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GRANADA--Seeking Food Tips

  • erica Oct 15, 2010 01:00 PM
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I will have three nights here this winter and am trying to find the best bets for dinner. I would love to hear about your favorite places to eat. Food in more important than a view. Would like to concentrate on fairly traditional local fare, but willing to explore all options. Also would like advice on food items to buy and bring home to the US--any great food shops or food markets?

Here are a few places that are contenders for dinner so far; please comment if you've been:

Bar FM (are there ANY tables or here at all--partner may balk at eating dinner standing)?

Oliver
http://www.restauranteoliver.com/OLI/...

Cunini (could not find website--is there one??

)

Los Santanderinos (this place offers Cantabrian/Cantabrian style seafood but I've read good things, although it is probably very expensive) (??)
http://www.lossantanderinos.com/

Ruta de Veleta (out of town a bit)
http://www.rutadelveleta.com/

El Claustro (in the AC Santa Paula) http://www.restauranteelclaustro.com/...

Please help me find great food in Granada! Any and all advice welcome!

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  1. I was just in Granada last week, as a day trip from Malaga, so could only try one restaurant, for lunch. Bar FM had been recommended to me, so that is where we went. It is way out from the center, and I have to say that it was not worth the trip and I think it would be horrible for dinner. It's tiny, there are no tables, it is crowded, zero ambience, and I just don't see the attraction. The food varied from good to mediocre and it was the most expensive tapas meal we had in a week in Spain. Their specialty is "pulpo seco" and it was not only dry (as the name implies) but tough and relatively tasteless. We had much better octopus at other places. Croquetas were among the worst I've had, shrimp were delicious but hugely expensive. Anchovies with peppers on toast were tasty. There are a tremendous number of tapas bars in central Granada, and though we did not get to try them on this trip, I hope to get to them in the future.

    1 Reply
    1. re: rrems

      Rrems, that is SO helpful. I owe you one because you have saved me the trek to the place and saved me from incurring the wrath of a less-enthusiastic diner.

      Anyone else for Granada eats?

    2. The web stated for Cunini in Michelin is not working so they probably don't have a web or it's well hidden.

      1. I have lived in Granada 12 years and never heard of Bar FM.

        Cuninis is fantastic and I love going there, but you usually have to book. You will find it next door to Olivers, another favourite.

        Another great place a favourite of the town elite is ‎
        Real Asador de Castilla, C/ Escudo Del Carmen, 17

        On Plaza Nueva is a bar called Las Cuevas, where you can try various local jamon and cheese and you can buy some to take home.

        36 Replies
        1. re: LaKate

          Thanks for the contribution here and the other threads. Its nice to see places other than Madrid and Barca getting some coverage!

          If I might ask, are there any places we can get an early lunch - we are coming up from Seville for the day, and so our Alhambra tickets will probably be for 2pm-6pm. We want to use all this time so need to eat early or graze on something else. Any suggestions?

          1. re: mr_gimlet

            The appointment time on your tickets is the time you enter the palace. You can arrive a couple of hours earlier and tour the rest of the Alhambra. We had 1:30 tickets, arrived at 11:30, saw everything else, then ended with the palace which takes about an hour so we were finished by 2:30. This is lunch time, so you could just drive down into the city center and have lunch then. So, if you can get tickets for 2:00 or earlier, this would probably work better than trying to eat before the Alhambra as restaurants will generally not be open earlier.

            1. re: rrems

              Thanks. My gleaned knowledge of the tickets is that they run in two sessions: one is 0830-1400 and the other is 1400-1800. You then get your palace slot at some point in the session.

              My understanding (which may be incorrect) is that you can only access the other areas in your session ie I can't have a look round at 1230 if I had a say 1430 palace slot.

              So either I do the morning session with a later palace slot which I can't get to before 1030 (train arrives 1000), or I do the afternoon session with an afternoon palace slot. Which means starting at 1400 if I want the whole time there.

              However, based on what you said, it sounds like I may not need the full time slot - did you feel you had enough time with your 1130-1430 or was it rushed? So would my 1030 to say 1430 work?

              Assuming 2pm is normal lunchtime in Granada.

              1. re: mr_gimlet

                Have you bought your Alhambra tickets already? They are not that easy to procure. Also, you get to choose the exact time when you want to enter the palace (sections are divided by 1/2 hour). You can come earlier and they recommend to come at least 1 hour before the palace time. BTW, there are more tickets for the afternoon.
                So if you get your tickets for 13:00 or around, you'll get plenty of time to eat afterwards. Or get them as late as 17:00 and you can have lunch before.

