A Tapas Guide to Andalucia

A Tapas Guide to Andalucia

What is the first thing that pops in your mind when we talk about food and Andalucia? Though they are found all over Spain, tapas in Andalucia are definitely near the top, and make a perfect snack for cyclists - before, during or after a great ride.

What is a Tapa?

Speaking of tops, the origin of the word "tapas" is not entirely clear, but there are a few theories. One theory is that the word "tapas" comes from the Spanish verb "tapar," which means "to cover." According to this theory, tapas were originally small plates of food that were used to cover glasses of wine or sherry, protecting them from fruit flies and other pests.
Here’s a useful tip – Andalucians mostly eat tapas standing up, so if you sit down and have a waiter bring them to you, you will probably pay extra for the service. Tapas like jamón serrano (smoked ham), croquetas or papas bravas are the most popular, but the list is quite long.
As for the sweets, don’t miss trying churros (deep fried sugar-coated fritters) eaten with thick hot chocolate. In any case, whatever tapa you decide to try, you won’t be disappointed. 
Not sure where to start? I have included a list of my favourite tapas below!  

A word of warning: dinner time is late

Many people from other European countries and the US, visiting Spain for the first time, are dismayed at the Spaniards eating hours.  Especially, dinner which is usually served between 8:30 - 10:00 pm (although, many restaurants may start serving at 8:00pm) 
The best thing to do if you want an early night is just to make a variety of tapas your evening meal and skip dinner altogether.  It doesn’t take much!

My Top 10 Tapas to taste in Andalucia

  1. Gazpacho - A chilled soup made from tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, bread, and olive oil. Perfect for a hot summer day, it's a must try for anyone visiting Andalusia.
  2. Huevos rotos - Fried eggs served over a bed of crispy potatoes and topped with serrano ham. A classic tapa with a rich, savory flavor. Like eggs? You'll love them Rotos!
  3. Croquetas - Fried balls filled with a variety of ingredients such as chicken, ham, or seafood. A crispy and creamy treat, these are a favorite among locals and tourists alike.
  4. Calamares fritos - Fried squid, often served with lemon and aioli. A light and crispy delicacy, it's a must-try for seafood lovers.
  5. Pescaíto frito - Fried fish, typically served with a side of alioli. A staple of Andalusian seafood cuisine, it's a must-try for anyone visiting Andalusia.
  6. Gambas al ajillo - Prawns cooked in garlic and olive oil. A flavorful and popular tapa, it's a must-try for any seafood lover.
  7. Salmorejo - A creamy soup similar to gazpacho but with a thicker consistency and topped with diced serrano ham and hard-boiled eggs. Possibly the very best aprés ride snack of all for a hot day!
  8. Berenjenas a la miel - one of my top Andalucian tapas! Fried eggplant slices, with a light batter and a drizzle of molasses. Try them and love them, or live an sadder life.
  9. Patatas bravas - Fried potatoes with a spicy tomato sauce. A classic and popular tapa, it's a must-try for anyone visiting Andalusia.
  10. Espinacas con garbanzos - a traditional Spanish dish made of spinach and chickpeas in a tomato-based sauce, often flavored with garlic, onions and spices. Perfect for vegetarians, it's a specialty of Carmona.
  11. BONUS!!! Tortilla - not the tex mex crunchy ones. The very best after ride snack any rider could dream of: a perfectly pan fried potato and onion omelet. Get a "pincho" for pure tapa heaven.

Why should you give tapas a try in Andalusia?

Because it's like a culinary treasure hunt! You get to sample a variety of delicious dishes without committing to a full meal, and it's a fun way to immerse yourself in the local culture.

Plus, you get to eat and drink with locals, even if you can't understand their lingo. So jump in and join the tapas party - What better way to experience these delightful morsels than on our Andalucia Bike Tour

Back to blog