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Trip to Madrid/Granada/Seville - Help!

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Hello - I am a longtime reader, and Brooklyn dweller. My husband and I are taking our first trip in 5 years sans kids to Spain. We would really appreciate some expert CH help on where to eat while in Madrid/Granada/Seville. We will also be spending one day in Cordoba. We will be there in early April.

In particular, I'd like to reserve in advance 1 or 2 really nice dinners - definitely one in Madrid and possibly one in Seville. We love to eat, and aren't picky. Nothing formal or fussy, and not the Ferran Adria-style of cooking. More interested in local, delicious, food that we couldn't find in NYC. Budget is not a huge issue - I don't want to go someplace fancy just for fancy's sake, but if the best place really is pricey, that is fine too. I have been reading the boards, but have been overwhelmed with all of the options!! Was thinking Gastromaquia? DiverXO? La Ardosa? But I have no idea if I am on the right path.

Also, any thoughts on places to eat in Seville on the dreaded Sunday when everything closes?

Finally, any general thoughts on how/where to eat for lunches or other dinners that we don't book in advance, would be extremely appreciated. My diet now mostly consists of chicken nuggets and mac and cheese, but back in the day we were real food people and I can't wait to spend a week eating grown up food again.

I am so grateful in advance for any and all help!

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  1. In Madrid, we absolutely loved Casa d'a Troya. It's upscale but not pretentious, once had a Michelin star but no longer does (who knows why?). They specialize in Galician seafood. It's a bit out of the way, hidden in a residential area, and be sure to have a Google map, as a taxi driver will likely not have a clue. In Seville there are wonderful tapas bars where you can have a great meal, I have no idea about what is or is not open Sundays, but would highly recommend Zelai for gourmet tapas.

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    1. Wherever you eat in Seville, don't miss the fresh fruit even if you have to take it back to your room to eat it. We had the best strawberries, pineapples, nisperos (sort of like an apricot), and melons ever in our lives. Buy it at the market. Someone said they bring it over from Africa, don' t know, but it was all juicy and sweet and picked ripe.

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      1. Hi bumbles, I've spent a fair amount of time in Seville (my husband's family is from there), so hopefully I can steer you to the right spots!

        Modern tapas:
        1. My number one favorite place is La Bulla. We will go there at least twice during a one-week visit. It is not fancy - the interior design is funky and modern and the menus (modern-styled tapas) will be posted on chalkboards around the restaurant. It is a popular spot and there is usually a short wait to get in.
        2. Zelai: order the mussels cappucino - it is the BEST. I've only gone for tapas and sat at the bar, but like most places, there is an area in the back for a nicer sit-down meal.
        3. Infanta - Another place I've only gone for tapas and sat at the bar, but they also have a large area for a sit-down meal. Excellent tapas.
        4. La Azotea - also excellent tapas

        Traditional tapas:
        1. Enrique Becerra - excellent for a paella lunch
        2. Giralda - my favorite dish are the flamenquines. Also the coquinas are out of this world
        3. La Isla - a seafood wonderland. You can sit across from the seafood counter and watch the seafood guy work his magic. It is across the street from Infanta, for easy tapas hopping.
        4. Las Teresas - solid traditional tapas, and it's a great old-school bar. It's located in the beautiful Santa Cruz neighborhood and you will most likely wind your way around those small streets and end up at it at some point.

        A "fancy" meal could be had at Abades Triana. It is located on the river, across from Seville in the Triana neighborhood, so it provides a great view of the city during your meal.

        Also, the rooftop bar at the EME hotel is great at night - perfect view of the cathedral and great drinks.

        I can't tell you about Sunday - we're usually having a mom-made lunch at his parents' house! But, I do remember Zelai being open on a night when everything else seemed to be closed.
        Have a great time!

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        1. re: Pazzasop

          Thank you so much!! I really appreciate all the great ideas.