                1. re: sasicka

                  Thanks everyone - how long should I allow for the whole Alhambra visit?

                  Tickets in November not a problem at the moment.

            2. re: mr_gimlet

              Early lunch is not really a concept here. if a place is open then it will be as they cater to tourists. The earliest most good places open is 1 pm. Better to take a nice bocadillo to the Alhambra and have a little picnic and try for a late lunch, places stay open to 4 usually. Great place for tapas and bocadillos is La Mancha, owned by the same people who run Castañedas on the back streets of Plaza Nueva. One special tapa i love there is their aubergine in cumin spices, probably influenced by Moorish cooking. I am not sure what time they open but its worth looking for. If you finish the Alhambra at 6 there are not many places serving good tapas till around 8 but the other day after visiting Alhambra to see the excellent Matisse exhibition we found Nueva Bodega still serving at 6 .30 and were treated to some delicious pressed herb pork and some very tasty croquetas as a tapa. Our friend from Brazil ordered a Morcilla bocadillo which he said was delicious. Though he ate it so quickly none of us got a taste ;)

            3. re: LaKate

              Interesting! Thank you, LaKate.

              I read about Bar FM here and then noticed that it was in the Lonely PLanet guide. Maybe a case of an out-of-the-way location being part of the lure. In any case, thanks to Rrems it is off my own list.

              What are the best tapas places in the downtown area, and do any have great seafood specialties?
              Are any of the tapas places known for a particular dish/tapa?

              The Asador de Castilla--would that be a specialist in the roast meats of Castille, or would they also have more regional fare?

              1. re: erica

                Tapas are given free with drinks, so you dont get to choose what you have. Though as always there are exceptions to the rule. My husband is vegetarian and we have most bars well trained now to bring me a a meat or fish tapa and salad, cheese or tortilla for him. There are so many bars it is hard to pick out the best places. Everyone has their favourites.I Mine are Nueva Bodega for their giant clams, called Malagueñas, or oysters standing at the bar in Cuninis. Bar Julio hidden down a side street in Plaza Nueva serves great fried squid. Other specialities would be Gambas PiI Pil, prawns in hot spicy oil and of course all sorts of fried fish from boquerones to the fish that eats its tail though I have no idea what that is called you will know it when you see it. Anchovies in vinegar are also a speciality and served regularly with a few crisps and bread. Bar Leon on Calle Pan ioff Plaza Nueva does a great grilled squid though this is a restaurant not a tapas bar. In Bar Sevillana by the Cathedral you get little fried tortillas with shrimp. Tapas vary from day to day though in many places and as they are free you have to take what you get or choose and pay.

                Yes the Asador specialises in roast meats and excellent regional wines but am sure there are other things on the menu.

                There are almost more bars/restaurants in Granada than people !! A bit of an exaggeration but you wont be short of places to try out. If you dont like a place, its too crowded, smokey or noisy then just move on.

                In the Realejo in Campo De Prinicipe the bars are all crowded together with inside or outside seating. One specially restaurant is Los Cordonices, which means quail. At the square of Plaza Aliatar there are several restaurants/tapas bars which specialise in caracoles which means snails.

                I am getting hungry now so will sign off. Glad to be of help :)

                1. re: LaKate

                  This is a new concept for me, as I am used to selecting my tapas and paying for them, at least that has always been my experience in Spain. Are you saying that ALL tapas are free with a drink in Granada? Or that perhaps the first one comes free and after that you can choose from a list or from whatever looks good...(??)

                  I only have three nights in the city so will likely have to book ahead for meals, so the concept of checking out a place and moving on if we do not like it may not work for the actual dinner, for us. Hence the rather obsessive quest to find "the best."

                  Many thanks, again for taking the time to help out..

                  1. re: erica

                    Free tapas is the way it is across the provinces (regions?) of Granada, Jaen and Ciudad Real - and our experience was that you got tapas with every drink, and usually a different one each time, and they get more interesting too. We have spent evenings just grazing on what was brought to us, and if we had eaten well at lunch time, we didn't need anything more. If we were hungry, and didn't want to drink the amount of alcohol required to fill our bellies, we have also ordered extra tapas to supplement the free ones.

