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Archive for the ‘gastronomy’ Category

The capital of Spain does not only offer great architectural monuments and a lively day- and nightlife, but also a huge variety of typical gastronomic options. If you are coming because of the delicious cuisine or not, you should definitely not miss to spend some time in one of the historic taverns of Madrid. You will find most of them in the centre of the city, in public places like Plaza Mayor or Plaza Santa Ana.

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Source: Andaremos

 

Sobrino de Botín

The Guinness Book of World Records mentioned Sobrino de Botín once as oldest restaurant in the world. It went through several generations and carries a lot of history in the exterior as well as in the interior. The philosophy also reflects its past and the cuisine is kept traditional with regional products. The legendary restaurant is since back then located close to Plaza Mayor in Calle Chuchilleros.

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Source: Wikipedia

 

La Cruzada

Also called the “mother of all Madrid taverns”, La Cruzada was founded in 1827 and you will find it in Plaza Oriente. Back then it was a meeting point for intellectuals and also the Spanish king Alfonso XII used to go there. The whole tavern is coloured in red, which in the 19th century used to mark taverns offering quality wine. Nowadays it still serves great wines as well as Spanish food like croquettes or stews.

Casa Alberto

Going to the street Calle de las Huertas, located close to Plaza Santa Ana you will see the next tavern, which ran through a number of generations and was opened in the same year as La Cruzada, in 1827. Casa Alberto belongs to the most ancient bars of the city. The local government even granted them a plaque in the streets. The cuisine differentiate from the others, it serves avant-garde dishes with a typical regional touch.

Los Galayos

Founded in 1894 under the name “Cevecería Rojo” the tavern starting with only a small bar, offering tapas and aperitifs. Los  Galayos adapted to the needs of habitants and tourists and offers now two terraces and five dining rooms. Perfectly located at Plaza Mayor, you can enjoy the typical Spanish cuisine on the terrace, while having an impressive view of the historical square and the colourful building Casa de la Panadería.

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Source: Redmago

 

Casa Labra

Casa Labra, famous for its croquettes, was opened in 1860 and is located close to Plaza de Sol in Calle Tetuán. The historic building has an ancient façade and an old-style interior, which is divided in a bar and a restaurant. The kitchen focuses of traditional dishes offering a wide variety of tapas.

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Source: Fotomadrid

 

Lhardy

The originally French bakery, Lhardy was established in 1839 by the French man Emilio Huguenin Lhardy, in the street Carrera de San Jerónimo, next to Plaza de Sol. Today it is divided in a shop on the ground floor, selling pastries, cold cuts and food to go, and a fine restaurant with a lot of different salons on the second floor. The cuisine nowadays is a creative and tasty mix out of the Spanish and the French kitchen.

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Source: Wikipedia

 

Having lunch, dinner or just a snack in one of the typical, legendary taverns in Madrid is always worth it. It will give you an additional insight into the past and a feeling of being part of it. The flair, the food and the location is perfect to enjoy some time of your stay there.

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While culinary culture was always there as a side benefit, it has developed to the new reason why we’re traveling. And where can you have better food holidays than in the food mecca Spain – a country full with different flavors, delicious food, great restaurants and the famous local markets?

Gastronomy markets in Spain have always been the epicenter of civic life and a labyrinth of the freshest fruits, vegetable, meat and fishes. Hosted in historic buildings in the heart of the cities, some markets are no longer only offering local products but have developed to outstanding culinary experiences with a great variety of gourmet and crafts options and sometimes even live music. With their great culinary diversity, they are also the perfect food supplier for better restaurants in Spain.

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La Boqueria Market in Barcelona, (source: SuiteLife)

Gastronomy markets are a great way to get an insight into the food traditions of Spain. Sip a beer at the market of San Miguel, explore the wonderful market of Chamberí or stand around at the trendy food market San Anton to experience Madrid’s most popular and unique markets.

Market of San Miguel belongs to the gastronome of San Miguel society whose aim is to improve the traditional activity. La Boquería of Barcelona used as inspiration, the market focuses on high quality products, seasonal food and offering samples.

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Market of San Miguel in Madrid, (source: Spain Attractions)

The traditional market Chamberí, which has been operating for almost 70 years, is one of Madrid’s best known markets due to its great quality and variety of products. While it started as a food market, it has been modernized and features now also other services.

The biggest market in Madrid Maravillas is known for its fresh products which are great presented and of high quality. Maravillas is not only outstanding because of its architecture, numerous facilities and professional treatments by its merchant but also because the focus lays on developing eco-sustainable products.

