6 of the Best Local Dishes to Try in Spain

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

Spain is beloved for its colorful past, timeless architecture, and of course, its robust food scene. If you are traveling to Spain and you are wondering what amazing gastronomic delights to try, your search is over! Below are our recommended Spanish dishes to try in Spain:

1. Cocido Madrileño

Cocido Madrileño is a classic stew with a chickpea or garbanzo base, potatoes, turnips, and carrots. This dish features several types of meats, including chicken, pork belly, chorizo sausage, and beef shank. Cocido Madrileño is enjoyed during the winter season when the temps drop down to freezing. The stew warms up the stomach nicely while the meats will definitely fill you up! Cocido Madrileño is loved for its robust, complex flavors and heavenly texture.

2. Huevos Rotos

Huevos rotos is a meat and potato dish served on a massive plate. The name of the dish literally translates to “broken eggs.” Traditionally, the dish is served on a bed of fried potato chips topped with eggs over easy. But some restos add a mix of sausage or chorizo to boost flavors and add colors to the dish. You eat Huevos rotos by getting a small piece of crusty bread and breaking the egg with it. Huevos rotos is perfect for hungry travelers who want a filling, savory snack!

3. Bocadillo de Calamares

Popular in key Spanish cities particularly Madrid, bocadillo de calamares is simply the local fried squid sandwich. The sandwich comes in many variations but the most basic consists of crusty bread with deep-fried, flour-coated squid rings. The sandwich may or may not have its own sauce (pureed paprika or garlic mayo), and is best enjoyed with a cold bottle of beer plus a side of olives.

4. Callos

Just like Cocido Madrileño, Callos is a winter staple. This is a type of stew composed of beef tripe, chorizo, and blood sausages called morcilla. The dish is cooked in a clay pot, simmered for hours to create a thick, flavorful broth. It is also tinted with paprika, adding smokiness and a mild kick to the stew! Callos is one of the oldest of Spanish dishes, dating back to 16th century Spain and no trip to the country is complete without trying out authentic callos.

5. Churros con Chocolate

Churros con chocolate is one of the most popular Spanish desserts in the world. This fiesta-style pastry is made from stems of deep-fried dough with a side of thick, melted chocolate. Churros con chocolate is great as a snack, as a sweet ending to a savory meal, or as an after-hour nightlife treat! Some Spaniards also eat churros con chocolate for breakfast! Unsurprisingly, this dessert is very popular among the younger crowds. Churros con chocolate is best enjoyed with a piping cup of hot chocolate.

6. Paella

What could be more classically Spanish than a serving of paella? This is a traditional Spanish dish made with rice and seafood flavored with saffron. There are three types of paella: Paella Valenciana, Seafood Paella, and Paella Mixta. Paella Valenciana is a mix of white rice, veggies, rabbit meat, land snails, duck meat, and spices. Seafood Paella is comprised of white rice, local spices, and different types of seafood (squid, prawns, clams). Finally, Paella Mixta is a freestyle paella made with chicken meat, rice, and seafood. Because paella has a lot going on, this is a heavy dish best eaten on its own.