Tapas culture is alive and well in Granada, and sticking true to tradition they are free. I know what you are thinking, “Aren’t tapas always supposed to be free?” The answer is a resounding YES, however in many places these days the bars and restaurants expect you to pay for your food. If you are traveling around Spain, I would not expect free tapas at most places. That being said, bars and restaurants in Granada ALWAYS give you something when you order a drink, and due to the competitiveness of the tapas culture here, they are usually pretty good.
While you will get tapas at every place you order a drink, there are a few places that do an exceptional offer which I’ll tell you now. Please note that I was only in Granada for two weeks, so that’s only about 50 or so tapas offerings I was able to review, and I’m sure there are a lot more wonderful vendors whom I sadly did not get to check out. Cody actually wrote a longer article giving an entire tapas in Granada tour with 19 of his favorite tapas if you want to see more variety.
This is one of my favorite places to get tapas in Granada because they give huge portions. It’s so easy to go there for a few drinks and actually feel full. Not to mention the quality of the tapas offering is extremely high. I went here on my second day in Granada and stayed for two drinks. The tapas offered were a chicken curry dish and a creamed spinach crostini.
Location: Calle Tundidores, 18001 Granada, Spain
In my two weeks in Granada, I’ve been to Casa Colon get tapas as well as “racions” four times. The best thing about this restaurant is they let you choose the tapa that you want when you order your drink. This is quite unusual since most places give you whatever they feel like. Casa Colon has a list of about 12 tapas you can choose from and I have to admit, I’ve tried them all. My absolute favorites were the ratatouille with octopus and the salmon with caviar blini (I know right, never expected caviar on a free tapa).
Los Diamantes is probably the most famous tapas restaurant in Granada and while it is completely overrun with tourists, that does not make it a tourist trap. Los Diamantes is primarily a seafood restaurant, and you’d never expect to get seafood for free, but here you do.
The first tapa I was presented was a heaping plate of fried baby sardines and I was immediately impressed. I’ve probably gotten 6-7 tapas here during my stay, and they ranged from sautéed champignons to fried calamari. You’ll never be able to complain about them skimping on quantity here, as the tapas plate you get for free is about a quarter the size of the racion you would pay for. That means if you can make it through 4 drinks (about $10) you’ve basically got yourself a free dinner.
Location: Calle Navas, 28, 18009 Granada, Spain (There are currently 4 Los Diamantes, but this is the original).
This is another place similar to Casa Colon where you can pick your own tapas. D’Platos is a little more upscale and modern than your traditional Granada Taberna but it is still a fun place to go.
They have an excellent selection of great beers and wines, as well as my favorite, Manzanilla. One of my favorite tapas there is their salmorello, a tomato gazpacho thickened with bread and topped with cured pork and egg yolk. D’Platos also has a menu of tapas you can pay for, which are also delicious, but then that means spending money on food, which I try not to do on a tapas hop.
This is a place I had tried to go to twice and couldn’t get in due to the crowd. Granted it was a Friday and a Saturday but that just told me this is one of the places to be. When I finally was able to get a seat at the bar I planned to stay for more than one tapa.
This turned out to be the right choice, as EntreBrasas is one of the best places to get tapas in Granada. This is a very meat-centric place, so almost every tapa is meat based. I’ve now gone three times, and I believe the first tapa is the same for everybody (grilled pork with pyramid salt) and it is absolutely delicious. The second tapa and continuing is at the discretion of the chef and none of it ever disappointed. From hearty pork stews, to Albondigas to morcilla in tortilla, every tapa is a delight.
Location: Calle Navas, 27, 18009 Granada, Spain
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