Nerja Tapas Bars – Tapas bars and restaurants Nerja Costa del Sol Spain

Tapas routes in Nerja - Rabo de Toro or bull's tail in Nerja Spain

Rabo de Toro or Oxtail is a favourite in Nerja tapas bars

Nerja Tapas; What does Tapas Mean?

The word “tapas” is derived from the Spanish/Portuguese verb tapar, “to cover”, a cognate of the English top. There are many legends as to how ‘tapas’ came to being and each of us has our favourite story.

Pre-19th century Spain saw innkeepers, guesthouses and other forms of hospitality serving guests samples of what was on their menu. This is because most of the innkeepers couldn’t write and most of the guests couldn’t read anyway. So, a simple demonstration was a way to convey the message.

Tapas in Nerja -Tortilla

The tortilla is a great favourite all over Spain and is sold in shops everywhere.

Other people believe that the king complained that flies were getting into his wine and, so, some clever soul gave him a piece of bread to cover it. This later became more intricate, with a garnish of meat, cheese and so on.

Whatever the reason, I’m sure many people are just glad that they are available, along with a nice beer or glass of wine.

Nerja has many places that serve tapas. Some are very sophisticated tapa dishes; others are more down to earth and traditional. Everyone has their own favourites and it is great fun to go around and sample each place serving these lovely dishes.

Traditional Tapa Dishes

The tapas you get served with sometimes depend on where you are. For example; if you are on the coast, you are most likely to be served fish, squid, octopus tapas, inland, it’s more likely you’ll get goat and other meat tapas.

There are, however, some dishes that appear everywhere and without exception.

  • Russian Salad. Potato, peas, carrots mixed with mayonnaise and served with a slice of bread.
  • Cod. Sometimes as a grilled piece, sometimes mixed with potato as a paste.
  • Manchego cheese. This beautiful goat’s cheese goes great on bread.
  • Boquerón’s. Little Anchovies, filleted and kept in oil and garlic
  • Olives. An acquired taste but olives soaked in Anchovies’ oil are beautiful.
  • Tortilla: Potato, Onions, Garlic and Eggs. You must try this at least once.

There is no limit to the type of tapa dishes available and its great fun to go around Nerja and sample the many tapas available. We at Nerja Beach Holidays have our own favourites, no doubt you will find out what is yours. We hope you will enjoy yourself.


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