                    1. re: Theresa

                      Thanks to you both for this great info--I was wondering how I was going to drink so much so thank you for clarifying. Are there tables at any of the tapas places, in case my partner does not want to eat standing up? (I know, I know--my cross to bear..)

                      1. re: erica

                        Most places have seating - like normal bars.

                    2. re: erica

                      Theresa is right, here in Granada Province tapas come free with every drink. Usually people eat their main meal at mid day and in the evening go out for a paseo ( walk) and stop for tapas, even if they then go home and have a meal at 10 pm, though even later again at the height of summer. Many restaurants also have a bar which just serves tapas so you can get a feel for the food.

                      If you just want a sit down meal at the best places. I would say Cunini's for the fish. Estrellas on the Mirador San Nicolas for the view. i have not eaten there but heard the French chef is excellent. And the Asador for very generous helpings of roast meat. i had one of the best meals ever there, succulent roast beef with exquisite wine, though at 60 euros a bottle it should be :)

                    3. re: LaKate

                      Jumping in as I was also looking for some reviews for FM found this. I am having trouble finding places in Granada. It appears I am better off sticking to tapas rather than sit-down dinner (am traveling with family on this go around and they are requesting a sit-down dinner spot for our only night in Granada).

                      Was also looking at Cunini's and Asador, but not wanting to be super touristy - thoughts on either for a quality sit-down meal and good atmosphere? Or stick to tapas?

                      1. re: cherrybomb99x

                        Can we get some comment on Ruta del Veleta, a bit out of town but reachable in a taxi?
                        Can't be too touristy with that location...(??) but the food does seem a bit fancy..

                        http://www.rutadelveleta.com/

                        1. re: erica

                          erica,
                          I personally wouldn't make the drive all the way out to Ruta del Veleta for a gourmet meal, when you can find that at the (admittedly expensive) El Claustro at the AC Palacio de Santa Paula or La Fábula in the Villa Oniria, if upscale, fine gourmet dining in swank surroundings is what you're seeking.
                          I haven't been to the Asador yet. (Thanks, Kate, for the recommendation)

                          If not, and you're looking for some very good sit-down dining, for lunch or for dinner, yet more casual, I would go to Oliver on the Plaza Pescadería. It never fails us.

                          Had fine, extremely fresh quisquillas from Motril here recently. We actually prefer Oliver to Cunini next door, as we like the friendly service and nice indoor patio with its typical Andalusian decor. The owner or his son always make room for us when we forget to make reservations. We do go to Cunini for wines and those famous, quite generous free tapas served with every drink round (and different one for each round-the waiters keep track).

                          (On another note and thread, free tapas still come with drinks at the bar-restaurants in Madrid's Retiro district.)

                          We found Oliver thanks to a recommendation from our host, who explained that it was opened by folks formerly from Cunini, who try harder because they are less well known, as he put it.

                          I would *only take the bus out to FM to do a small plates lunch exclusively of crustaceans, fresh from Motril (the owner has his own personal fisherman) if you're willing to stand at the bar to eat your meal. It's become a cult place, a mecca for foodies and gourmet critics, but the name of the game is shellfish. And it will be *extremely* expensive if you put yourself in the owner's hands and just allow him to create a menu for you. Our Granada host had never heard of it either. It's a cult favorite on the food blogs. Prices of crustaceans are off the charts.

                          If you find yourself on the Paseo de los Tristes, in the Albayzín, I can personally recommend the really nice (and gourmet), contemporary style Azafrán, which serves updated dishes with an inventive, Moroccan touch. We took friends there in April, and they loved the restaurant's velvety smooth version of salmorejo with bits of Iberian ham, one of the best we've had. I also enjoy their lamb cous cous and their tataki of red tuna. It's also a good place to try the Granada dish, remojón, along with other nice salads. Azafrán, in my book, is underrated.
                          www.rutadelazafran.es

                          If you want that romantic dining experience with Alhambra views in the Albayzín around the famous viewpoint, Mirador de San Nicolás, among the many choices there I would choose the newish Estrellas de San Nicolás. Much better than the rest, with its French chef.

                          I would not go to Huerto de Juan Ranas, and I think at the other dining spots there, one pays for the views and the dining can be hit or miss.

                          For evening tapas, we head to

                          Puerta del Carmen, near city hall, precisely because it has table seating. Their carpaccio and smoked fish platters we think are particularly good and very attractively presented.

