Savory Spain & Portugal
When you take your tongue out sightseeing in Spain and Portugal, what are its favorite taste treats?
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Lisbon & Sintra guides
My wife and I finished a 14 day Best of Spain tour, which we enjoyed, and then flew to Lisbon for 4 days. Because of the limited time that we had we hired two guides that were recommended in Rick Steves Portugal guide book.
In Lisbon we hired Claudia Costa (email@example.com) to show us the sites of
We ended our day having the world's best custard tars at Casa Pasteis de Belem. She took us back to our hotel a little after 5 pm.
The next day we took the train to Sintra, about a 45 minute ride, where we were met by Cristina Quental (firstname.lastname@example.org). She took us for lunch at Apeadeiro Restaurante where the locals patronize. It was great.
If you are short of time and want to maximize what you can see then we highly recommend these two guides for Lisbon and Sintra. They are worth every euro.
Fremont, Califo USA 11/05/2013
Ronda - new vegetarian restaurant
Ronda Spain - Just had an excellent vegetarian dinner at a new Ronda restaurant, "Spice Route," Los Remedios 14 (a few blocks from Calle Navas), great food, excellent preparation, elegant atmosphere, good prices (11 euro menu del dia)
Milwaukee, WI USA 09/29/2013
Our Guide saved us from Jamon overload!!!!
In Spain we (our family& amigos group of 7) loved the jamon and tortilla the first few times... BUT it can get a bit tiring while we traveled on our own in Barcelona & Northern Spain. Later we did a wine & walking adventure in Andalucia and enjoyed much more variety of food & great wines as our guide, Santiago, knew where to go & to avoid the tourist traps. Our tour was run by www.MagicalSpain.com
San Fran., CA USA 08/18/2013
Barcelona All-You-Can-Eat Bargain
On a budget or just want value, try Tara Blavaat Via Laietana, 55 just a couple of blocks from Placa Cataluna. For 10 Euros you can choose from a large selection of cold specialties and then hot bar that includes paella and when we were there even rabbit! Included is beverage, coffee desert and fruit. Staff even let you take some fruit/sweets to go. Wish this was in USA!
Hamilton, NJ USA 06/25/2013
good & bad in Spain
Loved Spain but quality varies from EXCELLENT food & wine to MEDIOCRE & bad attitude in the touristy places. Similar in Italy (but the Italianos are more used to Americans, Spain not so smooth and less English).
Four of us did a 6-day private tour package with a fun US-run company in Spain. We enjoyed Toledo and southern Spain, learned a ton about the culture, foods, and met many locals with our friendly guides. See www.magicalspain.com.
The contrast was big when on our own for five days around cruise ship capital Barcelona and busy Madrid. We do not mind spending $ for quality but overpaying for mediocre food and bad service is[INVALID]-ks!
Seems to me some places that get in RS guides or Tripadvisor get more demand so jack up prices, locals go elsewhere, making quality drop.
BTW we are foodies and demanding, but overall do not miss Spain. We suggest avoid eating in the touristy areas.
Sophia & Brad Delmato
Chicago, IL USA 06/14/2013
Tourist Trap Recommended by Rick, Why?
Jose Maria in Segovia - wow, Rick really misses the boat here. Rip-off central! Totally overpriced, roast suckling pig at 25 Euro without any hint of sides offered, no presentation, just plop on your plate. Overly bright lights make it seem as if you are eating in an operating room which I suppose you are, because the owners of this place are Smooth Operators that is for sure. Dinner for three with wine at 105 Euro and I certainly did not tip because the service sucked, no check backs, no attention, just a bunch of hovering hacks pretending to be waiters. AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE this place stinks.
Sarasota, FL USA 06/08/2013
Madrid Food Tours
Madrid Food Tours are awesome! We took a 3-hour market-tasting tour with 10 tastings. It was the highlight of our time in Madrid! We toured a local market we never would have found on our own, sampled the best of Mercado de San Miguel, and best of all visited the Museo del Aceite for an amazing comparative olive oil tasting. Our tour guide Lauren was outstanding, and she works well with people with special dietary needs. Prices were very reasonable for what we got.
Fairfield, CT USA 06/03/2013
Dinner In EVORA
Restaurante Tipico at Rua Da Republica, 81 is only a short walk from Praca de Giraldo (the central plaza) and provides great ambiance along with fabulous food and service. Rick's recommended Pork Alentejo dish is a 15 on a scale of 10 here. Bom Apetite
John and Lynn Heronen
Brunswick, GA USA 05/27/2013
Tavira, Portugal hotel and Rest.
Tavira House and Bica Rest (Tavira, Portugal) Great hotel that is about a 2 to 3 minute walk to the main Plaza and river. Hotel itself is very chic chic but the prices are reasonable. Joe the owner is world class nice and makes you feel at home and recommends the local best. She recommended BICA Rest and it was to die for. The Vin Blanco with gas was great during a hot Spring Day (and not too expensive). Can not say enough good things about Tavira House.....I will definitely go back and stay here again. R, JK Lowrey
Washington, DC, DC USA 04/08/2013
Eating in Coimbra, Portugal
After having dinner at the Rick Steves recommended place, where we were almost the only people there, we walked past a place full of people, locals, who were obviously enjoying their meals. The next night we went back there for dinner, and it was great. Delicious food, reasonable prices, and the owner is delightful. Reservations recommended. perilYou should put this one in your book, Rick. It's called Ze Neto, Rua das Azeiteiras 8-10.
