As life becomes evermore busy and more fast-paced than ever, we are often left with little desire to slave over the kitchen hob and rustle up something inspiring after a very long and stressful day at the office. Pop-up kitchens are the new trend, to not only sample delicious food, but also as a new-age way to socialise within the comfort of your own home, or even host fabulous dinner parties without the pressure of doing the cooking yourself.
I was delighted to discover Anisha’s Pop-up kitchen here in La Zubia, Granada. I was even more thrilled to discover that she also offers the service of cookery classes within the comfort of your own home too! Specialising in healthy cuisine, she prides herself on using all locally produced ingredients in season, so you are guaranteed only the highest of quality when you dine with her. Moreover, she works alongside many food manufacturers that supply sustainable produce, supporting local businesses in the south of Spain.
The type of dishes you can expect to find, range from a plethora of multicultural delights. Anisha successfully draws her inspiration from her heritage and travels, as well as her decade working in the food industry, to produce dishes from Thailand, India and Spain to name but a few! She utilises her expertise to create unique recipes she has developed herself over the years.
When I had the pleasure of dining with her, I was treated to a gluten-free menu consisting of a revitalising Asian chicken and ginger soup, courgette and halloumi baked fritters served with a greek yoghurt lemon dip, and a seasonal summer salad with jamón Serrano, blueberries and figs. These were served with the perfect sparkling white wine and strawberry accompaniment on her gorgeous sunny terrace in Andalucía. What more could a girl ask for?
I first stumbled across CoCo’s bar when I was looking for a venue to host my weekly intercambio language exchange evening. It was in the perfect central location in the vibrant Realejo neighbourhood of the city, and even from the outside, it appeared to have something really special about it, that differed from the array of typical tourist traps in the city.
It’s a cosy, intimate tapas bar, like all the best hidden gems are! It may be small in size, but it’s huge in allure and personality, with unmissable live music performances throughout the week! Proving to be the perfect acoustic setting for latin, flamenco or even some sultry bluesy-jazz. The decor is chic and modern, yet still has that authentic tavern feel, with oversized lightbulbs hanging from the ceiling and a really charming ambience, which is a total reflection of the clientele you will find here. An eclectic mix of locals and expats alike, each person with their own fascinating story to tell.
The tapas here are delicious mouthfuls of pincho-style snacks, with a piece of bread topped with traditional Spanish tortilla, or even a burger patty with caramelised onions. The homemade sangría has won rave reviews from the customers, and if you fancy something even more extraordinary, then Coco’s array of fabulous cocktails is an absolute triumph!
What sets CoCo’s aside from the rest, is the exquisite attention to detail. Eduardo, the owner, and his lovely wife, offer an incredibly warm welcome, going above and beyond to ensure you enjoy your evening at CoCo’s. The service is both outstanding and exemplary – It’s an absolute 10/10 from me!
If you fancy an alternative to noisy city life, and to experience something rather special, you must visit El Hervidero. It’s situated only a short 20 minute drive outside of Granada city, yet you will feel completely transported to another world, back in the last century.
Inside, you will find that much of the original infrastructure still remains, with the restaurant spilling into separate mini-restaurants, in individual rooms on several levels. Giving you that extra authentic feeling that you are dining in someone’s (very large and somewhat majestic) house.
The interior decor oozes traditional Andalucía. There are burning open chimney’s roaring throughout, and the floors and walls are tiled in the typical Andalusian, arab-influenced mosaic tiles, transporting you even further away from stereotypical Spain.
Asides from the spectacular setting, the gorgeous mountainous terrains that encompass the restaurant, the food here is second to none. It is authentic, hearty, rustic farmhouse cuisine. Expect generous portions of the typical plato alpujarreño, a Spanish dish originating from the historical region of La Alpujarra, which sits on the borders of the provinces of Granada and Almería.
This traditional speciality typically consists of sliced potatoes, chorizo, fried egg and black pudding – a delicious taste of rural Spain! With economical prices, and a whole range of other homemade dishes rich in flavour, such as potato croquettes and succulent oxtail and rabbit, there is a plethora of delights to choose from which won’t break the bank!
Carr. de Cumbres Verdes,
+34 958 34 00 93
It’s exterior may appear small, but inside you find a sizeable yet cozy bar bustling with a great wholesome vibe.
It’s a family run establishment and this is what ultimately sets it aside from all the rest. You will find the lovely Sue, the matriarch, heading up proceedings and ensuring you are given a huge, warm welcome within. You are served free Spanish tapas here, as with all bars in Granada, but if you are living abroad and are missing the home comforts of a traditional Sunday roast, or even a native Spaniard wanting to sample northern European cuisine, Casa López is the place to go as they have a Sunday Roast special!
They offer either a 2 or 3 course menu depending on how big of an appetite you have. The starters vary from a hearty leek and potato soup, perfect to warm you through on these cold winter days, to a fresh seafood salad, if you’re feeling particularly zesty!
The main course ranges from the typical roast beef/chicken/vegetarian option, to a succulent roast duck alternative. Cooked to perfection, the duck falls straight off the bone – It’s an absolute must! It is served on a bed of sweet potato mash, with a generous portion of delicious winter vegetables, including a side of creamy cauliflower cheese and honey-glazed carrots.
If like me, you have a penchant for the sweeter things in life, then the dessert menu will not leave you disappointed. Whether it’s tiramisu that tickles your tastebuds or you are craving a bowl of your Mum’s homemade apple crumble and custard, López serves all the classics. I opted for the chocolate cheesecake, which consisted of a crunchy base, layers of fluffy chocolate mousse, drizzled in a silky dark chocolate sauce. Simply sublime!
If you are lucky enough to grab one of the few tables outside on the terrace, you will be able to relish in the bustling ambience of the other surrounding terraces. However, do not fret if you are unable to find a free table outside, because the real beauty of this bar lies within.
There is a hipster-vibe oozing throughout the bar, in the decor, furnishing and clientele. Whether it’s Friday night drinks with friends, or a romantic date with a loved one, you’ll be able to relax in this quirky, yet sophisticated setting. Not forgetting the staff who are incredibly friendly, they cater to your every need, and even speak English!
Whether it’s a delicious Ribera or a sweet bubbly Yllera, El Conde has a great range of wines to tipple your fancy. The prices are not the cheapest you will find in Granada, although they are also in no way steep, with a large glass of Ribera setting you back around €3.50. What sets El Conde aside from the plethora of other bars in this neighbourhood, is it’s exquisite attention to detail.
The tapas range from simple yet deliciously effective, succulent breaded chicken, to a homemade mini burger with caramelised onions and fried quails egg on top. This comes complete with a cute shot glass of crisps to nibble on as you enjoy your drink.
My personal favourite tapas here is a modern twist on the classic dish, jamón serrano (Cured ham from the mountains). I’m pretty sure Spaniards are fed jamón serrano from birth, as it forms a pivotal staple part of their diets. In fact, if you ever find yourself stuck for conversation with a Spaniard, rest assured you can always talk about their sacred jamón serrano ’til your hearts content! What I loved most about El Conde’s twist on this classic dish, is their successful audacity to modernise the dish, by topping it with brie cheese and a drizzle of sugar-cane honey and sweet chilli sauce. Successfully managing to merge the sweet and savoury boundaries to perfection!
Calle del Rosario 12,
+34 958 05 06 28