                          Oliver and Cunini (the latter only for wines and tapas at bar, no table seating-you need to stand),

                          La Ermita Centro, near the cathedral, which also has tables.
                          It's part of the Ermita group, with another outpost in the bullring.
                          www.grupoermita.com

                          Casa Enrique for sausages, hams

                          the always crowded Diamantes I or II on Navas and Rosario for pescaíto frito. But they're usually packed, so you have to be patient and wait for the crowds to thin out (that constant ebb and flow that exists in popular tapas bars

                          )

                          When we walk around the Albayzín during the day, especially Sunday mornings, I also like to stop at the snail bars around the Plaza Aliatar. But this is part of our paseo through the Albayzín, not a destination in and of itself.

                          There are so many bars to choose from.
                          Taberna Salinas I is the one we prefer around Calle Elvira. You can sit.
                          www.tabernasalinas.com

                          1. re: Maribel

                            Maribel, Azafrán looks quite nice - would you prefer that to Oliver. I have crossed Cunini off the list. NB - I only eat fish/seafood, the others eat meat and I do not care as much for fried seafoods.

                            1. re: cherrybomb99x

                              cherrybomb,
                              I don't prefer one over the other because they're so different.

                              I dine at Azafán at lunch, usually after a visit to the Alhambra, because I walk down from the Alhambra hill via the steep, cobblestone Cuesta de los Chinos (to get my exercise), which at the end, leaves me right at the Paseo de los Tristes, with Azafrán immediately to my left. It also has an outdoor terrace.
                              This is a very easty "drop in to dine" kind of place. But the dishes all do have a Moroccan touch to them.

                              Because Oliver is so popular, it's always very crowded, especially the high tables outside on the square and the bar, and their reservation book does fill up quickly, particularly on weekends. And in part, thanks to the reasonable prices. For leisurely dining, you really should have your hotel reserve.

                              My husband is not a big fish/shellfish eater, yet he finds plenty to keep him happy at Oliver, like veal tenderloin, ox tail stew, etc.
                              And the wine prices are very affordable.
                              We don't eat fried fish here. Oliver also serves rich dishes, if you like paella.

                              See the menu for Oliver here-
                              www.restauranteoliver.com

                              1. re: Maribel

                                I see your point about the menus, personally Azafán appeals more to me in style of food and atmosphere from what I can see. Thinking of just popping into Oliver for tapas and leave the dinner there unless I am overruled or you/someone else have any other suggestions.

                                Am travelling with my parents who want to have a sit down dinner on thanksgiving which is the night we will be in Granada.

                                1. re: cherrybomb99x

                                  After perusing both menus, if Azafrán appeals more to you and you like the more contemporary look, the trendier vibe, then book it for dinner.

                                  I forgot to mention the additional advantage to a meal at Azafrán, that sits at river-the full frontal views of the Alhambra looming above.
                                  So be sure to request a window table.

                                  Azafrán isn't an Arabic restaurant. Not all dishes have that Moroccan touch.

                                  I mean, It isn't at all like the ones you'll find in the Little Morocco souk area of Caldería la Nueva, Caldería Vieja with its Moroccan teterías (tea places), etc. .
                                  It's just different.

                                  Azafrán's chef is actually an Argentine. He calls his cuisine the cuisine of the three cultures, and he's very creative-his dishes are unusual. Azafrán doesn't stick with the tried and true classics.

                            2. re: Maribel

                              Maribel, yet again I have to extend my thanks to you for this wealth of information.

                              Taking a small detour, I have another question: I think we will stay at the AC Santa Paula. The breakfast buffet there bears a hefty tag of 20 euro per person. Do you happen to know of any good sit-down breakfast places near this hotel? What does one look for in Granada for breakfast--I do not need eggs or meat..are there any special breads (or pastries) and if so, where can I have these near the hotel...??

                              Any other thought on a light breakfast?

                              1. re: erica

                                Churros (like long doughnuts) dipped in melted chocolate - not exactly light though!

                                1. re: erica

                                  erica,
                                  I would go to the classic pastry shop, Pastelería López Mezquita, on Reyes Católicos, 39.
                                  It opened in 1862 and is a gourmet institution. I go for their bizcochos and bollos de leche. It opens at 9 am. I sit at the counter.

