Welcome to Harrisonburg, a city where you can find a restaurant that serves sushi next to a pizza parlor and around the corner be greeted by a sign that reads “Donuts, Burgers, and Beer.” Yes, Pure Eats, I’m talking about you. Harrisonburg and it’s diverse culture gives your stomach something to be thankful for.


Gif courtesy of giphy.com

One thing, though, that I’ve learned since being abroad in Spain is that Harrisonburg could really use a tapas bar. Shall we tapa bout it? Yes, yes we shall. Spaniards crave their tapas like JMU students crave E Hall brunch. And it serves as a passage way to the true Spanish lifestyle, just as E Hall brunch welcomes new students, and all returners, the first weekend we’re all back.

These are no mere form of appetizers, but rather they are foods with smaller portion sizes that take your snack time to a whole new level. Here’s 9 reasons why Harrisonburg should welcome a tapas bar with open arms:

1. Cheap Eats


Photo by Jaye Lind

Kind to your stomach, warming to your heart, and easy on the wallet. Tapas give you many bites for your buck. Also, there are typically no separate checks in Spain, so improve your math skills trying to divide the check as well as save yourself many dollars if you go with a group of people. Tapas are college kid broke dishes for sure.

2. Two Words: Patatas Bravas


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Also known as a fancy way to say french fries covered in melted queso and sriracha aioli sauce. Bless up for this dish, you can’t go to tapas and not find it at the top of the menu so if a tapas bar decides to open in Hburg, then these must be on the list. If you consider yourself “hipster AF” then this plate is for you.

3. A little bit of everything


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Slider here, patatas there, olives next, and mini sandwich to close off the night. You get your protein with the burger, grease with the fries, and zestiness with olives. Best part of it all is that everyone gets to try each dish. All cravings satisfied for sure.

4. Consider yourself cultured


Photo by Korakot Suriya-arporn

Say bye to the fries you just picked up from the McDonald’s drive-thru, and say hello to foreign words and foreign foods. Learn that patatas means potatoes, obviously, or that “jamon” is ham.

Say hello to expanding your cultural vocabulary and goodbye to medical terminology for a brief period of time.  It’d be a nice break from the Harrisonburg school hustle, and a moment out for tapas could feel like a trip to Europe, Kim Kardashian style. All for the food, not for the walking around.

5. Finger foods are cute


Photo courtesy of @laurelanoo on Instagram

Tiny foods are adorable, trendy, and definitely foodstagram worthy. Instead of a photo of a single acai bowl, you’ll be able to post a square with a colorful array and variety of foods; all of which you’d be capable of buying for the same price as an acai bowl. 

6. Dessert before dinner can be a real thing


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Yes, it is acceptable to order dessert at tapas, even if you haven’t had dinner yet. The Spaniards love their small portion sizes and little treats here and there, and they satisfy it best through tapas.

7. We’ve got a ton of joints to grab a beer, so why not invite wine into the mix


Photo courtesy of @mrttaa9014 on Instagram

One does not go to tapas and not get a glass of wine. Whether you like red, wine, or having one of each, you must always pair tapas with wine. It’d be an ice break from filling out your notches at Jack Brown’s and becoming a connoisseur of the classiest drink.