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10 Tasty Cold Tapas That are Perfect to Eat in Summer

10 Tasty Cold Tapas That are Perfect to Eat in Summer

The scorching temperatures in Spain mean that people look for just about any way to keep cool. This includes the way that the locals cook and eat during the hottest months. Why use the stove top or oven when there are so many delicious cold tapas you can try? Here are 10 dishes that are perfect for the summer that will help you beat the Spanish summer heat!


If you love cold tapas, you'll love gazpacho!

Photo by Foodista on Visual Hunt / CC BY

Gazpacho is cool, refreshing, and just the thing you’re craving when the temps start to rise. This cold soup gets its color from the tomatoes inside, but there’s actually quite a mix of veggies that are in it, like bell peppers, cucumber, and onions. You can drink gazpacho from a glass, or with a spoon from a bowl like a soup. Crisp and delicious, it’s easily one of the most popular cold tapas in Spain in the warmer months.

Boquerones en vinagre

Another no-heat-to-prepare dish is boquerones en vinagre, fillets of fresh anchovies that are submerged in vinegar and oil to marinate and then seasoned with garlic and parsley. It’s a tapas bar classic in the summertime, especially at the beach bars, or chiringuitos. Boquerones pair fantastically with an ice-cold beer, which helps to cut the acidity of the vinegar.

See more: All about Spanish Tomato Bread and How to Best Enjoy it

Ensaladilla rusa

Ensaladilla rusa is Spain’s take on potato salad. A mix of veggies, like peas, carrots, potatoes, and onions, are mixed with hard-boiled eggs and tuna and tossed in mayo and seasonings. Its a great dish to share and is usually available at any tapas bar. Most commonly, ensaladilla rusa is eaten with picos, crunchy, little bread sticks, that can be dipped right in, so no need for utensils!

Salpicón de mariscos

Photo by gastroypolitica on Visual Hunt / CC BY

If you love seafood, salpicón de mariscos is the dish for you in the summer. Freshly-chopped bell peppers, onions, and cucumbers, tossed with seafood like mussels, shrimp, and octopus, are then marinated with vinegar, olive oil, and spices. This is one of the best cold tapas in the summer since it’s so fresh and light, but still filling and satisfying.

Tomate aliñado

A simple, light, cold dish in the summer is tomate aliñado, or dressed tomato salad. Ripe, juicy tomatoes are cut up and garnished with minced garlic, oregano, and sea salt, then drizzled with vinegar and olive oil. This cold tapa is so easy and just the thing for when the heat has you craving something chilled and delicious.

Patatas alioli

Patatas alioli are creamy, rich, and slightly indulgent, but oh-so-good. Garlic alioli is the perfect savory sauce to smother over boiled potatoes to create one of the most delicious cold tapas of the summer. Sea salt and fresh parsley give this dish an extra pop of flavor, as well. The only bad thing about patatas alioli is that you won’t want to share!

Melón con jamón

Photo by katiebordner on Visualhunt / CC BY

Another easy-peasy summer classic is melón con jamón, which is exactly what it sounds like: chilled summer melon wrapped in slices of salty Spanish ham. This is the ultimate combo of sweet and salty that you never knew you needed.


Salmorejo is like a thicker, creamier version of gazpacho, and is more filling, too. While cold soup seems strange to some, it’s a tasty way to stay cool in the summer months. Often times, bits of Spanish ham and hard-boiled egg are sprinkled on top for garnish. This chilled soup is seasonal and only served in the summer, so enjoy it while you can.

Pimientos rellenos

No-cook tapas are seriously the best in summer so that you can stay as cool as possible in the kitchen, and pimientos rellenos are another great option that are filling and easy to assemble. Piquillo peppers are cooked and canned, so just pop open the can and stuff them with a filling that is a mix of black olives, tuna, onions, and parsley. It’s that easy! Look for these tasty peppers in any tapas bar in the summer for something cool and satisfying.

Pan con tomate y jamón

We love pan con tomate, as it’s so versatile and easy to enjoy. One of the easiest and tastiest cold tapas to enjoy in the summer is pan con tomate topped with delicious jamón ibérico. Pair this simple tapa with your favorite Spanish wine or beer and you’re all set!

Summertime is the perfect time to join Food Lover Tour on a tasty food tour in any of our cities! Book yours now and taste the best cold tapas and other dishes in town!