Famous for fresh, local produce lovingly prepared and simply served, Spain is a favourite for the foody travelers and whilst many Spanish dishes are found on menu’s all over the world, there’s nowhere better than trying the nations dishes than in the Costa Blanca. As with most recommendations for finding the best food in Spain (and anywhere else in the world for that matter) do as the locals do. You might have to travel a little further or seek local recommendations, but it’s reasonably safe to say that if you follow the locals, you’ll not go far wrong. The large harbour fronting restaurant attracting hundreds of tourist may not be as authentic as they suggest, rather the small backstreet restaurant filled with local residents, far more likely to serve the best food in the Costa Blanca and likely a fair amount cheaper too.
The no.1 food export of Spain relies on the freshness of seafood in the dish, a relatively simple dish, the sum of its parts and years of local know how, some of Spain’s best paella is found in the Costa Blanca thanks to its long coastline and access to fresh seafood from its ports, none more so that the Port of Alicante.
Another famous export, although rarely justifying the name is Tapas. Whilst tapas is a generic term for small plate, the contents of which can vary from patatas bravas, stuffed cherry peppers and grilled squid to sautéed chorizo and tortilla, whichever dishes you choose, tapas makes a great family or sharing meal and is always served in terracotta dishes.
3. Pincho (pinxos)
Closely related to tapas, pinxos is an even smaller, small bite with its name coming from the cocktail stick it’s usually served, the term literally translating to ‘spike’ or ‘thorn’. Settle down into a bar or café and you’ll find pinchos on the counter top. It’s essentially a glorified a bar snack, but don’t let its simplicity sway you, pinchos pack a punch and as so small and affordable, try as many as you can.
It’s not just cold soup, only the ripest, reddest tomatoes are used in a traditional gazpacho. Blend olive oil, garlic, peppers, cucumber and bread (to thicken) with the tomatoes until silky smooth, chill and serve by the glass. An alcohol free bloody mary of sorts with a depth of flavor more the sum of its parts.
5. Tortilla Espanola
A deep omelette of potatoes and onions, sounds simple enough, but tastes subline. White onions and potato slices gently fried in olive oil, the tortilla comes to life when the beaten eggs are poured over and fried. Whilst you’ll find menu’s with extra toppings and ingredients, a true tortilla Espanola is made from 3 ingredients, no more, no less.
6. Gambas al Ajillo
Seafood doesn’t get any better. Fresh, local prawns (gambas) fried over a high heat with slices of garlic fresh chilli. Seasoned to taste and served in an earthernware dish, a simpler, tastier dish you’ll not find.