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The best places to eat tapas outside Spain

Spanish people are justifiably proud of their tapas. But according to Spanish travellers, there are three places outside Spain that can be trusted to get this delicious bar snack just right. *

Porto, Portugal

Petiscos, a.k.a. Portuguese tapas

Petiscos, a.k.a. Portuguese tapas

Portuguese food has been growing in popularity for the last few years and it’s easy to see why Spanish visitors to Porto have endorsed it as the best place to eat tapas. Outside Spain, of course.

The delicious petiscos – Portuguese tapas – resemble the Spanish tradition of miniature portions that are easy to pick up and easy to get addicted to. Tapas bars are dotted throughout Porto and the city’s coastal location guarantees the freshest seafood.

The Alfandega area of Porto

The Alfandega area of Porto

Petiscos are often served between meals and tend to feature many dishes familiar from Spanish tapas (such as olives and calamari), while Portuguese additions include octopus salad, alheira or chouriço sausages, and fried garlic shrimp.

Casa de Pasto da Palmeira is one of Porto’s most popular tapas restaurants. Perched on the Douro River, right next to the Lighthouse of São Miguel-o-Anjo, this open, airy restaurant is an ideal place for a long lunch or late dinner. Eat your fill and then roll home to the contemporary Duas Portas apartments, just down the road.

Lisbon, Portugal

Clams a bulhao pato (clams with lemon and garlic)

Clams a bulhao pato (clams with lemon and garlic)

Lisbon is a gastronomic playground, filled with farmers’ markets, fine-dining restaurants and, of course, the tiled tapas bars. Just like in Porto, Lisbon tapas bars and restaurants tend to cluster near the coast and make the most of the fresh seafood on offer.

Fans of good food and a lively atmosphere should head to the Chiado district, home to one of the city’s favourite tapas bars: Tágide. Here you’ll find a menu bursting with Portuguese classics, including amêijoas à bulhão pato (clams in white wine sauce, dressed with garlic) and the famous custard tarts that will make you immediately want to book a second sitting.

A sunny day in Lisbon

A sunny day in Lisbon

Another Chiado tapas bar serving up delicious morsels is the Taberna Da Rua Das Flores. Dishes include freshly-caught cod with chickpeas, and strips of succulent pork belly.

With only a few wooden tables and frequent queues this isn’t really somewhere to linger, but to miss out on the local wine list would be an injustice. Get there early to beat the queues by staying at the Casa do Barao.

Andorra la Vella, Andorra

Fried snails in garlic butter

Fried snails in garlic butter

Andorran cuisine takes inspiration from the country’s neighbours – France and Spain – and combines those flavours with ingredients sourced from the lakes and forests of the Pyrenees . The result is a unique collection of flavours that are well worth travelling for.

Andorra la Vella, the capital city, is highly endorsed by Spanish travellers for the quality of its tapas, probably due to the area’s fondness for Iberian ham and tortilla. The French influence, meanwhile, comes through in a preference for wine- and cream-based dishes, alongside the most divisive of finger foods: snails.

Sample the unique flavours of the Pyrenees

Sample the unique flavours of the Pyrenees

Trout caught in the Pyrenees lakes often substitutes the traditional seafood of Spanish and Portuguese tapas, and veal is another popular ingredient. To experience all the different flavours Andorra la Vella has to offer, check into the A Casa Canut Hotel Gastronòmic and enjoy their award-winning restaurant.

** The data scientists at Booking.com looked at the destinations highly endorsed for 'tapas' among Spanish travellers, outside Spain.