Spain is renowned for its rich culture, stunning architecture, and of course, its delectable cuisine. From the famous paella to the amazing tapas, Spanish food has something to offer every taste bud. With so many incredible cities to choose from, it can be overwhelming to decide where to go to indulge in the country’s culinary delights.
That’s why we’ve put together a list of the top 10 cities for foodies in Spain, where you can savor everything from traditional regional dishes to contemporary fusion cuisine. Read on to discover the best places to eat your way through Spain:
1. San Sebastian: probably the best city for foodies in Spain
San Sebastian is without a doubt one of the best cities in Spain for foodies, and if you’re looking for an unparalleled dining experience, San Sebastian should be at the top of your list. This beautiful coastal city is famous for its incredible Basque cuisine and is home to some of the best restaurants in Spain.
In fact, San Sebastian has more Michelin stars per capita than any other city in the world, making it a must-visit destination for foodies. With a total of 16 Michelin stars in nine restaurants, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Local specialties are a must, including pintxos (small bites), bacalao (salt cod) and txuleta (grilled beef).
Whether you’re a seasoned foodie or just beginning to explore the world of gastronomy, San Sebastian is sure to impress. With its beautiful coastal setting, rich culture and incredible cuisine, it’s no wonder this city is considered one of the best in the world for foodies. So why not plan your next culinary adventure in San Sebastian and discover something about the best food Spain has to offer?
2. Best food cities in Spain: Barcelona
Barcelona is one of Spain’s best cities for foodies and should be on your list of must-visit destinations if you’re a lover of delicious food. This vibrant city is famous for its creative and diverse food scene, which combines traditional Catalan dishes with international flavors and techniques.
One of the highlights of Barcelona’s gastronomic scene is the abundance of local markets, such as the famous La Boqueria market. Here you’ll find an incredible array of fresh produce, meats, seafood and more, all used to create some of the city’s most iconic dishes.
In addition to its bustling markets, Barcelona is also home to a thriving food scene, with a wide range of options for every budget and preference. Whether you’re looking for a cozy local bistro or a Michelin-starred restaurant, you’ll be spoilt for choice in this city. Barcelona’s must-try dishes include fideuà (a type of paella with noodles), escalivada (grilled vegetables) and crema catalana (a creamy dessert similar to crème brûlée).
Of course, no gastronomic trip to Barcelona would be complete without a tasting of the city’s famous wines and spirits. From crisp white wines to fruity reds, refreshing sangria and the iconic cava, there is no shortage of libations to accompany your meals.
3. Spanish cities for food lovers: Valencia
Valencia is a city that should be on every foodie’s bucket list. Located on the eastern coast of Spain, Valencia is definitely one of the best food cities in Spain. It’s famous for its paella, which is a rice dish cooked with saffron and a variety of seafood or meat, but that’s not all this amazing city has to offer when it comes to food.
Valencia is home to a vibrant culinary scene that has been shaped by its history, culture, and geography. The city’s central market, Mercado Central, is a must-visit for food lovers. Here, you can find a wide range of fresh produce, meat, seafood, and other local products. The market is also home to several bars and restaurants where you can try some of the best food in Valencia.
In addition to paella, Valencia is known for its horchata, a refreshing drink made from tiger nuts. You can find this drink all over the city, but the best place to try it is at the Horchatería de Santa Catalina, a historic horchata shop that has been serving this delicious drink since 1836.
Another local specialty is the buñuelo, a sweet fritter that is typically eaten during the Fallas festival, a traditional celebration in Valencia that takes place in March. The best place to try buñuelos is at Horchatería Fabian, a popular pastry shop that has been making these delicious treats for over 100 years.
Valencia is also home to a variety of seafood dishes, thanks to its proximity to the Mediterranean Sea. Some of the must-try dishes include fideuà, a seafood and noodle dish similar to paella, and esgarraet, a salad made with roasted red peppers and salted cod.
Finally, no trip to Valencia would be complete without trying some of the local wines. The city is located in the heart of the wine-producing region of Utiel-Requena, which is known for its red wines made from the Bobal grape. Some of the best wineries to visit in the region include Dominio de la Vega, Pago de Tharsys, and Bodegas Cueva.
4. Must-visit foodie destinations in Spain: Madrid
Madrid is one of the best cities for foodies in Spain, and it’s easy to see why. With its diverse culinary scene, historic markets, and lively neighborhoods, Madrid offers a unique and exciting food experience.
