Andalucia , anyone?

Hey Hos! We are set on two weeks next April, so looking for some food inspiration. Itinerary is fairly set but I can use a few food tips that would potentially alter it. Mainly remote places like farms, wineries, etc that would require a detour. But any musts anywhere that you have in mind is appreciated. This is the itinerary at the moment

Seville 3
Olvera 2
Málaga 3
Granada 3
Cordoba 2
Carmona 1

Fly in and out of Seville. I may be shortchanging Seville but this means 3.5 days in a very hectic (I think) April Fair festival without any day trips unless you twist my arm. Olvera is just a base for that area (wineries, Ronda). Any thoughts?


Nice itinerary.
If you stay in the center of Sevilla, you won’t be particularly affected by the Feria, since all the action happens on the fairgrounds. The central core isn’t congested due to the Feria as it is during Holy Week, although hotel prices will be high (the “extra” season). So you might think about giving Seville more days…or not. You could see the sights of Carmona on a day trip from Sevilla (or perhaps you want to overnight in its Parador?)

I assume you´ll have a car?

If you want an olive oil tour from Málaga, look at Finca La Torre in Boadilla.

I assume there’s a particular reason you’ve chosen Olivera instead of Ronda.
Have you considered Fuente de la Higuera outside of Ronda?

For us, Ronda makes a better base to explore the wineries:
Cortijo de los Aguilares for their well regarded pinot noir, Conrad, F. Schatz, Descalzos Viejos, Doña Felisa…
and there’s the dining at Michelin-starred Bardal and Benito Gómez’s tapas place, Tragatá and the Churrería Alba.

And here are Benito Gomez’s favorite dining spots in Ronda.

Ronda provides us with evening flamenco guitar concerts. Plus Roman ruins nearby, Acinipo, the Reserva Tauro and a fascinating pre-historic cave tour of La Pileta, all of which, of course, aren’t food related.

For another olive oil experience, of an ancient almazara, there’s the Molino El Vínculo in Grazalema.
The loop drive from Ronda to Grazalema to Zahara de la Sierra makes for a great outing.

The Sierra de Grazalema is the land of the delicious Payoyo cheese, my favorite from Andalucía.
From Olvera you could visit the Museum and shop of Quesos Payoyo el Bosqueño in El Bosque, about a 50-minute drive. Of course you can purchase Payoyo most everywhere, including at Quesos Apiolvera in Olvera.

From Córdoba with a vehicle, you could visit Paco Morales’s favorite winery, Bodegas Robles in the Montilla wine region, for wines and olive oils.

If you need dining recommendations for Sevilla, Málaga, Granada, Córdoba, I spent 5 weeks of pretty intensive dining research in those cities this past late Feb. through March. It was my self-funded gastronomic “fam” trip.


Maribel, you do an extraordinary gift to all of us, openly posting and lurking, who are very taken with Spain and just not certain where to head next. A million thank you’s!


That’s very, very kind, ninkat. Spain is my passion, as you’ve probably guessed!


There’s also Bodegas Alvear in Montilla.

If you won’t have a vehicle in Córdoba, you can also reach Montilla by bus from the city.


If you are looking for a destination to add or replace, highly recommend Cádiz and the nearby almadraba (local tuna) towns of Barbate and Zahara. Get a selection of tuna dishes that is in season at El Campero or Antonio. Spend a day in Cádiz at tapas bars with tortillas de camarones and chicharrrones (a slow cooked pork belly).


I do second tigerjohn’s ideas, as I love the laid back city of Cádiz and the Costa de la Luz, especially in April during the almadraba season, the ancient (Phoenician) technique of net fishing for blue fin.
But I didn’t want to re-do or lengthen your itinerary. :grinning:
Both areas were also on my 5 week gastro tour of the south.

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Well, when I said “anyone”, I think we all knew who I meant.

What @ninkat said. Many many thanks for this @Maribel
You certainly gave me plenty of food for thought here.

Yes, we’ll have a car that I intend to pick up when we leave Seville.
Correct about Carmona… the Parador. And I read somewhere that its lovely in the evening when the tourists leave. And just to be closer to the airport for next day flight. But again, I can be easily convinced at this point early in the game. I dont need to see every white or beige town or whatever color Carmona is.

But out of all the white towns Olvera just seemed to me one of the more striking, and on “paper” at least a good base for Ronda, wineries. and Setenil de las Bodegas, another white town I want to see somehow. They just keep piling. But thats the extent of my Olvera knowledge. I figured something like that instead of the more touristy Ronda, but you may have convinced me to rethink this.

I will take a close look at all your suggestions. And I absolutely would love to hear your dining reccos whenever you have a chance. We have some time.
Thanks again

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Thanks @tigerjohn. I keep going back and forth with Cadiz, so I will take a closet look

I thought you’d have a car.
I’ve stayed in the Carmona Parador and enjoyed its Alhambra-esque courtyard.
Carmona is a miniature Sevilla. It will be a 20-minute drive from there to SVQ. A taxi ride from central Sevilla will take slightly less.

