I ate very well in Cordoba. Below are my favourites in rough order of preference. You’ll find them all here on my Google map.
Bodega Guzmán (Elementary A), 7 Calle Judíos
The local wine DO in Cordoba is known as Montilla-Moriles. This old bodega is the place to try it, straight from the barrel. The wines are reminiscent of sherry, their more famous neighbour in the Jerez DO, and use the same terminology when describing the wines. However I couldn’t get round the fact that their Fino tasted like an Oloroso (my favourite), although I don’t know why.
While the wines are top notch, the tapas are simple and traditional and so a bit hit and miss (avoid these vinegared baby aubergines). Despite the lack of choice of nice things to nibble on, this place still scores top marks with me just for its authenticity.
Taberna San Miguel aka El Pisto (Intermediate B+), 1 Plaza San Miguel
A beautiful old bar in the old town with several eating areas; a terrace out in the square, a fair-sized stand-up bar area, a large central dining room with a high ceiling and two or three smaller rooms off it. All the walls are covered in ceramics, old photos and ancient paraphernalia of all kinds. Some of the food is excellent, in particular the Rabo de Toro (A) and the Salchichon Iberico (A). The Carrillada Iberica was okay (B) but I wasn’t too fussed about the Bolita Flamenquin (C). With two beers, the bill came to €17. A tapas bar I’d return to time and time again.
Casa Pepe de la Judería (High Intermediate B+), 1 Calle Romero, www.restaurantecasapepedelajuderia.com
A big rambling taberna located in the old town. I’d heard good reports from my foodie friend Nicky about it, so I had to go.
The place to be is on the roof terrace, on Table 43 (a table for two) as it has a (limited) view of the top of the Mezquita tower.
After a refreshing beer I began with the classics of a glass of ‘Marques de Poley’ Montilla Oloroso and a bowl of Salmoreco (both B+). For my main the waiter recommended the Cordero Asado y Manzana Taco which was a great choice (B+).
Glasses of Amontillado Tauromaquia sherry and Dos Claveles red were fine as I recall, as was the glass of sweet Toro Albala PX I had with the Pastel Cordobes (all B). In total I spent €55.
The waiter asked where I was from and then brought me this plate to mark England’s recent progress in the 2018 World Cup!
Campos de Córdoba (Advanced A), 32 Calle Lineros, www.bodegascampos.com
This is ‘the best place in town’ and was TripAdvior #1 when I went in June 2018 for my last meal in Córdoba. It’s a bit hard to find, thank goodness for Google maps (see mine above), but it’s worth the effort of finding it.
Everything I ate and drank was top notch. I began with a glass of local Fino sherry and some excellent olives. The Raviolis de Bacalao were very good (B+) and the Tartar Atun Toro was great too (A). Finally two glasses of Abadia Albarino (from Galicia) went with the fish really well (A). I finished with the Fruta Maracuya y Helado de Jengibre, a fruit salad with ginger ice cream and passion fruit custard, which was absolutely stunning (A+). Such quality doesn’t come cheap but I was happy to pay the €55.
Atrio Café (Intermediate B+), Patio Interior del Colegio de Arquitectos, 32 Avenida del Gran Capitán
A very cool bar, located in a beautiful Modernista building which is also home to an architectural college. If like me you’re a fan of this beautiful architectural style, it’s worth passing by in the day time to fully appreciate it.
By night the patio becomes an atmospheric bar terrace lit in neon blue where you can enjoy smooth music and quality cocktails while sitting under the orange trees.
And just a few doors down on the same side…
O’Donoghue’s Irish Pub (Intermediate B),38 Avenida del Gran Capitán, officialirishpub.es
Many people have an issue with going to a generic ‘Irish pub’ when they’re abroad but I don’t mind them. Granted there are usually no Irish people in them but very often they are the liveliest place in town despite the misnomer, as seems to be the case here. A good spot to watch the football at least.
Mercado Victoria (Elementary A/B), 3 Paseo de la Victoria, www.mercadovictoria.com
This converted fair booth (nineteenth century, wrought iron and glass) on the main rambla is a buzzy place to go in the evenings when it’s very popular with the locals. It’s essentially a food hall with over twenty stalls selling sushi, oysters, burgers, grilled meats, Argentine empanadas, Mexican burritos and Spanish seafood. There are a couple of bars and a nightclub as well.
I went twice, the first time to eat lunch at La Salmoreteca, the dedicated Salmorejo stall. They had lots of unusual and intriguing varieties of this classic cold soup but I went for the €10 deal where you get the classic version of the soup with a big slab of Tortilla de Senén (a famous pre-packed brand), and a glass of sangria to wash it down (all B).
Another time I came in the evening and had the Fritura Especial (B+) for €17 at Pescadoteca.
There are plenty more restaurants in beautiful buildings to try. Here’s a couple I didn’t have time to check out.
My good friend Nicky, who knows a good restaurant when she eats at one, swears by Taberna Luque (Intermediate A) at 4 Calle Blanco Belmonte. I did my utmost to get in but found it impossible as it was always fully booked. My advice is to try and reserve as soon as you know you’re going to Cordoba.
I loved Cordoba and can’t wait to go back to try more places. I think you have enough here though for a couple of days of quality entertainment at least. Off to smallsville next…