Spain is a popular travel destination not just for the landscapes but also for its rich food culture. You can expect to find a variety of snacks in Spain including cheeses and cured meats that will be a treat for your tastebuds. Variety is common in Spain as the Spaniards have such a large appetite for different types of food.
What are the most popular snacks in Spain?
It is typical to need an energy refuel when exploring, and as a traveler, you often wonder what are the most popular snacks in Spain?
Spanish snacks are also widely known as Tapas. This is a term that refers to bite-size snacks that go with alcohol or dishes that serve as appetizers before lunch or dinner. They typically consist of anything from olives, cheese, and other finger foods so people can munch while they drink their wine.
Another relevant term in Latin American culture is Merienda which typically means the meal between lunch and dinner (sort of their version of tea time). Merienda typically involves sweet snacks that go with coffee or tea.
However, snacks in Spain include both sweet and savory options. Here are some typical Spanish snacks that you can find during your travels to help keep your hunger at bay!
Savory snacks in Spain
Croquetas or croquettes are popular, satisfying snacks in Spain. They can be made with different stuffings including bacalao (cod), chorizo (sausage), and jamon (ham) amongst others. The croquette is battered and fried. The result is a crispy exterior with moist, soft interior flavors.
You can sometimes also find vegetarian croquetas like mushroom ones. If you are looking for a sinful Spanish snack, this is definitely an option. This dish is a common tapa in Spain and can be found in many bars and restaurants throughout the country.
Papas Arrugadas (Wrinkle potatoes)
These are popular in the Canary Islands which is a Spanish Territory. They are made with potatoes from Lanzarote and sea salt. The potatoes are boiled until the skin wrinkles and then served with a side of spicy sauce.
When you order papas arrugadas in Canarias, it will come with either red or green mojo sauce depending on your preferences. Papas arrugadas is typically a tapa but some restaurants also serve them as an entree.
Chicharrón is a popular Spanish snack that is made with pork skin that has been salted and then fried. The pork skin is then typically served with a dipping sauce, such as salsa or chile sauce. This dish is a common tapa in Spain and can be found in many bars and restaurants throughout the country.
This simple dish a very popular bar food in Spain. It consists of potatoes which are diced and fried. This dish is usually served with a spicy tomato sauce or aioli, which is a type of garlic mayonnaise.
This can be a pretty filling snack and goes well with beer.
Pinchitos (Pork or Beef Skewers)
Pinchitos, also known as pinchos morunos, is a type of skewered kebab that is popular in Spain. The skewers are made with pork or beef and then marinated in a mixture of spices that include cumin, paprika, garlic, and salt.
The skewers are then grilled or barbecued. Pinchitos are often served as an appetizer or tapa in bars and restaurants throughout Spain. It’s a common dish in many tapas tours in Barcelona.
Because many regions in Spain specialize in making different types of cheeses (Manchego being one), you will find these delicious dairy products spread around the country – both local and internationally made cheeses are usually available.
They go well with olives and cured meat for a nice snack or appetizer platter.
Spanish Cured Meats
Just like with the Spanish cheeses, Spain is also known for its cured meats (Jamon Iberico being one). For meat lovers, these are the perfect snacks from Spain. They are such staple food that it is easy to find them throughout the country.
Jamon Iberico and Jamon Serrano are two very popular types of ham/cured meat from Spain. The ham comes from Spanish pigs that are on a vegetarian diet including acorns, olives, and chestnuts.
The curing process for Jamon Iberico can take years to complete! It is a more premium type of ham in Spain. Comparatively, the process for Jamon Serrano takes months and is a less expensive type of ham in Spain.
Bocadillos or sandwiches are common snacks in Spain. They can be a combination of various ingredients depending on your preference. Some popular options you will see around easily include Bocadillos de Calamares (Fried Squid), Jamon (Ham), and Salmon among others.
Common complementary ingredients include onions, lettuces, tomatoes, olives and pickles, and cheese.
The convenience of sandwiches applies across the world including in Spain. Sometimes these are even taken as full meals that are quick and filling. Regardless if you are visiting the landmarks in Barcelona or relaxing at a beach, Bocadillos are really good option to pack along.
Pan con Tomate (Bread with Tomato)
Pan con tomate is a popular Spanish snack that is made with bread and tomatoes. The bread is typically toasted and then rubbed with garlic. The tomatoes are then chopped and mixed with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
The mixture is then spread on the toast. Pan con tomate is a common tapa in Spain and can be found in many food p throughout the country.
Fried anchovies are another popular Spanish snack. The anchovies are dipped in flour and then fried. They can be eaten as a tapa or appetizer, but they can also make a great meal when served with fried potatoes and salad.
