Lifestyle & Culture

Irina Greensitt’s tapas primer Pt. 2: My Top-5 go-to tapas bars in Granada

(Editor’s note: This is Pt. 2 of two tapas posts by Irina. Pt. 2 includes her recommendations for the best tapas bars in her city of Granada. You can see Pt. 1 here.)

Since moving to Granada I’ve managed to establish my “go-to” bars where I can take visitors safe in the knowledge that they’ll be treated to good and varied tapas. I’ll often visit these bars with my husband interspersed with a few new (to me) bars along the way, all in the name of research of course.

So here’s are my recommendations for the best tapas bars in Granada (and one non-tapas bar that’s a must-try):

Bar los Diamantes

First on the list is Bar los Diamantes there are one or two others of the same name (sister bars) however, this is the one that I’d recommended. Surrounded on all sides by restaurants of the touristy variety where the staff will try to lure you in as you pass, Bar Los Diamantes is a gem of a fish bar (pun intended).

Yes it’s small and cramped with customers often packed in like sardines (again pun intended); yes the floor is normally festooned with papers and yes the caña that’s served in small glasses is only sometimes full and occasionally only three quarters full.

HOWEVER who cares when the fish tapas are so fresh, plentiful and delicious. You have to experience this bar at least once if you visit Granada and preferably when it’s busy.

Los Diamantes is part of a five-bar chain across Granada. This review is for Calle Navas, 28, Granada. Open evenings from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m.

TripAdvisor rating is 4.5 stars out of 5, 5,334 reviews.

Casa Colón

Photo by Irina Greensitt

Second on my list, and a complete change of emphasis, is Casa Colón. Located at the side of river Genil, Casa Colón feels more like a cocktail bar with background music and immaculate interior, I’ll guarantee that you will not find any papers on the floor here.

A caña (small beer) is, from memory anyway 2.20 euros and as you’d expect it’s accompanied by tapas.
However you get to chose the tapas from a selection that includes delights such as blinis (right) topped with smoked salmon, cream cheese and caviar; chicken thai curry on a bed of cous cous, and my favourite, the delightful Morcilla or black pudding tartlet.

Casa Colón is a relaxing a way to start the evening before it gets both messy and before you lose the ability to appreciate such wonderful tapas.

Casa Colón is at C. Ribera del Genil, 2. Open from 1 p.m. to midnight.

TripAdvisor rating: 4.5 stars out of 5, 248 reviews.

Bodegas la Mancha

Photo by Irina Greensitt

My No. 3 recommendation is a more traditional bar popular amongst the grenadine locals, Bodegas la Mancha is centrally located and tucked away down a quiet side street. On a busy evening you’ll notice paper strewn across the floor, there’s little or no seating and its
untidiness is part of the bar’s charm and beauty. Generally speaking, two or three middle-aged men tend the bar and because it does get very busy you may need to “shout up” that is if you want to be servedd anytime soon.

Some reviews I’ve seen consider the staff rude I prefer to think of it as being all part of the fun of being in a Spanish bar. Tapas here is both more
varied and more typical ham, cheeses, bread, peppers and sausages etc…
It isn’t what I would class as a destination bar and I tend not to spend a lot of time here. It’s more a very convenient stopping off point on my way to and indeed from No. 4 on my list, Taberna Salinas.

Bodegas la Mancha is at Calle de Joaquin Costa 10. Open from 8 a.m. to 1 a.m.

Bodegas la Mancha gets 3.5 stars out of five on TripAdvisor, 267 reviews.

Taberna Salinas

Taberna Salinas is on Calle Elvira just off Santa Ana in the heart of Granada. Shuttered up during the day, covered in graffiti, beer kegs left outside it is at first sight hardly a welcoming and inspiring choice. Yet once the shutters have been thrown open and the kegs removed, this bar is one I could happily spend a whole evening in.

Each caña or glass of wine is as you’d expect accompanied by some tapas; stay for 10 cañas and you’ll receive 10 tapas, each one likely different from the last. Not that I’d recommend or encourage anyone to stay for 10 cañas.

The tapas here is amongst the most varied you will find anywhere; ham, sausage, rice dishes (the paella is excellent), garlic prawns, calamari, meat dishes, albondigas (meatballs in sauce) and the list goes on. Indeed the quality and quantity is such that my husband insists he could survive perfectly well food wise in Spain on only five cañas per day from Taberna Salinas.

Tabernas Salinas is at Calle Elvira, 13. Hours are 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.; 8 p.m. to midnight.

TripAdvisor rating is 4 stars out of 5, 796 reviews.

Churreria Alhambra

Photo by Irina Greensitt

My final choice is one that will delight children and us adults alike.
Plaza Bib Rambla is a small square located close to the cathedral and is surrounded by restaurants and bars, one of which is Churreria Alhambra. Strictly speaking, it’s not a tapas bar as to my knowledge it doesn’t actually serve tapas with drinks. That said, I really feel the need to include it as no visit to Granada is complete without churros.

So No. 5 on my list and No. 1 on my children’s list of bars to visit is Churreria Alhambra. The bar is a popular meeting point for locals in both summer and in winter. Yet to me, this place really comes alive on a very cold, possibly even damp Granada winter’s evening. That’s when there can be nothing – and I mean nothing – better than sitting next to a steamed up
window, with the bar full of chatter, dipping your churros into liquid chocolate that is steaming hot, thick and – for want of a better word – very very chocolaty.

So popular is this place you may just have to queue up to get in, but I guarantee the wait is worth it.

Churreria Alhambra is at Plaza Bib-Rambla No. 2. Open 10 a.m. to midnight.

TripAdvisor rating is 4 stars out of 5, 426 reviews.

About the author:

Irina Greensitt is from the far eastern town of Khabarovsk in Russia, but has previously been living in the United Kingdom for seven years before moving to Spain in 2014 together with her husband and two young children.

Irina now runs an internet business and lists walking, travel and sailing (passing her skippers exam in 2016) amongst her hobbies. If you are in Granada and need direction, feel free to drop her a line. See her Facebook consulting page here.

See all of Irina’s posts here.

See more from Dispatches’ Spanish archive here.

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