Restaurants in Spain

When you think of Spanish food you immediately think of paella, tapas and sangria. But the diverse number of Spanish restaurants you see here, each with their own unique and interesting styles of cooking, will definitely change your mind on the state of Spanish cuisine and fine dining in Spain today!

Traditional Spanish Restaurants and Food

Of course, traditional Spanish cuisine is still extremely popular and there is no better place to try some authentic Spanish dishes than in Spain itself. Furthermore, each Spanish region and city has its own style of cooking and its own signature dishes which contributes to a wide variety of Spanish food for you to try when you visit Spain.

cocido madrileñoSome of the best restaurants in Spain for traditional Spanish food are also some of the oldest as they have been cooking the same dishes for years, if not centuries, and so have perfected the technique. La Bola is a Spanish restaurant in Madrid which has been cooking the traditional Madrid stew, 'cocido madrileño' for over a century; the restaurant opening its doors back in 1870.

However, traditional doesn't always have to be old-fashioned and historical, as many Spanish chefs and their restaurants have proved. Combined with funky presentation, or chic surroundings, traditional Spanish food can be as much of an experience as some of the more modern dishes.

Modern Spanish Restaurants and Food

Spanish cuisine, and particularly in the area of gastronomy, has taken whole step forwards, breaking the traditional boundaries of food as we once knew it. Many Spanish restaurants in Spain have begun updating their menus to suit modern palates and tastes. Others have taken it a step further and spent time and care in the art of their food, converting their dishes into true works of art.

Finally there are some Spanish chefs who have taken the concept of food and thrown it out of the window! For example, the Dos Cielos restaurant in Barcelona has created its own science called 'sensology' which attempts to convey all of the emotions, feelings, tastes, smells and textures that we experience through food in a graphic medium.

Foreign Restaurants in Spain

We must also remember all of those restaurants in Spain which dedicate themselves to other types of cuisine which help to enrich the gastronomic terrain of the country - as well as providing some reminders of home for some of the foreign tourists who are in Spain to visit or study Spanish abroad. There are many restaurants across the Spanish peninsular that draw their influence from neighbouring countries such as Italy, due in part to the migration of chefs across the borders.


Other restaurants

Other restaurants in Spain have taken the inspiration for their cuisine from some of Spain's previous occupants and visitors. Restaurants in the South of Spain often display hints of Arabic cooking due to the heavy influence of the Moors in this region all those centuries ago.

Arabic cuisine


Influences from more distant countries dishes and styles of cooking from Asia, including Japan and India. This is the case with the Mayura Lounge in Barcelona which offers authentic Indian food in a luxurious and authentic Indian setting.

The Experience

Eating at a Spanish restaurant in Spain is often much more about the overall experience you have rather than the food you eat. That's why many Spanish restaurants have tried hard to create a certain theme, or allude to a certain culture in order to entertain all your senses and not just your taste buds.

For some lucky restaurants, the atmosphere can be created by the magical surroundings in which they are set. Those restaurants which can be found along the Spanish coastline, such as those restaurants in Valencia, Málaga and Marbella, offer fantastic views of the sea as well as the fresh salty air and the natural soundtrack of the crashing waves. Those land bound restaurants have to rely on either the landmarks of their city or the building which houses them. For example, Spanish restaurants in Granada such as La Chumbera, have excellent views of the famous La Alhambra palace while the Torre de Reixes restaurant in Alicante relies on its fantastic 16th Century stone tower.

Atmosphere is sometimes hard to create and so restaurants in Spain often choose a theme or put on shows in order to entertain their customers. One of the most popular themes is Flamenco and it is not uncommon to find a restaurant that also puts on Flamenco dance performances while you eat; such is the case with the La Lola restaurant in Valencia.