Andalusia is well-known for being welcoming to tourists, having incredible historical sites and culture as well as outstanding beaches and nature parks. But another cultural aspect that is worth mentioning is the food.
Andalusian cuisine is rich, varied and unique. No matter which part of Andalusia you visit, you’ll discover mouthwatering traditional dishes across the cities.
The cuisine has influences from Arabic cuisine due to its proximity and the Moorish period in Spain, and this can be seen in the use of common ingredients such as saffron, paprika, olive oil, almonds and other nuts.
Although many people think you can only find meat or fish dishes in Spain, there is also a good range of dishes that include vegetables or that can be adapted for vegetarians and vegans.
In this blog, I’m going to tell you about Andalusian food you must try depending on the province you visit.
This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and purchase something, I receive a small commission of the price at no extra cost to you. This helps me to keep the content up to date and make other improvements to the blog.
Authentic Andalusian Food You Must Try
Traditional food in Almería
Caldo quemao is perfect for warming up on a cold winter day. This soup is prepared with ingredients such as potatoes, peppers, onions and sardines, and it’s often served with other dishes such as migas or gachas.
Calamar en aceite
Another fish dish from Almeria is calamar en aceite, a simple recipe but delicious. This Andalusian dish is made with squid, white wine, extra virgin olive oil, garlic, bay leaves and salt.
This dish is best when prepared with fresh squid, so you get a tender and juicy delicious meal.
Pimentón de Almería
This is probably one of the most traditional dishes in Almeria and the one that better describes the cuisine in Almeria. This dish was first made in the village of Vera, and then it became popular in the province.
Pimentón de Almería consists of a fish stew made with ingredients such as monkfish, potatoes, tomatoes, garlic, roasted peppers and onion.
Many locals use monkfish in this fish stew, but others prefer to use mackerel.
If you’re visiting Almeria during Easter, then you must try papaviejos. The main ingredient of this sweet is potato, but don’t worry about the taste because they’re delicious. They are also prepared with milk, flour, orange zest, sugar, cinnamon and olive oil to fry them.
The best way to have papaviejos is with a delicious hot chocolate or a coffee to dip them in.
Traditional food in Cadiz
Cazón en adobo
This dish consists of cazon fish, which is a type of fish that you’ll predominantly find in Andalusia and the Canary Islands. The fish is marinated for hours and then deep-fried with extra virgin olive oil.
This fish goes perfectly with a homemade aioli sauce or mayonnaise.
Pollo a la canilla
Pollo a la canilla is an easy dish that is often prepared in Andalusian houses, but you can also find it in restaurants or tapas bars.
This meat dish is made with chicken thighs and breasts, garlic, amontillado wine (a sherry wine) and chilli peppers.
It’s the perfect dish to dip rustic bread in the wine sauce.
Tortillitas de camarones
These shrimp fritters are incredibly delicious! Although it’s believed that they were first made in the south of Seville, Cadiz is the birthplace of this dish.
You can enjoy tortillitas de camarones with a glass of traditional sherry wine in any beach restaurant or tapas bar in Cadiz and other Andalusian cities too.
Pan de Cádiz
Pan de Cádiz may seem to be bread as pan in Spanish means bread, however, it’s marzipan in the shape of bread. There are many different ways to make this sweet, but the traditional recipe includes marzipan and candied fruit.
Like all marzipans, Pan de Cádiz is eaten at Christmas, and you’ll find it in any supermarket and bakery during the festive season.
Traditional food in Cordoba
You can’t leave Cordoba without having a delicious flamenquín. This meat dish consists of a wrap made of pork loin, serrano ham and cheese. This wrap is coated with egg and breadcrumbs and then fried.
Although the original recipe includes those ingredients, you can also find some flamenquines that have ham instead of serrano ham.
Flamenquines are always accompanied by a portion of chips and mayonnaise.
Although salmorejo may seem very similar to gazpacho, it’s a different cold soup. Salmorejo is thicker and creamier.
