WHEN going abroad one of the most important questions is ‘Where can we eat?’ You’re on holiday, and quite rightly that means eating out as much as possible. Fortunately, Jerez offers a veritable goldmine of feeding places, where you can gorge this travelling passion.
Located around Plaza Plateros and Iglesia San Mateo, you will find the self-proclaimed eating quarter. Here reside the traditional Spanish restaurants alongside the famed tapa and vino bars. Meals tend to be taken later in Spain, with restaurants normally beginning to fill by around 9:30 – 10:00pm.
Here I have compiled a list of my favourite places to dine out, some of these also do fantastic tapas.
La Cruz Blanca
This restaurant is indisputably the best place for your first night in Jerez. Granted it has a habit of bellowing about its 5 star rating on Trip Advisor, and flashing the English menu’s at anyone who looks vaguely foreign, but the food there is spectacular.
Upon arrival simply take your seat at whichever table you prefer, you shouldn’t wait to be seated. You can pull up a chair on the cobbled street, or within the decorated interior.
The waiters can take orders in English but love it when your kids have a go at ordering in Spanish.
With a reasonably priced menu, you should take full advantage of the dishes available. I recommend that you begin your first dining experience with a glass of Sherry and starter, (the tender calamari and crackling fried sea anemones are amazing) before moving on to your main dish.
La Cruz Blanca can serve you with succulent locally caught fish, tender steaks from la tierra de españa or a beautifully arranged salad.
After your comfortable meal, you should wander up to the nearby Tabanco for another sherry.
This is La Vida Jerezana.
Every Sunday afternoon this restaurant gets the chance to take-over Plaza de la Asuncion, giving you the chance to step-back into ancient Jerez. The plaza is ringed by ancient buildings. The plaza is surrounded by some of the most ancient buildings in Jerez. La Iglesia de San Mateo keeps watch from above whilst you tuck into your meal. This is potentially the most scenic place to dine in Jerez.
The waiters are kind and the food is well priced. Once again, they are determined to offer you the real Jerez dining experience. If you don’t speak any Spanish you may be reduced to pointing at items to order, but that adds to the locally acquired charm.
Inside, the restaurant walls are decorated with stable pieces, making you feel as though you really have ventured back to old Jerez.
Flamenco also occasionally takes place here. Enquire within the restaurant.
The Good Burger
It is perfectly possible that your wallet could take a slight hit during the holiday trepidation so. In between all the tapas, wineries and meals out you may begin to feel a little short of ‘da petty cash’ but the family still wants to eat out. If so, have no fear; The Good Burger to the rescue!
Cheaper than Burger King and Macdonalds, whilst providing much better food, this is certainly the best place to have lunch on the cheap. Their catch-phrase “No Somos Fastfood” says it all.
Positioned on the main square, Plaza del Arenal, the restaurant is perfectly located for a change of scene. You will be dining upon the biggest Plaza in Jerez, the place where Muslim armies used to gather before heading off to war, and where skeletons facing Mecca have been unearthed.
The Good Burger offers a fantastic set of deals – €5.90 for a burger, chips and all the soft drink you can eat from Monday to Wednesday or €5.00 for the same deal on a Sunday.
With such fantastic prices, at least one stop-off at The Good Burger is inescapable.
Delicately tucked away down a side-street leading off the main thoroughfare, it is a quieter place to dine. You can eat outside in the little street, or inside, taking your place at one of the tables tucked into the darkened interior.
It is divided into two parts, on one side a leisurely bar where some of the more senior jerezanos tend to hang out, and on the other carefully crafted tables are arranged along the stone walls ready for your meal. The restaurant generates it’s own special ambience, through a darkened interior.
It serves fantastic steaks and deer, and if you would like desert they will make you a chocolate brownie! What could be better?
And, finally, have a picnic!
‘What?!’ I hear you say. ‘Have a picnic?!’ Well yes, that is precisely what you should do. Ask your hotel for one or make it yourself, and then take it up onto the flat roof – an unbelievably fabulous place to dine.
I’ve done it myself with friends and, although initially sceptical about the idea, the unimaginable views and kind sun made the meal the best I’ve ever had.
As you tuck into your sandwich, or barbecued meat if you feel more adventurous, you can gaze out over the white roofs of Jerez. Forget Cádiz, this is where it’s at.
The view is a sculpted patchwork of white roofed houses, echoing from Jerez’s Arabic days, occasionally broken by the towering steeple of one of Jerez’s many churches.
“Do you think they have enough churches yet?” Commented someone sharing the experience. Apparently not, they recently built a new one near Calle Florinda but that’s another matter.
Following food you could engage in relaxing conversation or sip sherry whilst taking in the view. What could possibly be better than spending quality time alone with people who are important to you?