Whether you’re craving the fresh seafood and rich culture of Spain's classical Andalucía or seeking to learn everything about traditional Spanish cuisine with a world-renowned chef in the heart of Madrid, our travel experts can show you the best food cities in Spain. With our insider insights, you can find the ultimate gourmet getaways for the perfect holiday in Spain.

From traditional cooking sessions to cultural tapas and pintxos tours in the Basque Country, you’ll find an array of flavourful foods that call your taste buds to Spain.

Discover all the best gourmet cities in Spain with our European Product Manager, Joy, who is here to talk about all-things-food and where to find your next favourite Spanish dish.

Joy Woodside

European Product Manager

The Best Spanish Cities for Food Lovers

Spain is nothing short of a fantasy for foodies, and I have found that it’s jam-packed with cultural cities dripping with variety. I love Spain because each region has something special to offer, from the rural culinary excellence of the northern regions to the world-renowned chefs leading excellent cooking classes in the vibrant heart of Madrid.

Although Spain is often overlooked as a hotspot of outstanding cuisine, the country has a fiery culture flowing through its veins that ignites a trove of delicious dishes that you can taste for yourself.

‘To me, there’s nothing better than dining on authentic Spanish cuisine under the sun and experiencing its traditional culture.' - Joy Woodside, European Product Manager

1. San Sebastian

San Sebastian is often referred to as ‘the food capital of Spain.’ This foodie paradise is home to the highest concentration of Michelin-star restaurants anywhere in the world making for the gourmet getaway of a food lover's dream.

The city takes pride in being a region to use a wide range of outstanding local produce for their food and wine, which burst with fresh Mediterranean flavours. You can expect fresh fish and seafood dishes in San Sebastian, caught fresh from the surrounding ocean and cooked to perfection by renowned chefs. Promising true authentic taste, markets and restaurants source meats, fruits, vegetables and more from local farms and gardens to ensure top quality produce.

The city is also known for pintxos, and hundreds of bars across the city specialise in this famous delicacy. Don’t miss out on trying these small tapas treats that you can perfectly pair with Txokoli, a delicious local sparkling white wine.

Dine on some of the finest food, created by dedicated Michelin-star chefs in the town centre, including Nobu. Not only are you in a culinary oasis, but you’re surrounded by stunning views of rolling hills and a beautiful large conch shell-shaped bay. There are many highlights of San Sebastian and the Basque Country, and it’s awaiting your discovery.

Best Spanish food experience in San Sebastian: Pintxos food tour and hands-on cooking course.

Pintxos spread, San Sebastian.
Pintxos, San Sebastian

In San Sebastian, I recommend you join a local Spanish food tour that takes you to taste the most incredible Pintxos made in the city. All offered on cocktail sticks, the light snacks are full of variety that entice your taste buds. Meet the local chefs, browse the food markets and even take a hands-on cooking course to learn all about the traditional preparations of Basque and Spanish delicacies, an experience that will end in a lunch prepared with the help of the chef, making for the perfect Spanish cooking holiday experience.

'From sizzling pans of Michelin-star paella to touring Basque Country for exquisite pintxos, I love all that Spain has to offer.’ – Joy Woodside, European Product Manager

2. Rioja region

Just two hours from San Sebastian is La Rioja. This beautiful countryside haven is likened to Italy’s Tuscany, with scenic backdrops of lush hills and home to picturesque vineyards.

Taste the flavours of La Rioja through the world-famous red wines made specially in these vineyards. All wines are wholly traditional and excellent paired with La Rioja’s popular lamb and beef dishes and charcuterie boards, made of Riojan chorizo and local vegetables from their vegetable crops.

This region sets you away from the crowds and allows you to indulge in the gourmet dining experience in blissful peace. Alongside this, you can learn about the dense history of the Basque Country from the friendly locals, and venture into the medieval villages and historic towns to explore the old-style Rioja winery, and savour wines in its cosy wine cellars.

