Mark Dad’s 65th Birthday with a “Taste of Spain” Soiree!

Treat Dad to a special birthday celebration for his 65th—with a surprise party menu inspired by sunny Spain! No matter that you’ve never prepared something like this before. Or that you don’t even cook! The key is to plan a delectable selection of Hispanic specialties, and then see if some family members can pitch in with the preparations. The rest can be ordered from a nearby Spanish restaurant or a party catering service (*this post contains affiliate links).

After all, Dad’s enjoyment of all your company is what counts most on this occasion. Scrumptious food and fine Spanish wine simply sweeten the togetherness!

Set Up a Delish Tapas Bar

Tapas party buffet table
Set up a mini tapas bar offering up favorites from this Spanish culinary tradition.

Mini tapas bar

Impress guests with a unique party spread patterned after that institution of Spanish cuisine known as the tapas bar! Found on virtually every street corner in major cities and towns in Spain, these ultra-popular establishments are a cross between a café and a bar—serving appetizer-like dishes on little plates. Although the offerings are bite-size, if you take enough nibbles of everything, you’ll feel like you’ve had a full meal!

Spanish wines
Have authentic Spanish wines and sangria on hand, too!

Spanish red wine & sangria

To go with your tapas dishes, you must serve some fine Spanish wine and/or sangria!

  • Spain is best known for its red wine. And of these, the most famous are those from the Rioja and the Ribera del Duero regions of the country. So look out for those names on the wine labels.
  • Another staple at Spanish gatherings is the delicious chilled wine punch known as sangria. Either purchase it pre-mixed in bottles or make your own. Then, serve very cold in large pitchers.

Serve Up Savory Dishes

Spanish torta omelette
The Spanish omelette, known as tortilla, has a delicious filling of potatoes, onions, and herbs. Any party leftovers are yummy enjoyed cold as an anytime snack!

Tapas dishes are actually appetizers. So it’s typical to have a selection of 6 to 8 different dishes, ranging from vegetables to meat to seafood. Take your pick, then, from each section of the list below to create a customized tapas menu for Dad’s party!

Black olives on red square plates for a tapas party.
Olives served in pretty plates are perfect for tapas!


  • Tortilla (Spanish omelette)
  • Tomates Rellenos de Atun or Stuffed Tomatoes (see photo above)
  • Patatas bravas (see photo below)
  • Sauteed garlic mushrooms (see photo below)
  • Chickpeas and spinach
  • Artichokes with jamon serrano


  • Albondigas (meatballs with Chipotle sauce)
  • Croquetas de jamon (ham croquettes)
  • Ham, cheese and chorizo with bread


  • Gambas al ajillo (prawns in garlic)
  • Skewered chorizo and prawns
  • Whitebait with lemon aioli
  • Crisp-friend squid
  • Salt cod croquettes
  • Grilled mussels with chorizo

Spanish potatoes and mushrooms.Patatas bravas and sauteed garlic mushrooms make enticing choices indeed as part of the tapas spread! Present them in attractive Spanish-style platters and plates.

Tomato with egg salad
Tomates Rellenos de Atun are easy appetizers to make for a summer tapas party.

Main dishes
If you feel you must have a main entree, here are just 3 of Spain’s most popular dishes that would be wonderful to serve at the party:

  • Seafood paella
  • Lemon garlic chicken
  • Spanish chicken with rice

Then, if after all these, you still have room for dessert, consider these delectable Spanish dulces to be served with freshly-brewed coffee:

  • Flan (caramel custard)
  • Pinchos de frutas (fruit brochettes with chocolate sauce)
  • Churros (fried-dough pastry sticks dredged in sugar)

Goodness, just preparing a Spanish party menu is enough to make you feel stuffed! Imagine what it will be like for the happy celebrant, enjoying this fabulous spread with all of you. Be sure to check out our summer picnic post with a Spanish flair.

Happy Birthday, Dad!

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