                                  www.pastelerialopezmezquita.com

                                  For churros y chocolate (that I try to stay away from most of the time for caloric reasons), I like...

                                  Churrería Cafetería Alhambra on the Plaza Bib-rambla

                                  We go here at night and share a small order and sit on the outdoor terrace. In Jan. the terrace may not be set up, but it was in late March.

                                  About gourmet items,
                                  I shop for olive oils, ali-oli, organic wines at...

                                  La Oliva, at Rosario, 9 (beyond pedestrian Calle Navas).
                                  The owner Framciso Lillo Roldán leads me to some nice discoveries.

                                  But the last time I went in, he wasn't present, so shopping there was a different experience.

                                  1. re: Maribel

                                    mARIBEL: You recommend La Olivia, is it worth the trip or would you recommend a better shop in Seville or Madrid (not in Salmanca area though for Madrid) for oil and food-stuffs? I have a wine vendor I like in Madrid, though always looking for those who specialize in vin natural. Sorry again to hijack, but leaving tomorrow and looking to bring back much food and wine. I don't bother with the same old Mango one can get in NYC.

                                    1. re: cherrybomb99x

                                      cherrybomb,
                                      For oil in Madrid, please, please go to-

                                      the terrific Patrimonio Comunal Olivarero on Mejía Lequerica 1, at the corner of Calle Hortaleza (metro: Alonso Martínez).

                                      It has a truly great selection. Not only does it sell 80 varieties, it sells the wonderful oils from Navarra, such as Alfar La Maja, Abbae de Queiles, Artajona, that I really like and are hard to find outside Navarra and the Rioja. It also sells Los Carrizos from the Sierra Norte de Sevilla. Great place.

                                      And while you're in the area, stop by the terrific cheese store, Poncelet, at Argensola 27
                                      (www.poncelet.es

                                      )

                                      I just made some major purchases there. It offers dozens and dozens of artisan cheeses from all the cheese producing regions (Asturias, Cantabria, Galicia, Andalucía, Catalunya, etc). It also sells wines and oils in the back. The sales people are very helpful to me and let me taste, of course, before I purchase.

                                      And if you want some of the city's best croissants (1.50 euros each) or pain au chocolat, head to the new Pomme Sucre on Calle Barquillo 49. They're really delicious. (www.pommesucre.com).
                                      This is Madrid's new branch of Pomme Sucre, which started in Gijón (Asturias).

                                      For wines I go to Lavinia on Ortega & Gasset, but if you want to check out some wines in the trendy Almirante area, you can see what they have at Reserva y Cata at Conde de Xiquena, 13 (www.reservaycata.com

                                      )

                                      For Iberian ham, outside of the Salamanca or Retiro districts, you can make good purchases at the corner of Atocha and Santa Isabel streets at La Leonesa, Santa Isabel, 1. (La Latina), which is part of the Mercado San Martín, where real people with moderate budgets shop.

                                      or closer to the Teatro Real, there's Gondíaz on Plaza de la Marina Española, 7 (metro: Santo Domingo). It also sells some wines and cavas.

                                      near Callao, there's López Pascual at Corredera Baja de San Pablo, 13, for ham, wines and canned goods (conservas)

                                      and near the Prado, in the Barrio de las Letras, there's D.O.C.C. on Calle Prado, 28
                                      and
                                      Artesanía Ibérica Jamón 10 at the corner of Calle Cervantes and Calle León at León 10.

                                      Also the new ham store, Alma de Ibérico, at Cava Baja, 41 in La Latina. Don't know about the prices because I've never purchased there. Because they've placed it on a rather "touristy" street, the prices may not be as good as the ones mentioned above.

                                      I don't shop at the newly remodeled Mercado de San Miguel-for me, it's just for looking and maybe having a snack at one of the bars.

                                      Hope this helps and have a great trip!

                                      1. re: Maribel

                                        On behalf of both of us, and surely many others, I want to thank you again, Maribel!
                                        I've just learned that my time in Granada will be cut short--two dinners now instead of three--due to apparent cancellation of RENFE morning train (now listed as "bloqueado.")

                                        So both these suggestions, and those for Granada above, are so very welcome...

                                        Since we have expanded this thread to the capital, Please let me know if there are any great food stops in the vicinity of the Ritz--might come in handy on my last day in the city when preparing for train (or bus????) trip to Granada(!)