The city is known for its tapas culture, and there are countless bars and restaurants where you can try different types of tapas, from classic dishes like patatas bravas and tortilla española to more modern creations like croquetas de jamón and mini burgers.
Madrid is also home to several food markets, including the Mercado de San Miguel and the Mercado de San Antón. These markets are filled with stalls selling a wide variety of local products and they are the perfect places to sample different types of tapas and try local specialties.
If you’re looking for traditional Spanish dishes, Madrid has plenty of options as well. Cocido, a hearty stew made with chickpeas, vegetables, and different types of meat, is a must-try dish in Madrid. One of the best places to try cocido is at La Bola, a historic restaurant that has been serving this dish for over 150 years.
For those with a sweet tooth, Madrid has plenty of options as well. Churros con chocolate, a combination of crispy fried dough and thick hot chocolate, is a famous dessert in Madrid. The best place to try this indulgent treat is at Chocolatería San Ginés, a historic café that has been serving churros since 1894.
And finally, for wine lovers, one of the best places to sample different wines is at Vinoteca Moratín, a cozy wine bar located in the city center.
5. Foodie guide to Spain’s top cities: Malaga
Located on the southern coast of Spain, Malaga is a stunning city that is rapidly gaining popularity as one of the best food cities in Spain. With its combination of beautiful beaches, historic landmarks, and incredible cuisine, Malaga is an absolute must-visit for anyone who considers themselves a food lover.
The city is known for its fresh fish and there are many seafood restaurants located along the coast. One of the best places to try seafood in Malaga is at El Tintero, a famous seafood restaurant where the waiters walk around with trays of fresh seafood and diners simply choose what they want.
Malaga is also known for its traditional dishes, such as “porra antequerana”, a cold tomato cream that has its origin in the nearby town of Antequera, and the “ensalada malagueña”, a salad made with cod, tomatoes, onions and black olives. You could try both dishes at El Pimpi, a historic restaurant located in the city center.
If you want to buy some groceries, then you have to visit the Mercado Central de Atarazanas, which is the central market, where you will find a variety of local products, including fresh fruit, vegetables, and seafood. There you will find also some food stalls that act like small bars and where you can sample different specialties like boquerones en vinagre, a dish of marinated anchovies.
Don’t leave Malaga without indulging in their local sweet wine, like Moscatel, which is made from the Moscatel grape. But, if you want to delve deeper into Malaga’s food and wine culture, simply embark on the ultimate gastronomic adventure with our MALAGA WINE & TAPAS FOOD TOUR. We’ll share our foodie passion and all the local knowledge we have on Malaga’s sweet and dry wines plus the delicious tapas from the Andalusia region.
6. Best food cities in Spain: Seville
If you’re compiling a list of the best Spanish cities to explore for their culinary delights, be sure to include Sevilla! This city has a rich culinary heritage and offers a wide range of dishes that will satisfy any appetite. Here are some of the reasons why Sevilla is one of the best cities for foodies:
Sevilla is famous for its tapas culture, where locals and tourists alike can enjoy small portions of delicious food. There are plenty of tapas bars around the city, each offering a unique selection of dishes and drinks.
Sevilla has its own unique culinary traditions, which have been influenced by its history and location. Some must-try dishes include “espinacas con garbanzos” (spinach and chickpea stew) and “flamenquín” (a fried pork roll).
Besides, Sevilla has several food markets, including the famous Triana market and the Mercado de la Encarnación. You can’t miss them! They are a perfect place to grab a delicious bite and feel the vibe of the city.
Regarding wines, Sevilla is surrounded by several wine regions, including Jerez and Ronda, available in most bars and restaurants. Be sure to try some of these wines when you visit!
Finally, for those looking to fully immerse themselves in Seville’s wine and food culture, join our SEVILLE WINE & TAPAS FOOD TOUR: the ultimate gastronomic adventure.
7. Top Spanish cities for gastronomy: Bilbao
Bilbao, located in the Basque Country in northern Spain, is quickly becoming one of the best cities for foodies in Spain. With its unique Basque cuisine and Michelin-starred restaurants, Bilbao offers a food experience that’s hard to find anywhere else.
