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paella in seville, cadiz, jerez and vejer?

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Any suggestions for us?
We're travelling to and in between these cities.
Seeking paella, but also interested in great recs for tapas and other casual, local places.
We'll be there next Friday!

Thanks in advance.

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  1. We returned from Andalusia last week.

    In Jerez we grabbed a quick Tapas lunch at "Juanito" (c/Pescaderia Vieja 4) which is in a ally off the Plaza del Arenal. This is a little street with quite a few restaurants. We ate at the bar in Juanito but there are tables inside and outside. Good, interesting Tapas and at the bar nearly 100% locals.

    In Seville we toured some bars for dinner grazing on Tapas. In c/Mateus Gago we tried "Bar Giralda and Bodega Santa Cruz both in most of the guide books but pretty good. There is a short row of bars, some with menus in English which we tend to avoid (often a sign of poor quality), there is one very small bar on the right (as you head away from the Cathedral) which was very popular with locals and had snails as a Tapa. Further up on the left, approx 500 meters and away from the main tourist action was a nice small bar with tables on the opposite side of the street (covered with Opera posters I think) which was very good.

    The best was "Casa Morales" c/Garcia de Vinuesa 11, a old bar with great big barrels of wine. There is a back and a front bar, we headed for the front bar as it was less gloomy. On the night we were there a large party of local businessmen were having a function with plates and plates of great Tapas being ordered. We simply copied them and ordered what they were eating.

    My advice in Spain is to use guidebooks as a rough indication of where the best Tapas bars are. But then use your nose, eyes and ears, if the bar is busy, with happy atmosphere, and there is lots of tempting food on display then it is going to be good. There is so much competition that local bars would not attract a crowd if not good.

    As I said earlier I tend to try and avoid obvious tourist traps - the multilingual menu is the best sign - the number of languages is inversely proportional to the quality of the food. I tend to walk around a lot, drop into bars for a beer/sherry and if they feel right I order food. Have fun.

    3 Replies
    1. re: PhilD

      phild, thanks so much for your reply! i am wondering if you would pm me, as I have some questions re: hotel and time spent in both areas.
      my email is: ilovejunk@gmail.com.
      thanks!!

      1. re: tracyk

        The area around Vejer de la Frontera is known for seafood from the Strait of Gibraltar (especially tuna). Paella isn't really the main attraction in any of these towns, though I'm sure that if you look for it you can find a good rendition (Sevilla is probably your best bet)...

        Vejer is a pretty town. The nearby park on the coast between CaƱos de Meca and Barbate is really nice if you like hiking around on cliffs and deserted beaches (just watch out for the tide and be prepared for a lot of wind). There's a well known and loved seafood restaurant called El Campero (not cheap, but top-notch product) in Barbate--a town which lacks the quaintness of Vejer. We also ate well at the little "ventas," family style country restaurants, just outside of Vejer and closer to the coast. We just asked around and found the busiest ones.

        1. re: butterfly

          You must try the "Carabineros" when you are around Vejer. Head for the coast and find a seafood restaurant with them on the menu. They are, quite large, bright red, prawn like creatures (8 to 12 inches long). The taste is superb and I have only ever seen them here. We stayed in "Zahara des los Atunes" approx 20 kms from Vejer and quite a few restaurants had them on the blackboard menus.