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Epicurean Destination Guide to Granada, Spain

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A regularly updated report on restaurants, food & wine stores, tapas, bars, and cafes in Granada, Spain. Updated 2014!

Two good wine stores in Granada
 
La Carte des Vins
Calle Navas, 29
Tel. 958 229 524
Though part of a chain, this little shop has a thoughtful selection of Spanish wines, including local products, as well as some good French choices.
 
+Q Vinos
Calle Parraga, 5
Tel. 958 261 683
Among the best wine shops we've seen in Spain, this retail store and distibutors has turned from a sleepy and ill-stocked place 4 years ago to an exciting experience in Spanish wine. +Q has pulled top-notch wines from across Spain to one location--an excellent anitdote to seeing the same brands over and over again in supermarkets. To the extent possible, each selection has notes and rating from the likes of Robert Parker and Wine Spectator.

Recommended food & wine store on Calle Elvira, lower Albaycin
 
Al Sur de Granada
Calle Elvira 150
Tel. 958 270 245
 
Located just next to the historic Puerta de Elvira, this well-considered shop focuses to every extent possible on local food products and wines. "South of Granada" refers to the famous Alpujarra region, home to world-renowned hams, as well as tasty wines and cheeses. The store has the broadest selection of wines from Granada province--whites, reds, and sparkling--to be found anyywhere.

Granada: Three Days of Dining

DAY ONE
Start your day with a cafe con leche or a cortado at Bar Aixa, Plaza Larga, in the heart of the Albaycin. Try the typical tostados con tomate, drizzling them generously with extra virgin olive oil from nearby groves. This newly-rennovated but still cramped bar-cafe has existed as an institution in the Albayzin for decades and has recently earned mention by travel writers for El Pais, the well-reputed liberal newspaper.  There is outside dining after the vegetable market shuts down, weather permitting. Some locals like to get a fresh start with their anis de mono or whiskey before 9 am. You can join them at Aixa if you wish. The place can be crowded at times, though you can ususally wrest a stool or table from someone with a little patience. Singing is now prohibited--the gypsy flamenco singers got to be too much.
 
For lunch, especially on the weekend, seriously consider Bar Kiki, just off the famous Mirador de San Nicolas (also in the Albayzin). The ever-present "Kiki" and has brother, red-faced Miguel along with two very professional waiters will help you pass the hours of a Saturday or Sunday afternoon outside people gazing, listening to the street music performers out to earn their keep for the week, and glorying in the Andalusian sunshine while drinking good Spanish wine and very nice food. Sample some of the entradas like home-made croquetas, fried sliced eggplant (ask for miel to go with it: cane syrup is wonderful with fried eggplant), marinated tomatoes with bonito, or a fritura of boquerones--little fish that you eat whole. Order a verdejo wine from Rueda, or your favorite from the list. Follow this with a mozarabic dish, like bacalao a la sefardi, or the pork with a sugary sauce and dates, and also take the waiter's recommendation for that day--last time it was a perfectly roasted leg of lamb. Forget dessert. Pay the bill and go back to Plaza Larga for ice cream.
 
After Kiki for lunch, do not eat dinner. Instead go out for tapas. You can choose from a myriad of places near Plaza Nueva and along Calle Elvira. Or, go to Realejo, the former Jewish district and home to royalty in the 16th century.
 
DAY TWO
Meander down through the heart of the Albaycin, through the souk-like streets of the Moroccan teterias, to Calle Elvira and Plaza Nueva. Here, have your morning repast at the elegant little Central Cafe. Their coffee and orange juice are particularly good.
 
For lunch, save some money and try a chicken schwarma from one of the many Kebab vendors along Calle Elvira. One recommended sport: Kebab King, Plaza San Gil.
 
Finally, save room in your stomach and within your budget for Cunini, Plaza Pescadería, 14, a seafood restaurant of undoubted character and quality. The comparison we like to make is with the old Galatoire's of New Orleans.  This is a great place to go for tapas and drinks in the outer bar, which often spills out into the street. They also have dining outside. Four trips to this celebrated Granadino restaurants over 4 years have always returned more than satisfactory results--it's one of those places that has its own charm and identity. The fresh seafood is excellent and simply prepared. We typically order the mixed grill, which starts with a broad selection of mariscos and then a large plate of pescado. It is for a minimum of two persons, 25 euros each.
 
DAY THREE
Grab a cafe con leche and tostada at your neighborhood bar for breakfast, and then head to Plaza Aliatar in the Albaycin for lunch. You can get a menu--a prix fixe meal--for very little dinero at Los Caracoles, which translates as the snails. Be sure to try their specialty--snails and garlic.
 
For dinner, the very elegant Mirador de Morayma will suit the bill. Hidden down a little alley, this is a chance to see a true Carmen--one of the distinctive arhitectural representations of Granada. A carmen is a small estate with gardens, terraces, fountains, and the main house, Morayma has enchanting views of the Alhambra Palace and is a joy just for the location. The food is very good as well, and the service professional if sometimes gruff. The house has lots of local specialties--the cardoon stew is excellent--and a nice wine list.
 
 
 
 
 

Specialty food store that gets better and better

Fruteria Yolanda

Plaza Villamena, No. 2
Tel. 958 27 46 41
 
We first happened upon this small, family-run fruteria in late 2002, when it provided a good selection of fruit & vegetables, as well as a few local specialties like cheeses from the Alpujarra.
 
Now, Yolanda has come into its own. By 2009, the shop located just outside the big Mercado has doubled in size and vends a variety of sausages, cheeses, gourmet mushrooms including not only shiitake but also chanterelles, hedgehogs, oysters, and dried cepes. You'll still find great fruit, including local mangoes from the Costa Tropical, and wonderful vegetables, including local asparagus and artichokes; olive oil, cheese, dried peppers, and some wine too.

Granada Restaurants
 
Restaurante Casa Torcuato: An Albaicin Institution
Calle Pages 31
Tel. 958 20 28 18 
This extremely popular Albaicin restaurant moved to its present location at one of the major entries to the old Arab neighborhood several years ago. Waiters are friendly and give good recommendations. The fritura of seafood was well prepared using quality ingredients, and a good value. The salads, too are well proportioned and nicely presented. Recommended.
 
Restaurante Bar Kiki
Mirador de San Nicolás, 9, Albaycin 18010 Tel. 958-276715
Don't let appearances deceive you--Bar Kiki has become an Albaycin institution for satisfying food--at times, inventive--and a selection of Spanish wines obviously given lenty of though, despite the absence of a true wine list. Try the Mozarabic dishes and trust the waiter's wine offerings. The location near Mirador San Nicolas is unparalleled, especially on a sunny weekend afternoon.
 
 
Jardines de Zoraya, Calle Panaderos, next to Iglesia del Savador, Albaycin
Well-prepared menu with relaxed service and complimentary Flamenco during dinner. Tasty meat dishes--especially from the grill--but give the seafood a miss.
 

The D.O.s of Granada Province: A culinary wonderland

The Province of Granada is the most geographically diverse in Spain, from the peaks of the Sierra Nevada to the Costa Tropical. Numerous official Denominaciones de Origen (D.O.) exist to identify the superb and distinctive food ingredients of the region.
  • Chirimoya of the Costa Tropical Granada-Malaga web
  • Asparagus of Huetor-Tajar web
  • Ham (Jamon) of Trevelez web
  • Olive Oil Poniente de Granada web
  • Honey of Granada web

Granada Cooking School: www.alhambratravel.com

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