Tapas on Tapas on Tapas

Kerianne Baylor is a student at Marist College and an official API Student Blogger. Kerianne is studying abroad with API in Madrid, Spain.

My first weekend back in Madrid was spent outside the city. Good thing? Definitely. We went to Granada in Andalusia—you know… the magical city that delves out free tapas with every drink. Yes, oh yes.

Before we went, I talked to my friend who was abroad last semester in Granada with API; she was more than excited to tell me her favorite tapas bars, clubs and streets. Thanks to her, I experienced a more-than-fabulous weekend viewing La Alhambra from every angle and eating tapas on tapas on tapas.

View of La Alhambra from Mirador de San Nicolás

On a side note, we just so happened to travel to Granada when there was a strike against … wait for it…garbage! Yup, garbage. So it obviously smelled pretty bad, but that didn’t stop me from finding joy in taking pictures of huge garbage piles. 

Lots and lots of garbage…

Back to the main attraction: tapas. The best area to find tapas bars are around Plaza Nueva and Calle Elviras; there are just too many to choose from, which is a great thing. Our first night in Granada, we went tapas hopping; we spent very little money for a lot of tapas. At first, we weren’t exactly sure how tapas worked—we’re so accustomed to ordering a beer and receiving absolutely nothing or olives at best. Our first bar, we decided to order beer and see what happened; our dream came true when little sandwiches and patatas fritas were delivered to our table. At the next bar, we were curious about patatas asadas, baked potatoes, which they offered as tapas; they were delicious!

Round 1!

One of my favorite tapas bars, which my friend who studied in Granada recommended, was La Bella y La Bestia. We sat there sipping on our cañas long enough to realize that there was a method to this tapas madness: they had a system; there was a specific order in which they served their tapas, assuring that each round of cañas promised a new type of appetizer. Let’s just say we got to round four…

After completely stuffing ourselves of tapas, we ventured past Plaza Nueva to enjoy a view of La Alhambra at night—the pictures do not do it any justice, but it was definitely something I’ll remember forever. It’s moment like these when I cherish my time abroad because the experiences outshine the photographs.

Here in Madrid, it is difficult to find traditional tapas bars where the process is as simple as ordering a drink and waiting patiently for food to arrive. There are certain places that have ‘cerveza + tapa’ offerings, but I mean…it’s just not the same. El Tigre, as far as I know, is a place in Madrid where you order a cerveza and receive tons of foods; however, this will set you back 6 euros instead of the same deal for 2 euros in Granada. I guess I can’t have it all, but I’ve got to give some credit to Spaniards for this fabulous idea of ‘free’ food because, thanks to them, I enjoyed tapas on tapas on tapas in Granada.

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