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Throw a fun tapas party

Originally from Spain, tapas are small plates of appetizers to be enjoyed with cocktails, or you can order several as your main meal. Why not adopt this format for a fun, more social theme at your next dinner party? Here’s how.

Tapas party

Tapas is a fantastic theme for a party because it gives you, the host, a chance to walk around and mingle with guests while you eat rather than slaving in the kitchen and sitting down to a more formal type of meal. More and more restaurants in Canada are switching to this format, and they’re not sticking to strictly Spanish recipes. After all, any dish made in a small, shared-plate format can be part of a tapas party. If you want to stick to Spanish dishes, here are some you should include.


You can’t have a tapas party without sangria. This tasty wine-and-fruit concoction is a favourite of many people, so make a large punch bowl of it. It’s best to prepare it the day before your party, to allow the flavours to mix together and for the fruit to imbue their flavours while absorbing the wine’s. Any one of these sangria recipes is sure to hit the spot.


This tasty Spanish egg-and-potato pie is a good staple to have at a tapas party. It tends to be rather hearty, so you’ll know your guests will be well fed. Try this recipe from Mark Bittman — slice into thin wedges and let guests serve themselves.


Warm up some bowls of mixed olives for a super-simple yet delicious tapas dish your guests can snack on.


Fry some sliced-up chorizo (or bettet yet, let the meat marinate in red wine first), and the meatlovers at your party will be in heaven.

Patatas bravas

You’ll find this on nearly every tapas menu in Barcelona. It’s a dish of cubed fried potatos topped with a spicy tomato sauce and aioli.


Pick up some super-fresh, oily anchovies for another simple dish. Keep some fresh bread handy too for those guests who like to have bread with this salty favourite.

Deep-fried calamari

If you feel up to deep-frying battered calamari in the middle of your party (as it only tastes good when served immediately), this dish will surely get gobbled up when passed around your tapas fete.

More entertaining tips & recipes

Throw a fantastic supper party for your foodie friends
Simple and refreshing peach sangria recipe
Throw a Mexican fiesta

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