Yes, Ronda is touristy during the day with all the bus tours up from the Costa del Sol, but it does quiet down in the evening.
For us, there’s just more to do in the evening than in the other white towns, better dining, and we have a special lodging there with wonderful breakfasts that we enjoy, plus there are many nice lodging options in town and in the countryside. Just a thought…

Yes, the white towns keep piling…there are my 2 favorites, Grazalema & Zahara, then Setenil with its homes built into the rocks, Olvera, Ubrique, the leather producing town, etc. It’s all enticing for sure.

Tomorrow I’ll give you a run down of my favorite dining spots in your locations. Warning, it will be long, curated over many years, but you can narrow the choices down to what’s handy to your lodging in your 3 days. I don’t want to send you running all over these cities!


I stayed at the Ronda Parador, and the Ubeda Parador. I loved the Paradores in Andalucia.


I slept on this and now thinking about tweaking the itinerary to the following…

Seville 4
Cordoba 2
Granada 3
Ronda 2
Malaga 3

This will shave a whopping 30 minutes driving! But it eliminates a stay (Carmona), and most importantly adds a night to Seville. I could simply visit Carmona on the way to Cordoba. And perhaps stay at another parador elsewhere.

There are some restaurants I was recommended in Cadiz. Unfortunately, it is too far away for my impending trip.

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First installment, Seviila. I choose from the ones to whom my friend Shawn, of Azahar-Seville, gives her highest rating of 5 oranges, because I’m picky. I list them by barrio.

In La Alameda (around Alameda de Hércules square):
Lalola, 1 Repsol sun & Bib Gourmand; best price to quality ratio for sit-down dining
El Disparate, hugely popular with outdoor terrace, inventive small plates

In San Lorenzo:
Azotea…erica1 and I could dine here daily; very friendly
Espacio Eslava (maybe, but just sold to Ovejas Negras group, my spy says no longer as great)

In Centro:
La Barra de Cañabota for any fin fish-crustaceans (Cañabota around the corner now has a Michelin star, Repsol sun with prices reflecting, 3 tasting menus)

In Santa Catalina:
Becerrita, lovely small plates, inviting atmosphere, also could dine here daily, a Seville classic that’s worth the long walk

In Santa Cruz (tourist central):
Casa Román for jamón ibérico
Las Teresas (a Shawn favorite and great time warp)

In El Arenal, the district with best tapas dining, ime:
Bodeguita Romero for its pringá
Bodeguita A Romero on Antonia Díaz (there are 3), for its piripi
La Barra de Inchausti for seafood (ditto to dining here every night)
Casa Morales, cheap, crowded and cheerful, another time warp, back room filled with giant amphoras
Petit Comité, a repeater on every trip, always consistent
La Brunilda, but go early before opening; crowded with visitors
Amara, with San Sebastián chef, best Basque in Seville; fine dining, not tapas

In Alfalfa:
Tradevo Centro

In Triana:
Alfarería 21 in former Cerámicas Montalván file factory in Triana, loved it, lovely tiles & courtyard
Pura Tasca, hidden in Triana’s northern corner

In Museo (near Museum of Fine Arts):
La Casapuerta for almadraba tuna and Retinto beef; owners from Vejer, Cádiz

In Porvenir (handy to Plaza de España):
Sobretablas, lovely courtyard dining, superb wine list from former Can Roca sommelier; female chef won Best Rising Chef at Madrid Fusion 2020, a Bib Gourmand, fine dining

For city’s best churros/chocolate, served all day:
El Comercio near Las Setas

For best pastries:
Manu Jarra in the Gourmet Experience of El Corte Inglés, top floor with scenic views

For best cheeses:
Fromages de Fermiers, on Blanca de los Ríos in center

In Seville be aware of Sun-Mon closures, if it applies, so please use Shawn’s list

Biggest disappointment:
Rafa Zafra’s (of Estimar) Mareantes, but he’s recently given it up to the Ovejas Negras group-don’t bite

Next installment, Córdoba


Córdoba recs, most away from the tourist soaked Judería, because I was there during a weekend in Lent with a gazillion other visitors.

For sit down dining:

La Casa de Manolete Bistró, Repsol recommended, in 1890 mansion, former home of matador Manolete, Andalusian with a French touch, a fav of Paco Morales
Ermita de la Candelaria, very pretty,
ReComiendo 1 Repsol sol, try the dimsum of pringá
La Cuchara de San Lorenzo, another fav of Paco Morales

For the quintessential Cordoban tapas—flamenquín, berenjenas con miel, salmorejo, rabo de toro:

*El Bar de Paco Morales, for terrific small plates, from 2 Michelin starred chef of NOOR, must reserve
*Garum 2.1 Bistronomic Tapas Bar, for city’s best salmorejo, near Museo Julio Romero de Torres, book a table on the roof top terrace
*Taberna San Miguel Casa El Pisto for the classics at this historic bar or in the flower filled interior courtyard, wines from Montilla, on Plaza de San Miguel, much loved by locals, a living museum
(King’s sister ate here recently)

