By now it’s very likely you either heard of or indulged in tapas, but in the off chance you haven’t or are a little unsure of what exactly constitutes tapas we are here to help, as well as give you an overview of some of the best Edinburgh tapas dishes. Originating from Spain, tapas is a variety of small savoury plates, often served alongside drinks at the bar or as shared plates with friends which makes up a full meal. Tapas is an essential part of Spanish culture, and Edinburgh’s tapas scene is also going from strength to strength with an increase in the Spanish foodie community taking the city by storm. Usually involving fish, garlic, oil, meat and potatoes, you’ll find some incredible tapas in Edinburgh. And the sangria alongside isn’t bad either.
While an omelette consisting of eggs, potatoes and not much else doesn’t necessarily bring to mind anything overly fancy or gourmet, the humble Spanish tortilla, or tortilla de patatas is an essential tapas dish. It’s ideal for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or any snack in between, and is of course found in any Edinburgh tapas hotspot you visit, ready for sampling. Speaking of which, the Edinburgh tapas scene is skyrocketing at the moment, and locals are embracing just how delightful it is to relax at the bar and feast on a variety of small plates while enjoying a beer, wine or sangria.
Who knew the humble potato could be such a delight when it comes to tapas in Edinburgh? Hitching a ride over the channel with the rest of the mouthwatering tapas classics, patatas bravas – which literally translates to spicy potatoes – is an essential component to any menu at any of the cosy Edinburgh tapas hotspots in the city. Originating from Madrid, patatas bravas is what you would consider a social dish, because it’s almost guaranteed that when dining in an Edinburgh tapas restaurant, someone in the party is going to order this tasty dish. Consisting of potatoes fried and served with spicy tomato sauce or aioli, the best thing is that you can do pretty much anything with them, making them a creative chef’s delight. Take for example at Edinburgh tapas spot, La Sal, where you can also opt for a Spanish blue cheese sauce or perhaps top them with chorizo, chistorra or some fried fish. The world of patatas bravas is literally your oyster!
Another staple that simply must be ordered when dining in a classic Edinburgh tapas restaurant is the sizzling delight, gambas al ajillo. This delicious tapas dish is found principally in the south and centre of Spain and consists of prawns – or shrimp to some folk – garlic and olive oil but can be altered to have many variations. The dish is certainly found throughout Edinburgh tapas hotspots and is a must-try dish, in our opinion.
So, whatever your preference, you can be sure that there is something for everyone to enjoy at the many Edinburgh tapas restaurants dotted throughout the city. Two we love are El Quijote, one of Edinburgh’s most popular tapas establishments, that source their meat and cheese directly from Spain. There’s also Edinburgh tapas delight, La Sal, which specialises in huevos rotos con morcilla de burgos that pays homage to both Spain and Scotland with layers of potato, onion and peppers topped with egg and black pudding – a true taste sensation. Edinburgh is a cultural melting pot in terms of restaurants and cuisines and the Edinburgh tapas community is evidence of that, so why not try your luck? We think this vibrant cuisine might just become your favourite!