This fantastic little bar and restaurant is so old-school it doesn’t even appear when you put its name into Google Maps, but rest assured it does exist. Facing the gracefully ageing Santa Marina church in the heart of Córdoba’s old town, this place has been serving the neighbourhood’s locals for generations. Out of its tiny kitchen come all the Spanish classics, made entirely from scratch every day. These can be enjoyed with a vermouth (a favourite tipple here) in the bar, as you survey walls plastered with yellowing bullfight posters from the early 20th century and faded pictures of a weeping Virgin Mary. Alternatively, there are a few tables set up in a small room behind the bar – Santa Marina’s version of a formal restaurant.
The walls of Meson Juan Peña’s no frills, eight-table dining room are completely given over to the arts with which Andalusia is most often associated: flamenco and bullfighting. Paraphernalia from the worlds of both – including mounted bulls’ heads – is everywhere you look in this super-traditional eatery, which is known for providing some of the best Cordoban food in the city. Customers particularly recommend the local classics of salmorejo (a thick, garlicy tomato soup garnished with ham and hard-boiled egg) and flamenquines (deep-fried rolls of cheese and ham) as well as the bull’s tail croquetas and the wonderful homemade bread. You might have to wait for a table – especially if you arrive after 2pm for lunch or 9pm for dinner – but the hearty, unpretentious cooking and excellent service will make it worthwhile.
Av. Dr. Fleming, 1, Córdoba, Spain +34 957 20 07 02