Glasses of wine in a restaurant

Five foodie trends to make each meal of the day different in Spain

Tapas, Iberico ham, olive oil… Everybody likes these Spanish classics. But there are new ideas too. Here are five up-and-coming food trends currently attracting visitors to our shores, for enjoying your meals in Spain even more.

Brunch

A late breakfast to take your time over, starting around 12 noon, and ideal for enjoying good company around the table. More and more places are offering brunch menus in the larger cities, and there are variants for every taste: healthy seasonal products, for a sweet tooth, hearty enough to take the place of lunch… Some places offer them every day, but in most cases they are a weekend indulgence. These are a few of the best-known in Madrid and Barcelona according to recent articles in Spanish media, including El País, Traveler.es and TimeOut: - Madrid: BumpGreen, Café Oliver, Domo NH Hotel Group, El Bistro de la Central, Elektra Hotel Intercontinental, Federal Café, La Bicicleta Café, Lamucca, Mür Café, Narciso, and many more. - Barcelona: Auto Rosellon, Brunch & Cake, Crustó, Federal Café, Foodies Barcelona, Hotel Barceló Raval, Majestic Hotel & Spa Barcelona, Milk, Granja Petitbo, among others.

Aperitivos and tapas

Morning or afternoon? Tapas and “aperitivos” or appetisers are Spain’s classic bar snacks, and two versions are especially popular: a slice of Spanish omelette with a caña (a small glass of beer), or a round of vermouths with a dish of pickles. Other classic tapas include potato salad, patatas bravas, croquettes, anchovies, cheese, and ham. An aperitivo or two is a good way to get to know some iconic bars and taverns. In Madrid, good bars include El Anciano Rey de los Vinos, Casa Labra, Bodega La Ardosa, Bodegas Ricla, Lhardy, Taberna Antonio Sánchez, La Venencia, and many more. Classic bars in Barcelona include Bar Carmelitas, Bar Mut, Bodega El Chigre, Bodega La Puntual, Bodega 1900, Lo Pinyol, Morro Fi and Quimet & Quimet.

Gourmet markets

Going to the market to try gourmet food is all the rage in Spain. Gourmet food markets can be found near the main tourist areas, often in historic buildings, and are designed to encourage diners to try a wide range of different cuisines. So of course they are the perfect lunchtime stop in the middle of your sightseeing tour. Historic markets include La Boquería (Barcelona), the Mercado de San Miguel (Madrid), and the Mercado Central in Valencia. There are many more, and you can find them in the article “Gourmet markets, storehouses of flavour: #GastroSpain”.

Merienda

This is a light meal around 6 pm, rather like the UK’s afternoon tea, usually with a tea, coffee or hot chocolate. Sounds good, doesn't it? Increasing numbers of trendy tea rooms are opening in Spanish cities, offering cakes and pastries and savoury snacks to recharge your batteries until dinner (which is usually at 9 pm or later in Spain). In Madrid you can find them all over the city centre, especially in neighbourhoods like Malasaña. If you prefer something more traditional, this is a great opportunity to enjoy the famous churros with chocolate. Other classic pastries, like buñuelos and barquillos, are easy to find at stalls around the Plaza Mayor, Ópera and Retiro areas.

Dinner Shows

This is a fabulous way to combine entertainment and good food. Shows range from traditional and popular culture such as flamenco to more daring numbers, with plenty of music, dancing and comedy. Some of the best-known dinner shows are on the island of Ibiza. "Lío" is one of the most famous, successfully combining cabaret and fine dining, and attracting international celebrities year after year. "Heart" is a fusion of the cuisine of the Adrià brothers with the productions of Cirque du Soleil, and the restaurant "Sublimotion" offers an extremely original experience combining technology, haute cuisine and virtual reality. Madrid and Seville are great destinations to enjoy dinner with a flamenco show. The restaurant of El Corral de la Morería in Madrid can also boast a Michelin star.



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