We love to travel, and our absolute favorite activity while traveling is dining out. There’s just something special about experiencing new flavors, and unfamiliar dishes while immersed in a foreign environment.
I mentioned some of our past trips in my post on our upcoming slow travel experience to Barcelona, Spain this summer. In that post I highlighted how much it cost us to spend 2 weeks in the Andalucia region of Spain.
As a result of that post, I was kindly asked by a fellow blogger (who shall remain nameless) to share any restaurant suggestions I might have from that trip, in preparation for his own upcoming family trip.
I figured it would also make a good post for anyone else looking to visit the region, which I highly recommend!
If you’re not familiar with that particular region of Spain, here’s a snapshot of where it is relative to the rest of the country.
It’s in the southernmost region, primarily on the mediterranean sea. It’s made up of multiple provinces, each with their own unique sites, flavors, and personalities.
Because of its strategic location on the mediterranean it’s been influenced by multiple cultures in its history, ranging from the Greek, Roman, Phoenician and Moorish empires. This can be clearly seen in the architecture of the region, as well as the food.
We planned our trip out very carefully, and selected the following cities for our 2 week vacation, in order of visit:
- 3 Nights in Sevilla, Sevilla Province
- 1 Night in Cordoba, Cordoba Province
- 2 Nights in Granada, Granada Province
- 2 Nights in Malaga, Malaga Province
- 2 Nights in Ronda, Malaga Province
- 2 Nights in Jerez, Cadiz Province
We flew into Madrid, Spain, and took either trains or buses to get around. Looking for flight deals? Check out my post on how we scored a great deal on flights to Barcelona for this summer.
If you’re planning on taking a similar trip, I would highly suggest you plan at least 10-15 days to explore.
Spanish Eating Culture
Before I get to the restaurant recommendations, I want to share something about Spanish dining in general. The typical meal schedule runs a little something like this…
Tapas (Appetizer Hour): 8PM-10PM
They tend to eat fairly late, and we found ourselves enjoying the Tapas bars more than most dining establishments. We ended up turning dinner time into a Tapas hopping extravaganza each night, usually trying out a number of Tapas bars as our “dinner”.
The great thing about some of these Tapas bars, is that you would get served an appetizer (Tapas) with each drink you order…for free! Each drink was typically 2-3USD, and the food itself was usually fantastic.
My recommendation if you’re visiting Spain is to go Tapas bar hopping and avoid the one sit down meal at night, especially if you’re short on time and looking to maximize your experience.
Andalucia Dining Guide
So here are just some of the recommendations for dining in the Andalucia region, I’ve included links to the restaurants via TripAdvisor which will have pictures, ratings and details on the establishments.
Vineria San Telmo / Try anything with oxtail, all dishes were fantastic
La Mojigata / Really creative and modern tapas style place, very small place but worth it
Mercado de Triana / This market is a bit out of the way but worth checking out
Eslava / This place has become very popular since we visited, it has amazing Tapas
Barajas / They serve both traditional and modern Tapas
La Azotea / Fancy Tapas bar, but the quality was excellent
Case Mazal / Nice atmosphere at night, they usually have a guitarist playing during dinner
Try the famous Salmarejo dish at any Tapas bar serving it in Cordoba
Restaurante Bar Oliver / Traditional tapas focused on seafood, each drink gets you a free delicious tapas plate. Lots of locals, great atmosphere
Bar Kiki / Good food, but best for atmosphere and great view of the Alhambra
Geladeria Los Italianos / Who doesn’t love great Gelato! Good stop for kids
Teteria Nazari / For something little more exotic, try this Moroccan tea and hookah bar
La Oliva / 20-course experience, a bit pricey but high quality
De Locos / A Tapas bar in Ronda, with a modern take on tapas. The quality for the price was excellent
Bodegas Tradición / If you find yourself in Jerez, you need to check out the local Sherry wineries
Albala / Also in Jerez, this is where we had one of the best dishes ever, ox tail croquetas
So those were just some of our favorite dining experiences on that trip. We honestly had to try very hard to find a bad place to eat. Just about every plate we tried was unique in its own way, and we never tired of the local cuisine.
Here’s some food porn in case words weren’t enough to get you to plan your next trip!
Readers, ever been to the Andalucia region of Spain? Which is your favorite Province? Do you plan your trips around food? Is this type of dining guide useful? Share your thoughts and comments below!
You can call me Max…I’m a Gen-X executive planning to retire from the corporate grind by the age of 45. Although I’m already financially independent, I haven’t yet reached true financial freedom. Join me on my journey as we discuss everything from personal finance to travel and beyond.