10 Foods from Northern Spain That Will Leave You Drooling

Hola España! Word on the street is that your food leaves travellers from all over the world drooling. Of course, everyone knows that no trip is ever complete without feasting or gorging on local cuisine. The Northern part of Spain is no exception. 

Travel to: Spain

With some of the most delicious options available you will only be able to say “Si, por favor” to one (or maybe all) of these delicioso (delicious) options available.  Are you ready to eat? There are 10 of the best foods in Northern Spain that you need in your life.


1. Pintxos

Photo credit: srgpicker on VisualHunt / CC BY

These bite-size pieces of heaven are served on a small piece of bread with a variety of toppings including; anchovies, green peppers, sausages, croquettes, cheese, eel, octopus, tortilla omelet or even cured ham.

Photo credit: Supersalomé on Visual Hunt / CC BY

They are usually between 1 -3 euros, so why stop at one? These small delectable bites aren’t ordered in the traditional sense, but rather taken from bars with impressive selections so nobody will mind if you grab 10 at once (we won’t judge either). 

Where to eat pintxos: Bar Ganbara, San Jeronimo Kalea, 19, 20003 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain

2. Marmitako


This warming fresh tuna and potato stew is a staple in the Basque country and the dish translates to “from the pot”. It is a soupy yet thick stew which used to be cooked on the fishing boats and can now be found in restaurants all over the region. Basically, you need this in your life. So don’t wait around – start ordering!

Where to eat marmitako: El Ciervo, Calle Askao, 7, 48005 Bilbao, Spain

3. Pescado Asado a la Vasca

This freshly caught Basque fish is baked in the oven with garlic and herbs, served with fresh vegetables and potatoes. This dish is simple, yet great and you won’t regret ordering it at least once a day when in Spain.

pescado asado a la vasca
Pescado asado a la vasca

4. Chuleta Rib Eye

Best served in the Basque region, these perfectly seared cutlets will leave your mouth watering and served with the perfect amount of sides; you can’t go wrong!

Chuleta rib eye
Photo credit: marcus.buchwald on VisualHunt / CC BY-SA

5. Txistorra

A Basque festival food that consists of a lightly cured pork sausage rolled into a warm, thick corn tortilla, to be eaten like a hot dog in a bun.

Photo credit: EAJ – PNV Gipuzkoa via Visual Hunt

Where to eat txistorra: Restaurante Victor, Plaza Nueva, 2, Bilbao, Basque Country, Spain, 48005

6. Chiperones

One for squid lovers, this dish is a serving of fried baby squid. More recently chiperones have become more refined as restaurants have begun serving them in a cuttlefish ink sauce.

Photo credit: Hotel Gastronomico Casa Rosalia

7. Croquettes

These round crunchy outer and soft inside pieces of heaven are a favourite for many. With a potato base and the option to add cheese and jamon (ham) you could eat so many that you would, in fact, turn into one.

Photo credit: alexxis via Visualhunt

Where to eat croquettes: Casa Julio, Calle Madera 37, 28004 Madrid, Spain

8. Paella

The holy grail of all Spanish cuisine! With an abundance of fresh seafood from the Bay Of Biscay it is impossible to say no to any paella in Northern Spain. Coupled with aromatic rice, rich in flavour you will be more than satisfied with a big helping. Paella does have various seafood, meat and vegetarian options too.


Where to eat paella: Restaurante Cheriff, Ginebra, 15-17, 08003 Barcelona, Spain

The thing that I enjoyed most about Madrid was the chance to try veganized versions of some of Spain’s traditional dishes. Of course, there are also a number of dishes in traditional Spanish cuisine that are already vegan, such as paella de verduras, gazpacho, and espinacas con garbanzos (spinach with chickpeas).

Having traveled extensively around Spain as a vegan, I had become intimately familiar with these common plant-based dishes. However, I was keen to try out some of Spain’s other dishes — the ones that usually contain animal products. A great place to do this is B13 Bar in Madrid, which serves veganized Spanish bar food at ridiculously cheap prices. Their tortilla de patatas (Spanish omelette) is out of this world; I couldn’t believe that it was egg-free. The croquetas are the perfect bar snack, and, if you have room, I also recommend the sandwich with vegan chorizo, tomatoes and cream cheese. – Wendy, The Nomadic Vegan

9. Tarta de Santiago

This rule-breaking dessert hails from Galicia in Santiago de Compostela where pilgrims finish their journey each year. Essentially it is a thin almond cake adorned with a dusted with icing sugar cross of St James and is served at room temperature.

tarta de santiago
Photo credit: manelzaera via VisualHunt

Where to eat tarta de Santiago: Restaurant CAN CO, Avinguda Nostra Senyora de Montserrat, 10, 17165 La Cellera De Ter, Spain

10. Churros con chocolate

No foods from Northern Spain list is complete without these hot, delicious doughnuts. Sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar and accompanied by a delectable melted dipping chocolate sauce. Double dipping in this instance is perfectly acceptable.

Where to eat churros con chocolate: Chocolateria San Gines, Pasadizo San Gines 5, 28013 Madrid, Spain

Leave your best food recommendations in the comments below to share with other travellers and Days to Come readers! 

Chloe is a former Contiki tour guide who enjoyed life on the road, taking tours for three years. When she isn't travelling, she's dreaming of it or writing about it. Follow her adventures at La Petite Globetrotter

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