The Tapas culture of Granada is second to none. While you can order tapas all over Spain, Granada is one of the only cities left that still offer it for free if you order a drink. €2 for a glass of wine and a plate of free food seems like a no brainer. Not a drinker? Not to worry, order a coke, juice or sparkling water and you will still get free tapas. Be warned though, your perrier will probably cost double a glass of red wine, wine in Spain is that cheap.
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While filming our Granada Food Tour for our YouTube channel we happened upon Los Manuelas where we initially sat down to order dinner and while trying to decide what to order we each ordered a glass of wine. Of course we had heard of the tapas culture of Granada, but we had yet to see or experience it. To our delight, within 5 minutes of our wines being served a plate of tapas followed.
You can read about the tapas below but after having that first experience we made the decision to go out one evening on an empty stomach and see what would happen if we tried to survive on tapas alone. Would we be able to get full from small tapas plates at multiple locations or would we get drunk first? Here is that video:
The evening started off at another tapas bar (Loop Records) which was fun, but unfortunately there was no tapas to be had. Only a glass of wine, so we were already down on the drunk metre at this point. So we wandered the streets of Granada until we found Bar Santo Domingo. You could not have asked for a more perfect setting for a glass of wine and plate of tapas.
The tables are outside in the Plaza in front of the Iglesia de Santo Domingo de Granada. A majestic church with a beautiful bell tower. We settled into our table with the gorgeous view of the church and of course ordered a glass of wine. Sure enough within minutes a plate of Tapas appeared.
The wine was superb, but I honestly don’t think I had a bad glass of wine during my three months in Spain. The tapas left a little to be desired. They delivered what appeared and tasted like frozen style egg rolls, potato chips and sautéed mushrooms. The chips were tasty and crisp and the mushrooms were very good. The egg rolls on the other hand were edible but that would be about as far as I would go. I thought to myself at the time, how could anybody really complain though when paying only €2 for a glass of wine AND a plate of food in such a gorgeous setting?
If you’re looking for accommodations in Granada, check these great deals
- AirBnb – We stayed in the little town of Ogijares so the above mentioned restaurant was just a short walk for us. If you are looking for something a little less expensive for a long term stay in Granada this may be your place.
- Luxury Accommodations –Alahmbra Palace – Alhambra Palace is located just outside the Alhambra’s ancient walls, offering spectacular views over the city of Granada. It features stylish rooms with Moorish-inspired décor.
- Mid Range Accommodations – Bibo Real Chancilleria – BiBo Real Chancilleria has air-conditioned guest accommodation in Granada, 50 m from San Juan de Dios Museum, 600 m from Paseo de los Tristes and 700 m from San Nicolas Viewpoint.
- Budget Accommodations – Casa de la Catedral – These apartments are in the historic centre of Granada, just metres from the Cathedral. Casa de la Catedral has a bar-restaurant with creative tapas.
- Hostel – Barbieri Granada – Run by notorious matron Ana (an awesome host according to one past guest) you’ll be well taken care of.
This spot is a winner. Like most tapas bars in Granada it fills up fast. It is not unusual to see lines of people waiting for a table to open up at almost every tapas bar in the city and this place was no exception. After a 20 minute wait or so we were finally seated.
Starting off with our glass of wine we had to be patient for the tapas to arrive because of how busy this place was. When it arrived, it did not disappoint. Just from presentation you could immediately see that a lot of care went into this bowl of stew-like tapas. Chicken, tomatoes, carrots, zucchini, rice and chives in a deliciously salty and savoury sauce.
We were now three glasses of wine in vs. one hearty tapas and one just OK tapas. But we were feeling confident now that as the evening progressed the food may very well be able to keep up with the wine consumption. We were horribly wrong, but more on that later.
This establishment did not take part in our tapas tour, but deserves a mention for the sake of this article. This was, after all, where we “discovered” Granada tapas culture for the first time. So after ordering our wine and receiving a plate of free tapas, almost in disbelief, we were pleasantly surprised with the quality of what was delivered. A small plate of Olives, paté, and small toasts.