Best Spanish food experience in Rioja: Vineyards and wine tasting.

La Rioja wine spread
Luxury wine spread

Surrounded by Spanish countryside and soaking up the glorious sunshine, I recommend joining likeminded wine lovers for the perfect gourmet getaway in La Rioja, where wine tasting and vineyard tours are abundant.

'What better way to try wine than when it is freshly made? Get lost in the tranquil Basque Country with views of sweeping vineyards and a glass of wine in hand.' - Joy Woodside, European Product Manager

3. Bilbao

The unique, artsy city of Bilbao is not only home to some of the world’s most unique architecture, but it’s known as a region of many outstanding dining options.

Since the opening of the striking Guggenheim Museum (created by architect, Frank Gehry), the city has been attracting evolving cuisine, combined with the traditional Basque tapas of the old city. On one side of the city, there’s the Plaza Nueva, a gourmet sanctuary for food lovers. On the south side, explore the cafes and bars dotted around the Bilbao La Vieja neighbourhood.

This newly built cosmopolitan city that is built among the beautiful landscapes of the surrounding mountains, offering stunning views of lush landscapes, the perfect backdrop whilst sipping on your favourite wine and dining on pintxos.

Best Spanish food experience in Bilbao: Old town pintxos tour.

Pintxos spread, Bilbao
Pinxtos, Bilbao

I recommend discovering the heart of Bilbao with a tour of the old town. Meet friendly locals and visitors alike, and revel in the medieval atmosphere. Stroll through the secret places and pedestrian alleys of Casco Viejo before uncovering the delicious Basque pintxos.

'Pintxos are a delicious range of gourmet bites. With enough to go round, this tour is both a tasting experience and a full lunch or dinner.' - Joy Woodside, European Product Manager

4. Ronda

Top-tier tapas, locally produced olive oil and dramatic mountain views, there are many reasons why this city in Spain is known as the ‘City of Dreams’.

Olive oil is used in most of the food across Spain, and you can experience the production of it first-hand. Ronda is home to the olive grove that produces some of the best oil in the region and is likely used in a lot of the dishes you eat in Andalucía.

Not only will you be strolling through awe-inspiring fields of hundred-year-old olive trees and tasting the delicious oil with crusty bread and the popular salad, ensaladilla rusa, but you can also discover Ronda’s historic quarter at the south of Guadalevin. Embrace the medieval accents from the Arab age and the rich vegetation that coats the cliffs.

With extraordinary backdrops, deep Spanish history and delicious food culture, Ronda is the perfect city to add on to your discovery of classical Andalucía.

Best Spanish food experience in Ronda: Olive oil tour.

Olive oil made in the olive groves of Ronda
Fresh olive oil, Ronda

Olive oil has a strong influence on the Spanish culture, and you can learn all about it on an oil farm in Ronda.

'Enjoy a private tasting experience on your Andalucían journey and savour oil flavours like a professional after roaming the vegetable fields.' - Joy Woodside, European Product Manager

5. Seville

The capital city of Andalucía is Seville, a melting pot of old heritage and fresh, modern twists. Here, you can get a taste of some of Spain’s most desirable tapas and, what it’s most famous for, patatas bravas.

Dining in Seville is nothing short of spectacular. Surrounded by historical architecture, abundant orange trees and the vibrant flamenco street dancers, the city comes alive before your eyes.

Seville is so passionate about tapas, that the multitude of tapas restaurants and bars can make for an exceptional tapas bar crawl. Broaden your palate and get to know the Spanish tapas culture the best in Seville, with wide ranges of famous dishes. Some popular dishes include boquerones (fish) and carrillada de cerdo (pork cheeks).

On your gourmet escape, be sure to stroll through routes that feature the Royal Palaces, the world’s second largest cathedral and the famous Giralda, built in the 12th century.  Of an evening, enjoy an excellent show at The Flamenco Dance Museum, declared a Place of Tourist Interest by the government of Andalucía.

