How it works:
- Most food places are fine, it’s generally just a few bad eggs around touristy areas that spoil it for the rest.
- Version 1: some restaurants will advertise low price specials outside, but provide tourist menus with higher prices, or a menu without any prices.
- Version 2: some restaurants also give out expired coupons to pull you in.
- Version 3: charging you using your home currency with very unfavourable exchange rates.
- Version 4: serving dyed yellow rice as paella.
- Version 5: not including and not mentioning the IVA tax in the menu.
- Version 6: serving bread and olives that you did not order. However, if these are listed in the menu with prices displayed, it is legal and you just have to reject it.
Places to beware:
- Please refer to the location tags above
- Examples: Barcelona: Las Ramblas, Gothic Quarter (Barri Gotic); Cordoba: China Town; Madrid: Plaza Mayor; Tenerife: Los Cristianos Harbour, Marine Walks, Port of Los Cristianos; Valencia: Central Market (Mercado Central)
What to do:
- Choose: reputable places (use food review apps like El Tenedor) and avoid those promoted by touts.
- Check: menu (prices, fine print), itemized bill, and do not eat what was not ordered.
- Reputable food tour operators: a reputable operator will ensure that you get to sample the best and the most unique cuisines which Spain has to offer while immersing in the local culture. Some reputable local names to consider include The Barcelona Taste (the first gastronomical tour company, and still the only offering very small group sizes, operating exclusively in Barcelona).
- Alternative: GetYourGuide (best day tours platform in Europe) has a couple of food tours.