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‘The Star Was the Teriyaki Oxtail Doughnut’: Readers’ Favourite Restaurants and Tapas Bars in Spain

From a farm restaurant near Santiago de Compostela to a veggie-friendly Málaga diner, our tipsters share their gastronomic Spanish finds

My favourite for tapas, Granada

If I had to recommend one place to eat tapas in Spain, it’s Bar Poë in Granada, not only for the food, but for the atmosphere. It’s always bustling (come early to guarantee a seat) with a local and international crowd. Run by a friendly husband-and-wife duo, every drink comes with a free dish, and, unusually, you can choose your tapa. International and big on flavour, the menu includes Portuguese piri piri dishes, salt cod, curries and more.
Jason Rich

Playful presentation, Seville

Tucked away in a busy square in Seville, we stumbled across Sal Gorda Halo while paying for some overpriced snacks from a tourist trap. This gem had only been open two months and is the third eatery in the Familia Sal Gorda. All the food was utterly delicious and presented in playful way. Croquettes were served on a standing pig, ceviche in a bulbous blowfish bowl, and the crème caramel in a giant golden egg. The star was the teriyaki oxtail doughnut. Seven dishes, two desserts and wine – €130 for two.
Alexandra De Maria

Amazing skills near Alquézar

La Posada de Lalola is a little family-run hotel and a restaurant in a small village of Buera, near Alquézar in the mountains of Aragon. The restaurant is run by Bruno, a young man with amazing cooking skills, and he made our two-day stay unforgettable. There isn’t a menu as such; he just serves you dishes based on what he has in stock, like a tasting menu, and all dishes were served with a matching local wine. The restaurant is in an old stone building, the room was candle-lit, and it was a perfect place to celebrate the news of my wife being pregnant.
Tymon Kalebasiak

Málaga’s vegan tapas odyssey

Renowned for cured meats and seafood, Spain might seem daunting for vegans, but fear not. Its vibrant cities offer a plant-based paradise with an abundance of locally grown vegetables. Málaga shines with restaurants serving huge platters of tomatoes and avocados, and the wonderful Andalusian dish of berenjenas con miel, lightly battered aubergine with a molasses (not honey) drizzle. Head to La Vegana (€10-€20 per person, an unassuming bar on a side street in the old town to sample Spanish classics with a vegan twist. Try the tortilla española or gambas pil pil for a vegan tapas odyssey.

A Michelin-quality Galician menu

In a hamlet 13 miles south-east of Santiago de Compostela, Marta and Roberto at O Balado lovingly serve up an unforgettable Galician menu. Having navigated your way through a farmyard, you are welcomed into what feels more like a living room than a restaurant. You’ll munch on freshly baked bread with home-churned truffle butter as Marta guides you through the day’s choices – sourced from the farm itself, or from the nearby rivers and vineyards. Among the tasting menu, we enjoyed smoked potato soup, sashimi with strawberries, homemade croquettes and a remarkable leg of lamb. Almost as memorably, six Michelin-quality small plates and a main dish came in at €45. A true gem.

Basque-inspired bites

Venture to Logroño’s Calle Laurel – a hidden gem in northern Spain with an unparalleled selection of tapas. Bar Soriano stands out with its soldaditos de pavía – delicate cod fritters that melt in your mouth. Locals and visitors gather in this narrow street, indulging in Basque-inspired bites from bar to bar. Savour the rich history and flavours of La Rioja, as each tapa tells a unique story. An off-the-beaten-path Spanish gastronomic adventure that will forever tantalise your senses.
Rhys Dyerskip past newsletter promotion

A sweet victory in Alicante

La Taberna Ibérica beats in the heart of old Alicante overlooked by Castillo de Santa Bárbara. Although in the bohemian barrio San Roque, it is unapologetically paysan. Governed by an indomitable abuela [grandmother], it could have been invented for Keith Floyd. Asked about the pickled partridge salad, my take that it was “incomparable, fantásticomagnífico” was rewarded with a look of sweet victory and a free bottle of wine. Tapas are orthodox. Carnes and arroz – especially arroz a banda, replacing the meatiness of the Valencian classic with the sweetness of ñora peppers – are specialities of this medium-priced house.
Ashley Walsh

Suckling pig in Segovia

Just off Segovia’s enchanting Plaza Mayor, on Calle del Cronista Lecea, is Restaurante José María. Hundreds of hungry guests flock to eat the much-loved Segovian dish cochinillo (suckling pig), priced at €30. José María, the owner, ensures you enjoy not only the food but a traditional experience. Once the dish is ready, expert servers bring the whole pig to the table and chop it using the edge of a plate. The tender, juicy meat can be accompanied by a salad and potatoes for an extra €15.

Argentinian grill in Árchez

Venta El Curro sits on a corner coming into Árchez, one of the quiet, white villages in the Axarquía. You could easily miss it on your way to the coast, but then you’d miss out on the skewers of salty, melting chorizo and blood pudding (€6) that you’ll dream of until you can come back. It’s an Argentinian grill, so meat is the thing, but salads and fish are also beautiful. The Spanish sit indoors while tourists sit on the terrace, yet it still feels like an insider secret – not overly touristy, and with a happy, slow and sun-soaked vibe.

Winning tip: Stripped-back, modern Valencia

Ostras Pedrín is a stripped-back, modern Valencian taberna, serving exquisite raw fish, oysters, smoked almonds and cava to a crowd of quietly cool locals and students from the university’s neighbouring cultural institute. The modestly priced menu starts at €1.60 for a gilda pintxos and freshly caught single oysters from €2.60.