Spanish food, like the country, is diverse. What they serve in the Basque Country is not the same as what is served by the Andalusians in Seville. Some foods though, are pretty common everywhere in Spain. These would be wine, olive oil, cheese. A person could live on these three foods alone, and indeed, many a Spaniard has. But what about the other typical Spanish foods?
So you want to come to Spain and drink sangria, and eat tapas, and go to a bull fight and watch some flamenco? Yawn. Let me let you in on a little secret, I don’t know one Spaniard who drinks sangria (apart from sangria made from cava which is something else). Instead, drink wine with tapas and get over the bull fights, which are cruel and overrated!
I recommend drinking Spanish and Catalan wines at Onofre in Barcelona. Let the tourists and college students drink the sangria on La Rambla.
What’s Paella? It’s Spanish rice. Usually it’s made of rice, saffron, some veggies, and seafood. It can also be made of rabbit and other meats. Paella, like sangria, is what everyone thinks of when thinking of Spanish foods. Fair enough, a lot of people eat paella in Spain, especially on Sundays with lots of wine and bread and joking around.
I DO recommend eating at least one paella in Barcelona. I do NOT recommend eating that paella on La Rambla. Just don’t. It’s not a good idea. Avoid all other places that have photos of paella posted around the door of the restaurant.
Instead, eat a fabulously rich paella by the sea at Salamanca Restaurant, which is right by the sea and has some of the city’s best seafood offerings.
A few more insights:
Barcelona is not the place to come for flamenco. There are clubs here for flamenco, but they are mostly catering towards tourists. See Rumba Catalana if you want to see local music and dance.
It’s not common to take coffees to go. Get a coffee at a cafe and enjoy it there.
Lunch is served from about 1pm to 4pm all over Spain, dinner is from 9pm on. This could be earlier or later if you are in a big city.
Photos and Post by Regina Winkle-Bryan. See more of her writing on Spain at The Spain Scoop.com