For the purpose of the tapas tour this added no wine or food so we are still at three glasses of wine to two tapas thus far.
Maybe our favourite spot of the night. We were very skeptical of this location when we approached it as there was nobody on the patio despite the fact we had passed dozens of tapas bars that were packed with no chance of us getting in.
Our server invited us inside and everything changed. Endless amounts of jamon hanging from the ceilings. a few old school locals enjoying drinks and laughs while hanging out around the jamonprive. They spoke not a word of English and we butcher the Spanish language every time we open our mouths, yet there was a common understanding and they were very happy to tell us about the culture of Granada despite us barely understanding anything they were saying.
Back out on the patio we ordered our wine and of course the obligatory tapas appeared. Simply fresh bread and a smoky delicious local cheese. The energy that filled the inside of this place made it very special and enjoyable. However we are now four glasses of wine in vs. three tapas and i’m starting to regret many of my past life decisions.
Looking for fun things to do in Granada? Here are a few ideas
- Alhambra private or group tours
- Private Essential Granada Must Do Tour
- Granada Sunset Walking Group Tour
- Tapas and wine with a local
Another packed location where we had to wait for a table but absolutely worth the wait. The owner here was out and about directing his staff, delivering food and wine. Pleasant and very proud of his establishment, we had a great conversation as he was curious as to what we were doing with the cameras.
Once again, the wine was fantastic (seriously, Spain, awesome work.) The tapas while unassuming in appearance was bursting with flavour. A deep fried white fish fillet with a delicious homemade salsa as a dipping sauce. In hindsight I wish we had stayed for another glass of wine in hopes of getting the same tapas plate again.
At this point we’re 5 glasses of wine into the night with only 4 small-ish tapas in our belly. The wine is winning this game by a margin. This doesn’t look good for us. I’m pretty sure Angela called a friend from high-school that she hadn’t spoken to in 20 years and began sobbing.
We ended up at yet another establishment. We won’t mention the place because every establishment is trying to make a living and sometimes people and/or establishments have bad days. Let’s just say that while the wine and the staff at this establishment were top notch, the tapas was almost inedible.
By this time we’re at six glasses of wine and 5 tapas and the wine has won hands down. This inevitably is the point of intoxication for us where weep together uncontrollably about how the Beatles are the greatest band of all time. The weeping turns to bickering as we argue if Revolver or Rubber Soul is the better album. Now we needed to get food in our stomachs, so at this point we headed back to our favourite location.
Back to Bar La Trastienda
Clearly defeated and quite tipsy we head back to La Trastienda mainly for the ambiance and the quiet location. We got to see our new found friends again and surprisingly we understood them better now that we were a bit intoxicated.
We ordered a charcuterie plate to share, while we waited we ordered another glass of wine which came with yet another tapas. The tapas this time was a white sausage on bread and it was superb. Did I mention how much fun our new friends were?
Our charcuterie plate was also phenomenal with paté, assortment of cheeses, fresh bread and a selection of meats cured by Trastienda. I can still taste it as write this article. Om nom nom. While we lost the tapas vs. wine challenge, this made up for our failure. And the only recollection we have of leaving this place or getting home is getting into an Uber, the video evidence that we filmed and the memories of our hangover the next day.
Also not a part of the tapas tour but deserves a mention. This establishment has been around for almost 100 years and considered by many to have the best tapas in Granada.
We started with a glass of wine which inevitably gets you the customary free tapas. The tapas for this round of drinks was marinara meatballs with baguette and it was fantastic.
We in no way encourage you to do what we did and drink that much during a tapas crawl. We also know there are many who will consider seven glasses of wine “lightweight”, including every single Spaniard on earth. But we don’t drink much despite always seeming to have a beer or wine in our hands in one of our videos.
If you’ve been to Granada and we left your favourite tapas spot off the list, leave a comment below and let us know what we missed!