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Written by Savi, 19 Comments


Spain – the name brings to mind the white villages of Andalucia, beaches lit by the ochre glow of the setting sun, medieval towns of Costa Brava, and endless glasses of local wine. Then there are the locals who seem to spend languorous days nibbling on a variety of tapas. To us that is the greatest mystery of all – how do Spanish people manage to eat all day long?


cheap eats spain
Food all day long? It must be Spain


Never ones to complain about something so glorious, how could we be left behind? Of course we had to follow suit in the name of integration 😉 So we ate – we binged at every given opportunity, sampled one tapas too many, learnt to differentiate between Spanish cheeses, and appreciate Spanish wine. From Malaga to Granada, Valencia to Figueres, we went in search of the best Spanish food and discovered some mouthwatering delicacies.


We still love our paella and sangria, but there is so much more to Spanish food than that. Here’s some of our favourite  Spanish eats, including our favourite dishes from Southern Spain


1) Porra Antequerana 

El Torcal De Antequera’s surreal rock formations are not the only thing I love about Antequera. The very mention of Porra Antequerana brings a picture of Spain to my mind-the bright sun, warm weather, loads of fresh vegetables, and the oh-so-ripe tomatoes. Porra Antequerana is a mouth-watering soup/dip that belongs to the gazpacho family. It is made from tomatoes, olive oil, hard-boiled eggs, garlic, serrano ham, and tuna – perfect with breadsticks or crusty bread.


Don’t leave Antequera without tasting this glorious orange dip. Make sure you savour every creamy bite.

Cheap eats Spain
Cheap eats Spain – Porra Antequera



2)  Berenjenas con miel de cana/Aubergine Tempura with sugarcane molasses

Don’t be surprised if you end up without any photographs of this dish. You will feel the intense need to devour it the moment it is served. A typically Andalucian dish, Berenhjenas con miel de cana, is easy to find around Malaga and Granada. Fried aubergine rounds, delicately arranged next to each other are generously drizzled with Miel de Cana (sugar cane honey). Just a bite of it could turn anyone into an aubergine lover.

Cheap eats Spain
Cheap eats Spain – Berenjas con miel de cana



 3) Chorizo Bocadillo

Aah Bocadillo – every Spaniard’s favourite snack. Bocadillos are readily found everywhere in Spain – from bars, taverns, and cafeterias to roadside vendors and Spanish homes. The bocadillo is made with a baguette style bread loaf (barra de pan) cut lengthwise. It is stuffed with tuna, anchovies, chicken, or chorizo. The Spanish do not add lettuce, tomato, or mayonnaise to their bocadillos.


Of course, there are innumerable fillings to choose from. Our favourite? The Chorizo Bocadillo. The intense flavour of this Spanish sausage is perfect for a sandwich on the go. It’s smoky, it’s spicy, it’s perfection.


A word of warning – beware of ordering a ‘regular’ Bocadillo in Spain – it can be as long as 18 inches. What can we say? Spaniards like their carbs 😉

Cheap eats Spain
Just the average Boccadillo – 18 inches of bread and meat



4) Molette/ Sandwich

The very sight of these open sandwiches is enough to send your tummy into a tizzy. Halved bolillo rolls are topped with an array of beans, cheese, meat, and salsa and then baked till they are hot and crisp – what more could one ask for?! It is the  best use of left over morsels of meat and other foods if you’re staying at a self-catering accommodation. A Molette is perfect for lunch or an afternoon snack.


Seriously, how is it that even a sammy tastes better in Spain? 🙂



 5) Jamon Serrano

Any conversation about Spain would be incomplete without referring to Spanish ham. Sitting on the beach and watching the sun go down with a plate of ham, olives and a glass of wine is part of my Spanish fantasy


Jamon Serrano literally translates to ‘ham from the mountains’. In olden times when a pig was fattened, no part of it could be allowed to go waste. It would be preserved by the process of curing hams. Mountainous air was ideal for this process, hence giving Jamon Serrano its name. Ham is so deeply ingrained in the Spanish society that it forms a part of many traditional customs in this iconic country. Serrano ham has a much firmer texture than other hams and forms the base of a large variety of tapas and other traditional Spanish recipes. Nom, nom, nom!

Cheap eats Spain
As you can see, there’s no shortage on Jamon Serrano in Spain 😉


6) Fish, the Spanish Way

You haven’t had fish till you’ve had fish in Southern Spain. We have a soft spot for Malaga’s local delicacy Espeto De Sardinas (Grilled Sardines) – the perfect accompaniment to a glass of icy-cold beer


Our second favourite in Southern Spain comes from a tiny village called Riofrio. The endearingly-named hamlet is located between Malaga and Granada. Riofrio is famous for its trout river and trout farm. Naturally, the quality of fish is top notch. Everything from the trout salad to grilled trout is mouth-wateringly delicious. Not to be missed if you’re ever in Southern Spain.


Spain Cheap Eats
Espeto De Sardinas (sardines grilled on split-cane skewers), Malaga’s local speciality


Cheap eats Spain
Cheap eats Spain – Trout in Rio Frio


Hungry for more? Check out Part II  of the best things to eat in Spain in A Food Tour of Northern Spain

Want to cover Spain on a budget?  We have some fabulous ideas for Budget Accommodation in Spain

Want to read about our shenanigans in Spain? Check out what happened when we participated in the largest food fight in the world – The Tomatina Festival 🙂

19 thoughts on “Smell, Savour, Devour: A Food Tour of Southern Spain

  1. In my experience, food is not served all day long in Spain, save in touristed areas. I struggled to find a place open at 4pm in Seville last Friday! Spaniards eat several small meals – breakfast, snack, a huge lunch, an afternoon snack and a light dinner. My question is, how can they drink all day long and not fall over?!

    1. I don’t understand how Spaniards can drink cañas all day and not fall asleep or fall over! It’s always surprising to see how often and how many little beers are drunk throughout a day..and yet they go all night long!

    2. Cat it’s always tough to find a restaurant that’s open during siesta hours isn’t it? As for drinks 24*7, I couldn’t have agreed more 🙂

  2. Savi… me and my husband are planning to visit spain in june next year. Starting from Barcelona and ending it at Seville. We then move to Lisbon for 2 days.Wanted some advice how to go about it! Which places to stop over during the drive from Barcelona to Seville.

    1. Hi Devina,

      You could drive from Barcelona to Seville primarily along the coast if you wish – that way you will get to see some beautiful places like Valencia, Almeria, Malaga, and Granada (not on the coast but will fall on your route from Almeria to Malaga if you take the inland route). You should read our other articles on spain to get an idea of what else to see around Malaga 🙂

      Hope that helps!

  3. Hi,

    Will you kind enough to answer my queries

    Would you recommend staying in Granada or base oneself in Malaga and do it as a day trip?

    We fly to Malaga and have two days to allocate to either Malaga or Granada.

    Which would be a more interesting ?

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