Tapas bar near the Arab baths, nestling alongside the river below the Alhambra. Holidaying on a shoestring. A couple of beers accompanied by free mammoth tapas and you won't go hungry. Que aproveche!
Carrera del Darro, 37, Granada
Google map: bit.ly/11R8Ows
Well worth the climb through the narrow, atmospheric streets of the old gypsy quarter, where you can imagine the spirit of Federico Garcia Lorca still lingers; El Huerto rewards you with ice cold drinks and an incomparable view of the Alhambra, ( the nearby Mirador is where all the postcard pix are taken) against the backdrop of the Sierra Nevada, snow capped in the cooler months. There is no better place at sunset for a drink and/ or a light meal. Particularly notable for fantastic G&T s with a huge choice of both gins and tonics. Torches blaze, candles flicker, colours of the sunset deepen, impossibly beautiful staff waft attentively, you sink lower into the cushions and order just one more ...
Los Diamantes is a tiny - blink and you'll miss it - local watering hole and tapas bar hidden on a bustling street full of touristy restaurants. The scrumptious smell of fried seafood, ubiquitous in Granada, is almost intoxicating on Calle Navas. If your attitude to good food is anything like mine, don't be surprised if it has a pavlovian effect on you. It certainly made me jiggle on the spot with anticipation and go "mmmm! mmmm!" This place was recommended by Lonely Planet as "reason enough to go to Granada" (I wholeheartedly agree, with the caveat that the Alhambra is, of course, the top reason to go to Granada, followed by a soak and massage in the excellent arab baths - Aljibe de San Miguel.)
The crowded, noisy, bar looked quite daunting at first but we boldly strode in, still clutching our Lonely Planet. We stood our ground and found a small space by the corner of the bar reasonably easily, considering the circumstances. Luckily we had brushed up on our Spanish food words and were ready to order such tasty tapas as "almejas" (clams), "gambas planchas" (grilled prawns) and "chipirones fritas" (deep fried baby cuttlefish). The lady standing beside me was much amused. She pointed at our Lonely Planet which we hastily stowed, "Is this place in the book?" I had no choice but to confirm this. "The food is very bad. I live in Granada and I never come here," she said with a mock frown. "Don't tell your friends about this place, ok?" said her gentleman friend. We laughed at the joke but I knew there was real worry under the smiles.
As is the practice in Granada, we got a complimentary plate of tapas with our cervezas to start. It was a generous portion of pulpo (octopus) which my boyfriend, who does not like octopus, wolfed down faster than you could say "I thought you didn't like octopus". The food did not disappoint. The clams were small and sweet (the way they should be), the prawns fresh and garlicky, the cuttlefish juicy, their tentacles crunchy. We resolved to go there again the next night. The entire meal, with three beers and bread, came up to slightly over 30 euros.
I left wishing I could bring all my friends to Los Diamantes, partly for selfish reasons - so that we would be able to order a greater variety of tapas to try as two dinners at this excellent tapas bar really wasn't enough.
This is the real tapas experience and tremendous fun. Great atmosphere and very friendly guys behind the bar and cooking the tapas. Each time you order a beer (a cana of approx 33cl draught Alhambra poured expertly) a shout goes up and a few minutes later a hot tapa plate will appear from the kitchen (the more beers ordered the larger the plate, a shared experience). A new one comes every 10-15 minutes and as long as you order every now and then you seem to get more plates than glasses, though by that stage you don't care. The food is really good - great seafood cooked beautifully and in huge variety, with occasional extras.
We loved the place: it's friendly, efficient and high quality. There's more room at lunchtime and seats outside.
Calle Navas, 28, 18009 Granada, Spain
+34 958 22 70 70
Google map: bit.ly/NXQ4T6
This is a great little tapas bar/restaurant within a cool walled garden perched at the top of the hill in the Albaicin in Granada. It is quite difficult to find, tucked away in a little side street, but is well worth it if you can find it.
Fantastic tapas free with every drink and eating off the menu looked pretty good as well.
