There is no question that one of the enduring qualities of Andalucia is the tapa—which is basically the equivalent of an appetizer. Here in Granada, every time you order a drink at a restaurant, you receive a free tapa. This is the case whether you order a beer, soda, or a bottled water, and we now look forward to our tapas with great enthusiasm whenever we go out. If you order another drink, they will bring you another tapa. They can be substantial too—ranging from sliders to paella to jamon. These tapas are selected by the chef, so you wait with baited breath. These might not fit the picky eater, but for someone like me who eats anything, it adds an element of mystery and excitement that is to be savored.
More than anything, tapas just feel like a treat, a little piece of luxury and a gesture that makes you feel as if they really do care about your experience. In the United States, free food isn’t easy to come by in restaurants, and the Spanish tapa truly makes you feel like a guest in someone’s home…rather than a customer.
Lastly, if you were wondering if they merely adjust the prices accordingly to incorporate the cost of the tapa, the photo below illustrates that they do not.