Top 6 the most popular traditional Spanish dishes

Rabo de toro

If you know anything about Spanish stereotypes, you’re probably familiar with the controversial tradition of bullfighting. Nowadays, however, you’re more likely to see the legendary Spanish bulls on your plate than in a ring.

Rabo de toro (stewed bull’s tail) is one of the country’s most traditional dishes. You’ll either love it or hate it, but don’t knock it till you try it—preferably in a quintessential setting like the one you’ll visit on our Madrid food tours.


These little fish get a bad rap in some other parts of the world, but suspend your judgment long enough to give them a chance.

Spanish anchovies come fresh, pickled, or fried, and they’re nothing like the strong and stinky morsels you might have tasted elsewhere. If you’re still a bit wary, try the deep-fried variety for an easy introduction, and prepare to be pleasantly surprised.

Pan tumaca

Possibly the simplest Spanish dish of all, pan tumaca (or pan con tomate) is nothing but bread, olive oil, salt, and fresh tomato spread.

This is the perfect breakfast, side dish, or merienda (afternoon snack), and can be found all over Spain—but it’s especially famous in Catalonia. Sample it on a Barcelona food tour, or make it yourself at home with this recipe. One bite and you’ll never look back.


You might not be used to eating your soup cold, but salmorejo will make you wonder why. This close cousin of gazpacho is a thick, tomato-based soup made with olive oil, bread crumbs, and plenty of garlic.

Salmorejo originated in the southern city of Córdoba, but you can sample authentic salmorejo throughout Andalusia. Modern versions sub out the tomatoes for beets, or even add strawberries.


Bacalao is salted cod that can be found in many forms: grilled, fried, stuffing crispy croquettes…

It’s especially ubiquitous in the Basque Country in northern Spain, an area with a culinary tradition all its own. On our San Sebastian tour, we’ll take you to one of the country’s best pintxo bars to try this classic fish with a modern twist.

Jamón Ibérico

No tapas experience is complete without the most ubiquitous Spanish snack: cured Iberian ham.

It’s hard to miss the giant dried pork legs hanging from the ceilings of shops and bars everywhere you look. Watch as it’s expertly carved off in tantalizingly thin strips, and try it by itself or accompanied by one of Spain’s many varieties of locally made cheese.

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