Spain is one of the best places to visit if you and your children love to eat well on holiday. The Spanish diet is full of delights and the Spanish attitude toward eating together as a family is positive and friendly. Sarah Christie of Extraordinary Travel (right) reveals the best thing to eat in different parts of the country and how to get your children to try new foods. Over to Sarah…
Food is a huge part of travel for many families; in the Christie household it is most certainly a highlight. It didn’t always used to be that way. I remember the days of fussy toddlers existing on apples and ham and cheese toasties during our travels. Until we decided that in order to widen our boy’s palettes we had to use a different approach to food, it was fast becoming the enemy of travel. (We’ve all been there haven’t we?) We decided we needed to turn our picky eaters into foodies and made a rule that the boys must try a new food every day when we travel. The rules state you don’t have to finish said dish, but you must try it and we had to take part too.
This new mantra was revolutionary, gone are the days of beige food, and of never daring to book a great restaurant. Our boys are culinary adventurers. Yes they still love plain food, they are teenagers! But they also get excited about trying new dishes and delicacies as we travel.
And Spain is one such place we love to explore. It’s not just about sun, great beaches and beautiful villages, it also offers food-loving families the opportunity to reconnect and explore new flavours as they embrace the wonderful Spanish attitude to family dining.
With this in mind I wanted to take you on a Spanish foodie adventure and have enlisted the help of some friends to share some Spanish regional delights they have discovered on their travels.
Try a tasting menu in Llafranc
A wonderful way to get children trying new things is ordering a tasting menu. And Sam recommends the menu at Hotel LLevant in Llafranc. Llevant offers the perfect opportunity to try out a selection of dishes without the commitment of a whole meal. With a menu offering delicacies such as Iberico Ham and Scallops, which are both firm favourites in our home this really is a restaurant I know we would love. And as a back up for those kiddies that are not ready to try new things quite yet, there is also a children’s menu, ensuring us parents still get to eat a delicious meal without the compromise.
Where to eat in Barcelona
Barcelona is bursting with choice to the point it becomes overwhelming. If you would like an authentic experience head to Plaça Reial not far off Las Ramblas. It is the prettiest square dotted with cafes and restaurants. We love Les Quinze Nits where you can order a tapas sample menu or a sharing a huge dish of paella. And enjoy a lazy lunch as you people watch, also try out one of the delicious smoothies and give kids a healthy energy boost to cool down in the midday sun.
But what if kids just don’t like restaurants? Families come in all different shapes and sizes and Kirstie from The Family Adventure Project advises that if this is the case, look for the best street food in Barcelona, she advises trying the markets. Filled to the brim with enticing colours and delicious snacks, the markets are a great way to bring out the foodie in even the fussiest of eaters.
If you fancy trying a à la carte meal in Barcelona, Lisa recommends heading to the Casanova Beach Club for the ultimate city beach experience. It’s located on the promenade of Castelldefels just outside Barcelona, and not only offers the most delectable food — the sort of food you don’t know whether to photograph or eat — it also is a great place to potentially star-spot if you know your footballers. I would struggle to keep our football-crazy pair away from here!
Fish tour and cooking in Palamós
If you are a hands-on kind of family then Gretta recommends the fish tour at Espai del Peix, Palamós is the perfect way to not only find out about how our fish is sustainable caught, but also take part in a workshop with chef Joan Cuadrat and cook your own meal. This is a great way for young minds to really embrace food and take an interest in what they are eating which creates a back door into trying out new food. Because if you cook it, you always try it!
Which are the best restaurants In Palma Mallorca?
When the extremely well travelled Trish from Mums Gone To shared her favourite foodie experiences from Mallorca she said the one restaurant she would definitely return to is la Bodeguilla. La Bodeguilla offers a rustic atmosphere with great food, serving a selection of steaks, monkfish and tapas. It also offers an extensive wine cellar for those amongst us who love to sample a great local wine.
Whilst on San Sebastián try out Pastelería Oiartzun
I often offer our boys the opportunity to have dessert on the go, especially if they are getting a tad fidgety. They almost always opt for the option of grabbing a dessert or ice cream from a street vendor. Ting from My Travel Monkey hailed Pastelería Oiartzun as one of the best bakeries in San Sebastián. Her foodie guide of the region offers many places to try out when travelling with children. However she was particularly enamoured by the cakes and pastries in this particular establishment, which also offers a large selection of gelato.
Choose one of the 4,000 tapas bars in Seville
Where on earth you would start? Thankfully Katy from Untold Morsels has given a few suggestions. She recommends something altogether unique that may be more suitable for families with older children: try out a Tapeo (Tapas Crawl). This offers such a different experience for families teens love to explore. A Tapas Crawl offers the opportunity to really explore Seville and the different dishes it has to offer whilst taking in the sights that teens and kids may not be so keen on. However it may also work well as a food treasure hunt to really engage younger children.
Granada also offer tapas tours
Daisy told me tapas is served free when you order drinks in bars in Granada, she decided on her recent trip that it would be best to do a tour with a guide who would know the most suitable places to take her family as they were travelling with children. And because it’s free all the bars compete with each other to try to get customers through the door, so the food is always delicious! Daisy told me that her children did so well trying out all the new dishes and they thoroughly enjoyed the experience as a family
Try out beach food in Rinlo Asturias at A Cofradia Del Rinlo
Emma tried this beach restaurant on the recommendation of a local; you can’t go wrong with local recommendations can you? However generally you must book weeks in advance to get a reservation, which is a true testament to its popularity. Trish recommends the Arroz Caldoso (Lobster Rice) but it also offers an extensive menu and for the kids you can’t go wrong with calamari.
Eat in the tallest building in Lanzarote or even a volcano
And lastly, on my recent trip to Lanzarote I was blown away with the dining options. I honestly don’t think I can choose a favourite in regards to quality. However the Star City Gastro Bar at the Arrecife Gran Hotel has a bistro and a la carte dining with sea views of Lanzarote. Being the only tall building in Lanzarote, the restaurants offer spectacular views over the bay and the coolest menu. This is the sort of place that would suit a family with older kids and teens, it oozes cool factor and serves delicious food.
For an altogether different experience head to El Diablo Restaurant at Timanfaya National Park and dine on a volcano. This is the ultimate BBQ restaurant, set amongst the natural scenery of Timanfaya national park, which has thankfully maintained its natural unspoilt beauty. El Diablo offers a delicious array of meals, many cooked in fire pits built within the volcanoes walls. Where your food is cooked from the earth from geothermal energy. I would thoroughly recommend the coach tour of the volcano before you dine, it is such a wonderful way for children to find out all about volcanoes and a great subject for show and tell.
There you have it, my ultimate family foodie Spanish Island hop.
It’s so important to avoid safe dining options when travelling. Ok we all have those days we just want to chill and take the easy route. But planning in a few exciting foodie experiences can take you on a whole new road of adventure.
This post is part of the #SpainforFamilies paid project with Spain, promoting family travel across the country. All opinions are my own with a little help from some trusted friends and travel blogging parents.