobsters and octopus. It really is a seafood lover's dream. The dish is typically boiled and then sprinkled with paprika, creating a tasty stew that’s hard to resist.
Order Estofado de Toro in Navarra
Typical cuisine in Navarra involved hearty and chunky dishes, locally sourced garden vegetables and fresh meats paired into rich stews. The most popular of these dishes is estofado de toro, which is made up from bull’s tails, carrots, potatoes, bell peppers, onion and garlic, cooked in a tomato and red wine sauce and flavoured with saffron.
Order Cocido Madrileno in Madrid
Finally, we have added yet another stew to our list! The Cocido Madrileno is a traditional stew named after the region of Madrid and is served in two parts. The first is made with meat and vegetables, whilst the second is made with chickpeas.
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