When you visit a Spanish restaurant in the UK you should expect a warm welcome and some delicious food. Of course not all Spanish restaurants are the same and over the years there has been a trend away from resort style offerings towards a more authentic style of Spanish cooking. Spanish restaurants in the UK come in two main types, ones that offer traditional dining and Tapas restaurants.
Spanish restaurants began to feature significantly in the UK's culinary landscape in the mid-1900s when significant numbers of Spanish people came to live in London to escape the fascist dictatorship and the economic crisis caused by the Spanish civil war. Since then the number of Spanish restaurants has grown to meet the growing demand for the cuisine.
Spanish Restaurants - Flavours to Savour
Food served in Spanish restaurants is difficult to pigeon-hole because like Italian food, it is regionalised, however taking the food as a whole you can expect Spanish cuisine to make the most of fresh ingredients in easy to prepare meals.
When you start looking at Spanish cuisine more closely you can see that the each region in Spain has a pretty distinctive style, for example food from the Galicia region in the north west of the country tends to feature substantial dishes with lots of meat, for example meat pies, whereas Valencia is where much of Spain's rice is grown and is where paella is most popular.
However most Spanish restaurants in the UK will serve a variety of cuisine from all of Spain's regions but do check in advance if you're hoping to relive a holiday moment with a particular type of Spanish cuisine as you may be disappointed.
Spanish Restaurants - First Visit Food
When people think of Spanish food, Tapas is likely to be one of the first things to come to mind and Tapas is the ideal introduction to Spanish cuisine. Dining at a Tapas restaurant is a little different from what you'd expect from traditional UK restaurant dinning, you could almost describe it as a formal buffet. Each dish on the menu is a small sample of a Spanish dish and the idea is that you and the people you are dining with each choose three or four dishes on the menu to share with everybody else. Those dishes are then brought over and depending on how generous your friends are, you can eat from all the dishes on the table until you are full.
Typical Tapas dishes worth trying on a first visit include:
• Patatas Bravas - deep-fried potatoes in a spicy sauce
• Chorizo frito al Vino - spicy Spanish sausage pan fried in red wine
• Jamón Serrano - traditional Spanish cured Serrano ham
• Alitas de Pollo - chicken wings marinated with garlic and paprika
• Paella Valenciana - paella rice with mixed seafood and chicken
Get a Feel For Spanish Cuisine
Spanish restaurants offering a traditional Spanish experience are bright and warm in terms of décor and atmosphere. This will be especially true of Tapas restaurants because in Spain Tapas is food to be enjoyed while drinking and conversing with friends. A Spanish restaurant is unlikely to be your first choice for a romantic proposal dinner but if you're looking for a relaxed atmosphere where you can enjoy the ambience as much as the food then a Spanish restaurant will be for you.
Find Spanish Food in the UK
For your chance to experience Spanish cuisine in the UK why not visit La Tasca, a chain of Spanish restaurants with outlets across the UK including Aberdeen, Belfast, Glasgow, Harrogate, Chester, Bolton, Birmingham, Nottingham, Swansea, Bath and Brighton to name but a few.
To find your nearest Spanish Restaurant why not use one of our restaurant searches.
Things to look out for at Spanish restaurants in the UK
Look out for Spanish restaurants that don't just serve Spanish meals but also Spanish desserts so you can enjoy a complete Spanish culinary experience. Spanish desserts that you may like to try include, torrijas (a type of French toast), barquillos (rolled wafers), bartolillos con crema (a type of small pie with custard), buñuelos (a type of fritter filled with custard whipped cream) and rosquillas de anís (anise-flavored doughnuts).
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