The Best Bars in Cádiz, Spain

Cádiz is famed as the oldest Mediterranean city in Spain, but it offers plenty of places to party too
Cádiz is famed as the oldest Mediterranean city in Spain, but it offers plenty of places to party too | © Luis Dafos / Alamy Stock Photo
Culture Trip Travel Team

Famed not only as the oldest Mediterranean city in Spain – established by the Phoenicians around 1,000 BCE – but also the one part of Spain that avoided Napoleon’s clutches, Cádiz retains a unique sense of identity and a penchant for a party. You’ll find plenty of interesting bars around the city, including seafront terraces, characterful tapas spots and timeless taverns. Here are some of Cádiz’s best bars.

1. Taberna Casa Manteca

Bar, Spanish

Casa Manteca Tavern Corralon de los Carros Street CADIZ city Cadiz province Andalusia Spain
© Alberto Paredes / Alamy Stock Photo

It would be practically impossible to forget that you’re in Spain while you’re sitting in Taberna Casa Manteca. If the red-and-black bar with gold handrail, in front of rows of sherry casks and bottles doesn’t do it, then the floor-to-ceiling collages of bullfighting paraphernalia, including weathered posters and photos, and the occasional flamenco guitar should. There might only be one type of beer, but the sherry and tapas selections are extensive.

2. Freiduria Las Flores 1

Bar, Restaurant, Fish and Chip Shop, Spanish

Fried fish at Freiduria Las Flores terrace Las Flores Square CADIZ Andalusia Spain
© Alberto Paredes / Alamy Stock Photo

Cádiz’s answer to fish and chips can be found at the freiduria, or fried fish shop. The style can be described more as tempura than British-style fried fish, but all the Spanish classics are there and they’re all deep fried, including squid, cod and prawns. Spanish beers, such as Mahou and Cruzcampo, are sold as draught or by the bottle, although a glass of the house white wine or a tinto de verano over ice make for a more refreshing accompaniment.

3. Chupiteria

Bar, Spanish

When looking for something a little livelier, one must head to the kind of place that has a robust and varied stockpile of spirits, and generosity of spirit when it comes to pricing them. Chupiteria, a “shots bar”, is that kind of place where every single shot is akin to a rudimentary mini cocktail. There are hundreds to choose from, ranging in strength from suave to fuerte. The Sepultura – equal parts tequila, absinthe, rum and gin – is one of the latter. Please drink responsibly.

4. Marama

Bar, Spanish

Courtesy of Marama

The north-to-south aspect of Cádiz means that the miles of sandy beach along its west coast are the ideal place to go for a sunset tipple. The seafront road along the Playa de la Victoria is lined with lounge bars and seafood restaurants that come alive from evening until the wee hours. People come to Marama to drink cocktails and partake of the hookah pipes. And as the night rolls on, you can get to dancing as the nightclub vibe kicks in.

5. Bar La Tabernita

Bar, Tapas

When done right, all the bells and whistles in the world couldn’t surpass the humble neighbourhood tapas bar. La Tabernita seems a fairly unassuming spot at first glance – the tiny interior means that people spill out into the street, perched at sherry cask tables. Arrive before 9pm if you want a seat at what must be one of the best-value spots in the city. The tapas offering is tried and tested: ham croquettes, tortillitas de camarones (shrimp fritters – a Cádiz specialty), octopus-and-potato salad, and more.

6. Woodstock

Bar, Beer

Beer! That’s pretty much all you need to know about Woodstock, whose motto is “music, peace and beer”. The beer is from all over the world, with a few options on tap and the majority in bottles. Music skews towards rock and indie, and occasionally comes in the form of live bands; something any self-respecting bar that names itself Woodstock should provide. “Peace” is slightly more tenuous, especially with the copious amounts of beer involved, but there are frequent language-exchange meets here.

7. Ajolá

Bar, Spanish

Occupying a cute, flower-fronted building, overlooking the Mediterranean and the onion-domed Cádiz Cathedral, is the pleasant bar of Ajolá. Despite its historic district location, the atmosphere is local, and the terrace can get busy as the evening rolls on. The drinks selection is limited to a few simple-yet-effective options: cold Estrella Galicia beer, chilled white wines or classic cocktails, such as mojitos, piña coladas and Aperol spritz, ideal for toasting the sunset.

8. Bar El Rinconcito

Bar, Restaurant, Tapas

Surrounding the ancient ruins in Jardines de Varela is a more commercial sector of Cádiz, where few tourists stray. Around here you’ll find a plethora of unpretentious tapas bars that rise and fall by their ability to tick the most important boxes for locals: great quality, and value-for-money tapas and drinks. Since 1992, El Rinconcito has consistently succeeded in this, churning out cañas of the ubiquitous Cruzcampo and tinto alongside portions of gazpacho, fried boquerones and padron peppers.

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