The Best Bars in Granada, Spain

The Alhambra is one of the most beautiful attractions in Granada
The Alhambra is one of the most beautiful attractions in Granada | © RooM the Agency / Alamy Stock Photo
Mark Nayler

Granada is one of Spain’s tourist hotspots, characterised by its rich history, Arab influence and characterful bars. Sip sunset cocktails overlooking the Alhambra or watch flamenco dancers whilst nibbling tapas in Albaicín. Even better, it’s possible to eat for free in most bars throughout the city – with each beer, wine or soft drink you order, you’ll receive a hot or cold tapa to accompany it. Here’s our pick of the must-visit bars in Granada.

1. Bodegas Castañeda

Bar, Bodega, Tapas, Pub Grub

Bodegas Castaneda tapas bar, Calle Almireceros, Granada, Andalucia, Spain
© Mark Dunn / Alamy Stock Photo

Sip sweet vermouth under legs of jamon and mounted bulls’ heads at La Castañeda, one of the city’s most historic tapas establishments. There are a few tables inside and some on the street, but this chaotic Granadino institution is best enjoyed from a spot at the bar, so you can watch frantic waiters pouring vermut from wooden vats and the kitchen producing tapas at amazing speed. Try the platter of cold cuts, tortilla, croquetas and cheese, served with rustic bread.

2. Los Diamantes

Bar, Tapas, Pub Grub

Fried fish specialist Los Diamantes started life in 1942 on Calle Navas, but its flagship establishment is now on Plaza Nueva, opposite the fountain. In a brightly-lit interior decorated with black-and-white photos of fishing boats, you’ll be served complimentary plates of calamari (fried squid), boquerones (anchovies) and gambas (juicy prawns with rock salt and lemon). Accompany with a glass of dry white wine, or a caña (small draft beer) of Alhambra, Granada’s local brew.

3. La Gran Taberna

Bar, Spanish

You’ll be greeted like an old friend after just one visit to Gran Taberna, a small bar-restaurant on Plaza Nueva. There’s a mezzanine area for sit-down eating, but most of the action happens in the ground floor bar, where meal-sized portions of carne en salsa (pork or beef stewed in tomato sauce) and slices of herb-infused tortilla are flung out with local wines and homemade vermouth. Taberna also does one of the tastiest and best-value breakfasts in central Granda.

4. Pibe

Bar, Cafe, Coffee, Spanish

Bar Pibe, Camino del Sacromonte, Granada, Andalucia, Spain
© Will Perrett / Alamy Stock Photo

When exploring Sacromonte, a hilltop neighbourhood of cave dwellings and flamenco joints, stop for refreshments at Bar Pibe. Situated on the barrio’s main drag, it has a small shaded terrace overlooking the Alhambra and the Darro valley – the perfect spot for an afternoon jarra (pint) and light tapas such as olives, jamon or manchego cheese drizzled with olive oil. The interior is a typical Sacromonte cave, in which the dappled, whitewashed walls are decorated with flamenco paraphernalia and traditional ceramics.

5. Los Manueles

Restaurant, Bar, Tapas

The tapas portions at Los Manueles are so generous that you can eat dinner for the price of two or three drinks. Seated at the marble bar in its main establishment, just off Plaza Nueva, you’ll receive classics such as carrillada (pork cheek braised in red wine), paella or albondigas (meatballs in tomato or almond sauce). A dinner and lunch menu is served in the upstairs dining room and the branch across the road, on Calle Monjas del Carmen, has a bigger outside area.

6. Aixa

Restaurant, Tapas

Facade with colorful ceramic decorations of a traditional cafeteria in the Albaicin neighborhood of Granada (Spain) with the waiter at the entrance
© Miguel Angel RM / Alamy Stock Photo

Bar Aixa is one of Albaicín’s most boisterous hangouts – it’s impossible to miss, occupying half of Plaza Larga, one of the neighbourhood’s liveliest squares. The facade is plastered with blue flower pots, in the traditional Andalusian manner. Spend a summer afternoon or evening on its terrace, enjoying street flamenco with a cold beer or sangria. Sample signature tapas, such as patatas al pobre (fried potatoes with garlic, green pepper and chorizo) or pisto, a ratatouille-style vegetable stew served with a fried egg.

7. Tabernilla del Darro

Bar, Spanish

This riverside cave bar is found next to Puente Espinosa, one of two ancient bridges along the Carrera del Darro. Tapas and mains range from Spanish staples – cured hams and sausages – to modern fusion dishes, such as red tuna tataki with apple hummus. There’s a big selection of Spanish sherries and wines from Granada – especially reds – as well as homemade white and red vermouths. Grab a table out on the cobbled patio and watch life unfold on the Carrera del Darro.

8. El Huerto de Juan Ranas

Bar, Cocktails

Spain, Andalusia, Granada, the Alhambra Palace, listed as World Heritage by UNESCO, built between 13th and 14th century by the Nasrides dynasty, islamic architecture, the Sierra Nevada in the background, the terrace of restaurant El Huerto de Juan Ranas
© Hemis / Alamy Stock Photo

Located at the top of Albaicín, this sleek summer hangout has a terrace set into the hillside beneath Plaza de San Nicolas, offering uninterrupted views of the Alhambra, the Sierra Nevada and the Darro valley. As a sunset cocktail joint, it’s unbeatable. Simply curl up on one of the front-row leather sofas, order a gin and tonic, and soak it all up. There’s also a menu focused on traditional Andalusian fare, with prices that reflect the bar’s hilltop location.

9. Aliatar

Bar, Pub Grub

Bar Aliatar’s specialty tapas is snails, served in sizzling garlic sauce in small earthenware bowls. Extract them with toothpicks (provided) and mop up the leftover garlicky goodness with chunks of oven-warm bread. Your second or third tapas is likely to be flaming chorizo, which arrives at the table engulfed in blue flames. The bar has a spacious terrace out on Albaicín’s Plaza Aliatar, an attractive square sought out by the neighbourhood’s street artists, including flamenco guitarists and singers.

10. Hannigan & Sons

Pub, Irish

To watch major sporting events or for a pint of Guinness, head to Hannigan & Sons, an Irish pub opposite the cathedral. Staffed by native English speakers, it offers pub grub as well as a selection of international beers, spirits and inexpensive wines. Open later than the surrounding tapas bars, it’s also a popular end-of-night venue. There’s a quiz on Monday evenings, karaoke on Thursdays and a soundtrack of pop and rock classics playing every evening.

This is an updated rewrite of an article originally by Rebecca Wilkinson.

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