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Traditional Spanish food

Traditional Spanish food

Traditional Spanish food: discover here the 12 most popular traditional Spanish dishes of the Spanish gastronomy. Did you know all of them?

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Thinking of spending your next vacation in Spain? If so, you cannot miss the incredible gastronomy that you will find in every corner of the country. Because if Spain stands out for something, it is for its traditional food, its great variety of flavors and for its disparate typical dishes.

In this article you will discover the traditional Spanish food of each region and city you must try on your next vacation or learn new food vocabulary if you are taking a Spanish course in Spain. In addition, you can discover the origin of traditional Spanish dishes such as paella or where to find the dish or recipe you are looking for.

Below, you will find 12 of the most popular traditional Spanish food dishes from Spain and their city of origin. Enjoy the taste, the aromas, and every bite during your stay in Spain.

Gazpacho and salmorejo

Let's start with one of the most popular Spanish dishes in summer: gazpacho. This cold tomato soup has its origin in Andalusia, where it is served to combat the high summer temperatures, although it has spread throughout the country, and you can find it in other cities. Its ingredients are simple: tomatoes, cucumber, pepper, onion, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, and salt. All this turns into a cold red soup perfect for the summer.

Although if you prefer something thicker, try salmorejo, also originally from Andalusia (Córdoba specifically), but cooked with tomatoes, stale bread, garlic, olive oil and salt, served on top with hard-boiled egg and Serrano ham as if they were toppings.


Undoubtedly one of Spain's most famous and emblematic dishes: paella. In the Valencian Community, specifically in Valencia, this dish was born, which was originally cooked with rabbit, chicken, and vegetables.

Spanish paella

Many are those who have tried to imitate paella, but few have managed to copy its essence and flavor. Therefore, here are the ingredients of the real Valencian paella: rice, saffron, chicken, rabbit, vegetables, olive oil, salt and, if you prefer, you can change the meat for seafood or fish.

Jamón serrano

Although it does not require cooking any ingredients or mixing foods, Serrano ham is one of Spain's most popular delicacies. Serrano ham is an ideal tapa, you can add it to a sandwich, eat it alone with bread or mix it with other foods to obtain a unique dish.

A versatile food that does not disappoint anyone and is exported to thousands of places around the world. Serrano ham is produced in various regions of Spain and there are several categories depending on the pig's breeding and diet. Of course, a good Serrano ham can have a high price, so there are varieties for all budgets.

Tortilla de patata

The potato omelet or Spanish omelet is another classic of Spanish cuisine. A traditional Spanish food dating back to the 19th century, it mixes only two ingredients perfectly: beaten eggs and stewed potatoes.

For the mixture to be successful, olive oil and salt are added to the eggs and potatoes. Although there is an internal dispute in Spain of people who prefer the tortilla de patata with or without onion. You can even add to the tortilla any other ingredient you want, from peppers, vegetables, cheese to ham or chorizo.

Spanish tortilla de patata

You can also find the potato omelet undercooked, overcooked, with a thinner or thicker size... The multiple ways of serving this traditional Spanish dish make it one of the favorites of all those who try it.

And you, have you tried tortilla de patata? Are you team with or without onion?

Patatas bravas

Another popular Spanish dish in which potatoes are used is patatas bravas. A tapa that you can taste in any corner of Spain and that will not disappoint you. In this dish the potatoes are boiled and fried and then they are served with salsa brava, a slightly spicy sauce.

You can try them in restaurants and bars to choose the one you like the most, because in each place you will find them with a spicy salsa brava. You can even find the patatas braviolis, a portion of potatoes where half of the sauce is brava and the other half, aioli.


Pintxos are originally from the Basque Country and the great variety that you can find there will surprise you. The origin of this word comes from the word 'pinchar', so a pintxo is a small portion of food served on a slice of bread and joined with a toothpick.

Spanish pintxos

There is a great variety of pintxos all over northern Spain and you will not find two alike. From the simplest pintxos with ham on bread, to more complex combinations with foods such as meat, seafood, or vegetables.

Papas arrugadas

Travel now to the Canary Islands, where you can't leave without trying papas arrugadas con mojo picón (wrinkled potatoes with mojo picón). This dish is very simple, the potatoes are boiled with water and salt and then the mojo picón sauce is added, which has a touch of spicy paprika. A very famous dish in the islands that you can enjoy wherever you go.

Spanish popular dish: papas arrugadas

Pulpo a la gallega

Continuing in the north of the country with pulpo a la gallega, a popular Spanish dish that comes from Galicia. It is served on a base of boiled potatoes, with the octopus cooked and sliced, sprinkled on top with paprika and with a drizzle of olive oil. If you like to try new food, the different texture of octopus will fascinate you. Do you dare to try it?

Fabada asturiana

Fabada is a traditional stew from Asturias, ideal for the cold and rainy climate of the north. This traditional Spanish food became popular in the 19th century and is composed of white beans, chorizo, black pudding, blood sausage, bacon, onion, olive oil and paprika. An ideal dish for those who love hearty meals and enjoy the texture of legumes.


Another stew dish like fabada is cocido. A traditional Spanish food of which there are several versions, depending on where you are.

Therefore, you can distinguish: cocido madrileño in Madrid, cocido montañés in Cantabria, cocido maragato in León, cocido andaluz in Andalusia, cocido castellano in Castilla y León or cocido extremeño in Extremadura. Each of these dishes is adapted to the ingredients and traditions of each region.


One of the most popular Spanish dishes that are not usually very well known by visitors are migas (fried breadcrumbs). This dish uses the bread from the previous day to create a unique and spectacular recipe. There are two versions: migas extremeñas with eggs and chorizo peppers; and migas manchegas, with chorizo sausage and grapes.

Spanish dish: migas

Gambas al ajillo

Finally, gambas al ajillo (garlic prawns), a dish that is served hot, in an earthenware casserole dish that never stops sizzling. In less than 10 minutes you can enjoy a unique dish with prawns, garlic, olive oil, chili pepper and parsley. An intense and delicious flavor that will open your taste buds.

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