Old haunt in the Judería for meat lovers that I didn’t visit on this trip:

El Churrasco, for charcoal grilled churrasco (a solomillo de cerdo ibérico), large wine list

Biggest disappointment:

Casa Pepe de la Judería at the bar–most inattentive barman known to man—should have booked upstairs, still a fav of Paco Morales, but wanted to dine away from the souk

Not bad:
La Taberna de Bodegas Campos, for all the Cordoban classics and their own wines

Next installment, Málaga…


Favorites from several Málaga visits–have to be careful here, as some are pitched to the year round cruise ship crowds and fairly serve lackluster food

Málaga hits, some old favorites, some new:

*El Refectorium Catedral, a classic, much loved by locals-in-the-know, always my first stop for fin fish, crustaceans and fine ensaladilla rusa. Must reserve or line up before opening to snag a seat at the large bar.

*Dani Carnero’s La Cosmopolita–best overall for lovely sit down dining-- a Bib Gourmand)-- remarkably consistent & welcoming–every dish scrumptious
*Its new sibling, La Cosmo, with long bar and attractive outdoor terrace
(didn’t try his Michelin starred Kaleja next to Picasso Museum)

Balausta in the 18th c mansion Hotel Palacio Solecio for elegant, atmospheric evening, interior patio dining serenaded by classical guitar, from chef José Carlos García, recommended by Michelin & Repsol

*Cávala, in Soho, tigerjohn sent me here for a great seafood meal

Araboka Casa de Vinos y Comidas, for one of the city’s best all Andalusian wine lists, both table wines and sherries

La Barra de Doña Inés on the Alameda Principal for tapas

*Anyway Wine Bar for creative tapas/cheese/charcuterie and excellent wine list, with a nod from the Guía Peñín, Spain’s most prestigious wine guide. Must reserve.

A stroll through Atarazanas market at noon (but not on Mon) and nosh at the stand next to the entrance or outdoor tables

For churros/chocolate:
Casa Aranda

For grilled sardines, an ¨espeto¨, at Pedregalejo beach:
El Caleño

For charcoal grilled meats:
Lo Güeno de Strachan

For a “time warp”, serving Málaga sweet wines:
Antigua Casa del Guardia

There are 10 or so different ways to order coffee in Málaga, seriously

What about the world famous El Pimpi?
ok if you go early before it gets heaving at the seams at lunch or dinner, grab a seat in the original bar lined with celeb photos and order an ensalada malagueña and a sweet wine, just to say you’ve been the institution of El Pimpi (Banderas is a co-owner).
It now has dozens of dining spaces, a huge terrace and 98 waiters to serve its thousands of patrons per day.

Next installment: Granada


I’ve stayed at the Ronda, Carmona, Jaén, Cazorla and Ubeda Paradors. They’re really a great bargain these days with lots of promotions.

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Last installation, Granada, the least exciting gastronomically for me, because the locals prefer their very tried and true, traditional dishes: tortilla de Sacramonte, habitas con jamón, remojón, choto…

For tapas (Granada is the land of the “free” tapa, a different tapa served with each drink order):

Saint Germain Wine Bar
Cunini at the bar or sit down dining room for fish/crustaceans brought directly from Motril
Oliver, next door, at the bar or in dining room, where Bourdain filmed, both on the Plaza de la Pescadería–same as Cunini
Los Diamantes II for pescaíto frito, one of 4 branches, this one at end of Rosario, with small back dining room

Sit down on the pretty plaza Bib-Rambla:
Los Manueles

Best churros/chocolate:
Churrería Alhambra, also on the plaza Bib Rambla

For those romantic, Alhambra views at night that every visitor wants to experience in a lovely “carmen”:

Carmen de Aben Humana, near the Mirador de San Nicolás in the former Arab quarter, Albaicín
(there are several other options here–can’t say which is “the best”–haven’t been to all!)

For the very best selection of wines (400 & counting), Andalusian and other regions, accompanied by freshly made tapas:
*Taberna la Tana, also off Rosario–much loved by big time chefs and another Bourdain film site

For snails on a walking tour of Albaicín:
Bar Aliator Los Caracoles (also where Bourdain filmed)

*THE Spain seafood lovers pilgrimage site, not in the center but worth the taxi ride (not cheap!!):
the legendary Bar FM


We seriously need monthly awards. This is just pure gold Maribel. Thank you! This will be one of those threads thanks to you

I know close to nothing about Andalucía cuisine, but just the very frequent use of “Tapas” implies a very different world than the north of Spain. Almost like redefining the word entirely.

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Aw, shucks! :grinning:
Yes, it’s a culinary different world, entirely different from Northern Spain.

Hope you like sherry and manzanilla!
But if not, there are nice Andalusian white & red wines as well (not “vinos generosos”)
We like Furlong from El Puerto, Socaire and Viña Matalián from Chiclana, Botanic from Málaga. F. Schatz Chardonnay from Ronda.

And the pinot noirs from Conrado in Ronda and red Entrechuelos and Garum from the Tierras de Cádiz D.O.

But I’m not a wine snob, just a wine lover.