8 dishes you must try in Spain

Moving to Spain? Here is some famous Spanish food to really immerse yourself into Spanish life.
Woman eating some famous Spanish food.

Spain is famous for its sun, sea and delicious food and drink. There is no doubt that when you go to Spain on a visa, that you will want to sample some of the most famous Spanish food.

Here are some traditional Spanish dishes for you to try, which will hopefully help you to feel more at home and immersed in the culture of Spain.

1. Madrid – Cocido Madrileño

This stew-style dish is made from meat, chickpeas and vegetables. It is seasoned with garlic, paprika, and sometimes saffron to enhance the flavour. It is most commonly eaten in the winter as it is a heavy and warming meal.

Cocido Madrileño is thought to have originated in the Middle Ages. As the city of Madrid grew during the 19th and 20th centuries, it became a popular choice for small restaurants to serve.

2. Barcelona – Escalivada

This is a traditional dish from Catalonia and consists of smoked grilled vegetables. The main ingredients are often peppers, onions, aubergine, tomatoes and olive oil.

The vegetables were traditionally cooked on glowing coals or on wood embers in a fire, hence the name coming from the word ‘escaliver’, meaning ‘to cook in ashes’.

It can be eaten as a side dish, part of a tapas meal, a starter or a light lunch.

3. Valencia – Fideua

I am sure you have heard of Paella, but have you heard of Fideua? It is very similar, except it is made with pasta, not rice. It is still jam-packed full of seafood, but the pasta is cooked in a large wide-based pan, rather than in a saucepan full of boiling water.

The dish Fideua originated on board a boat, where the ship chef had the idea to make Paella with small noodles instead of rice. And the rest is history.

4. Seville – Serranito

Serranito is a warm pork sandwich. In this delicious sandwich, you will find pork loin, cured meats, fried pepper and fresh tomato, it is often served with fries. This recipe was developed in the 1970s.

It is traditionally eaten as lunch or dinner as the main dish.

5. Granada – Patatas a lo pobre

Patatas a lo Pobre is a small potato dish. It translates very literally to ‘poor man’s potatoes’.

This traditional Spanish food is simple yet effective. The potatoes are thinly sliced and fried with onion in oil. It is then seasoned with garlic, paprika and parsley. It can also be served with eggs or peppers.

Patatas a lo Pobre is often eaten as tapas or a side dish.

6. Cordoba – Salmorejo

Salmorejo is a traditional soup that is served cold. It is made mostly from tomato, bread and garlic, and then is garnished with ham or eggs when served.

It may sound the same as gazpacho, but this soup is much creamier and thicker. Salmoreja is eaten as an appetiser.

7. Toledo – Carcamusa

Carcamusa is a pork and vegetable stew. It can be made with tomatoes, bay leaves, peas, beans or chilli sauce for some spice. It is thought to have been invented in bars, and the name comes from the ‘wrinkled’ customers that used to enjoy the dish.

Carcamusa is served hot, often as a snack. It can also be accompanied by fries or bread.

8. Santiago de Compostela – Tarta de Santiago

For those with a sweet tooth, Tarta de Santiago is a perfect way to end a meal – or simply enjoy with a coffee.

Developed in the Middle Ages, it is a cake made with almonds and lemon, and can be finished off with either sweet wine, brandy or grape marc, depending on the recipe.


We hope you enjoy trying some of these traditional dishes during your time in Spain.

Here is a map to show the origins of each famous Spanish food on this list, so that you know the best place to visit in Spain.

How we can help you try famous Spanish food

To be able to try any of the amazing famous Spanish food on this list, you will first need to get a Spanish visa.

Whether you plan on going to Spain to work, study, or a long-term visit, our expert Spanish visas team can help you.

We offer a free 10-minute assessment that allows us to discuss your situation and see if we can help you. This also allows you to decide if you want to go ahead with using our services or not. After this, you can use our services to get our team to help you with every step of the Spanish visa application process.

Get in touch today for expert assistance with going to Spain.

Contact us to speak to one of our friendly consultants

We are experts in Spanish emigration. We understand how the system works and guide our clients through the entire process.

Whether you are simply researching your options or ready to apply, we are here to help.

Contact us