TAPAS: A SPANISH TRADITION YOU SHOULD FOLLOW
One of the main features of Spanish cuisine is tapas. The tapas are small amounts of food that are served in the bars to accompany a drink. In Spain it is very common to go for tapas: a tradition that consists of going from bar to bar with friends to eat and drink (usually beer or wine). The origin of this tradition is not very clear and there are several explanations. Some people believe that it started because of the economic interest of the owners of the bars, who used to put some salty food (for example, ham) so that the clients had to ask for more drink. Others think that the tapas were born from the habit they had in the taverns to cover the drinking glasses with a slice of bread to avoid the entrance of dust or insects. Another explanation states that the Catholic Monarchs forced to serve food with drink so that people would not get drunk easily and thus avoid altercations. Whatever the origin, tapas are known throughout the world and are an essential element of Spanish culture. Tapas are synonymous with going out with friends to have fun and it is a delicious way to socialize.
It is considered that Granada is the capital of the tapa, since, unlike in other cities, where you have to pay the tapa, here when you order a drink, they give you a tapa for free. Some of the most typical tapas are tortilla de patatas (Spanish omelette), pescaíto frito (fried fish) or a toast with tomato spread and a slice of Serrano ham.
Below you can find some of the most famous tapas bars in Granada:
1. La esquinita de Javi (Plaza de Mariana Pineda, 1)
Noisy, as it should be, and always full (for something will be), this tavern is specialized in Mediterranean fish, but with a frying process that makes it very soft and not greasy at all. Anchovies, cuttlefish, pink, dogfish, red mullet, cod, squid … All this can end on a generous top that looks more like a portion.
2. Castañeda (Calle Almireceros, 1-3)
A classic among the classics, this place is very famous in the city. With the air of an old tavern, of those of a lifetime, a bullfighting touch and even a painting of Lola Flores. Here traditional tapas are dispensed: good cheeses, cold meats, pâtés, smoked salmon and cod … and also some hot dish with the stew of the day. But the most characteristic is a drink that can only be ordered here: the ‘calicasas’, a kind of vermouth that combines different wines and that is drunk as quickly as it goes up to the head.
3. Bar Aliatar Los Caracoles (Plaza Aliatar, 4)
In a square in the Albaicín, this typical bar with a pleasant terrace has been offering snails all their lives, with a spicy broth based on almonds and chilli peppers.
4. Los Altramuces (Plaza Campo del Príncipe)
The most crowded of the squares of the Realejo district, is full of temples of the aperitif like this, with its corresponding terrace, where they serve giant tapas of meat in sauce with potatoes, fried aubergines with honey or croquettes accompanied by Russian salad and, how No, the lupins that give the bar its name.
5. La Tana (Placeta del Agua, 3)
Small and cozy, this tavern is essential in any tapas route in Granada. Reasons? Its traditional esthetic, with antique radios and sculptural griffins. In addition, the tapas are of quality (seasoned tomato with sausage, guacamole with sausage, sardines with salmorejo, cheese with grapes, pate with honey and strawberry, black pudding with pine nuts…) and, above all, because they have a great wine selection with more than 400 references and even have the “suggestion of the month”.
6. Los Diamantes (Calle Navas, 26)
Although they have three establishments scattered around the capital, perhaps this is the most emblematic, whose origin is 1942. It is always full of people, but it is not mission impossible to get a site. Their tapas, which are specialized in fried fish, are as tasty as they are convincing. Fried prawns, pijotas, clams, marinated dogfish, mussels … All fresh and delicious.
7. La Antigualla (Calle Elvira,1 )
Only if you are very hungry, this is the right destination. Because in this bar of medieval esthetic and very youthful atmosphere, the tapa improves with each new round. They start with a “rosca”, almost a sandwich. The rest, skewers, hamburgers … ideal for tight budgets.