The cold soup is made of tomato, bread, extra virgin olive oil and garlic. Then it’s topped with cured ham and hard-boiled egg.
You can find this soup in most restaurants across Cordoba, Andalusia and Spain, however, the best salmorejo you’ll have is in Cordoba.
If you’re after something sweet, you’ll fall in love with pastel cordobés. This flaky puff pastry tart is filled with cabello de ángel, a threaded jam made from pumpkin pulp and sugar. Before serving the tart, you can dust cinnamon and sprinkle some sugar to give it an extra texture.
You can enjoy this tart warm or chilled, but it’s often served with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
The tart is so good that locals celebrate the national Pastel Cordobés Day every 17th of November. On this day, attendees receive free portions of tart, and you can also find different versions of it.
Traditional food in Granada
If you love pumpkin, then you must add this dish to your list. This traditional dish is prepared by frying small pieces of pumpkin with garlic, peppers and white wine until it has a similar consistency to a mash.
The mash is often topped with fried chorizo cubes, but there are other variations such as adding a fried egg or bacon.
Habas con jamón
A simple but delicious dish, habas con jamón consists of fresh broad beans and cured Serrano ham. If you’re cooking this dish at home, you can add a poach or fried egg on top of the beans.
The best time to enjoy this dish is in spring when you can easily get fresh broad beans from the market.
You’ll find habas con jamón as a tapa rather than a main dish in restaurants.
Patatas a lo pobre
This delicious dish from Granada is one of my favourite tapas or side, as these potatoes are served with fish or meat.
The recipe includes humble ingredients such as potatoes, onions and green peppers, but some locals add fried cubes of chorizo or may change the recipe slightly.
Patatas a lo pobre is generally a vegetarian dish, but make sure to ask for no meat or fish to be added to it.
This is a Moorish dish that became popular in Granada as a result of the Muslim period in the city. Since orange is the main ingredient, this salad rich in vitamin C was eaten to strengthen the immune system and prevent winter colds.
There are some variations of remojón granadino, but it typically has oranges, salted codfish, boiled eggs, spring onions and black olives.
If there’s something you can’t miss trying during your time in Granada is piononos. They’re one of the most delicious Andalusian desserts!
This dessert consists of a thin layer of pastry rolled into a cylinder, drenched with delicious syrup and crowned with toasted cream. It tastes better than it sounds!
The best place to eat piononos is Pastelería Casa Ysla – a cake shop which has the best piononos in Granada and other incredible cakes that you won’t be able to resist eating.
Traditional food in Huelva
Choco frito is a popular tapa dish in Andalusia, but it’s rumoured that choco frito in Huelva is the best. If you don’t know what choco is, it’s cuttlefish (jibia in Spanish) that is deep-fried.
The fried cuttlefish is served with mayonnaise or aioli sauce.
Gambas de Huelva
These prawns from Huelva, known as gambas blancas (white prawns) are different from any other prawns you can find in the country.
They’re found on the Atlantic coast of Andalusia, especially on the coast of Isla Cristina. Although they aren’t cheap, they’re completely worth tasting. You simply eat them cooked with a bit of coarse sea salt or chargrilled.
Jamón ibérico de bellota
Although jamón ibérico is widely eaten in Spain, the Iberian ham produced in Huelva is one of the best in the country. It’s widely famous, and there is no doubt why because the curation of the ham is really taken care of.
Gañotes is a dessert that is generally eaten during Spanish Easter. Not only will you find this dessert in Huelva, but Cadiz too as it’s believed it originated in Sierra de Grazalema and Ubrique.
This dessert consists of a sweet cylinder dough made of flour, eggs, sugar, cinnamon, lemon and sesame seeds. It’s delicious.
Traditional food in Jaen
This dish comes from Sierra de Segura in Jaen, although it’s cooked in all the provinces of Jaen. Ajoatao consists of a potato mash that has other ingredients such as garlic, olive oil, lemon and egg yolk.
Most people have it as a starter accompanied by slices of bread or as a side dish.
