Granada and the Endless Quest for Tapas

Before coming to Spain, dreams of tiny stacked plates overflowing with fresh, complimentary tapas filled my head. The reality though, in most places, seemed to fall quite short of that. Tapas, it turns out, is not so much a cheap foodie’s fantasy as much as it is a game that only rarely gets you satisfactorily fed. Rumors abound, however, of a land where the tapas rain down upon you like waterfalls. People will tell you that Granada is that land. Obviously, I had to go check it out.

Though Granada did not live up to the hype, it still a great place to spend your time. The free plates were anything but generous and generally consisted of the old stand-by “bread with something on it”. Many places had done away with the free tapas altogether and charged a modest couple of euros for a plate of something less than exciting. In my opinion, the Tapa Seeker need not go to Granada just for the food. The options seem better in Madrid and Sevilla and from what I hear, the real yum happens up north in Pais Vasco.

Granada does have its charm though. Its got the Alhambra (one of the most sought out destinations in Spain – hint: buy tickets in advance) and lots to explore.

“Children Fighting” Street.

Granada has a healthy dose of political street art, more than I’ve noticed in other Spanish cities.

The walk up the Carrero del Darro (beside the wee lil’ Rio Darro) was a highlight for me.

This guy was giving out his poems along the way. We speculated (and then witnessed) that he’d be a serious chick magnet, but he didn’t seem interested in any of the attention he got. Sorry ladies, he’s married to the verse!

If you keep walking uphill for a while (Granada’s got quite a few steep climbs), your reward is some spectacular hillside views of the Alhambra and its surroundings.

Keep hiking uphill and you’ll bring yourself to the famous Sacromonte neighborhood, known for its Roma inhabited cave homes and flamenco shows.

On the other side of town, we attempted (and failed) to check out the Alhambra without purchasing tickets in advance. Its another steep and beautiful walk up but you can also opt to take a bus or taxi. They were sold out for the day so we were turned away but told that if we wanted to come back first thing tomorrow morning, we might be able to get standby tickets. Instead, we slept in.

Check out more photos from Granada here. 

And my posts on Segovia, Salamanca and Oporto.


12 thoughts on “Granada and the Endless Quest for Tapas

  1. Granada is fantastic city. The history is so alive! The Alhambra, besides being beautiful and historical, was a great place to cool down in the summer heat :-)
    I don’t recall having tapas in Granada, but we did enjoy some good meals, one in particular of fried fish (not my favorite food group, but it was good).
    BTW, great photos. I especially like the one of the wall art in Sacromonte.

    1. Its so funny, I´ve talked with a lot of people about this and some people tell me they had the same problem while others are so confused as to how I could possibly have that experience there haha. Guess I will have to go back!

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