Tapas in Benidorm, Mediterranean and Basque flavours
The romance between tapas and Benidorm dates back a long way. Especially in the old town, full of bars where you can practise this fun social custom. But what is certain is that fondness for aperitifs and informal meals featuring tapas is spreading throughout the city.
The result of this attachment to tapas is the holding of the Benidorm Tapas and Pinchos Competition which, every late spring (at the beginning of June), tests the creativity of the city’s chefs.
It has been held since 2011 and every year is becoming increasingly popular for both the locals and those who come here to enjoy their holidays.
In any case and at any time of the year it is possible to enjoy the pleasure of going out for tapas in Benidorm. A real gastronomic art that in this city offers ingredients and flavours adapted for different people. Including vegans and those diners who have food intolerances.
Tapas in Benidorm
Without a doubt, the best place to go out for tapas in Benidorm is the old town, known as the area of Los Vascos. The similarities of the old town with the city of Donostia (San Sebastian), and that autonomous community in the north of Spain, are quite clear. Although not in terms of architecture, which is obviously so different between the two cities…
Most of these Benidorm tapas bars offer them on the house, when ordering any drink, whether alcoholic or not. Generally, the price of a
drink with a tapa is very affordable. The most surprising thing is that, with such a low price, you would expect the quality of the tapas to be lacking. This isn’t the case, and the proximity of the bars has encouraged healthy competition between them. And the result is generous tapas, sometimes creative ones and, of course, they are highly recommended.
As in most of the country, among the tapas in Benidorm the most traditional ones dominate: Spanish omelette, fried squid rings, patatas bravas, chorizo and salchichón, olives, ham…
However, encouraged by these similarities with Donostia, more and more bars and pubs in the city are daring to experiment and let themselves be carried away by the new changing times that are hitting kitchens all over the planet.
So it is not unusual to find ceviche, baos, sushi, or even some fine examples of so-called molecular gastronomy in the Benidorm tapas scene.
Los Vascos, the best tapas area in Benidorm
Therefore, and as we’ve already mentioned, the best area (but not the only one) to enjoy the fun habit of going for tapas in Benidorm is Los Vascos. This neighbourhood has its heart in calle Santo Domingo and runs through José Martínez Oriola, Sant Miquel, Rosari and the Paseo de la Carretera.
Among the many tapas bars in the area we have picked out some of the most popular ones. These are:
- La Tapería Aurrera (Santo Domingo, 6): this establishment is part of a restaurant group with several locations in the city, including Pintxos Aurrera (Costera Hostal). The name offers a hint that here they offer tapas inspired by Donostia, generous portions and some of them are rather creative.
- Gaztelutxo (Santo Domingo, 7): its bar that serves tapas (or pintxos) is one of the most diverse in the area. But they also have monaditos and other types of tapas. All this is made with ingredients that stands out due to its quality.
- La Cava Aragonesa (Plaza Constitución, 2): is one of the city’s classic
establishments, having been open for over 50 years. Traditional Spanish tapas are served here, with some vegetarian offerings, in a lovely rustic setting.
- Txapela (José Martínez Oriola, 19): Donostian (or Basque) style skewer bar, with some delicacies that deserve a special mention, such as the Padrón peppers or the brie cheese and Serrano ham tapa.
- Akímequedo (Rosari, 10): is one of the best options to go for tapas in Benidorm on a budget. Among its most popular offerings is the pincho moruno (pork skewer).
Other tapas bars in Benidorm
Without leaving the area of Los Vascos, the La Antigua pub (José Martínez Oriola, 27), another of the neighbourhood’s classic establishments, is worth a visit. If you want something to go with the complimentary tapa (which is usually generous), you can order another one for something a little extra.
Also, El Txoko (Santo Domingo, 9), a place that, without giving up the concept of traditional tapas, makes a commitment to eco-friendly and organic food, with ingredients bought directly from local producers.
But going out for tapas in Benidorm means exploring many other bars, restaurants and pubs. These are some of the most recommended options:
- Tapas 18 Café & Bistró (avenida Callosa d’Ensarrià, 13): creativity and a surprising interpretation of traditional concepts to cook some of the most original tapas. Like the cod “rock” with tomato and aioli stew. Or its successful ham and mushroom coca, or pastry.
- Sant Jaume (Santa Faç, 49): good tapas at more than reasonable prices. The fried food stands out, with the fried squid rings,
croquettes or chicken wings. And, also, homemade meatballs.
- The Zodiac (avenue Ruzafa, 2): a delicious tapas bar with traditional Mediterranean fried fish. They also have a good assortment of mussels. One of the aspects on which all diners agree is the friendliness and kindness of the waiters. Along with the good prices, of course.
- Tasca y Basta (José Martínez Oriola, 25): this small place has a lot of charm. And good tapas. These include homemade croquettes, fried chopitos (baby squid), chicken wings and domestic embutidos (sausages and cold meats).
- Excalibur (San Miquel, 9): is one of the hidden jewels in the Los Vascos area. A place to go for tapas in Benidorm, always as a treat, but which also has a menu. Good quality, good prices and good smooth music. What more could you ask for!?