Spain is the perfect place to visit for any type of traveler, thanks to its eclectic variety of stunning landscapes, magnificent architecture and an immense amount of cultural offerings. But the country is especially wonderful if you happen to love food and wine.
Beyond Spain’s largest cities such as Madrid and Barcelona, which are both well-known havens for foodies and winos, there are a number of smaller food cities, towns and villages in Spain to eat and drink your way through. ¡Vamanos!
Winetraveler Tip: Check current flight deals into Spain and check out some of our favorite hotels across the country.
Best Places to Visit in Spain for Food Lovers
- Sevilla (Seville)
- San Sebastián
- Santiago de Compostela
A small town about an hour outside of Madrid, this village is known for its magnificent Roman aqueduct, its castle, rumored to have inspired Walt Disney and its gorgeous Cathedral. But the food is no joke, either, and the best way to enjoy a meal there is with a Menú del Día, a fixed-price daily lunch menu which comes with a starter, main course, dessert, bread and a drink.
Taste: Segovia’s most revered dish, cochinillo, the roast suckling pig.
Drink: Over 20 wineries are scattered throughout the Segovia region, so try a local red.
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This cultural gem is mesh of both Arabic, Jewish and European heritage, and it’s one of the best places to do a tapas bar crawl. Escape the tourist crowds by exploring the Triana neighborhood on the other side of the river. You may even catch locals in spontaneous outbursts of flamenco song and dance.
Taste: Solomillo al whiskey, a tender cut of meat marinated in whiskey.
Drink: Manzanilla, a light variety of sherry.
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The Asturias region of Spain is a well-kept secret — known among Spaniards for its idyllic, mystical beaches and its green, lush terrain. Food is hearty and flavorful, and you could spend days indulging in the various Cabrales cheeses and chorizos offered around town.
Taste: A typical fabada stew, made of white faba beans.
Drink: Sidra, Austurian apple cider. Hint: try pouring it at your own risk.
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Known as one of the world’s most delectable foodie spots, San Sebastián has the highest number of Michelin stars per square meter in the world. But you don’t have to spend a lot to eat well there — there’s plenty to fill the bellies of mid-range and budget travelers too.
Taste: pintxos, small tapas on a stick. Try high-brow, gourmet ones at fancier spots, and home-cooked, hearty ones at low-key bars.
Drink: Txakoli, a dry white wine with a light sparkle coming from the nearby village of Getaria.
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Located in the heart of the Basque Country and not far from San Sebastián, Bilbao is renowned for its contemporary art scene and world-class cuisine. This city is a gastronomic haven, offering a mix of traditional pintxos bars and Michelin-starred restaurants.
Taste: Taste, again, pintxos, but specifically Gilda. A simple yet iconic pintxo, Gilda consists of a skewer with green olives, anchovies, and pickled guindilla peppers. It offers a delightful combination of salty, tangy, and slightly spicy flavors. Also try Txistorra, a popular Basque pintxo featuring thin, fast-cured sausages made from minced pork or a blend of pork and beef. Txistorra is often grilled or pan-fried and served atop a slice of crusty bread, sometimes with a touch of piquillo pepper or a dollop of aioli.
Drink: Patxaran, a Basque liqueur made from sloe berries, aniseed, and spices. With a deep reddish color and a sweet, fruity flavor, Patxaran makes for a delightful after-dinner digestif or a refreshing addition to cocktails.
Granada is another city that’s all about tapas – and you might even manage to get them free when ordering drinks. Plus, a sunset over the Alhambra palace while chowing down is the ideal way to end your day.
Eat: Literally any free tapa offered to you.
Drink: A crisp, cold Alhambra beer.
Known for its famous tapas street Calle Laurel, plan to get your fill of creative eats on this street, while also checking out the town’s massive cathedral.
Eat: Patatas a la riojana, a substantial potato stew filled with chorizo and paprika.
Drink: Rioja varieties — after all, Logroño is right in the heart of the Rioja wine region.
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Located in Spain’s Extremadura region, this area is often forgotten about by tourists, meaning you’ll have a real, local taste of Spanish living. Plan your trip around the town’s famous cheese festival, which occurs every year at the end of April/early May.
Taste: Anything topped with pimentón de La Vera – the region’s locally grown paprika.
Drink: Local Extremeño wines are known as Vinos de la Tierra, earthy and strong.
Santiago de Compostela
It’s not just the endpoint for pilgrims walking the famous Camino de Santiago – it’s a beautiful, historical city known as the seafood capital of Spain. Some of the fish markets in town even have small restaurants inside where you choose your fish in the market and bring it over to the grill, paying a couple of euros for them to fry it up for you.
Taste: Pulpo a la Gallega, boiled octopus with potatoes, topped with paprika and salt.
