By Nancy Todd
The big eating Scoop on Granada restaurants is that free tapas, little snacks, are served with each drink. They vary with fried shrimp, mushrooms in olive oil, to ham, bread and cheese, etc. You can snarf your way through the city, drink, eat for free and never buy dinner. How to choose a restaurant? The Scoopometer read is that a restaurant with no plastic chairs, the more substantial the tapas. Here are four cool neighborhoods to check out. Warning: watch out for those plastic chairs: Scoopometer 0.
1. Navas Street - Located in the center of the city, Navas Street is lined with restaurants all with outdoor seating. There are many tourists and some locals munching away here. How to choose when confronted with a zillion Granada restaurants bunched all together? Regina and I, experts, big eaters in Spain, have the quick Scoop for you when faced with multiple restaurants all at once. We call it the White Plastic Chair Theory.
Numero l. We will never put our big toe in a restaurant with white plastic chairs. Never.
Numero 2. We will especially never put our big toe in a restaurant with red plastic chairs that say Coca-Cola.
We read the menu posted on the outside, love the wicker chair look, and settle in for great people watching and delicious food. Hang out till the late hours on bustling Navas Street.
2. Realejo Neighborhood - A real neighborhood that few tourists know about and a pleasant walk from the center. Along the Campo Principe Plaza, is a string of colorful restaurants, all with outdoor seating–of course, it’s Spain. Not much starts shakin’ till ten o’clock. I sipped my tinto de verano ( a red wine sprizer with fruit) and watched dusk descend. Lanterns were lit, chatter crescendoed, colorful facades of ochre and blue faded into the night at Altramuces Restaurant founded in 1946. My wine and tapas was 1.80 euros. Cornish game hen was excellent.
3. Albaicin Neighborhood – An old Moor neighborhood with dozens of skinny meandering stairways, golden hues from old fixtures lighting the way at night, and many restaurants. You will have your pick of all price ranges. Mirador de Morayma Restaurant (C/Pianista G Carrillo, 2) has a serene garden restaurant with stunning views of the Alhambra, especially beautiful at night. Not a white plastic chair in sight. President Clinton dined here and the place is famous. My friend Pamela, who lives in Granada, knew the way up the mountain side through the maze of back lanes. I have no idea how we walked there or back. Skinny lanes were made for donkeys. An American hog car will have it’s mirrors sheared to jagged nubs. The lamb was delicious.
4. Plaza Bib Rambla – If you can eat your way around this large, tree shaded plaza, you will need a bib. A string of restaurants with umbrellaed tables await your perusal. The White Plastic Chair Theory applies. Inside the pedestrian only Plaza, is a grand fountain, holy figures, and rose bushes. A quiet bustle here. No one would want to hurry in these Granada Restaurants. Yeah, it’s touristy, but the Plaza a beauty and worth wine and tapas. My Scoop on the best restaurant on the plaza is Shine Restaurant (Plaza Bib Rambla, 22). And shine it does with contemporary decor that rests the eye after the visual busyiness of Granada. The tapa I ordered was sea urchin mousse with a flower salad served in a half of a spikey sea urchin shell. Red and yellow petals sprinkled about. Yum. Great wine list.
Let us know great restaurants you have found in Granada!