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Tapas and Fresh Fish on the Costa Brava, Spain.

Updated: 9 hours ago

Passionate about food and travel? Me too! 😄 No point in trying to hide it I say. We all need more of the fun things in life. I'm lucky enough to get little travel fixes when I can, and that usually (actually, always) involves food experiences.

Food adventures bring a smile to my face so I hope I can bring some of that to you too.

Spanish tapas is on our cooking club schedule in June, so what better way to check out the real deal than to go on a little short break to the Costa Brava. I have the fortune of living in the south of France, less than two hours from the Spanish border, so I asked myself the question - is Tossa de Mar worth visiting for a short break in search of tapas and fresh fish?

So I went to find out.

Tossa de Mar has a bit of something for everyone - a beautiful medieval town with the Vila Vella (old town) and Castle perched on the headland dominating the town spread out below and protecting itself from the pirates of the seas in days gone by. Tossa's calm beauty will captivate you as you amble along the cobbled streets taking in the beautiful views. The cobbled alleyways and streets below the castle would have been the old fishing quarter in the past.

It is here that you will find tapas bars filling the seafront, where fresh fish and seafood is on pretty much all of the restaurant menus. Tapas dishes of anchovies jump straight off the page and sardines - what a treat! El Petite Bahia offers an "it would be rude not to" plate of sardines and a refreshing glass of cold beer - perfect for an early June treat. There are fabulous eatery choices all over this wonderful town so I was, of course, obliged to try a variety of dishes ranging from small street vendors to full menu restaurants.

With the natural beauty of coastal pathways and mountains surrounding Tossa, it really didn't feel too naughty stopping for a tapas or two and maybe even a beverage (sangria) or two - I'm sure I've heard it said that little and often is good for you 🤭. With ample exercise and fresh air (and that's not even including the option of sea swims – although for those of you who know me, ha ha, nope, I didn't get in there - I feel the cold you know!🤣), a little indulgence seemed quite fine.

June seems to be a great time of year to come here. August would be brutally hot and teaming with people I'm sure– who wouldn't want to come here! There's a very pleasant hustle and bustle about the place. Restaurants and bars are filling up, but not so much as to have a problem finding a table without reservation, and the produce is fresh and plentiful.

For me, I'd say it was a roaring research success. My favourite dishes would include the squid and anchovies tapas with a topping of salsa verde. Prawns are always in my top 10 of course, and the tuna and tomato empanadas were delicious. The restaurant menu including a succulent white fish coated with a Catalan tomato and aubergine based topping was an absolute delight - and of course I couldn't leave without a portion of patatas bravas and tortilla tapas!

In my search for tapas and fresh fish on the Costa Brava, I'd have to say I found the perfect location. Tossa de Mar is certainly worth visiting for tapas and fresh fish but so much more besides. If you're looking for a destination with amazing food choices, a laid back location, beautiful scenery and a historical and coastal combo, then this is it. I will certainly be coming back!

Extra info

For more information here's a few links to some of the places I found, tried or info sites on the web:

Tossa De Mar tourist office

Where I stayed:

I was able to take advantage of a low cost deal and stayed at the Continental Hotel. Not a scenic part of town (next to a petrol station) but super convenient and very close to everything. Depending on which direction your room faces, there is a very pleasant looking 4* hotel next door, with a lovely outdoor pool complex area, which makes for a pleasant view from your balcony. Otherwise it could be the petrol station!

The hotel itself seemed a little tired and worn but it has everything you need, including a swimming pool and an all-you-can-eat breakfast included in the price (with hot and cold options). There are half board and all-inclusive options available too. The highlight of the hotel is the staff - super friendly and helpful.

If you are on a budget this hotel is a good compromise. There are other low budget options in and around Tossa including 1* hostals and camping sites. At the other end of the scale there are also several 4* hotel options.

If you have a car, there are no parking facilities at the Continental hotel (although there is a 10 minute baggage drop/load stop area in front of the hotel). If you're happy to stroll, there are free street parking areas approx 10 minutes walk from the hotel or there are paid parking locations nearby.

Some of the places I stopped for food and drinks:

  • Marina restaurant -

  • Comestibles Can Castanyo, Carrer la Guàrdia - the empanadas were 5*

  • Bar el Jardi, Passeig del Mar

  • Vila Vella Bar Terraza - Lovely setting above the town in the castle area (near Ava's statue)

  • Sa Bauma - a nice beach bar stop at Platja Mar Menuda

There are many places to choose for eating and drinks so dive in and enjoy!

If you give it a go and head over to the Costa Brava - especially if you make it to Tossa de Mar, I'd love to know what you think - and definitely want to hear about any great food options you find 😉😃.

Tan's Cooking Club

Tan's Travel Club

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