My Sevilla and Valencia and what I know of Madrid, Barcelona, Segovia and Avila
I am a HUGE fan of this site after spending a few hours reading many great posts about Spain and Mexico. I truly believe in the importance of good eating while traveling.
I lead a five week program in Spain for my high school and this will be my fourth year with that trip. We spend 2 weeks in Sevilla, 2 weeks in Valencia, and long weekends in Madrid and Barcelona. We have many day trips, but Segovia and Avila have a big food component. I thought I would give my best restaurants for these areas. I love good food and have a knack for getting some great recommendations from the locals. I would love to get feedback and more recommendations.
Sevilla: Bar Eslava, Bar Estrella, Casablanca, Cerveceria La Giralda, Al Medina, Coloniales
Valencia: L'Estimat, Cinque Lune, Horchataria Daniel, Galeria, Domestic (gourmet take-out), La Francesa del Carmen (by far my favorite restaurant in Spain both for the food and the owners)
Madrid (more places needed): Bardemcilla, Casa Paco
Barcelona (more needed): Asador Aranda, La Fonda (in the Olympic Port), Taller de Tapas
Segovia: Meson del Candido Avila: Went to Meson del Rastro going to give El Rancho a try.
I just came back from Barcelona after a short three days trip. I can say that they have the most fantastic food that I ever had before. I can recommend you few places.
Les Quatre Cats --> this place has at least 100 years in there.
Go for Tapas at Cerveceria Catalana; do your self a favor and do reservation before to go, we went with out reservation and we had to wait almost two hours, but it was worth it.
For an excellent lunch and great adventure in al about food, go to the Mercat de la Boqueria, this is the oldest Food Market for the City, really famous (Mario Battali show it on his on The Road again show), Here you could eat in few places inside the market where they sell the best seafood I ever had before.
And if you are in the mood for a drink I recommend you Les Gens que J aime.
In Madrid, I like La Trucha (for the tapas and for the Trucha a la Trucha); Las Bravas for the Patatas Bravas (which they invented); Chocolateria San Gines (for the churros con chocolate); La Paella Real (which is quite good, considering that Valencia is really the place for Paella); and the Museo del Jamon for any of the tapas with ham. All of these places are reasonably priced (and thus appropriate for a high school excursion). People love the tapas at Triximixi (sp?), but these are Basque tapas, and a little different than what you are used to if you spend a lot of time in southern Spain.
Down in Barcelona, there was a place that was famous for its solomillo, which was great. But someone else will probably have to supply the name. It was near the Olympic village.
Love the idea of taking a pilgrimage to the birthplace of the Patatas Bravas. I knew they originated in Madrid but did not know the actual spot. We actually go to San Gines but I forgot to mention it.
Have any of you been to La Francesa del Carmen in Valencia? It is truly a gem.