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Best Cities in Spain to Get Free Tapas

Tapas in Spain: Free Tapas in Granada, Leon, Salamanca & Madrid

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Tapas, in the sense of morsels of food you get with your drink, is common throughout Spain. But the really special 'tapas cities' are the ones where the tapas comes with every drink and completely for free.

The exception is the Basque Country, which has a different approach to tapas - there, for a start, they're called pintxos' and rather than being served for free with every drink, you pick them up off the bar and pay for them at the end; the number of cocktail sticks you have on your plate tells the barman how much to charge. Read about Pintxos in the Basque Country or read on for the best places to get good, free tapas in the rest of Spain.

Got a tip of your own? Share your favorite bars that serve free tapas.

 

Free Tapas in Madrid and Barcelona

As Spain's biggest two cities, you can find any Spanish tradition you want in them, as long as you know where to look. (Hint: these two links below might help!)

Spain's Best Free Tapas Cities

  1. Free Tapas in Granada
    It's not hard to get free tapas in Granada - it's more difficult not to get it! Just about every bar that doesn't say 'restaurant' outside will give you a portion of something to go with your beer. It is most competitive (and most touristy) along c/Elvira, so the portions are biggest there. It is more 'classy' (and more expensive) along c/Navas.
    • Typical Tapas in Granada Anything you could image. Paella, fried fish, even burger and fries!
    • Best Tapas Bar in Granada: Bodega Castañeda
  2. Free Tapas in Leon
    Well, they say that Tapas in Leon is special, but my experience of it wasn't great. When I started to wonder 'is that it?', a local told me that Saturday is not the best day to go. The bars are to be found in the Barrio Humedo area, in particular in Plaza de San Martin.
    • Typical Tapas in Leon Morcilla (black pudding) or cecina, which is like Spanish jamón but using beef rather than ham - rather like a beef jerky.
    • Best Tapas Bar in Leon: An average looking bar on c/Rebolledo, near Plaza de San Martin, which I can't quite remember the name of - for 80c I got a glass of wine and some mussels in a spicy sauce.
  3. Free Tapas in Salamanca
    Bars that serve you tapas can be found dotted around much of the city, though the highest concentration is on c/Van Dyck, to the north of the main part of the city. Excellent tapas can be found throughout the city during the Fiesta de la Virgen de la Vega in September (read more on Festivals in September. Note that in Salamanca some bars call tapas 'pinchos'.
    • Typical Tapas in Salamanca: Lomo (pork loin) or moruno (kebab on a stick) - invariably served on a slice of bread.
    • Best Tapas Bar in Salamanca: Cochinillo Asado on c/Van Dick (on the western end). This may or may not be the name of the bar but that's what it says on the sign outside - although this might be because they offer cochinillo asado, or suckling pig with your drinks, and at a much better price than in Segovia (it's free here).

Where You WON'T Get Free Tapas

As stated above, you can get tapas throughout Spain and there will be the odd bar in every city or town where some free tapas will be on offer. Speaking from personal experience, though, I have never received any free food in Seville.

Even in the cities mentioned above, it is very rare for an establishment labelled as a 'restaurant' to serve free tapas.

Got a tip of your own? Share your favorite bars that serve free tapas.

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