Sprinkle it with some lemon juice and you have yourself a lip-smacking Spanish snack.
Tortillita de Camarones (Spanish Shrimp Fritters)
Tortillita de Camarones is made by frying a batter that has been mixed with garlic, onion, and shrimp. They taste best when served hot and crispy with a squeeze of lemon juice on top! These fritters make a great appetizer or snack!
Every country has its form of puff pastry with stuffings. In Spain, these are known as Empanadas. They are basically dough pastries with various fillings such as beef, chicken, or vegetables.
These can be baked or deep-fried. You can find them quite easily throughout the country as they are a popular street food option in Spain too.
Calamares Fritos (Fried Calamari)
Seafood lovers will love a fried squid or calamari. These are very tasty when done right and go well with beer! The batter should be light and crispy, not greasy. This dish can be found as a tapa in many bars and restaurants, but there are even restaurants selling just that.
Some also call it Tortilla de Patatas. The Spanish omelet is made with eggs, potatoes, and onions (sometimes peppers). It’s usually served as a warm snack but can also be eaten cold which makes it great for traveling too! The thick, fat ones are particularly good for bringing around.
This is also a very popular dish for breakfast in Spain.
Sweet snacks in Spain
While you will find that many sweets are imported into Spain, there are still some local options here as well. Some of these include traditional Spanish desserts, pastries such as churros, and international snacks that have been modified to fit the palate of Spaniards.
Each region has its own take on each type of snack so keep an open mind when traveling through this country!
Churros con Chocolate
Arguably the most popular and well-known snack in Spain is the Churros. These fried pieces of dough dipped in chocolate are a delicious way to start the day. They can be found at breakfast and also in the afternoon when people want a snack!
Spanish Hot Chocolate
That said, Spanish hot chocolate is a must-try when visiting Spain. It’s made with dark chocolate, milk, and sugar. The chocolate is melted and then combined with the milk and sugar. The mixture is heated until it thickens and then served with a frothy top. This drink is perfect for cold winter days or even after dinner on those hot summer nights!
Horchata con Fartons
Another food and drink snack combination from Valencia, Spain.
Horchata is a refreshing drink that is made with water and tiger nuts. It’s served cold and pairs well with fartons! Fartons are sweetbreads that can be found in many bakeries around Valencia. They look like baguettes but they are much sweeter than regular bread.
You will find fartons in many bakeries but they are also sold at street stands. If you’re looking for a cheap and tasty snack, this is it!
The fartons are dipped into the horchata and eaten together. It is an amazing combination that you should try while in Valencia.
These shortbread cookies are one of my favorite Spanish snacks because they’re so easy to make at home. You can find these anywhere in Spain but if you want something different try looking up some recipes online first before heading out on your trip.
Flavored milk that is infused with vanilla and cinnamon and topped with a thick layer of whipped cream. This sweet drink is a popular Spanish snack and can be found at most cafes and restaurants.
Turron is a popular Spanish sweet snack. It is made from honey, sugar, and egg whites. The ingredients are mixed together and then baked into either a loaf or individual pieces.
Turron is one of the most popular Christmas treats too. You will see it everywhere around Spain during this time of year!
Flan is a popular Spanish snack and dessert. It is made from eggs, sugar, vanilla, and milk. The ingredients are mixed and then baked into either a loaf or individual pieces.
They are soft and the good ones just melt in your mouth with a burst of sweetness. The closest, similar food reference will likely be pudding. Flan can be eaten alone or used in desserts such as ice cream or cake.
Torrijas (French Toast)
Also a popular breakfast choice, Torrijas is a type of French toast that goes well with honey or syrup. The yummy toast is created by dipping bread slices into an egg and milk mixture, then frying them.
For a premium version, you can top it up with ice cream and fruits.
Spanish Palmeras (French Palmier)
Palmeras is essentially the Spanish variation of Palmier from the French. It is a type of baked cookie that is shaped like a palm leaf or butterfly. They are usually made with wheat flour or puff pastry and oil and then sprinkled with sugar.
These beautiful-looking snacks in Spain can be found at most bakeries and they’re the perfect pairing for a cup of coffee or tea.
Snacks from Spain: A mixture of flavors
As you are traveling and visiting the famous landmarks in Spain, it is important to know what to eat when you get hungry! You can see that snacks from Spain draw their inspiration from both local culture and surrounding regions.
Spanish Tapas offer a good variety of options for travelers and you can often find specialty Tapas stores in food markets. This is where you can just pick and choose a whole bunch of bite-size snacks to try out.
Traveling foodies in Spain are in for a treat with the diverse gastronomic scene.