A Quick Guide to Must-Try Foods in Spain

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On my recent trip to Spain I was able to delve into the wonderful world of Spanish eats. I sampled my way from the city restaurants in Madrid to the Mediterranean coast seafood of Valencia. Meals can take upward of three hours in Spain, and we loved this aspect of the culture. Enjoying the food, talking about our days’ travels, and planning our future adventures all revolved around the lunch or dinner table.

Here of some of my favorite foods in Spain and where to find them:

  • Tapas

Mercado san Miguel is the place to be on a hungry stomach. This market has booths offering all different sorts of tapas from paella to bruschetta to fish.

One of my favorite restaurants in Madrid is Perrachica. Although we didn’t get tapas here, we were practically drooling looking at everybody else’s plates. I opted for arguably the best burger I’ve ever eaten.

My other favorite restaurant in Madrid is Ojalà. Before we departed for Valencia, we got a little taste of the beach. This is an incredibly trendy restaurant perfectly set with low tables and a sand floor. Yes, you actually sit on little seat cushions and feel the sand! The music is great and the ambiance transports you to a hip beach town. The food is pretty amazing as well.

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Perrachica restaurant
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About to eat tapas in the sand at Ojala
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Blackened sea cod + mushrooms
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Chicken salad (really!)
  • Paella 

Besides Mercado san Miguel, the coastal restaurants in Valencia had delicious chicken and veggie paella. I loved watching them make it in the gigantic paella dishes.

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  • Ham

What would Spain be without its famous jamón?! Walk into any market and you’re sure to see huge jamón hanging from the wall.

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  • Sangria

Sangria is pretty much offered everywhere in Spain, but it is a check off the list to try it in this country! This photo was taken in Mercado san Miguel. Take your pick of red or white.

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  • Spanish candy and sweets

On my last day in Spain, I ran into a candy store and got three small bags of different Spanish treats to take back to Germany. They are so cute and sweet. My favorite is the little watermelon shaped candy.

There is also an ADORABLE artisanal popsicle shop in Madrid worth anybody’s time and euros. Lolo’s Polos Artesanos is a must. We tried the matcha + coconut and the strawberry + pepper popsicles. This cute little pop-up shop was featured in Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar so you know it’s trendy and totally Instagram-able. 😉

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  • Churros

I had completely forgot about churros until we saw them in Valencia. It was about 10:00am, but that didn’t stop us from getting the dish of warm melted chocolate that accompanies this dessert.

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  • Pastries (especially chocolate croissants)

The best croissant I think I’ve had is the warm ooey-gooey chocolate croissant in Madrid at La Mallorquina near Puerta del Sol. My sisters’ croissant was, unfortunately, nowhere as good. (Yes, we got Starbucks iced lattes — I was craving it, and it is way too expensive in Germany!)

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The ubiquitous Uvepan pastry shop across Spain
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La Mallorquina
  • Gelato & Ice Cream

Last, but certainly not least, my all-time favorite food ever: ice cream. On my last night in Madrid, my sister and I snuck out for an ice cold treat down the street from her apartment building. Mamá Elba Heladería was adorable and offered some of the tastiest flavors of ice cream. It was the perfect send-off treat before I boarded my flight back to Germany. (I’ve also heard Mistura is not a gelateria to pass up in Madrid.)

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