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Jan 27, 2010 06:43 AM

South of Spain Food Help!

Hi Chowhounders!

My wife and I are from Williamsburg, Brooklyn headed to the south of Spain for February 13-28th on our honeymoon/vacation. We are always hungry for new and exciting food experiences. Both of us love to eat and discover new places and to comb through flea markets in search of the odd and unusual treasure and appreciate the city and
country (we spend a good time traveling from our little Brooklyn
apartment to upstate New York). In Spain we'd like to have a "Spain: On the Road"
experience. Our order of cities is as follows:
FEB 13-15: Granada
FEB 15-17: Cordoba
FEB 17-19: Malaga
FEB 19-21: Ronda
FEB 21-23: Jerez de la Frontera
FEB 23-27: Seville
We're also trying to get to the countryside for that off the
road experience if you know if anything that is close to those cities driving wise that you might think would be fun. Any advice to make this a successful trip would be extremely appreciated.

Thank you kindly in advance!!

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  1. El Caballo Rojo in Cordoba. We've visited twice and haven't been dissapointed. <moderate>;

    In Sevilla, which we visit often, there's Restaurant Oriza, situated near the Real Alcazar <former royal palace>. Best restaurant in Seville <expensive>:

    and Taberna de Alabardero/Sevilla, the mansion of a famous poet Sevillano turned into restaurant. Food is quite good with beautiful rooms<expensive>:

    There's also El Albahaca restaurant located in the ancient <and upscale> barrio of Sta. Cruz in what used to be an old mansion. We've been there a few times, the last time the food was just OK, I like to think the kitchen might have had an off day. Nevertheless, the setting is very nice and able to see and expereince what an old house used to look like:

    Enjoy your trip.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Quimbombo

      One more for your consideration.

      El Estuario in Sevilla. Very good fish and seafood, and very nice wine list. Moderate. Couldn't find it anything about the restaurant in English, since it's mostly a place for locals but the address is shown on the page:

      1. re: Quimbombo


        Thank you so much for sharing some places you thought were relevant to our food quest in Spain. I'm still in researching mode, trying to make sure we hit all the right places. I'm hoping to bypass anything that is trendy or "of the moment". While both of us appreciate those places, we're mainly interested in unpretentious and well executed foods. We have so many great places here in New York but want to try places that are known for being consistently good.

        1. re: ErikLong

          I understand.

          However, in all fairness most of the places suggested are far from being 'trendy'.

          Regretable I couldn't help. I wish you the best in your search. I'm sure there will be other posters here that will give other wonderful suggestions.

          A very pleasant and safe trip.

    2. In Granada--
      Los Diamantes or Los Diamantes II (two locations--both with quirky hours)--a stand-up tapas bar with a few tables in back. Known for its fried seafood. It's a small menu and everything on it is good--lots of freebies, too. It closes very early (before dinner--6 or 7pm, I think).

      Bar FM--
      Out of the center of town--you need to take a cab there. This is another stand-up type of tapas bar, but a marisquería that specializing in crustaceans and other sea critters. Very good quality stuff.

      There's nothing like either of these places anywhere in the US... if you can eat on your feet, aren't afraid of elbowing your way to the bar to order, and like seafood, check them out.

      In Córdoba, I prefer both Bodegas Campos (love their ajoblanco) and El Churrasco to El Caballo Rojo. All three are huge Cordoba-style sit down places.

      1. Hey Erik,
        How was your trip? We're going to the south of Spain in September and would love to hear your feedback!

        1. Hi! I am a young Canadian (27) in the restaurant industry that lives in Paris, and my boyfriend is in the Ducasse group, and we are travelling to spain in end of feb as well. We only have six days/six nights, so three are going to be in seville, but the other three are wherever the good restaurants are - not necessarily sights... did you come up with a master list that you wouldn't mind sharing? I'm trying to get this pinned down as I have to book hotels etc... from your research, are you finding more restaurants near ronda, or near Grenada? Let it me noted that while we appreciate all culinary endeavors, 'foams' à la el bulli are not exactly our thing. We did this same trip to Copenhagen last year to see noma and the other starred restaurants, and didn't exactly come away thrilled, so our style is more traditional. THANKS!!!

          3 Replies
          1. re: hoolia99

            For sheer eating, I would spend most of my time in Seville for just the tapas; also Abantal and Enrique Becerra for sit down traditional dining. But I wouldn't miss the Alhambra in Granada and go down to c/Navas as there it is lined with tapas places. For sherry, visit Jerez but not on a Sunday when everything seems to be closed. Search this board as there have been quite a few recent posts on eating in Andalusia.

            1. re: hoolia99

              Hey there. I think that San Sebastian is probably the best food city in Spain but it's certainly not near Sevilla! I can't think of a better night of eating than walking around SS eating tapas. That said, Sevilla has amazing food and I am one of the rare defenders (on these boards anyway) of the beach food on the Costa Del Sol. Elaborate? No. Subtle? No. But to have perfectly grilled or fried seafood hauled in daily from the sea can be a wonderful thing. We had a wonderful trip recently without a single meal approaching Michelin status but still special. Just extremely fresh, wonderful southern Spanish cuisine. You're making me want to go to Spain!

              1. re: JeremyEG

                That is what we're looking for!! I've been to SS and the Basque Country (although I did do the full circuit, I admit)... but we wanted some 'fairer' weather. Jeremy, would you recommend staying near Marbella or Malaga for a couple of days at the beginning? Would you recommend Malaga or Marbella?

            2. It's been a few years since I studied abroad in Spain, so I don't remember any specific restaurants. I have a travel diary somewhere, but I think it's packed up in a box right now.

              That being said, the biggest thing I can recommend to you is to try to get on a Spanish eating schedule -- it'll be odd for the first day or two, but it's worth it. Breakfast is generally early and not too big. Lunch is a huge, usually multicourse meal, even at home, and is generally served a little bit later than most people eat in the the US -- around 2PM was my experience. What is normally dinner time here (6-7PM) is when most people do tapas / bars (be sure to visit several places each time -- its fun to get a drink and a dish at several bars / tapas places). Finally, dinner is usually fairly light, and eaten at 10 or 11 PM. For the nights when you feel like going out, most places will not have anybody in them until at least midnight.