A Comprehensive Guide To Tapas In Granada
Granada has to be one of my favorite cities in the world, and a lot of it has to do with their tapas culture. For those of you that don’t know, tapas are a small plate of food that is free with the purchase of a drink. Nowadays this idea of free doesn’t really exist in most places in Spain, but in Granada you can’t go to a bar or restaurant and avoid a free plate of food. Because every place is competing for customers with their tapas, you can get some extremely good quality food all for the price of a small cup of beer.
There are a few ‘rules’ to note when talking about tapas in Granada and they are important to remember so you get the most bang for your buck (Euro).
Tapas should always be free, but they only come with beer, wine, or soda. Purchases of spirits or cocktails, as well as hot drinks like coffee or tea do not traditionally come with a tapa so if you want to eat, go for beer, wine, or soda.
If you order an actual plate of food (racion) then you will stop receiving tapas with your drinks. Therefore, if you plan on getting lots of tapas, don’t order food until you have received all the tapas you want with your drinks.
You usually won’t get to pick your tapas in Granada. This is because the tapa is traditionally a gift from the chef, and you can’t choose your own gifts. However some places do have a tapas list that lets you decide what you want. I’ll go more into these places later.
Tapas should never be the same. If you are ordering drinks and receiving tapas in Granada, the chef should never give you a repeat of your tapa. This can make for quite the interesting challenge if you can drink a lot. It is possible to order so much that the chef has to start inventing a new tapa just for you so that he or she does not repeat themselves and make a tapas faux-pas.
Rule #5 (Kinda)
If you go out for tapas in Granada for the food more than the alcohol, there is one suggestion I should mention. You can order a caña, which is just a small glass of beer. It ranges from 15-25 cl and is usually cheaper than your standard draft glass or bottle. That way you can forgo most of the alcohol, and focus your stomach on all that tasty delicious food.
That being said, if you like to drink as well as eat, just order whatever you want, after all…it’s your adventure!
Where To Get Tapas In Granada
You can get tapas at pretty much any place that sells alcohol and food in Granada. No, not grocery stores, don’t be a pedant. If you go to a bar/restaurant and order a beer, wine, or soda, you will receive some type of food. The quality and quantity may vary by vendor, but that’s all the fun of doing a tapas hopping adventure.
One of the most popular places for tapas in Granada is Calle Navas, which is colloquially known as tapas street. The entire street is lined with bars and restaurants all serving their offerings of food and booze. While you may think it is overly touristy because of the crowds, this is a place for locals as well (during off season of course) as many of the vendors are putting out quality tapas.
You can check out a short list I wrote for Alona’s site, Jet Set Together, about five good places to start your tapas in Granada adventure, or continue on as this list is a lot longer.
Types Of Tapas In Granada
This is pretty difficult to write about as the variety of tapas is so vast. There are traditional tapas like Ensalada Rusa and Tortilla de Patatas, but to be honest you’ll find these more outside of Granada in places with a weak tapas culture. As mentioned above, due to the competitiveness in tapas that exists here in Granada, you can get some extremely high quality food that even makes you wonder how the bar is able to make money.
Cody’s Top 20 Tapas In Granada
This is a list of my top 20 favorite tapas in Granada. However note that you may not be able to get the same thing depending on the chef of the day.
Jamon y Manchego
Las Titas has been hit or miss with their tapas in my opinion, however their marinated olives are soooooo good. Not only that, the location of this restaurant is fantastic. Located in the middle of a park, the restaurant is mostly open air, but has a building in the art-deco style with a gorgeous chandelier and roof dome. The drinks are affordable with a large selection of wines. I feel their jamon and manchego tapa is a good start to this list, being a simple, yet delicious classic.
These albondigas hail from one of my favorite places in all of Granada (you’ll see many more of their tapas on this list), EntreBrasas. This restaurant is almost always packed, and for good reason. They have fantastic meats, and do not cheap out when it comes to tapas. Albondigas are Spanish meatballs, and if you only get to have them once, you should have them at EntreBrasas.
Fried Chicken Taco
Casa Colon is the first restaurant I went to during my first stay in Granada, and I’ve been back there many times. It is unique in that they let you choose what tapa you want when you order your drink, so you’ll see more of them on this list as well. This chicken taco is just pieces of fried chicken in an aioli on a tortilla, but it is quite impressive for free food. I do love the creativity Casa Colon puts into their tapas menu, as it is quite different than most tabernas serving tapas in Granada.