                                        1. re: erica

                                          Hi erica,
                                          I heard about the tren bloqueado dilemma through my intermediary. I can't post right now on that thread (time constraints-it would grab me like a vortex), but I believe you have my email, if you want to chat about that and other things.

                                          Great food shops near the Ritz?

                                          Well, I would cross the Paseo del Prado over to the Las Letras district and window shop at D.O.C.C. on Calle Prado, up to Artesanía Ibérica Jamón 10 on the corner of León and Cervantes, both mentioned above and..

                                          definitely to González, a nifty cheese, charcuterie, wines, etc. shop with a handy back room with marble top tables serving cheese and charcuterie platters -Casa González at León 12, right next to the Jamón 10.

                                          Or from the Ritz take a longer walk over to Mallorca, Madrid's answer to Milan's Peck or Paris' Gerard Mulot-the closest branch to the Ritz would be at Serrano, 6.
                                          (www.pasteleria-mallorca.com)

                                      2. re: cherrybomb99x

                                        Cherry: I would love to know which items you have on your shopping list so I can compare notes, and lengthen my own!

                                        1. re: erica

                                          Erica:

                                          Wine/sherry is at the top of my list though for foodstuffs I am looking for olive oils, spices - particularly paprickas and pimenton, I may grab some decent bomba rice as we literally packed so shockingly light our clothes could have all fit in 1 carry-on so I definately have the room for rice. Also want to see what is available at the The husband wants to jambon out, but we can't bring that back and I am always looking for good cheese, but I don't want to travel back with cheese this time. I also am looking for any suggestions on jarred fish products and any cured vegetables, olives and the like as I like to do tapas parties at home and be able to make proper. I want to see what abrabic items I can find as well while in Andelucia.

                                          I would like to find a vendor in Seville who has fresh patatas fritas, I found a place in Madrid last November that does have, but we just got here a few hours ago and have not found anything yet - we missed the markets today and have to wait until Monday at this point. I fund a wine vendor open and bought a bottle that we have cellaring at home from May 09 that can sit for another few years and I wanted to see where it was at at this point, but sadly it was corked, so I have to go back and return Monday and wait on it.

                                          Other than Corte Ingles, does anyone have any suggestions for specialty markets in Seville, preferably close to the Macarena area where our flat is? Also Granada, but right now I am in Seville.

                                          Erica: I know you had your eye on more tinned items, if I am remembering your other posts correctly, I am curious as to what you have on your short list for food.

                                          1. re: cherrybomb99x

                                            In Seville for wines, tinned items, olive oils, you might want to look at

                                            La Alacena Real at Pajaritos, 11 in the Alfalfa district

                                            for wines,
                                            there's a branch of the chain La Carte des Vins downtown at García de Vinuesa, 25. They stay open until 9-9:30 pm.

                                            for wines in Granada
                                            there's a La Carte des Vins on pedestrian Calle Navas, 29, downtown.

                                            In Granada there's also Mariscal on Carrera del Genil, 12, downtown, but it's a delicatessen. I think of it more for hams, sausages.

                                            Have fun!

                                            1. re: Maribel

                                              thanks Maribel

                                              1. re: cherrybomb99x

                                                Cherry: My list is more or less the same as yours. I will also look for tinned piquillo peppers from Navarra. Last time I bought lots of cans of asparagus from the same region. In addition to the Cuca brand of seafood, mentioned above, I think, look also for Cabo de Pena brand which has satisfied me in the past. I want to bring home chipirones and almejas, as well as tuna. And also the white anchovies, which I fell in love with only recently at a Spanish wine event..

                                                And mojama, which I think is vaguely similar to bottarga..but made from tuna..

                                                A new revelation to me are the dried beans from Spain. I bought a bag of Tolosa beans from Kalyustan that were so good and creamy, even after a couple of years of languishing in my cupboard! I never have luck with dried beans but these were so good that I plan to bring them home, and also look for other types of beans..

                                                http://www.theatlantic.com/food/archi...

                                                There are famous white beans from the Segovia area, too--Judiones de La Granja.

                                                I am sure you know these, but Marcona almonds; saffron; and olives will be on my list..I think Arbequina olives and also olives stuffed with lemon because I read about those here recently...

                                                And those crackery breads made with olive oil--I think they come from the Sevilla area..

                                                1. re: cherrybomb99x

                                                  Like erica, we also stock up on Tolosa black beans, Gernika red beans, judiones from Gredos, lentils and garbanzos from La Bañeza (León) and potxas (white beans) from Navarra.

