A slightly odd incident happened to my wife and me in Alicante a couple of weeks ago. We visited a restaurant; first we ordered a jug of sangria, and then ordered a paella for two. The waiter didn't speak much English but was very friendly and helpful. After the meal he asked us if we wanted coffee - I asked for coffee and my wife asked for a glass of water, tap water. Immediately his attitude changed, as if we'd grievously insulted him. (And he didn't bring us the water.) I do know, that whilst in the UK it's perfectly ok to ask for tap water in a restaurant, that's by no means the case in much of the world - but for some reason that fact slipped my mind for a moment; (particularly annoying as 'agua sin gas' is one of the very few bits of restaurant Spanish I actually know). But even so, the waiter could have just told us only bottled water was available, rather than taking offence. So my questions: Is the tap water in Alicante OK to drink? Did the waiter perhaps think we were just the worst chiselling cheapskates he'd had all week? Is it simply unacceptable to ask for tap water in Alicante?
Is the tap water in Alicante OK to drink?
Yes, all tap water in Spain is considered safe to drink, although in some areas it may contain higher levels of chlorine, sediment and minerals than you are used to, which could mean it doesn’t taste good or might upset your stomach. https://www.healthplanspain.com/blog/expat-tips/945-drinking-water-spain.html
Is it simply unacceptable to ask for tap water in Alicante?
I don’t know if that might have been the case in the past, however since April 2022 bars and restaurants have been required by law to provide free tap water https://www.theolivepress.es/spain-news/2022/04/17/restaurants-and-bars-across-spain-are-now-required-by-law-to-offer-free-tap-water/