Eating Out Paleo – Spanish Tapas


What I love about the Spanish cuisine is not necessarily the flavours or the ingredients but the method of consuming food in a form of tapas. Sharing small plates of cold and warm snacks, grilled skewers and meat slices while downing a cold cider and socialising with friends is hands down the best way to spend an evening. And if you happen to be in Spain, the best thing about tapas there is that you don’t have to commit to one place for your evening meal fix. Instead, you hop from bar to bar exploring different house specialties along the way. Outside of Spain, not everyone will have access to a Spanish restaurant but if you do, here is a quick guide to the most Paleo friendly way to tapas it up.

Before we begin, please remember that you can’t know or control what fats are used during the cooking process. Although Spanish love their olive oil, the chances of local kitchens using hydrogenated or seed based oils is fairly high so you just have to make piece with it if you want to eat out…ever.

You should be able to find these common tapas dishes in most Spanish joints although the size, variety and quality will differ from venue to venue.



About the author: I share tasty recipes, tips, and meal plans to help you get healthier and lose weight. I am a qualified nutrition coach with an Advanced Diploma in Nutrition & Weight Management. More about me here.

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  1. As a new-ish experimental paleo eater, THANK YOU SO MUCH for this article!! i am heading to Spain for a month next week and was having a slight panic attack about what to/what not to eat!! you are a superstar! I have just discovered your blog and can’t wait to tuck into it!!

    1. How exciting for you! I absolutely love Spain, they have such an amazing attitude to food, although their eating times are a little hard to adjust to 😉 I’m going to Spain myself at the end of August, as well as France and Italy, so I will do a little more investigation into all Paleo friendly options.

      Enjoy your time in Spain and thank you for your kind compliments.


  2. Definetly a very good review of the Tapas (This is a Spaniard talking, I mean writting)!
    Congrats and thank you!
    Just a few more tips: 99% of deep fried tapas are made in sunflower seed oil, including gambas al ajillo, and watch out, sometime even alioli!
    Don´t miss lomo ibérico and almonds…
    And if you want to make very good paleo (I should say: real, bread is used to thicken and soften…) gazpacho, check out this video I made!

    Hope you like it and very nice blog, by the way!

    1. Yeah, the thing about oils in general, and that’s something I mentioned at the start, is that you just won’t know what they use so you just have to take it as a given that in most cases it won’t be a healthy oil. Wouldn’t be nice if it was stated on the menu? 😉 Thanks for the video share. I love Gazpacho but as you said, it is often made with bread so you have to check with the staff or make your own. And how could I forget almonds!!!

  3. Great assortment of tapas. I just wanted to point out the most peculiar tradition on the tapas thingy.
    Did you know you get a free tapa for every beer in some destinations in Andalusia? Both in Granada and Jaen, for example, there is this traditions. The more beer, the bigger the tapa. Thats why I love Spain!!!

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