Tapas bar in Andalucia. Locals loiter in the street outside waiting for it to open (12-4 and 8-12 every day except Sunday), with good reason. It's an old bar, dating from 1870, in a narrow street in the old part of town. Marble bar, big jars, range of bottles, obligatory dripping hams, azulejos tiles, some comic, one proclaiming(in Spanish) "Neither the best French pate, nor the Belugar caviar from Iran, can be compared to the unrivalled tapas offered in Casa Puga.". Slight exaggeration, but the huge variety of good quality, generous tapas makes a great effort. With your glass of Rioja or Ribera or cold beer comes a free tapas which only tempts you to try something else - perhaps fried fresh fish, kidneys, mushrooms, tuna, prawns, squid, beans or ham, or visit the adjoining dining room. Attentive friendly service.
Casa Puga, calle Jovellanos 7, Almeria. In the centre of the historic quarter, near the cathedral.
Granada, Cordoba, Sevilla? Of course. But try Almeria, a city with friendly people, wide avenues, an impressive alcazaba, a fortified cathedral and a long beach.
And, if you don't know where to stay or eat, look no further than the Plaza de las Flores, a Torreluz hegemony. In this tiny square (no flowers I'm afraid) Torreluz gives its name to a four-star hotel, a two-star hotel (which we thought very good value for money, but try and get a room overlooking the square), a separate block of apartments, an upmarket restaurant, a very acceptable modern cafeteria where guests of the two-star hotel take their breakfasts (which were very good) and, best of all, a traditional bodega full of atmosphere and people, who spilled out onto the square, serving good value and good quality dishes. All you want in one square right in the centre of town.
Plaza de las Torres, near Puerta de Purchena, the main square, Almeria. Torreluz enterprises etc
Alta Mar is right on the harbour front at AguaDulce, 20 minutes from Almeria, nestled among interesting bars (Free Amigos with Peter) and other more touristy ice cream parlours and noisy cafes, it is easy to see the class and quality of its owners and meals.
It's worth a trip for the fantastic mediterranean cuisine, 70 euros for two, the finest Spanish wine, amazing mozzarella salad starter, freshest sea bass which would give Gordon Ramsay a run for his money (and no F-word) and the finest chocolate pudding cooked specially in the oven for 12 minutes.
My mouth waters at returning there, oh, and the most charming Dutch/English owner and free drinks to follow. A find.
Puerto deportive de Aguadulce tel:950347740
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