Drink: Albariño wine, a crisp, fruity white that pairs perfectly with seafood.
A historical gem located in the southern region of Andalusia, Córdoba boasts a rich cultural heritage and is home to the famous Mezquita. Its culinary scene reflects the city’s Moorish past and offers a fusion of flavors.
Taste: Salmorejo, a thick, cold tomato soup garnished with Serrano ham and boiled egg.
Drink: Montilla-Moriles, a local fortified wine similar to sherry.
A vibrant city on the eastern coast of Spain, Valencia is known for its futuristic architecture and as the birthplace of paella. The city offers a delightful blend of traditional and modern cuisine, making it a food lover’s paradise.
Taste: Paella Valenciana, the classic rice dish made with chicken, rabbit, and seasonal vegetables.
Drink: Horchata, a refreshing, sweet beverage made from tiger nuts.
A picturesque university city in western Spain, Salamanca boasts stunning architecture and a lively food scene. Its culinary offerings are rooted in local traditions and showcase the region’s high-quality ingredients.
Taste: Hornazo, a savory meat pie made with pork, ham, and hard-boiled eggs.
Drink: Try a glass of wine from the nearby Arribes del Duero region.
Situated in northeastern Spain, Girona is a charming city with a rich history and a vibrant culinary scene. It is home to the famous El Celler de Can Roca, one of the world’s best restaurants.
Taste: Suquet de peix, a Catalan fish stew made with fresh, local seafood.
Drink: Empordà wine, a local red or white produced in the surrounding region.
Located between Madrid and Barcelona, Zaragoza is a city with a rich cultural heritage and a burgeoning food scene. Its cuisine combines the flavors of the surrounding regions, offering a unique culinary experience.
Taste: Ternasco de Aragón, succulent roast lamb prepared with garlic, rosemary, and olive oil.
Drink: Enjoy a glass of Cariñena, a red wine from the nearby wine-producing region.
A sun-drenched coastal city in Andalusia, Málaga is famous for its stunning beaches, vibrant nightlife, and diverse culinary scene. Its cuisine is influenced by both its Mediterranean location and its Arab heritage.
Taste: Espetos, sardines skewered on a stick and grilled over an open fire.
Drink: Sip on a glass of Málaga Virgen, a sweet fortified wine made from local Moscatel grapes.
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An ancient city steeped in history, Toledo is located in central Spain and is also a great day trip to take from Madrid. It’s known for its stunning medieval architecture and rich cultural heritage. Its culinary scene is a testament to the city’s diverse past, blending Christian, Jewish, and Muslim influences to create unique flavors and dishes.
Taste: Carcamusas, a savory stew made with pork, tomatoes, peas, and spices, typically served with crusty bread.
Drink: Savor a glass of La Mancha wine, produced in the nearby expansive wine region, known for its quality reds and whites.
I could see Snow White living in Segovia and it sounds like there is plenty to drink for those pesky dwarfs. Trujillo interested me too. I love a good cheese festival and having the place to live like a local would be fabulous. I also love that the festival is in the spring and deconflicts with the wide variety of fall festivals in the world, particularly Spain.
Segovia is absolutely magical, right out of a fairy tale! Trujillo also really takes you back in time to Medieval moments…and the nearby city of Merida has an ancient Roman amphitheatre still used for concerts today. I hope you’ll be able to visit!
I’ve heard that Sevilla & Grenada are beautiful cities, now I know that there are good wine and good food too!
I would love to visit all 20 wineries in Segovia, plus the castle loos beautiful!
The castle is truly a wonder!
I’ve still never been to Spain and this post makes me want to go so bad! Honestly, all these smaller towns and the castles make me want to visit Spain so much more than seeing the bigger cities! San Sebastián and Granada look so stunning! Definitely saving this to refer to!
Glad you enjoyed the article. You should keep an eye out for flight deals to Spain, they are always popping up!
Have only been to Seville and Granada and loved the sherry there. Lighter and sweeter! Booking marking this article so I know what to get when we make it back to Spain again.
I love love love Spain! Rioja is one of my favorite wines only surpassed by Tuscan wines. I also didn’t know there was an Alhambra beer. I’m so looking forward to my next adventure to Spain. Thank you for adding a few new locations to my list.
Alhambra is definitely the best beer in Spain, in my humble opinion. And I agree — between Rioja and Tuscan wines it’s a very close call!
Loved the Tapas in Granada, such a wonderful city to visit. Couldn’t get enough of the Alhambra and the surrounding gardens. Watch out for the shoeshine man, he makes a fortunate from tourists!
There so many reasons why the Alhambra is one of the “eighth wonders of the world!” It’s definitely hard to leave… What were some of your favorite tapas in Granada?
So many Tapas, so little time. The visit was 12 years ago but the memories are still fresh