One of the must-visit places for foodies in Bilbao is the Mercado de la Ribera. This indoor market, located in the heart of the city, is one of the largest in Europe and is filled with stalls selling a variety of local products, including fresh seafood, cured meats, cheese, and vegetables. It’s the perfect place to sample different types of pintxos, which are similar to tapas but with a Basque twist.
Bilbao is also known for its traditional Basque dishes, such as bacalao al pil-pil, a dish made with salt cod, garlic, and olive oil, and txangurro, a crab dish typically served in its shell. One of the best places to try these dishes is at La Viña del Ensanche, a traditional Basque restaurant located in the city center.
For those looking for a fine dining experience, Bilbao has several Michelin-starred restaurants, including Azurmendi and Mina. Azurmendi, located just outside of Bilbao, offers a unique culinary experience with a focus on sustainability and locally sourced ingredients. Mina, located in the city center, offers a modern take on Basque cuisine with dishes like squid with ink and mushroom and foie gras ravioli.
8. Food-focused travel in Spain: Granada
Granada is a city located in the southern region of Spain and is known for being one of the best food cities in Spain. It offers a wide range of dishes that will satisfy any palate.
The must-try dishes in Granada are the “remojón,” a salad made with oranges, cod, and onions, the “olla de San Antón,” a hearty stew made with pork and beans, and the “plato alpujarreño,” a dish that includes sausage, eggs, and potatoes and typical from the Alpujarra area in the Sierra Nevada mountain.
In addition to its traditional dishes, Granada has a vibrant street food scene with so many tapas bars and a very special feature: most tapas bars offer the tapas for free when you order a drink!
For those looking for a sweet treat, Granada is famous for its “pionono,” a pastry filled with cream and topped with sugar syrup, and “tortas de la Virgen,” a pastry filled with egg yolks and anise.
TIP: For those seeking to explore all about Granada’s rich culinary heritage and wine culture, you have to join our GRANADA WINE & TAPAS FOOD TOUR!
9. Spanish cities with the best cuisine: Zaragoza
Zaragoza may not be as well-known as some of Spain’s other culinary hotspots, but it is definitely a city that foodies should have on their radar. This beautiful city, located in northeastern Spain, boasts a rich culinary history and an exciting food scene that has been gaining recognition in recent years.
One of the must-try dishes in Zaragoza is the chilindrón, a hearty stew made with chicken or lamb, red peppers, onions, and tomatoes. Another local specialty is ternasco, a type of roasted lamb that is tender and flavorful. You can try both dishes and more traditional Aragonese cuisine at Casa Lac, a popular restaurant that has been serving up local dishes for over a century.
If you’re looking for something more modern and trendy, head to El Cachirulo, a contemporary restaurant that puts a creative spin on traditional Aragonese cuisine. Their menu includes dishes like black truffle risotto and Iberian pork cheeks with apple and ginger sauce.
For a taste of the local market scene, visit the Mercado Central de Zaragoza, a bustling market that sells a variety of fresh produce, meats, and cheeses. You can also find stalls selling tapas and other local specialties, making it the perfect spot for a casual lunch.
If you’re a fan of sweet treats, you won’t want to miss the local dessert known as adoquines de César, a type of almond candy that is typically served during the Christmas season. You can find it year-round at El Adoquín, a pastry shop that specializes in this delicious treat.
10. Spain food capitals: Santiago de Compostela
Santiago de Compostela is our last pick among the best food cities in Spain. Located in the Galicia region of Spain, it’s known for its fresh seafood and hearty stews. Visitors can enjoy dishes such as empanadas (savory pies filled with seafood or meat), caldo gallego (a soup with white beans and greens), and pulpo a la gallega (octopus cooked in olive oil and paprika). The city also has a famous food market, Mercado de Abastos, where visitors can sample local cheeses and cured meats.
The region is also known for its wines, especially Albariño, and there are many wine bars and bodegas in the city where you can sample local wines. For restaurants, there are many options, including Michelin-starred restaurants such as Casa Marcelo, creative Galician cuisine at A Tafona, and modern takes on traditional dishes at O Curro da Parra. There are also many tapas bars and cafes where you can try traditional Galician dishes in a more casual setting.
In conclusion, Spain has a diverse and delicious cuisine, with something to offer every foodie. Whether you’re exploring the traditional dishes of a region or indulging in innovative cuisine, these ten cities are sure to satisfy your appetite and leave you with unforgettable food memories.
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