Eating food out in Spain is often cheap and meals are substantial rather than gourmet. One of the best ways to sample Spanish food is to try tapas, or snacks, which are served at any time of day in local bars.

In Spain food ranges from cheese and olives to squid or meat delicacies and are priced accordingly. Many of the specialities of Spanish cuisine are based on seafood, although regional specialities are easier to find inland than along the coast.

In the northern Basque provinces, there is cod vizcaina or cod pil-pil; angulas, the tasty baby eels from Aguinaga; bream and squid. Asturias has its bean soup, fabada, cheeses and the best cider in Spain, and in Galicia there are shellfish, especially good in casseroles, and a number of regional seafood dishes such as hake à la Gallega.
For food in Spain in the eastern regions the paella has a well-deserved reputation. It can be prepared in many ways, based on meat or seafood. Catalonia offers, among its outstanding specialities, lobster Catalan, butifarra sausage stewed with beans, and partridge with cabbage. Pan amb tomaquet, bread rubbed with olive oil and tomato, is a delicious accompaniment to local ham and cheese.