AFTER five years of hard slog, the Olive Press has come up with a great list of over 100 Dining Secrets to help you take a delicious culinary tour of Andalucia.
On our brand new website, you can discover a huge range of eateries from the Michelin-starred right down to village tapas bars.
Here we continue our look at some of our ‘top fives’ – for the all-important wine that you’ll sup with your meal, and for those restaurants which are suitable for taking the little ones.
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Top 5 for wine
El Faro (Cadiz)
This sumptuously decorated restaurant has been going strong since 1987, and is famous for its bodega which has thousands of wines for you to choose from. It’s one of the best places to eat in Cadiz, thanks in part to its huerta which produces organic vegetables all year round.
Vineria San Telmo (Sevilla)
Combining good food and wine is normally associated with France, but at this fine restaurant and wine bar, Argentinean boss Juan Tarquini skilfully manages to do both – and at reasonable prices to boot – thanks to his knowledge of Andalucian wine.
Casa el Padrino (Huelva)
Little has changed for centuries at the ‘Godfather’s House’ in the heart of Alajar’s old town, with its crooked old beams, undulating barro floors and hand-carved doors.
Downstairs is a huge cavernous bodega full of dusty old bottles, which – if you have time and the owner agrees – you can sift through till you find what you are looking for.
Few places are as intimate as this tiny tavern squashed in between a couple of townhouses beside Ronda’s Moorish Almocabar gate.
While they could easily fill another dozen tables in the square during peak tourist season, they are content with the success they have.
Most exciting though is the recent addition of a fabulous new ‘attic’ bodega, where you can now dine as well.
La Alqueria (Sevilla)
This restaurant in the hotel El Bulli Benazuza presents a fabulous opportunity to try some of the amazing food of Ferran Adria from El Bulli in Catalonia. Although it’s pricey and quite touristy nowadays, for sheer quality of food it cannot be ignored.
Top 5 for family
Molino del Santo (Malaga)
This converted mill, now a hotel and cultural centre, is in a delightful location next to a crystal clear mountain stream beside the Grazalema natural park. Enjoy a backdrop of huge banks of geraniums and weeping willows providing shade to a long cobbled terrace. Book any superior room or junior suite, and kids up to age 12 sharing a room with two adults stay free.
This location high above Ronda really takes some beating. A restaurant in the round, every seat is in the stalls.
Perfect for sun lovers in the summer, winter eating inside is also a good bet and you won’t lose the view, and the kids have a big garden to play in.
Tintero II (Malaga)
For quality of fish, Tintero II comes out tops by a mile. On offer, 30 types of the best fresh fish in Andalucia at some of the best prices. In an old fishing quarter right by the sea, dozens of waiters kick up a wall of noise not far off that of Malaga FC on a good evening. Flamenco guitarists and African trinket salesmen only add to a cacophony which is bound to drown out any racket your kids make, if they are not playing on the beach.
La Paloma (Malaga)
The views from here go, if not forever, then at least to the distant shimmering Subbetica national park, across a rolling, agricultural paradise. Italian chef Elena’s family came to Marbella in 1991, and she later mastered the art of cooking in a small trattoria in Marbella’s casco historico. Here though, there is lots more space and a children’s playground to boot.
Estacion de Coripe (Sevilla)
The Via Verde cycle track is a great place to take the children for a flat and easy ride through some of Andalucia’s most primitive, unspoilt countryside. This 38 km unused railway track was never inaugurated after the railroad company went bust in the 1930s. And the restaurant at Coripe is a fantastic place for a family meal where you can refuel and rest your weary legs.