Fried dogfish is a popular tapas in Granada and no place does it better than La Blanca Paloma. Dogfish is actually a shark, but don’t let that turn you off. These soft buttery seafood bites are so delicious, and pair well with a fantastic glass of white wine. Paloma Blanco has a vast selection of great wines, so if you don’t know what to get, just ask the waiter to pick one for you and you won’t be disappointed.
Quail Egg and Salsa on Toast
Out of all the tapas in Granada, this one may be the most famous with foreigners as El Tabernaculo was featured on Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown. This is similar to a popular Spanish tapa called Huevos Al Capote (Eggs on a cloak) except instead of a slice of jamon, you get a hot savory salsa, which seeps into the bread and is just all around delicious. Another interesting quirk about this bar is it is plastered floor to ceiling with Jesus. Yes that’s right, El Tabernaculo is a Jesus themed bar.
Fried Sausage and Potato
Another entry on the list from EntreBrasas, this large tapa is fried potatoes and sausage. While it is quite simple, it is a hearty amount of food and the paprika oil that the potatoes were fried in is delicious sopped up in the bread.
Don’t think this is a traditional curry in the spice sense. It is savory pieces of chicken in an herby delicious cream based sauce (which again goes perfect with the bread) but it is not at all spicy. To be honest, nothing in Spain is that spicy. That isn’t to say this chicken curry from Taberna Restaurante Mas Que Vinos isn’t worth a trip in itself. This is almost a meal with its large portion! The restaurant is known for its large selection of wine, but I would recommend one of the many amazing craft beers they have on hand as they are really good, especially the red beer.
Usually in Spain, Paella has to be ordered for 2 or more people, yet in Los Diamantes it comes free as a tapa even if you’re by yourself. Los Diamantes is one of the most famous places to get tapas in Granada as it’s quite rare to get seafood for free. Not here though, when about 99% of the menu is delicious seafood! This paella is rich in saffron flavor, and has squid and octopus and shrimp and clams and there’s not a single thing I can complain about with this dish. You may think that a seafood place would up their drink prices to compensate but you’d be wrong. A standard beer on tap is the same price here as most places that serve tapas in Granada coming in at 2 euros and 20 cents.
Fried Mixed Seafood
Also from Los Diamantes was the second tapa I received on the same trip. This one being a medley of fried seafood. They had my favorite fried baby sardines, along with shrimp, dogfish, squid, and octopus. Never would I have imagined getting this much food for the purchase of a small beer.
Ratatouille with Octopus
Moving away from Los Diamantes for a bit, we’ll venture back to Casa Colon to take a look at the first tapas in Granada I ever had! As I arrived around 8 at night, we went straight to dinner after getting our AirBnb, and as Casa Colon was just a short walk we picked here for our first meal. What a treat we were in for when we got these ratatouille with octopus cups as a tapa. I don’t know if you can tell from the picture, but these aren’t small, probably a 3-4 bite tart and it was just bursting with flavor. I’ve had my fair share of ratatouille, and I think my octopus is one of the best, but as far as my jumping off point to the world of tapas, this one really hit the mark.
Mozzarella and Carrot Fritter & Croquettes
D’Platos Centro is one of those trendy modern restaurants (like Casa Colon) that let you pick from a list the tapas you want. While this does take away the adventure and surprise of getting a random tapa from the chef, it does afford you the ability to pick something you think you’ll like. Because of this, this entry is a double feature (don’t worry, there’s still 9 more pictures to come, I’m counting this as one) of a Mozzarella and Carrot Fritter with a mustard based dipping sauce, and Pork Croquettes with an aioli. Drink prices here are still fairly in line with the standard (maybe 10% more) but the quality and choice of tapas you have makes it more than worth it.
BBQ Chicken Broquettes
Back to EntreBrasas we are presented with some BBQ Chicken broquettes, or skewers. I always expect some fantastic meat dish when I go to EntreBrasas and this dish did not disappoint. Tender, savory pieces of grilled chicken with a salty tangy BBQ sauce made this tapa a nice treat to pair with my Alhambra Especial beer from the tap.
The third and final entry from Los Diamantes is my favorite: Boquerones! These fried anchovies are a delight to eat as they can be eaten whole (the heads have been removed as you can see in the picture) and are salty, crispy, and full of fish flavor. I know anchovies are not for everybody, but these aren’t you canned fillets you get on pizza in America, these are freshly caught and killed fish that could have been swimming in the ocean just that morning! As always, the quality of seafood at Los Diamantes is top notch, so when you go, I think you’ll be impressed.