                                                  And bonito del norte-we have the Ortiz brand at home.

                                                  Another item always in our pantry-pimientos del cristal or pimientos del piquillo (stuffed or whole) from Navarra.
                                                  And tins of chorizo a la sidra from Asturias.

                                                  1. re: Maribel

                                                    thanks - I had not thought of bringing back dried beans as I never have luck with them at home either! The lemon stuffed olives sound perfect as well.

                                                    I normally also buy the Ortiz brand of bonito at home, which I think is imported if I remember correct, are the brands you mentioned superior here?

                                                    Thanks!

                                                    1. re: cherrybomb99x

                                                      No, I don't think so..

                                                      In my book Ortiz (from northern Spain) is tops and the top of the top is their canned ventresca in the red rectangular box.

                                                      http://www.tienda.com/food/products/s...

                                    2. re: Maribel

                                      Returning here a few days before my departure for Spain.. I have Oliver in Granada booked for dinner already. We have two more nights in the city with no plans..one of these is a Saturday night.

                                      What do you think, Maribel, of Puerta del Carmen for a dinner? The menu looks good and very varied:

                                      http://www.puertadelcarmenrestaurante...

                          2. Pretty good bang for your buck is Kiosko Las Titas by Paseo del Salon and La Bomba. Their lunch specials are always good (ask the waitstaff which one's best)..comes complete with soup or salad, entree and dessert. It's located in a converted glass house. www.kioskolastitas.es
                            Another is Diamante for seafood and sometimes we just go to the deli shop Mariscal next to the El Corte Ingles department store.

                            1. The guys at Taberna El Espejo on Elvira, 40 Bajo, took wonderful care of us when we were tapas newbies. Neighborhoody sort of place, fond memories.

                              1. If you start at Plaza Nueva at the foot of the Alhambra, standing with your back to the Alhambra, there is a back street that is like a big gradual stairway at goes up into an old Arabic neighborhood. My notes read, "For dinner we walked into the first part of the Albaicin to Calderia la Nueva where there is a small street of Arabic restaurants". There we found wonderful Arabic food. However, down in the plaza we ate at one of the tourist restaurants that puts tables out under the trees and the food was so horrible that we fed our entrees to a passing dog. Stick with the Arabic.

                                1. We're going to Andalucia in April. This is a fabulous thread. Thanks!

                                  1. Just back from Granada. Found Oliver's to be significantly overrated. A lot of backslapping and good cheer but no delivery on the food. Hardly any fish or shellfish in the paella. Uninspired fish that wasn't even particularly fresh. Lamb chops incredibly undercooked that brought a mere shrug of the shoulders. Way, way overpriced. On the other hand, an expensive lunch at the Umeda Parador, was well worth the price. Beautifully presented and every dish a winner. Bar Julio was fun to belly up to and fill our bellies. The owner was a joy and all the tapas were great...

                                    1. Thanks for the great information on this thread. The fellow and I will be in Granada for two nights in about a week. We are thinking one night of tapas and one night for a sit-down dinner. Are there any thoughts on the Parador de Granada? Worth it? Not worth it? Thanks for any opinions!

                                      1. I figured I would update this thread since it was so useful for my recent trip to Granada.
                                        Here is my trip report. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/874639 .

                                        We liked the following places:
                                        Bodegas La Mancha ( Near Plaza Nueva

                                        )

                                        La Gran Taberna (Near Plaza Nueva)

                                        Bodegas Canstenada Antiqua (Near Plaza Nueva)

                                        Tapas Diamante (Near Plaza Nueva).

                                        Real Asador de Castilla
                                        http://www.realasadordecastilla.com/

                                        Pizzeria 'Espress Gondoliere': For pizza when tired of Spanish food.

                                        Alhambra Churreria Cafeteria: Good place for Churros/Chocolate only.

                                        1. After a two month stint, I'd recommend Ohm Kalzum, Hola Pizzametro, Diamantes II (excellent fried shrimp), Bodegas Castañeda (more for ambience than food), and fresh-prepared paella at La Parrilla. El Claustro is good but expensive. I'm sure there are a handful of other decent options but for the most part, the food in Granada isn't original or good. I would stay far, far away from any Paella, except for La Parrilla.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: rochowzki

                                            Two months...? Nice