Tapas are now served world wide, but did you know that their origins started in Alicante? Montaditos are little delicacies placed on a slice of crusty bread which were given free to travellers of old to accompany their wine or beer – a custom which still survives in some bars like the Meson de Labradores on the street of the same name, Calle Labradores.
Enjoying Tapas in Alicante City
Eventually these grew to become the Tapas we know and love and are a perfect way to sample local food; in their simplest form they can be a small, free offering with your drink, or you can order a number of dishes to share. Raciones are larger versions of Tapas and it’s very easy, with bread, to make a main meal out of them.
You will find Tapas served everywhere, but a good place to start your gastronomic tour is the area around the Town Hall Square and the Plaza de Montaceta. As a pointer, In the street named Rafeal Altimira you can find the stylish tapas bar of Senzone – very modern in design it offers a wide selection that can be eaten inside or out. The displays of food are a definite must see!
Whilst close by, a smaller place that along with tapas also offers a menu of the day (usually a three-course meal at a special low price). Called La Rambla Bar it’s situated on the Portal de Elche square, where you’ll also find a small tourist information kiosk. This little café bar is perfect for everything from breakfasts to evening meals, all at a very good price.
Finally why not try the Lizarran Taberna, just a stroll along La Rambla. Here you order your drink and help yourself to the montaditos. Available cold from the counter, you can also keep an eye out for the fresh hot dishes leaving the kitchen. Each has a toothpick anchoring the delicacy (fish, meat, egg etc) to the slice of bread…..but don’t throw them away, this is how you pay! When you’ve eaten enough just take your toothpicks to the waiter who will count them up, add the price to your drinks and there you have it! Generally they cost about 50 cents each – so a very reasonable way to enjoy a snacky selection.