Imagine you’re on the town in Almeria, but don’t know where to go for a sample of real local flavour. You’re craving a glass of crisp Spanish white and some smoky jamon – not soggy tapas at tourist prices. Don’t despair. Here are some of Spain’s ultimate culinary destinations you need to have on your list.
Churros and Chocolate in Barcelona
Everyone knows about Barcelona‘s La Boquería Market and the Catalan city’s tapas bars with their irresistible pintxos. One of Barcelona’s lesser known culinary centres is Calle Petritxol, a narrow street running parallel to La Rambla. This decadent calle, full of chocolaterías and art galleries, is where many locals come for a churros con chocolate hit. It’s a haven for anyone with a sweet tooth. Two chocolaterías which exude an air of a Barcelona from the past, and where the chocolate is thick and smooth and the churros fresh and crispy, are Granja La Pallaresa and Granja Dulcinea. A seriously sweet speciality in La Pallaresa is the suizo – hot chocolate topped by cream; lots and lots of cream.
Wine and Tapas in Almeria
To enjoy some of the best Almerian tapas and wines, set aside three hours and target these establishments near Convento de las Claras – all are renowned for a commitment to quality and the use of local food and wine. La Encina is located inside a lovely 19th century townhouse. The tapas menu has a leaning towards smoked and marinated fish and seafood although there are plenty of alternatives. Even the simple patatas a lo pobres (poor man’s potatoes) is quite special – not such a poor man at all. A relative newcomer to Almeria‘s tapas scene, Taberna Nuestra Tierra on Calle Jovellanos is considered one of the top tapas bars in the city. The owners are passionate about tradition, reviving ingredients that may have fallen out of fashion and matching them with the best local wines. No-fuss La Cantinela serves equally super tapas, with over twenty local specialities to choose from laid out on menus conveniently printed on the napkins.
Tapas and Flamenco in Malaga
To keep in spirit with the rhythm of Malaga, take a twirl around a few classic tabernas before seeking out a sultry flamenco bar. Sating the thirsts of artists and writers since 1840, Antigua Casa de Guardia on Alameda Principal is an old school tapas bar, serving sweet Moscatels from huge casks. Opposite the Picasso Museum, El Gallo offers a contemporary setting whilst maintaining traditional culinary values. It’s a friendly place to pick at tapas like flamenquines (pork, jamón and cheese rolled together, coated in breadcrumbs and deep fried). A couple of streets away is Cerveceria Los Gatos, a buzzing tapas bar that’s perfect for a pre-flamenco bite. Sitting at the bar is best, but you may have to take what you can get to enjoy great tapas and the best beer in Malaga. Liceo Flamenco on Calle Beatas is both tablao flamenco (flamenco bar) and a cultural project designed to showcase the best of Andalucia’s evocative combination of dance and music. As such, the flamenco at Liceo is heart-pounding stuff. Catching a show here is an exhilarating way to end the evening; except it isn’t. Afterwards audiences are so pumped up there’s a desire to seek out one more tapas bar, just to let the sizzling atmosphere cool down a few degrees. No matter where you set out from in Spain, you’re promised an unparalleled culinary adventure. So book your flights and start planning your tapas tour!