What is Spain’s answer to the pizza, hot dog, taco and other fast food?

empanadas Madrid

Spaniards aren’t necessarily fond of fast food when it comes to major meals, prefering to take their time with a hearty menu of the day. For snacking purposes however, fast food options are on the rise. Yet among the obvious American intruders here in Madrid (can the city really handle another frozen yogurt chain!?) there are a few authentic Spanish fast foods to be found.

Perhaps the classic Spanish fast food is the empanada. Consisting of a simple filling stuffed between bread or pastry, these treats have been adopted by cultures all around the world, but legend has it that the original empanadas came from Galicia in northern Spain. Galician empanadas tend to be enormous and are often served cut in smaller slices. Other parts of Spain and Latin America have adapted the Galician version into personal-sized, semi-circle shaped snacks.

Spaniards take their empanadas seriously, and everyone has a different favorite filling. Some of the most popular are:

  • Empanada de Carne: Filled with ground beef and pork, onions, roasted red pepper, garlic and egg.
  • Empanada de Atún: Stuffed with tuna, hard boiled egg, roasted peppers and tomato.
  • Empanada de Bacalao con Pasas: A true classic, filled with salt cod, onion, raisins and egg.

For a great empanada recipe (in Spanish) check out Recetas de Rechupete.

For irresistible Galician-style empanadas in the center of Madrid, you must try El Rincón de la Empanada Gallega– you’ll be hooked!

Lauren Aloise

About Lauren Aloise

Drawn to Spain by promises of great food and wine, Lauren loves exploring Madrid’s hidden corners and is always searching out the city’s best places to grab a bite.

Image Credits: Raúl Fotografía

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