If you have ever visited Spain before, you definitely noticed that there are more bars, restaurants, cafes, and cafeterias than it would be possible to visit in one life. From the first sight, it seems very convenient that you can grab a drink or eat something whenever you want to. However, here is a tourist trap that some places are nothing but terrible and you might think that Spanish cuisine is disgusting. When actually it is a piece of heaven! So how to choose a good spot? Well, you can use Google or TripAdvisor app to have a dinner in a fancy restaurant, or you can follow these easy tips to find a great local bar where you will eat the best tapas of your life.
Places with Pictures of Food
This tip is applied for major cities such as Madrid, Barcelona, or Valencia because food pictures outside the bar is somewhat a tradition there. If you see some faded photos of ‘platos combinados’ and ‘sándwiches mixtos with a hole for the egg’ that look like they were taken in 1968 and you are in some little town, then you try your success there. But if you are in a big city, see some paella and croquets pictures outside the bar with a generic slogan “Spanish Food”, then you better keep walking.
Avoid Eating in the Main Squares
Again, this rule is more important for the major touristic destinations, so if you are in some unpopular and unknown village, give it a chance. However, avoid the top visiting places such as the main squares because bars and restaurant there do not care about their customers. In other words, they are oriented towards the tourists who, most probably, will never come back, as a result, such places are serving pre-prepared food from supermarkets and the prices are incredibly high. It is sadly for these reasons that you do not eat at the tapas bars or restaurants in the Plaza Mayor in Madrid or on La Rambla in Barcelona. But of course, you can order a glass of wine or a cup of coffee to enjoy the view!
Menu in Multiple Languages
If being truly honest, the best Spanish places are those where are no menu at all, so the chef just write on a board what is going to be prepared today because the fresh food options are different every day. But there are not so many places like this in big cities. One or two languages are usually fine, but if the menu is translated into five or six languages, it smells like a frozen paella that you do not want to try.
Do Not Ask Your Taxi Driver
Even thou this is a common practice in the USA, here in Spain it does not work for a few reasons. The first reason is that most of the drivers who works for Cabify or Uber, have no idea about tourism. The second reason is that even if you use the traditional taxi, the drivers will bring you either to the main square, or to some bar of their friends or relatives because they do not care.