Espinacas esparragadas, also called esparragás, is a common dish in many Andalusian cities. I remember my grandma preparing this for me when I was a kid.
It’s a delicious dish that it’s often served as a tapa in Jaen. The main ingredients of this dish are spinach, garlic, bread and eggs. However, there are other variations, in other cities chickpeas are the substitute for eggs.
This is the perfect side dish you want to have on a summer day – it’s as refreshing as Andalusian cold soups such as gazpacho or ajoblanco. There is not much story behind this dish, but it’s always been said it comes from Jaen!
Pipirrana is made of ripe tomatoes, green pepper, garlic, boiled eggs, tuna, salt and olive oil. You can easily make this dish vegetarian by avoiding tuna.
Hojaldre de Santa Elena
Who doesn’t love dessert or mid-afternoon sweet with a coffee or tea? This is a mouthwatering made of two squared puff pastries filled with cream and topped with icing sugar.
You’ll find the best hojaldre de Santa Elena in Despeñaperros area.
Traditional food in Malaga
This refreshing cold soup isn’t only popular in Malaga but in Granada too. Ajoblanco is made of bread, crushed almonds, garlic, water, olive oil and salt.
The soup is commonly served with grapes or slices of melon.
Boquerones al limón
This dish consists of fresh anchovies that are marinated in lemon for a few hours before they are covered in flour and fried. These anchovies can be accompanied by aioli sauce, which is common to have with most fried fish.
If you aren’t sure about boquerones al limón, another traditional fish dish is fritura malagueña – a mix of different types of fried fish which often includes squid, red mullets, and black sea bream.
Espetos de sardinas
The most popular dish in Malaga is espetos de sardinas. These are sardine skewers that are being placed on a small barbeque made in a little boat – just designed for roasting sardines and other fish and seafood.
You can find these sardines in most restaurants across Malaga and Costa del Sol, but it’s better to eat them in a beach bar or restaurant.
For those with a sweet tooth, tortas locas, also known as locas, is a must-try sweet. This sweet consists of two rounded pieces of puff pastry filled with delicious creamy custard and topped with a delicate orange frosting and cherry.
You can find these sweets all year round in any bakery or supermarket.
📌 Related blog post: The Ultimate Malaga Food Guide
Traditional food in Sevilla
Bacalao con tomate
Bacalao con tomate, haddock in tomato sauce, is a traditional dish from Seville.
Although you can find this dish or make it any time of the year, it’s specially made during Easter. The reason behind this is that if you follow the religious tradition of not eating meat during the holy week, you’ll find that this dish is a great alternative to meat.
Do you know eating snails is popular in Southern Spain? They’re very popular in Seville, and you can find them in many tapas bars and restaurants.
If you’re wondering how caracoles (snails) are cooked, they are thoroughly washed and boiled, and finally seasoned. Although the dish may not be your cup of tea, you don’t really know until you try them.
Cola de toro
Cola de toro, also known as rabo de toro in other cities, is a typical Andalusian dish that isn’t only cooked in Sevilla but in Cordoba.
This is a meat stew prepared with oxtail, red wine, carrots, leeks, onion, and peppers among other ingredients. The bull tail is bony, fatty and tough, so it’s slow-cooked for hours to make it juicy and tender.
Cola de toro is often served with a good portion of chips.
This traditional Andalusian dish is not only known in Southern Spain but all over the country. However, if we go back to its origins, Seville was the city that invented this tomato cold soup.
Gazpacho is an easy and affordable soup to make as it’s purely made with vegetables (cucumbers and tomatoes), garlic and bread. The best time to have this cold soup is during the summer months when the temperatures are very high across Andalusia.
So, what food is Andalucia famous for?
As you can see Southern Spain has a wide range of traditional dishes and desserts – from popular cold soups such as gazpacho to fried fish and ham, you don’t want to miss trying them on your trips
Another good way to discover the cuisine of each city is by booking a food tour or experience with a local guide. They’ll take you to the best places to eat in the city, so you can experience authentic Andalusian cuisine.
Pin these traditional Andalusian foods for later