Morro Bay, CA USA 03/20/2013
We had two great things for breakfast. Both were served at bars or at your hotel bar. Bars in Spain are great morning places unlike the States. The first was tostada con tomate: roasted roll with crushed fresh tomato, salt, then pour on olive oil. Addictive! Second was tortilla espanola. Egg, potato, sometimes tiny bit of onion, olive oil. Heavenly. Both are simple and delicious
San Antonio, TX USA 03/19/2013
Lunch/Tapas in Cordoba
Just a 1/4 block up a side street from north exit of the Patio de los Naranjos of the Mezquita is Bodegas Mezquita. Very inventive and perfectly executed cuisine. Specialty is tapas. Best meal in three weeks in Spain. Would give food in Spain 4 to a 6. Bodegas Mezquita would the high point even with a lot of competition.
San Antonio, USA 02/17/2013
Free food anywhere? Well, if the waiter put it on my table, I would assume its price was included in whatever else I ordered. It would not be "free" but without a warning, I would not have expected a separate charge
Livermore, CO USA 11/16/2012
Granada Spain- excellent Taberna
We just returend from S. Spain and I highly recommend Taberna Salinas in historic section of Granada for vg/moderate entrees. 1 block from cathedral with excellent Braised Oxtail and Pork Medallions. Do not miss it! Taberna Salinas Calle de Elvira 13 Granada
CA USA 10/10/2012
Excellent Restauant across from the Palacio Real
One rainy night we stumbled across Restaurante Parrilla Caballito (Bailen, 7) just across from Palacio Real. We were served probably the best steaks we had eaten during our month long trip to Spain and Portugal. No English was spoken but communication was not a problem. The steaks were juicy, perfectly cooked and the herb sauce on the side was perfect. While there were several cuts of meat to choose from, the NY strips won with no regrets!
Madrid, Madrid Spain 09/28/2012
Barcelona Restaurant to Avoid
Just returned from a trip to Spain (with stops in Lisbon and Tangier) and while almost every one of Rick's recommendations were spot on, I feel obligated to complain about one. Recommended in the Barcelona chapter is a place called Qu-Qu on the Passeig de Gracia. Take this one out of your book Rick! It's every bit as touristy and pricey as the other places on this strip - everything you are opposed to. Would have been easy to overlook the tourist-only setting and price except the quality of the food was SO poor and the service indifferent. Easily the worst meal we had in our three weeks in Europe!
Brooklyn, NY USA 09/05/2012
El Restaurante la Gardunya has been my favorite here in Barcelona. As a single woman travelling in Spain I feel very welcome here. The food is fresh, and the daily menu is excellent. Thanks for the recommendation Steve. I don't like all the restaurants on the Ramblas that try to sucker you in with crappy food and exorbitant prices.
Macomb, Mi USA 07/28/2012
We just came back from a two-week trip all over Portugal, and came home agreeing that the best food was from the city of Porto. Some great restaraunts we tried include Restaurante Guarany, D'Tonho, and Adega Sao Nicolau (recommended by a relative from Portugal). Enjoy!
Boston, MA USA 07/20/2012
A Bella Vista, Tomar, Portugal
After visiting the Convent of Christ (Knights Templar castle and UNESCO site) in Tomar, Portugal, my Brazilian traveling companions invited me to join them for lunch in the old town of Tomar at a place that had been recommended to them. "A Bella Vista" (The Beautiful View) lived up to its name. We had a table out front under an arbor covered with wisteria vines and a view of the riverfront park across the street, the old town across the river and the castle atop the hill behind the town. Our lunch of roast kid with potatoes, rice and spinach sautéed with garlic was beautiful and delicious too.
Newark, Ca USA 07/19/2012
Memorable Eating in Toledo
Just back from 14 days in Spain and have to share about our favorite meal at Alqahira Rincon de Oriente, a new Egyptian restaurant in Toledo just a block from Plaza del Ayuntamiento. Owner, Fathi, is a charming host who makes the dining experience memorable. Menu limited but delicious, healthy, tasty and vegetarian friendly. Atmosphere is picture perfect - I promise you'll be snapping tons of photos as you enjoy Fathi's beautiful decor. Open during traditional siesta time. Fabulous tea selection - they allow you to pick year tea by smell to accompany your free sweets to end the meal. Can't top it!
Washington, DC USA 06/12/2012
Awesome Culinary Vacation in Spain
We just returned from a Culinary Vacation in Andalucia at this place called Casa Cebadillas in Torrox Pueblo. We both said to ourselves, THIS was an incredible experience and very affordable. They have a website www.LearnToCookinSpain.com
Seattle, wa USA 02/13/2012
Tapas in Toledo
Lizarran at 3 Calle Toledode Ohio, just up Calle Comercio from Plaza de Zocodover has fabulous tapas at bargain prices. My wife and I hade three large tapas and three glasses of wine each for less than 18 Euros total at lunch time. This is a chain but the couple that run this one do an outstanding job in both the food and service. They speak no English but make a polite and considerate effort to communicate.
Groton, CT USA 01/16/2012
Excellent lunch in Porto
We took a chance on a back street restaurant in Porto (just up from the long line of restaurants along the river towards the bridge in the Ribeira). Postigo do Carvao, Rua da Fonte Taurina, was inexpensive and delicious. www.postigodocarvao.webs.com
Victoria, BC Canada 01/02/2012