The tradition of tapas began in the south of Spain around the turn of the century. Tavern owners placed a slice of bread over the top of the glass of wine (usually Fino Sherry) to protect it from airborne objects. Some owners started putting tidbits of food, like ham or cheese, on the bread to bring in more business. The edible lid (tapa) became a tradition that was always included in the price of the drink. Today, putting a lid on a drink is no longer necessary.
Eating smaller sized portions at any time during the day and half the night developed into a serious way of life. Tapas today are essentially appetizer-sized portions of any type of food that can be easily shared. They can be snacks or whole meals or just the beginning of a meal. They are ideal for filling that little hunger gap at any hour, which is why we serve them until midnight every night. You can eat them standing at the bar with a beer after work or sitting around a table after the show.
At Tapa the World (pronounced like “top of the world” said quickly), we want to show some traditional Spanish dishes as well as creations from our chef, who will use ingredients from around the world.
Tapa The World History
Tapa The World opened in May of 1994 and is owned by brother and sister Paul Ringstrom and Conni Levis. Both owners spent time in Spain during their college years, studying Spanish and taking in as much of the local culture as they were able to on student’s budget.
Paul’s educational background (he earned his bachelor’s degree from Cornell’s Hotel/Restaurant Management School) coupled with his love of the Spanish life-style brought him back to Spain in 1990, where he opened a Tex-Mex restaurant off the Gran Via in Madrid.
Meanwhile, Conni earned an M.B.A. from San Francisco State University and moved to Sacramento in 1992. The concept for the restaurant evolved during many late night conversations between the two owners, until Paul finally returned to the states in 1993, eager to open the first Spanish restaurant in Sacramento.
It is our goal to provide the food, wine, music, and dance of Spain in an atmosphere that is warm, welcoming and fun. We encourage our guests to linger over their conversations, to invite their friends, and above all, to feel “bienvenido” each time they visit.