Granada exudes beauty, color and good vibes. The alleyways of its classic neighborhoods, with their Arabic vestiges, create a contrast with the sumptuous majesty of the city center’s architecture.
Eating well for very little is not a problem in the home of the Alhambra, where tapas culture is deeply rooted in every part of the city.
Most bars in Granada will religiously serve up a free tapa with every drink. In fact, it is difficult to find an establishment that does not honor this Granada tradition. So while there is no shortage of supply, some places stand out above the rest, either because of the quality or sheer quantity of their tapas.
These are our top five picks.
01 Los Diamantes
One of the classics in Granada. Los Diamantes (Calle Navas, 28) offers fish lovers fried shrimp and a mixed dish with ‛rosada’ (pink cusk-eel), anchovies, shrimp and cuttlefish. Founded in 1942 in the city center, Los Diamantes now has four branches throughout town. When all their fish gets sold out, the waiters roll down the blinds as a sign to late-coming customers.
02 Mesón La Rumba
This bar with generous tapas has been under new management since last year, and its popularity has extended like wildfire since then. The keys to its success are location – the Cartuja neighborhood is filled with students – and low prices. La Rumba (Real de Cartuja, 63) is a typical neighborhood bar where patrons can chat at their ease on the sidewalk patio while enjoying the establishment’s caloric bomb specialty: pork meat and potatoes covered in mozzarella cheese and a dash of hot sauce.
03 El Peruano
Native residents say that bar quality can be measured by the quality of their meat in sauce. And El Peruano (Gonzalo Gallas, corner of Valle Inclán) has without a doubt the best meat in sauce in all of Granada. The secret, says owner Jaime Bendezú, is “good quality fast food.” The bar is run by a friendly Peruvian team and located in the tapas area of Gonzalo Gallas, which is always filled with students. Opened in 1988, it also serves satisfyingly filling fare, such as their chicken sandwich.
04 El Nido del Búho
The Doctores neighborhood is a classic place to go out for tapas. It is also home to El Nido del Búho (Doctor Pareja Yébenes,10), where the kitchen stays open all day and customers are served small but delicious olives with every drink or dish they order. This place also lets people choose what free tapa they desire, and serves sweets with every coffee. You can even ask for your tapa to go!
05 Bar Aliatar Los Caracoles
This place is particularly recommended for lovers of good escargots. Bar Aliatar Los Caracoles (Plaza del Aliatar, 4), located in the heart of the Albaicín area, has a charming terrace. Opened in 1907, it is one of Granada’s oldest bars, and a mandatory stop even for people who are not particularly keen on eating snails. They could well be converted here...