Tapas Vocab – the essential selection

¿Hay tapitas? Is there tapas? Below you will find a useful guide to the vocabulary and phrases that you might need in the bars and restaurants of Granada. Grab the bull by the horns and go for it!


Una cerveza con migas | Image: Flickr CC Juanjo R

We have divided the list into five sections. Click the links to take you there:

Bebidas – Drinks   Carnes – Meat   Pescados y mariscos – Fish & Seafood   Vegeteriana – Vegetarian   Other useful words & phrases



Agua con gas/natural Sparkling water/still water
Agua del grifo Tap water
Con hielo/sin hielo With ice/without ice
Cerveza – caña, tubo, quinto, tercio  Beer – small glass, medium glass, small bottle 20/25 ml., medium bottle 33 cl. The local beer is Alhambra.
Clara Beer and lemonade – essentially the Spanish equivalent to shandy and a great option on a hot day.
Mosto Local non-alcoholic wine
Tinto de Verano A refreshing summer drink of red wine and lemonade. Similar strength to beer. Can be made in house or bought in so it varies from bar to bar.
Vino tinto/blanco/rosado Red wine/white wine/rosé
una copa*/una botella de vino A glass/a bottle of wine
Zumo de naranja (natural)/piña/manzana/pera/melocotón Juice, orange (freshly squeezed)/pinapple/apple/pear/peach
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Morcilla | Image: Flickr CC. Jonathan Picas



Albóndigas Meatballs
Caracoles Snails
Carne picada Minced meat
Cerdo Pork
Chorizo Cold sausage, spicy
Conejo Rabbit
Cordero – paletilla or pierna Lamb – shoulder or leg
Croquetas Potato croquettes often made with jamón
Embutidos Sausage selection
Habas con jámon Broad beans and cured ham
Hamburguesa Hamburger
Jamón Serrano (curado)/York (cocido) Ham, cured/cooked
Lomo de cerdo Pork loin
Morcilla Black pudding
Pinchos/brochetas Meat (or veg) on skewers
Pollo Chicken
Salmorejo Cold tomato soup with cured ham and boiled egg
Ternera Veal
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Mejillones | Image: Flickr CC Mover el Bigote

Pescados y mariscos

Fish & seafood

 Anchoas Salted achovies
Almejas Clams
Atún Tuna
Bacalao Cod
Boquerones Anchovies in sweet vinegar or small fried fish
Calamares frito/a la plancha Squid, fried/grilled
Cangrejo Crab
Chanquetes Whitebait
Ensaladilla (rusa) Russian salad of vegetables, potato, tuna and mayonnaise
Gambas Prawns (large)
Huevas Fish roe
Mejillones Mussels
Paella The famous Spanish rice dish which will often include meat and seafood
Pulpo  Octopus
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Tortilla Española con pimientos | Image: Flickr CC Jorge Díaz

Tapas vegetarianas y verduras

Vegetarian tapas & vegetables

Aceite de oliva Olive oil
Aceitunas Olives
Ajo Garlic
Ali oli garlic dip…
Arroz Rice
 Berenjenas con miel Scrumptiously thin sliced and fried aubergine drizzled with molases
Champiñónes Mushrooms
Ensalada Salad
Espárrago Asparagos
Espinacas Spinach
Gazpacho Cold tomato soup. Very refreshing in the summer.
Huevos revueltos/fritos Eggs scrambled/fried
Migas (pictured above)Flour or breadcrumbs lightly fried with garlic – may be served with chorizo or boquerones
Patatas a lo pobreDelicious andalucían dish of potatoes fried with peppers and onions in lashings of olive oil
Patatas asadas Roast potatoes
Patatas bravas Potatoes in spicy tomato sauce
Queso/curado Cheese/cured
Tortilla Spanish omelet (with potatoes)
Tortilla francesa Plain omelet
Verduras Vegetables
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Gazpacho y pan | Image: GranadaSpain

Other useful words and phrases

Asado(a) Roasted
A la plancha Grilled
Ahumado(a) Smoked
Barbacoa BBQ
Bocadillo Sandwich
Caliente Hot
Camarero(a) Waiter, waitress
Cubiertos – cuchillo, tenedor, cuchara Cutlery – knife, fork, spoon
La cuenta The bill
Frío(a) Cold
Frito Fried
Pan Bread
Picante Spicy
Plato, platito Plate, little plate
¡Ponme una caña!** Get me a beer!
Sal y pimienta Salt and pepper
Salsa Sauce
¡Traeme la cuenta!** Bring me the bill
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Notes on the language

*Copa not Vaso. Vaso is the word for glass, but when asking for a glass of wine it is more correct to say “una copa de vino tinto”

** ¡Ponme! ¡Traeme! It is perfectly acceptable, when you order in Spanish bars,  to simply say “get me a beer” or “bring me the bill”. It is a very direct language in this sense. In England it might seem rude, but here in Spain it would be considered a little strange if you were to constantly use the ultra polite form I would like… “Me gustaría una copa de vino blanco” when ordering. Good luck with this one. It is quite liberating when you get into your stride.