How to Throw a Tapas Party

Have you ever wanted to throw a party? Yeah, you and every one else, right? Boring! You're looking for some different ideas. How about a combination of a Swedish Smörgåsbord and a Spanish buffet? In Spain this is called a Tapas Party, otherwise known as a movable feast. A Tapas is a small sample of a meal entrée. In some cases it is a Tapas, a sampler platter of several entrée items. Tapas are simply part of the lifestyle in Spain. In the US this is a new fad. Sometimes these are just snacks to soothe the Hungry Horace between lunch and the usually late Spanish dinner, an assortment of Tapas very neatly fulfills the bill of a complete meal of its own, through one with many stages and, often, many stops along the way.


  1. Image titled Throw a Tapas Party Step 1
    Decide whether you want to hold this in one place or whether you want to be genuine and go from house to house or club to club. Whether you go out to restaurants or do the party in-house you will need to set up your routine.
  2. Image titled Throw a Tapas Party Step 2
    If you decide to make the movable feast, unless you are in Spain, you will either have to call ahead to the restaurant(s) and order a menu or simply order small portions of appetizers when you get there. If you have an accommodating restaurateur locally you can plan the entire party at one place.
  3. Image titled Throw a Tapas Party Step 3
    If you go to restaurants you will want to set a dollar amount and an idea of what your menu should be. The idea of the Tapas is a small appetizer or an hors d'oeuvre platter. Many restaurants will accommodate a party if you make arrangements for your type of party. Timing fits into everything. Part of the fun is to find a series of restaurants, preferably of different types of cuisine, within walking distance. You would go to the first, enjoy your small meal, enjoy some music, dancing, fellowship, then you would simply move to the next restaurant in line. You can do the same type of party moving from home to home.
  4. Image titled Throw a Tapas Party Step 4
    Arrange your stops. If you are going out, many places will arrange a sampler of entrees if you make it worth it to them. Bring in enough people and purchase items from their ready five-dollar menu.
  5. Image titled Throw a Tapas Party Step 5
    If you decide to hold your party at one place set up a ballroom or a dining hall with tables set up tables throughout the room, each decorated with items and colors fitting the cuisine or the nationality of the fare at that place. Make the tables a circle around the room with a dining area decorated like a side-walk café theme with room for a dance floor in the center.
  6. Image titled Throw a Tapas Party Step 6
    Set up a menu. Decide upon which recipes you want and whether you will go international or simply make several items with various methods. Spanish on one table, Italian on the next, Greek on the next, American on another, Mexican on yet another, English, Traditional Irish, etc., or a New England Clam Bake on one, Southern on another, Southwestern on the next, Tex-Mex on yet another, etc. The varieties are only limited by your imagination.
  7. Image titled Throw a Tapas Party Step 7
    If using a buffet set up a set of tables with samples of appetizers, or Tapas, from different countries or different genres of cuisine. In Spain most public houses offer free Tapas with your drinks. This is not so in many countries.
  8. Image titled Throw a Tapas Party Step 8
    Will you have a number of dishes to serve? Bring out a small selection of a number of your selections. When they run out, bring out several others. Rotate through the list of selections throughout the night.


  • Will you serve alcohol? If so, then you want to arrange the logistics of transportation in advance.
  • If you're walking from one restaurant to another, plan for the order so you will all be in the same place on time, and observe safety with the party.
  • Make it a theme party. Add an international flair. Add music for dancing. The options are limitless.
  • Have a menu to be made and brought by many guests. Set them out to provide variety and interest. Since most traditional Tapas parties are accompanied by wine, this is a good way to keep people munching and full while drinking.
  • It's normal for the typical Spaniard to wait until 10:00 - 10:30 at night to have their evening meal, and they often drift from club to tavern for several hours.

Article Info

Categories: Parties