Mini Burgers with Aioli
When we ordered from Puerta del Carmen we weren’t sure if they were gonna bring us a tapa as it looked a little bit too fancy for people on a tapas hop. However, just a few minutes after bringing our beer, we were presented with these delicious mini burgers with a dollop of aioli. At first I thought they were in mantou buns, which would have been disappointing, but it was actually just a soft bready bun perfect to soak up the natural juices of the burger meat. We only had one tapa here as we were on a mission to try as many places as possible, but I would definitely come back.
Morcilla in Tortilla
If you wonder why so many of my choices are from EntreBrasas, it’s because they never disappointed me with a single tapa. In fact, this was the restaurant I chose when I decided to challenge myself and order as many drinks as I could handle to see what they came up with. I have to say, they must have a tapas backlog of dozens of dishes, because my ordering habits didn’t even seem to phase them. I know black pudding isn’t for everyone, but this morcilla in tortilla tapa was warm and buttery and overall delicious.
Salmon and Cream Cheese Blini (With Caviar)
I never expected to get actual caviar in a tapa, yet we’re back here again at Casa Colon with one of their best tapas in Granada in my opinion; the salmon and cream cheese blini. This isn’t as filling as some of their other tapas, but it has so much rich decadent flavor you won’t care. I’d suggest that if you were going to Casa Colon you should get this as your last tapa, because it is the smallest, but also the one you’ll want to finish on.
Grilled Pork with Pyramid Salt
Our last and final tapa from EntreBrasas is the tapa that everyone starts with. At least, I think that’s the case in my few times of being there. It may not look like much but this grilled pork with pyramid salt is one of the most flavorful tapas in Granada that I’ve ever had. It is salty and savory, meaty and rich. Usually tapas in Granada come with bread (as you can see by most of the previous pictures) but in this case you really want to eat it with the meat because the juices will soak into the bread and make it even more delicious.
Pork Stew with Potatoes
El Fogon de Galicia is a bar right one the main tapas boulevard and is always full of people. When I went it was standing room only so of course we stood at the bar and at this delicious pork stew with potatoes right there. They give you a healthy amount of food, and the drinks are extremely affordable. I quite like the atmosphere of this place as it reminds me a lot of the classical French brasseries you see all over Paris.
Roasted Red Pepper with Seared Tuna Belly
This tapa of roasted red peppers with seared tuna belly may not look like anything special, but the taste is exquisite. You would be mistaken if you think this is tinned tuna because it is actually grilled fresh every day. The bar is called Taberna Granados and it used to be an extremely seedy dive bar. Nowadays it is hip and trendy and they are most known for their “moonshine” which I highly recommend. In actuality it is just a stronger version of a rose wine, but it pairs extremely well with this seafood tapa.
Pork Stew with Croutons
Another pork stew dish, this one features larger chunks of meat and is paired with crunchy croutons and served in a flavorful paprika oil. You probably didn’t expect a hostel to make this list, and to be honest I had a hard time finding the name of this place the next day because all my pictures geotagged it right inside a hostel. However it turns out that this tapas bar is part of the 4U Hostel right in the heart of Granada, and they are extremely fair with their offerings. This pork stew was one of the best I have had as far as tapas in Granada go, and I would love to go back, I only wish I knew it’s name when I was there!
Featured Tapas In Granada Restaurant Addresses
Kiosko Las Titas: Paseo de la Bomba, s / n – 18008 Granada, Spain
EntreBrasas: Calle Navas 27, 18009 Granada, Spain
Casa Colon: Calle Ribera del Genil, 2, 18005 Granada, Spain
La Blanca Paloma: Calle Alhamar. 1418005 Granada, Spain
Taberna Restaurante Mas Que Vinos: Calle Tundidores, 18001 Granada, Spain
Los Diamantes: Calle Navas, 28, 18009 Granada, Spain
Puerta del Carmen: Plaza del Carmen 1, 18001 Granada, Spain
El Fogon de Galicia: Calle Navas, 4, 18009 Granada, Spain
Taberna Granados: Carrera de la Virgen, 44, 18005 Granada, Spain
D’Platos Centro: Calle Acera del Darro, 92, 18005 Granada, Spain
4U Hostel: Calle Coches de San Matías, 15, 18009 Granada, Spain
Due to the popular Spanish tradition of ‘Siesta‘ most bars and restaurants are closed between 4pm and 8pm. While some places for tapas in Granada like Los Diamantes stay open all day long, the majority do not, so prepare yourself before you go so you don’t go to dinner too early.
This list is completely my opinion and I have not been paid to write good things about any of the places mentioned in the article. You can check out the website’s Policy for more information.
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