C/horno de hoyo
958 27 51 56
The Bodegas Castaneda is the most perfect way to experience local life and beautiful tapas. My mum and I found this bar wandering around (in the rain!) on a Tuesday night in February and it was packed to the barrelled rafters! We tried the manzanilla and were given crusty rustic bread topped with a slice of Manchego cheese and some mouth-wateringly good local jamon. Mmm. Another great bar is just around the corner, Bodega la Antigualla, the bartender was really friendly and with two small beers we received a garlic topped toasted roll filled with jamon and cheese with fries. Not thinking we ordered another drink and got the same again! I'm looking forward to my next trip, just writing this is making me hungry.
Bodegas Castaneda is on Almireceros, head to Plaza Nueva and to the left of the square is Calle Elvira. To the right you'll find Bodega la Antigualla and opposite is Almireceros, walk down there and you'll find Bodegas Castaneda.
One of the best tapas bars in Andalucía, snuggled in a side street near Plaza Nueva not far from the Alhambra palace. Dating from the 1930's this two section bar and restaurant turns out spectacular tapas to locals and visitors alike.
Traditional bull’s heads and pictures of matadors decorate the walls, the floors are awash with paper and sawdust and the crowds pile in ebbing and flowing as the evening progresses.
In Granada most tapas are free with a drink and this can really set you up for the evening. For something more substantial you can order a racion or even a half. This will be on a larger plate with bread and olives. The local Serrano ham and Manchego cheese are delicious and washed down with a tasty rioja you know you are in Spain.
Finally this particular bodega has its own fiery drinks combination called calicasas a mix of several different casks and served in a tall glass. Be aware, this is potent stuff but then so is Granada.
Almireceros 1-3, Granada, near plaza Nueva. Telephone 95-822-32-22
A traditional bar that is still going strong and has resisted being turned into one of the omnipresent kebab joints or pseudo-chic spots that have become so popular in recent years. Probably the only place in Granada where you pay extra for the tapas, but well worth it: pickled aubergines, potato omelette or small rolls with an infinite variety of fillings, washed down with a glass of Jumilla wine from their vats.
It's in Joaquin Costa St., just off Plaza Nueva. Take your phrase book.
A great tapas bar/store on the edge of Elvira (so it is convenient for late nights). A deli by day, you can sample local wines by the glass, each with free tapas- carefully made by the young team.
Order a tabla mixta and you won't need to eat any more, all night! If you want foodie souvenirs they also sell a wide range of local specialities, fresh and dried as well as wines and liqueurs. It is a surprisingly buzzy and friendly place and very popular with locals.
Calle Elvira 150
Tel: 958 270 245
Ocana is a bar/restaurant/ bocadilleria/pizzeria. It's an interesting place with friendly staff, and away from the main tourist areas.
The thing that made it special when we visited (about 5 years ago) was that it was still serving tapas in the traditional way - with every beer, you get a free snack, each one different. The chef was a bit perplexed when we got up to our ninth beer one night!
Parts of the building are pretty old, and the staff were proud to show us around the areas that weren't in use at the time when they saw we were interested.
The patron is a great supporter of local musicians, and eagerly told us (despite very limited English) about a recital of flamenco guitar and singing that was taking place nearby.
If you don't speak Spanish, take a phrase book and be prepared to use it!
Plaza del Realejo, 1
Tel: 958 25 64 70
There's no better place to sit for a late lunch, enjoying a bottle of chilled Rueda, than Bar Kiki, just off the Mirador de San Nicolas. Their food is good, the ambiance is great, and you can sample some typical Morisco specialties of the area.
For real foodies, check out the new Mediterranean Cooking School, which offers food market tours and multi-day cooking vacations. The School also has apartment rentals.
View the Alhambra from the plaza beside Granada's Mosque. This is the only place to truly give a feel of what the Alhambra and Granada were like before the massive and extremely ugly building boom got underway some years ago.
The right time of day is at sunset when the Alhambra is tastefully floodlit. Afterwards casually make your way down through the barrio visiting the numerous Flamenco bars.
Numerous tourist buses go to Sacromonte barrio from the centre of Granada.
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