Reimagining Tapas


We know that the word “tapas” conjures up images of many small plates at a Spanish table finished off with a pitcher of sangria. And while that’s an awfully good image, it’s not the only one available when you think of tapas in a larger context. Tapas to us means small sharable plates of something edible. They are not a starter or appetizer; together they form a complete meal. They may be hot or cold and they provide the perfect opportunity for tasting  variety of flavors from a destination, whether you’re in Spain, America or somewhere else in the world.


We find the serving of small shareable plates is naturally available in a variety of places. For example, in Mediterranean countries such as Greece, Cyprus and Turkey, the concept of mezedes is a natural part of the cuisine.


In the Middle East, mezze are are also featured throughout the cuisine. You will find great examples such as hummus and vegetable dips, meatballs, falafel, pickled vegetables, salads, olives, cheeses and much more spread before you as a feast of small delights to be sampled and shared.

Middle Eastern Mezedes

Asian food is also natural for sharing, from wonderful Japanese pork buns or edamame to Chinese egg rolls and dumplings there are a lot of bite sized or shareable tapas-friendly foods.


More Dumplings

Japanese Pork Buns and Edamame

Even Indian foods such as samosas, pakoras, and others make for a wonderful spread of tasty eats that work great as shareable plates.

Indian Tapas

And though it may seem contrary to the concept of a big bowl of pasta, or platter of chicken parmesan, Italian cuisine also lends itself to the wonders of sharing small plates. The traditional antipasto plate is meant to be shared.


But there are also some wonderful options you can treat this way, such as crostini or bruschetta, caprese (tomato and mozzarella slices), asparagus wrapped in prosciutto and other items.


Caprese with Prosciutto

Asparagus wrapped in Prosciutto

Latin cuisine makes good use of the small plates concept as well.

Cuban Tapas

You can enjoy Peruvian, Brazilian, Cuban or Mexican tapas. Empanadas and tacos make for wonderful small plates sharing.


Tacos Perfect for Sharing

Thinking about the idea of tapas, we can extend its application to just about any cuisine, even if it may seem not to fit. For example, when we were in Dublin, Ireland, we visited Fade St. Social, a very popular restaurant featuring “Irish Tapas.”


We sampled some delicious local fare made for sharing such as the novel raw beef flatbread a modern twist on traditional colcannon.


And even the if the idea of German tapas makes no sense in the mind, the tastebuds love the idea. Especially when doing some “beer tapas” as well. You can find small glasses for sampling or sharing in many places now and having some tastes that pair well can be fun and different.

Beer and German Tapas

Let’s not forget about dessert! Think about French profiteroles (though some of us would rather just eat all of them than share).


Or mini cannolis or zeppelin with different sauces for everyone to try.

Mini Cannoli


You may even find a well planned sampler of mini-desserts, such as we found at Seasons 52, where the choices are many but the calories are few!

Dessert Tapas

The concept of tapas has reached far beyond the borders of Spain. And we’re thrilled. Using a little creativity you can find all kinds of ways to create the tapas of your dreams. Tell us about your favorite, if unexpected, tapas discovery.

Pinnable Image Below

Reimagined Tapas Food Travelist


THE QUICK BITE: The concept of tapas has reached far beyond the borders of Spain. And we’re thrilled. Here are a few of the global tapas we’ve discovered in some unexpected places.


6 thoughts on “Reimagining Tapas

  1. What a feast for the eyes! The small plates concept is brilliant! By sharing small bites, we are able to order a great variety and taste many types of dishes! Its tends to keep me from overeating as well.

  2. Tapas are my favorite way to eat, no matter where I am in the world. One of my favorites is the Chinese dumplings that you’ve pictured above because they can be prepared so many different ways and with different dipping sauces.

  3. There’s a great metaphor to tapas and the concept of sharing. Your photos have me drooling and, I have to admit, I’m not sure that I’d be that generous with the French profiteroles … mmm!

  4. Oh my I’m glad I just ate lunch before reading – how DELICIOUS this post is! We enjoyed a table full of tapas in an unlikely place recently – Bistro Barrique in Bath, England! And we’re looking forward to returning for more next month!

  5. Oh my goodness, the tapas were in abundance. I love the tapas concept as it offers just enough to savor the flavor without over doing it. I’m checking out the shaved pork and dumplings.

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