Around the World in Houston: Discover Spain

Photo courtesy of Solero Flamenco

With a labyrinth of cultures represented in every nook and cranny of town, Houston is one of the most ethnically diverse cities in America. To celebrate this world-class melting pot, we’ll be exploring a new region of the globe through a Houston lens each week, from annual festivals and museums to restaurants and cultural experiences. Join the journey with our Around the World in Houston series.

From Spanish art and Flamenco dancing to restaurants rocking paella, jamón Ibérico, and crema Catalana, the rich traditions of Spain can be found all throughout the city.

Annual Festivals & Cultural Events

Museums & Cultural Organizations

  • La Casa de España Houston Established in 1973, this non-profit socio-cultural organization promotes the rich culture and traditions of Spain. Follow along on Facebook to find events throughout the year.
  • Talento Bilingüe de Houston Located in the East End, this bilingual English-Spanish theatre bolsters Houston’s Hispanic arts experience through programs and performances throughout the year.
  • Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Explore over 400 artworks from Spanish artists at this Museum District jewel.

Spanish Food & Drink

  • 1252 Tapas Bar & Kitchen Locals head to this Market Street eatery to nosh on an eclectic mix of traditional and contemporary tapas and dishes, from pan tomate, paella, and Serrano croquettes to bacon-wrapped scallops and cider-glazed chorizo.
  • Andalucia Tapas Restaurant & Bar Tucked away in the heart of Downtown, this tapas restaurant and bar offers a glimpse into Spanish culture via authentic eats, live music, and flamenco dancing. Share plates of boquerones, grilled octopus, piquillos rellenos, flan, arroz con leche, and paella plump with chorizo, chicken, pork, and seafood.
  • BCN Taste & Tradition Showing off the fine dining side of Spanish cuisine, BCN is a nod to the city of Barcelona. Indulge in chef Luis Roger’s cutting-edge eats, from black ink bomba packed with clams, mussels, and scampi to suckling Ibérico pig “a la Segoviana.” Be sure to save room for Catalán vanilla brûlée with aged rum raisins.
  • Beckrew Wine HouseThis chic wine bar offers interesting selections from around the globe (including Spanish reds, whites, and brews). Sip a glass or a flight alongside bites like imported jamón Ibérico and manchego cheese, Spanish-style chorizo rioja, Serrano ham croquettes, and pan con tomato.
  • Boca2 Gastro Bar & Bites In Memorial, this intimate tapas bar offers dishes like pulpo gallego, papas bravas, Serrano-wrapped shrimp, manchego and jamon crostini, tortilla española, and pinchos morunos.
  • CafezaGet bocadillos and traditional churros y chocolate alongside artisan coffees and wines at this cool cafeceria, inspired by the cafes of Barcelona and Buenos Aires.
  • Costa Brava Bistro Spanish fare gets a French kiss at this cozy Bellaire bistro. Dine on gazpacho Andaluz, Galician-style grilled octopus, loaded paella, and arroz con leche.
  • El Meson Melding classic Spanish and Cuban fare, El Meson’s tapas-style and main course offerings include calamares a la plancha, ham and chicken croquetas, tortilla española, and seafood paella infused with the finest grade of saffron from Spain.
  • El Toro Spanish Tapas This Spanish food truck rocks patatas bravas, croquetas, and sandwiches stuffed with things like tumbet mallorquín and jamon and manchego.
  • Ibiza Food & Wine Bar Indulge in the vibrant tastes of the Mediterranean at this Midtown stunner, which draws a trendy (and hungry) crowd and boasts an excellent selection of wine. Dine on 22-month aged jamón Ibérico, la plancha style octopus with Spanish chorizo, basque pepper and crab bisque, and simply grilled fresh fish.
  • Mi Luna Tapas Restaurant & Bar Sip sangria and share tapas like patatas bravas, croquettes, braised oxtail rioja, pinchos carne and paella kissed with Gulf shrimp, black mussels, Spanish chorizo and saffron. And be sure to check out the live music on Thursday and Saturday nights.
  • One Fifth Romance Languages Through the end of July 2018, this evolving restaurant is focusing on the cuisine of romance languages, offering French, Italian and Spanish tastes. Make your reservation to feast on decadent dishes from caviar topped Spanish tortilla and succulent seafood paella to suckling pig and shrimp and chorizo.
  • Oporto Fooding House & Wine Though its focus is Portuguese petiscos (tapas), Oporto offers a taste of Spain via Spanish cheeses, wines and meats like jamón Serrano and chorizo.
  • Phoenicia Specialty Foods Hit either location of this massive international market to pick up Spanish imports like extra virgin olive oil, sherry vinegar, pine nuts, olives, manchego cheese, Serrano ham, saffron, wines, and beers.

Language Classes, Education Centers, Groups & Meet-Ups

  • CCLS Language School  This language center offers small group or private Spanish classes offering individualized learning, interactive classrooms and knowledge of authentic Spanish.
  • Habla Houston Learn to speak Spanish through weekly classes, interactive meetups and more.
  • Spanish over Coffee Brush up on your Spanish language skills with all-level classes that help you learn through conversation. Program experiences include dinner parties, game nights, scavenger hunts, and grocery shopping.
  • The Houston Spanish Language Meetup This language group is open to anyone interested in practicing and improving their conversational skills in Spanish, with meetups offered throughout the week.
  • Flamenco Lessons – Learn this unique style of music and dance with Flamenco programs at spots like the Artisan School of Dance and Lucia & Valdemar Flamenco.
  • Spain-Texas Chamber of Commerce – Headquartered in Houston, this non-profit is organized to enhance business relationships and promote commercial ties and investment between Spain and the State of Texas.

Other Notables

  • Solero Flamenco This Houston-based flamenco performance company presents vibrant performances featuring soulful song, guitar, and dance throughout the city. Look out for them in spots like Andalucia Tapas Restaurant & Bar and the Hobby Airport.
  • “Tolerance” at Buffalo Bayou Park Internationally-renowned Spanish sculptor Jaume Plensa was commissioned to create the grouping of seven stainless steel figures in Buffalo Bayou Park. Dubbed “Tolerance,” the seven human figures represent the seven continents, with a framework consisting of alphabetic symbols from languages around the world.
  • BBVA Compass Stadium Fútbol fans can get their fix at this EaDo soccer stadium, home to both the Houston Dynamo and the Houston Dash.
Previous articlePlan Your Weekend: January 18 to 21, 2018
Next articleWatch the Houston episode of PBS’ Samantha Brown’s Places to Love online for free
Brooke Viggiano is a food and lifestyle writer residing in Houston. When she's not contributing to publications like 365 Things to Do in Houston, Thrillist Houston and the Houston Press, she's on the hunt for the coolest happenings in the city. You can follow her musings on Twitter @BrookeViggiano .