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Spanish Cuisine

Combine a sun drenched Spanish siesta with delicious food blending the daring with the alluring traditional

From the first slither of Iberico ham to the last forkful of paella, Spanish food is best enjoyed outside, among locals and beneath a shining summer sun.

Alongside rustic tables laden with delectable assortments of traditional dishes, Michelin starred chefs in glossy eateries can be found serving up new and adventurous takes on classic Spanish favourites.

For food lovers hungry for a holiday, Spain has never tasted so good.

Basque Cuisine

Basque

Bask in Basque's Michelin starred restaurants 

Along its rugged coastline and among the rolling hills, the Basque Country boasts nearly 40 Michelin starred restaurants. The best refine Spain's traditional, rustic fare, turning the area into a fine-dining destination.

Even its pintxos - the regions one-bite take on tapas  - are a serious snack.  See for yourself with a San Sebastian bar crawl that takes you from lollipops of gilda, a tangy tower of chilli, anchovy and olive, to more experimental pickings like galleta de celloba caramelizada con foiegras, an ice cream caramelised with foie gras.

Explore the Basque region's colourful culinary masterpieces after flying into Bilbao from Manchester Airport. The capital of Biscay province incorporates some of the finest gastronomic locations to be found in Basque, with a recent boost in the art and food scene transforming the city way beyond its heritage as an industrialised zone. Restaurants here appeal to diverse international taste of its visitors, merging traditional elegance with modern day sophistication.  

Valencia

Modernist themes underpinned with traditional specialities and a classic paella

Valencia is a striking city where the modernism of its City of Arts and Science building is equal to the splendour of its medieval gateways in El Carmen.  Even the food market, Plaza del Mercado, features stained glass and a decorative dome.

Among historic architecture, there is long-established food too. Valencian meals generally consist of a texturally vibrant blend of vegetables, seafood and meat, with glorious rice based dishes and citrus fruits found in abundance.

Restaurants in the Old Quarter still preparing Valencia's speciality, paella, the authentic way: cooked over an open-fire and served with snails. Many Spanish towns and cities claim to be the home of this Spanish staple of the chicken, rabbit or seafood based dish, although Valencia has a bigger claim than most, with the nearby Albufera and Ribera areas to the south widely considered its native birthplace.

Valencia Fresh Fish
Seville Menu

Seville

Enjoy Sevillian Specialities and tapas under the sun

Famed for Flamenco and fighting bulls, sunny Seville also founded tapas, and a trail through its labyrinth of passageways reveals more than 4,000 places to snack. Hidden among them are restaurants that have been serving Sevillian specialities since the 1600s, and their stone floors and glazed azulejo tiles have changed little since.

Venture out to the cathedral, representing the largest gothic cathedral in the world, where the locals cluster at bars. A traditional glass of Spanish sangria in the heart of Sevillian culture can be savoured from this perfect location for celebrating the joyous social occasion which often permeates a tapas meal.

Barcelona

Bustling Barcelona puts the sparkle in Catalonia

Catalonia is home to cava, and its capital, Barcelona, is all shimmering shoreline and bubbly Gaudi buildings epitomising the wine's sparkle.

Food is a meticulously planned and vital aspect of daily life in the city, with every meal planned well in advance in order to provide family and friends with food befitting its radiant buzz. Catalans partake in an ancient Mediterranean brand of cooking, with variety and healthy eating at every turn making Barcelona a discernible choice for those who take their food seriously.

Unlike Champagne bars, there is no pretence: Barcelona likes to bustle. The outside seats near Basilica of Santa Maria del Mer are prized for people watching; come dusk, duck in among the chatter, order a ruby red cava and leave it to the waiters to navigate the clamour.

Barcelona Restaurant
Madrid Meats

Madrid

Moreish Madrid markets with roof terrace cocktails and cuisine in the sunshine

From small scale Spanish produce to exotic vegetables, visitors are well served among the markets of Madrid. 

For contrast, visit both Mercado de San Miguel, the last remaining iron market hall, before seeking the more modern San Anton, which also doubles as a dining destination. Spread over five floors, the market has a roof terrace offering cocktails, and restaurants that will prepare a dish from your shopping haul.

Beyond the markets, meals in Madrid portray migration to the capital city through the ages, blending traditional tapas and choquitos with innovative takes on contemporary Spanish dishes such as Huevos rotoseggs fried over a plate of french fries and Callos a la madrileña: tripe in a spicy tomato sauce. Madrid as a food destination certainly appeals to the adventurous appetite willing to try something new each meal.

Malaga

Placate your soul and appetite with art houses and sensational seafood

Malaga has a budding cultural and culinary reputation. The wide marbled streets are a delight to wander, and afternoons can be lost inside its many museums; including an exhaustive, appetite arousing ode to Picasso.

However you choose to parade around the port, don't miss its seafood. Head to the beach, where fresh catches are cooked over hot coals. Or, for those preferring fish with a bit of flair, try one of the city's tiny tapas bars. Further traditional Malaga fare includes Malaga-style salad which underpins many a meal in this Andalucían jewel of gastronomy, alongside fried fish Malaga style, complete with fish caught straight from the coastal shores. 

Discover Malaga as the southern food hub of Spain, forging a strong challenge alongside Basque and Catalonia for the Spanish culinary crown in its provision of fine restaurants.

Malaga Seafood
Alicante Harbour

Alicante

Fertile landscape aligns with fresh fish from its pristine coast for a culinary dream

An abundance of fresh ingredients delight diners at Alicante's tables thanks to the region's particularly fertile landscape. Its prime coastal position also means seafood is everywhere, from the saffron-infused shellfish in a paella Alicante to the many salted fish dishes.

Few menus are translated, so this is the time to practice that Spanish. For a chance to see before you try, sample the tapas near the marina where waiters walk with trays of fresh bites for you to help yourself.

Beyond the traditional draw of tapas bars, restaurants allude to the eastern part of Spain as being a frontrunner of fine cuisine in the nation, with many lofty awards being bestowed on restaurants such at the three-Michelin star Quique Dacosta, placing highly in many 'top restaurants in the world' lists.

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