Granada, in the region Andalusia, in the country Spain, is a place that many people have been enchanted by. It has medieval architecture and modern sensibilities, and it’s one of two places in Spain where you’ll always receive free food – a small plate, or tapa – every time you order a drink. Sounds like a place Anthony Bourdain would love, right? If you’re planning a trip to Granada and are curious where Tony ate, you’ll probably love it too after enjoying tapas at the same places.
Anthony Bourdain visited Granada and Andalusia once on-screen, in season 2 of Parts Unknown. It was his only visit to the region in any of his shows, and was a special opportunity to partner with his longtime cinematographer Zach Zamboni who lives in Granada part-time (You might recall, Zach also showed Bourdain around Maine, his home state in the U.S.)
During his visit, Tony tried Granada’s famous free tapas, wandered the streets of some of the city’s popular neighborhoods, watched flamenco and learned about the concept of duende (a uniquely Granadan concept), and visited the famous Alhambra palace that most tourists do. He also happened to visit during Semana Santa, the Holy Week leading into Easter – and had a few unique experiences as a result.
If you want to follow in the footsteps of Anthony Bourdain in Granada and Andalusia, you’ve come to the right place. Below, you’ll find a list of the places Tony visited in Granada, as well as what he ate. I’ve also included the local dining experiences he had, and some food tours to help you find a guide (the Zach to your Tony) and enjoy all the city has to offer.
This post was originally published in July 2022, and was updated to add a new location in June 2023.
El Tabernaculo (CLOSED)
Unfortunately, we’re starting off on a down note: the first tapas bar that Tony and Zach visited is now permanently closed. The spot, El Tabernaculo, was a religious-themed bar that Bourdain found a bit disarming – it was hard to get a good buzz on with the Virgin Mary watching. Nevertheless, the two nosh on morcilla (blood sausage) and enjoy a beer as part of their own celebration of Semana Santa.
Taberna La Tana
Intrigued by the concept of free tapas in bars across Granada, Anthony Bourdain then sets out with Zach and his then-fiancé, Fuen, to see if it really is free – and how good the tapas is when it is free.
They visit Taberna La Tana, a popular wine bar. They order several rounds of drinks – which are paid – and accompany free tapas. That tapas includes tomato with bread, garlic, olive oil, and fish and tomatoes, olive oil, and bread with olives. They also pay to try Spanish river sturgeon caviar.
Next, Tony, Zach, and Fuen visit Restaurante Oliver to continue their tapas tour. Each drink they order comes with a corresponding tapa: first, there’s the beer that comes with mussels steamed in butter and olive oil; next, a glass of wine comes with fried eggplant and honey; finally, another glass of wine comes with steamed clams. They also order langoustines, one of Bourdain’s favorite little lobsters.
For one final tapas experience, the trio makes their way to Bar Gallardo located on Calle Pintor Rodríguez Acosta. There they order another round of beer and some tapas that truly delights Tony. The tapas include cheese, boccarones (fried smelts), and chulatitas (little lamb chops) and seem like exactly what you want at the end of a long night of beer, wine, and many, many rounds of tapas.
Cafe Casa Pasteles
Finally, it’s worth mentioning Cafe Casa Pasteles. While Tony doesn’t appear on screen at this establishment, the episode shows Zach enjoying breakfast of cafe con leche and pan y tomate (tomato on toast). If you’re looking for a nice way to start a day in Grenada, this is the most Bordain-ian option I can recommend.
Los Caracoles (Plaza Aliatar)
Thanks to Grendl in the comments, I’m able to add a new place to this list: Los Caracoles is the spot where Tony and Zach sit down to enjoy snails in almond sauce and tripe, all with red wine, of course.
According to Grendl, this is a famous spot for snails in Granada, so if they sound tasty to you, it’s a must-visit spot!
Local Dining Experiences in Granada
As in many of the episodes that Bourdain made, he also enjoys a few local dining experiences. I want to mention them too, as they’re part of truly experiencing Granada as Tony did. While you can’t go to these exact places and have these exact dishes, you might seek similar experiences out during your own trip.
- Bullfighting & Bull Stew – Bullfighting is still a part of Spanish culture in Granada, and maybe something you want to experience. In any case, Tony does watch a bullfighting demonstration, then enjoys tapas including Iberico ham, chorizo, Spanish cheeses, bread, and good olive oil while waiting for the bull stew.
- Mediterranean Beach Barbeque – Bourdain meets up with Chefs Juan Andres Marilla and Rafael Arroyo from El Claustro for an open-air lunch on the coast of the Med. They enjoy fried tuna with olive oil, pan con tomate, sausage on toast, morcilla and pate de morcilla, grilled octopus and sea bream, and pork tenderloin.
- Lunch with the Future In-Laws – The episode ends with Bordain joining Zach and his future inlaws for lunch in their home. They enjoy a Semana Santa meal including jamon; remojon granadino (bacalhau salad with egg, black olives, oranges, and tomatoes, in olive oil typically eaten during this celebration); migas (sardines, cod, chorizo, melon, and peppers); and red wine.
Where to Stay in Granada
If you’re looking for a place to stay in Granada, you can follow Tony’s experience for this too. During the Granada/Andalusia episode, Bourdain stays at Palacio de Los Patos Hotel. Literally translated as the “Palace of the Ducks” hotel, this 19th Century palace has gorgeous rooms and an entirely modern design. Despite what you might expect when you’re staying in a palace, this is actually a reasonably priced place to stay in Granada; rooms start from $147 per night. Book on Booking.com or Hotels.com.
Food Tours in Granada
While I know you came to this page to visit the same places in Granada that Anthony Bourdain visited, you may also want to book a food tour to have your own experiences in the city. Here are some food tours that will not only allow you to try the city’s great tapas and other food but also have a guide – as Zach did for Tony.
Other Food Tours in Andalusia
As Tony also explored beyond just Granada during his visit to the city, you may also want to book a food tour to follow in the footsteps of Anthony Bourdain in Andalusia. Here are some food tours from Granada that will allow you to explore more of the region:
If you’re planning a trip to Spain and plan to visit other parts of the country in addition to Granada, you might want to check out the other places Tony visited: Madrid and San Sebastián. Have any other questions about how to follow in the footsteps of Anthony Bourdain in Granada? Let me know in the comments!