5 Essential Tapas Routes in Spain
This list covers both great metropolises and smaller cities that are less-frequented by international tourists. Each of the 5 proposed tapas routes conceals a true passion for this basic element of the Spanish gastronomic culture. The best thing to do is wander tranquilly from bar to bar, discovering each one's specialties. Between tapas and wines, interesting conversations will undoubtedly arise with bartenders, waiters and other patrons – because in Spain we also like a good chat. Now go out and enjoy yourself!
1. Tapas near the Retiro and the Prado Museum in Madrid
In recent years, the neighborhood around the Retiro park has turned into an epicenter for quality tapas in Madrid. This route is divided between the bars located on one side of the Retiro park and those on the opposite end, near the Prado Museum. All of them boast fresh and excellent ingredients, as well as careful wine service by the glass with a wide selection of wines to choose from.
2. Barcelona's most delectable side
The universe of tapas in the city of Barcelona is immense, but we have opted for a route that weaves through the Barrio Gótico and Las Ramblas, on the one hand, and different zones that go beyond the city's most popular tourist areas, including Eixample, Gracià, Sarrià and Sant Gervasi, on the other. Barcelona is the ideal place to witness the perfect symbiosis between traditional bars and the newly-coined gastronomic establishments.
3. Jerez, wineries and tapas with a touch of magic
The traditional bars of Jerez (known as tabancos) and the new tapas bars of this Andalusian city are a magnet for visitors. In addition to making the most of its historic district, Moorish Alcázar, baroque churches and centuries-old wineries, one absolutely must venture into its bars to sample Andalusian tapas and other, more avant-garde culinary creations.
4. Valladolid, the tapas capital of Castile-León
In recent years, the most populous city in Castile-León has become the host city for the National and International Tapas Competition. This has been a bounty for the city's chefs and hospitality professionals, who have made a strong commitment to a more innovative and creative tapas model that is closely linked to the land through the use of typical, regional products. Don't let it pass you by. Valladolid is definitely worth the visit.
5. Vitoria, Basque Country's unknown jewel
Hoards of tourists visit Bilbao and San Sebastián every year in search of singular gastronomic experiences, but Vitoria, the capital of Basque Country, has nothing to envy of these cities in terms of historic heritage (one of the best-preserved medieval districts in Europe), natural (one of the cities with the most green areas in the world per inhabitant) and, above all, culinary. We visit tapas bars that offer truly unforgettable miniature mouthfuls.
This list covers both great metropolises and smaller cities that are less-frequented by international tourists.