Best Spanish food experience in Seville: Private gourmet tapas tour.

Spread of tapas, Seville
Spanish tapas, Seville

Try the best tapas around Seville, including Santa Cruz, Guandalquivir and Triana quarter and try aubergine with honey, fried fish and iberico ham followed by a delightful dessert like tocino de Cielo that is similar to a crème caramel.

'I recommend refuelling after a day of exploring with a private gourmet tapas tour in Seville, all served with a drink of your choice, perhaps a delicious Andalucían wine.' - Joy Woodside, European Product Manager

6. Madrid

Madrid is bursting with art, culture and a superb food scene. Heading into the centre of Spain, you can experience a sumptuous blend of cuisine, from mouthwatering tapas to sizzling hot pans of paella. Not only can you taste the delicious flavours, but you can join passionate chefs in a traditional cooking class to create your own favourite dish.

A popular tapas spot in Madrid is Malasaña, known for its hip and trendy shops and a thriving nightlife, specifically Cervecería La Junta tapas bar set in Plaza de San Ildefonso.

Aside from the tempting food on every corner of this incredible city, you’ll be in the heart of the city’s arts and culture offering. With iconic attractions and historic monuments, you won’t be short of awe-inspiring city views. Immerse yourself in the Spanish city life and savour the taste of Madrid with a glass of vermouth, best enjoyed on a sunny Sunday with family and friends sat outside at a backstreet bar.

Best Spanish food experience in Madrid: Mercado San Miguel.

Mercado San Miguel
Mercado San Miguel

Located at the heart of Madrid, you can join other foodies of Spain and enjoy the myriad of flavours from around the country including popular cheeses of Castile-Leon, fresh seafood from the Spanish coast, and much more.

'Be sure to stop by Mercado San Miguel, one of my favourite places to dine and a place you can indulge in high-end street food that delights all who embark on the experience.' - Joy Woodside, Product Manager

7. Valencia

The birthplace of one of Spain's most popular dishes, paella, Valencia has a deep history with the Spanish cuisine. This city in Eastern Spain was the first to invent one of the countries most delicious food, and continues to be the go-to city for Valencian paella. Made with tempting fresh fish, this incredible rice dish is the perfect meal whilst you’re soaking up the Spanish sun and sipping on a glass of wine.

Best Spanish food experience in Valencia: Michelin-star dining experiences.

Famed paella, first created in Valencia
Paella, Valencia

This city is home to no less than 22 Michelin-starred restaurants that await you. Dine on only excellence with this many gourmet options, and taste Spanish food cooked to perfection by professionals.

'From delicious Spanish cheese and traditional dishes to unparalleled plates of flavourful vegetables and fish stews, eat to your hearts content!' - Joy Woodside, European Product manager

Does Spain have any Spanish Food Festivals?

Get a taste for the exquisite cuisine as well as the vibrant culture by attending one of Spain's incredible food festivals.

Battle of Wine: 29 June, 2024

Enjoy an extraordinary wine festival to celebrate San Pedro's Day. Enjoy the interesting tradition that dates back hundreds of years where a fight broke out to take ownership of some cliffs. This wasn't any normal fight, but both sides continued to throw wine at each other, which is what you can experience in this festival!

Montilla - Moriles Wine Tasting: May, 2024

Every year in May, you'll get the opportunity to sample wines produced in the Cordoba region. The streets of this city offer tastes, as well as typical tapas bars offering a glass with your meal.

Tapas Competition in Avila: To be confirmed for 2024

Each year, a variety of restaurants and bars in Avila that sell tapas take part in a gastronomic competition to create the best tapas. Make sure to keep an eye out for the dates, it's an unmissable experience to indulge in competing tapas.

Plan your tailor-made Spanish gourmet adventure

Spain has so much to offer from exquisite cuisine to vibrant culture. So, why not make it the best adventure ever? Speak with our Travel Specialists to tailor-make your perfect Spanish gourmet getaway.

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