The recently inaugurated San Antón Market in the heart of Chueca represents a new generation of markets with its recycling system. Spreading across three floors and focusing on perishable goods, wine, takeaway services and restaurant areas, the market is an absolute highlight.

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San Antón Market, (source: Pinterest)

Covered in high quality and well known markets, Barcelona is the perfect city to get back to basics and shop the old fashioned way at gastronomy markets. With markets such as Fira Artesana, Santa Caterina market and the famous La Boqueria market, the city offers a great variety and something for everybody.

Fira Artesana opens its doors on the first Friday and Saturday of every month and is specialized in homegrown and homemade products. With its nickname “the honey market”, it has turned into a small jewel of Barcelona.

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Santa Caterina Market, (source: BarcelonaHome)

As the first permanent covered market in Barcelona, Santa Caterina market is not only of great historic importance but also the perfect place to shop fresh fish, meat and delicious pastries. Moreover, the market features several restaurants to enjoy a beer with tapas, a perfect activity for a Sunday afternoon.

La Boqueria market, one of the most prestigious markets in the world, is an official landmark of Barcelona with over 800 years of history. The famous market is always busy and a hotspot for tourists as it offers everything a heart desires.

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La Boqueria Market, (source: Suites Life)

Known as the centers of gastronomy markets, Barcelona and Madrid feature the most famous food markets in Spain. However, other markets such as the central market in Valencia, the famous La Bretxa in San Sebastian and the gourmet market Lonja del Barranco in Sevilla are also must-see’s for food lovers. Experience a culinary journey through Spain and learn why Spanish food markets are treats for everybody when booking a gastronomy tour with us!

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Tapas take over the world! While a few years ago tapas were only offered in Spain, they are becoming a trend in bars all over the world: Greek tapas, Cajun tapas, Thai tapas or the traditional Spanish tapas – everybody loves them!

Commonly, you can refer to the name “tapas” when it’s a small portions to accompany a drink. Throughout the time, most restaurants started to charge money for serving tapas which used to be for free when ordering a glass of wine or beer.

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tapas, (source: Instituto Mediterraneo Sol)

There are many speculations and legends about the origin of tapas and several regions such as Andalusia and Castile claiming for its invention. While some stories involve King Alfonso XIII’s illness to have small portions of food and a glass of wine in between meals, other legends mention King Fernando XVII who got served wine with cheese over top to protect the wine from bugs and dust. Some people believe it was the working class who needed a glass of wine and small snacks to endure the long working days.

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wine with tapas, (source: Instituto Mediterraneo Sol)

Wherever tapas are from, over the time it has established a form of national identification and it seems like you need to experience tapas to understand the hype and discover the Spanish way of life – socializing with others while savouring delicious tapas and a glass of wine.

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experiencing tapas, (source: Independent)

Although simple slices of cheese and bread might have started it, there is a huge variety of tapas nowadays. Each region has develop its own tapas attributable to its taste and traditions. However, some tapas are well-known and loved all over Spain.

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variety of tapas, (source: el telegraph)

A lot of bars love to serve olives as it is simple and loved by everybody. Fried balls are called coquetas and Spaniard can’t get enough of them whether filled with meat, fish or vegetables.

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coquetas, (source: hogarmania)

Additionally, calamares a la romana (fried squid rings) belongs to the favourites of Spaniards. Tortilla de patatas (omelette made with potatoes) is probably the most famous tapa and an absolute must try when in Spain! What we love the most about tapas is the ability to discover more than one of these tasty dishes without feeling stuffed afterwards.

To be known as the best place to have tapas is the aim of almost every Spanish city due to the culinary importance of tapas. Thus, the competition is extensive and fierce. There are countless tapas events happening in various cities to showcase the quality and originality of tapas. Many language schools and universities organize private “tapas evenings” for their students to familiarize them with the Spanish culture. Street food events such as Van Van Barcelona and MadridEat are often used to demonstrate superior quality of tapas and make tapas even more well-known. Moreover, tapas festivals such as “tapa a tapa” in Sitges, “TaPalma Tapas Festival” in Mallorca and “Palmarés de la Feria de Tapas” in La Roda offer the perfect occasion to find out more about the finest food the villages have to offer for often cheap prices. During these celebrations the best tapas of the year get awarded by either a jury or public.

Personally, we love to have our tapas in Andalucía, especially in Granada as it is one of the best places to get free tapas. Moreover, Alcala de Henares in Madrid and Valencia count to our top favourite places for having tapas. A real insider’s tip for those who like to have high quality tapas is the province of Castilla and León with cities such as Valladolid and León. However, we can truly say that almost every city has its own charm when it comes to experiencing tapas. When traveling through the Basque Country, don’t be surprised when you get pintxos served instead of tapas which are similar but generally speaking smaller. Pintxos are typical for this region and not less delicious than tapas!

