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Jul 8, 2013 10:13 AM

Recommendations and reservations in Spain

Heading to Spain in September for three weeks and was wondering if you would be so kind as to make some more recommendations and curious as to how far in advance we need to make reservations for some of these. Looked at tickets and see they accept reservations three months in advance and just curious if that's the norm?

We're visiting Barcelona, Seville, Madrid, Ronda, and some day/overnight trips as well. Appreciate any and all advice

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  1. No, the Tickets situation is not the norm. We booked places in the afternoon for that evening or the next.
    Our favorite was a small, local place that happened to be the cheapest, La Palerma. Tasting menu (16 different tastes including desserts, there were 4 of us), with wine for 30E a head.
    One of our least favorites was the most expensive by far, Hisop. Too sterile and cold for our tastes, interesting food, but seemed like they were trying too hard.
    Gresca was a little more expensive than La Palerma, still excellent and a great value.
    Llamber Taberna was fun, whimsical food in a great atmosphere, everyone but my wife really liked it. Moderately priced.
    The management of the apartment we stayed in provided a great list of suggestions. We mostly picked ones that sounded good and were walking distance.
    Barcelona is awesome, you'll love it. Tons to do, friendly people.

    1. Welcome to Chowhound. I suggest that you search the many threads here for each of the cities you plan to visit. Read them through, then come back with questions on those that pique your interest.

      Here are a few of my own comments, but there are many, many others. Note that I had an excellent meal at Hisop, but that was about two years ago..

      How far you need to book in advance depends on the restaurant's popularity. Also, some have limits on how far in advance you can book.

      A personal favorite in Madrid is LUA; one of the best value's for a dinner I've had in Spain in a while. I've sent a few people there since my meal last October and they were most pleased.

      1 Reply
      1. re: erica

        Thanks for advice. Started checking out threads but thought I'd throw this out as well

      2. Just returned from a visit to Barcelona and these are my top favorites...Quimet y Quimet, a tiny place with great tapas, la Paradeta, a place where you pick out impeccably fresh seafoods (razor clams, shrimp, baby squid, monk fish...) and they weigh out what you want and cook it a la "plancha". Delicate small fish and octopus get a quick dusting of flour and they are fried. Simply done and simply memorable, and Canete. These places are packed with locals and the food is honest and delicious. For a feast for the eyes and tummy, go to la Boqueria...the huge open market off of la Rambla. Fruits, nuts, fish, juices, spices, vegetables that look like Zurbaran paintings. Go to El Quim in the market for great tapas but be prepared to wait for someone to leave their spot at the counter. Enjoy!!!

        1. Madrid:

          Club Allard was wonderful

          Posada de la Villa is old school Spanish cooking. Enjoyed it a lot.

          Mercado de San Miguel - lunchtme wander round the tapas stall. Great experience.

          Botin - gets lost of mentions but is nothing more than a tourist trap.

          1. My wife and I spent 4 days in Madrid in early March this year, and enjoyed our lunches at Viridiana, DiverXo, La Tasquita de Enfrente, and Sacha MUCH more than dinners at El Club Allard, Ramon Frexia, La Terraza del Casino, and Santceloni. The dinners were in stuffier settings and we were still stuffed from lunch. Except for DiverXo, I made most of our reservations a week or two ahead. We're off to San Sebastian in early August, and I made reservations for the famous starred places in May. Enjoy your trip!