Grazing around Granada on complimentary tapas

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September, 2022

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Whilst Granada is famous for the Alhambra, it’s also known for its complimentary tapas. Armed with a friend’s list of recommended bars, we aimed to visit as many as possible during our two-night stay.

On our first night, we ticked off three, beginning at an old-fashioned authentic looking tapas bar, Bodegas Castaneda on Calle Almireceros, where jamon hung from the ceiling. The bar was busy and so using a large wine barrel as our table, we ordered a couple of glasses of white wine and waited. Eventually the tapas arrived – two pieces of chicken in a spicy sauce and a slice of French bread. At €5.90 in total, it seemed like a bargain to two Londoners used to paying £8 for a single glass.

The second stop was in total contrast, a more modern affair. At Vinoteca, we were offered a perch at a small table near the entrance, ideal for people watching. The jolly waiter spoke good English, and having ordered a beer and glass of wine, we were served pork loin on French bread. We moved onto a second beer with a tinto verano, red wine and lemonade, which arrived with a slice of bacon and cheese on bread – €10.

Walking back to our hotel through Plaza Bib Rambla, we accidentally found Los Diamentes. Two bar stools beckoned, and we were soon quaffing more beer and tinto verano. This time, as the bar specialised in fish, the first round came with boquerones frito or fried anchovies, and the second with a plate of clams in garlic oil. The place was light, bright and very busy with full tables both inside and outside – €13.60.

We saved our friend’s favourite bar, Enotecca Pacurri, for our final night, but having arrived too early, found ourselves in La Goma. It was small and quiet with only a few tables, but the tapas was delicious and vegan: a riceball drizzled with mustard accompanied by salad, and then a vegetable stew in a small dish. With two rounds of drinks the bill came to €11.

By the time we made it to Enotecca Pacurri, people were stood drinking on the pavement. However, inside the reservado sign was removed from a small table which cleverly extended from the bar, and we were invited to sit. Our first glass of vino blanco came with a pork ball on a piece of bread topped with a slice of gherkin and an olive, and the second with a slice of stuffed tortilla. Although we had a third drink, there was no more tapa, so we wondered whether two was the limit (we had not had three drinks anywhere before). The bar was relatively quiet all evening, perhaps reflecting the fact it was slightly off the beaten track.

Whilst taking heed of the warning to avoid the bars on the touristy Calle Navas, it was where our hotel was located and one afternoon, we stopped at Bar la Chopera where our first tapas was a small bread bun filled with what appeared to be a spicy tuna pate with onion and a bowl of green pitted olives, and the second, was a tea plate with a generous amount of beautifully cooked and tasty pork chunks served on chips with a slice of French bread to mop up the juices.

Whilst we could have simply grazed our way around Granada on free tapa, we did pay for one ‘proper’ lunch on arrival, at La Tortuga Boba on Plaza Romanilla. However, we still enjoyed a tapa of delicious warm pork loin on bread with lots of juices, before moving on to a Tortuga Boba salad with red pepper salad, caramelised onions, goats cheese, avocado and tuna and spaghetti with pork meat in balls and a good-sized piece of creamy burrata.

Helen Jackson

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