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pintox, (source: groupalia)

Regardless where you have tapas (or pintxos), here are some tips for your first visit in a tapas bar: Change bar after having some tapas as the idea is to have a gastronomic bar crawl and make sure to combine the right tapas by asking the waiter for his help! Don’t confuse tapas (small portions) with “raciones” (meal sized servings) and keep in mind that instead of splitting bills, everybody pays for a round in Spain. These simple rules will help you to experience tapas to its fullest!

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tapas bar, (source: the culture trip)

We would love to help you understanding the hype about tapas! Get to know the Spanish tradition and experience tapas together with culture by booking your tapas tour through us!

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Spain has so much to offer, it’s a country full of traditions and gastronomy is one of them.
It is a fact that Spain is known for its tapas (small portions of fresh regional and local dishes based on meat or fish and other unique ingredients), but the gastronomy in Spain has been on a culinary high in recent years, more and more restaurants are receiving Michelin stars.

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tapas selection (source: San Sebastian Turismo)

Spain has now 182 restaurants included in the Michelin guide: nine restaurants with three stars, 23 with two stars and 150 with one Michelin star. As an example, Madrid boasts 14 restaurants with Michelin stars, DiverXO being the only one with three stars.

The Basque Country is a region blessed by Michelin stars. Especially San Sebastian features various gastronomic highlights. Three of nine three Michelin stars restaurants of Spain can be found in this city. This fact makes San Sebastian the city with the most Michelin stars per square meter in the world. The four most starred restaurants in San Sabastian are: Akelarre (***), Arzak (***), Martín Berasategui (***) and Mugarritz (**).

This year, the chef Martín Berasategui has received three Michelin stars for one of his restaurants for the second time. It happened for the first time in the country’s history. He is the ninth chef in Spain to be granted the illustrious Michelin ranking. The Spanish chef has a total of eight Michelin stars, making him the most decorated chef in Spain.

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chef Martín Berasategui (source: Castellon en fiestas)

Moreover, the restaurant El Celler de Can Roca in Girona has three Michelin stars. The three Roca brothers are fond of cooking, they decided to open a restaurant specialized in traditional Catalan cooking. In 2013 and 2015, their restaurant was named the world’s best restaurant.

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the Roca brothers (source: El Celler Can Roca)

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El Celler Can Roca restaurant (source: Gastroeconomy)

 

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Madrid, San Sebastian and Girona

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Olive oil is deeply rooted in the Spanish history and culture. It is known that the olive tree was brought to the Peninsula by the Phoenicians and the Greeks. Later, the Romans and Arabs improved the techniques of production. As a result of a stable, thousand-year-old tradition, today Spain is the major producer and exporter of olive oil in the world.

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extra virgin olive oil (source: Diario ABC) 

The olive harvesting season starts around the end of November and the olive oil production mainly takes place during the winter months, from November to March. If you decide to visit Spain during these months, it is the perfect opportunity to learn about the world of olive oil.

Andalusia is the largest olive oil producer in Spain as well as full of cultural heritage sites. So why not combine a cultural and gastronomic tour?

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olive harvesting (source: Junta de Andalucia)

Visit Sevilla, the artistic, cultural and financial capital of Andalucia. The city is a historical hub, well known for its Muslim heritage and its gastronomy. Spend some time visiting the ancient “El Vinculo” mill and taste the olive oil that is produced there in a guided tasting tour. This olive oil mill was built in 1755 and until today it produces extra virgin olive oil in the traditional way.

Granada, once the capital of the Moorish kingdom, houses the most known Spanish monument: Alhambra Palace and the Generalife Gardens. While visiting this historical city, step by the Almazara Nuñez de Prado olive oil mill. This mill is run by the 7th generation of the Nuñez Prado family and it is housed in a traditional Andalusian farmstead building. It counts with an oil storage room that keeps the oil in the original jars from the 18th century.

Finally, Jaen is the olive oil region by excellence. Its landscape is marked by olive oil trees and as soon as you enter the province, you can smell the characteristic smell of them. the extremely fine quality of extra virgin olive oil produced in Jaén, results from practices passed down through generations of olive farmers, refining the art of virgin oil extraction. In Jaen, you can visit the olive oil visitor centre. it offers tours to introduce visitors to every aspect of olive oil production. the itinerary takes in everything, from the olive groves through to the actual production process of the olive oil, and explores its history, its relation with local gastronomy and its numerous health benefits.

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castle, Jáen Province (source: Junta de Andalucia)

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