11 Reasons Why Cadiz Is A Must-Visit Destination For Any Self-Respecting Foodie
Hint: Everything is delicious
Cádiz is a city and port in southwestern Spain – and as cities go, it's one that goes by the school of hedonistic thought.
The gaditano is a lover of food, drink and conversation, roughly in that order. His gregarious alter-ego is that of a lover of life, and a lover of the the sustainer of life – food. Preferably something crisp, hot and fishy.
And while Cádiz itself is almost an exhibition dedicated to the praising of food, it is also masterclass in cookery tips and tricks. Visiting there is good for the mind body and soul, and here's why...
1. Freidurías from Freiduria Las Flores
Freidurías are Spanish establishments that specialise in fried seafood, smoking hot, in a chickpea and wheat flour batter.
The freidurías of Cadiz are the equivalent of fish served from chippers, but the light and fluffy crispness of the product puts the humble chip shop to shame. Freiduria Las Flores have nailed it. Simple food, done right.
2. Tapas in La Esquina de Sopranis
La Esquina de Sopranis is the pinnacle of tapas tasting when in Cádiz. A bubbly, contemporary tapas place you'll never want to leave, and the food is equally exquisite.
Local seasonal ingredients are thrown together in beautifully presented creative combos, like mini-solomillo (pork sirloin) with chorizo sauce or market-fresh timbal de verduras (vegetable stack).
Salmorejo is gazpacho’s thicker, creamier and wholly more delicious cousin. While gazpacho is a cold tomato and vegetable soup, salmorejo is simply fresh tomatoes and perhaps a clove of garlic, blended with stale bread, extra virgin olive oil, and sherry vinegar.
The way the olive oil and tomatoes emulsify gives the soup a creaminess you wouldn't believe. Most people top the cold soup with hardboiled egg and cured Spanish ham, two very welcome additions.
4. Churros in Plaza de Topete
In Plaza de Topete, in the municipal market, is where you'll get some of the very best churros Earth has to offer.
Freshly made, right in front of you, thin and crispy as can be, with the perfect amount of salt AND inexpensive. What, exactly, is stopping you from booking a flight right now?
5. Sushi from Gadisushi
... weren't expecting that, were you? Spain is the world’s second largest producer of tuna, and some of the best bluefin tuna in the whole world comes from, you've guessed it, Cádiz.
If you visit during the almadraba every May (when fishermen are allowed to fish the tuna using a 3,000-year-old Phoenician fishing method) you're in store for some of the freshest and most delicious tuna of your life
Gadisushi, in the Mercado Central, is a fan favourite, with people travelling from all over Spain to sample its delicacies.
6. Oysters and Parga in El Faro
El Faro is a local favourite for a classic sit-down meal: a revered local gastronome.
Try the excellent de Sancti Petri (oysters) and pescados de la bahía (fish from the bay), such as corvina (croaker, a little like sea-bass), cazón (dogfish) and parga (red snapper), which only appears on menus in Cádiz and nowhere else.
7. The meaning of tapa at El Ventorrillo Del Chato
Founded in 1780, El Ventorrillo Del Chato is supposedly where 'tapa' was christened so, by Fernando VII, who was exiled to Cádiz. When dust was falling from the ceiling during his meal, threatening to ruin his wine, he exclaimed 'Tapamela' (cover it for me).
The tapa, or cover, was edible, and a legacy was born.
El Ventorrillo Del Chato do a fantastic octopus and potato salad, something you're guaranteed to get nowhere else in the world.
8. Tortillita de camarones from Nuevo Meson Trinidad
Tortillita de camarones (shrimp fritters) are served from little cones after being quickly boiled and chilled. However, the best way to enjoy them is in a crispy tortillita, a shrimp fritter that is a favourite with locals and tourists alike – and we defy you to find anything better to accompany an ice-cold beer.
Nuevo Meson Trinidad boasts some of the best in the business. And what's their secret? Simple: using the freshest of ingredients.
9. Chicarronnes at Taberna Casa Manteca
Chicarronnes are cold cuts of roasted pork belly. The thin layers of soft, fatty pork are laid on waxed paper and dressed with sea salt and lemon or a savory mojo picón sauce.
Taberna Casa Manteca is a small, family run restaurant, who celebrate meat as it should be celebrated, and it shows.
10. Ortiguillas fritas at Casa Tino
Ortiguillas fritas are fried sea anemones, and must be tasted to be believed. Divers gather sea anemone, which are then battered and deep fried – and while they're not for the faint of heart, or palate, they are a true taste of the sea.
Casa Tino, located on Calle de la Rosa, are famous for them, you'll never look back. But beware, it's closed on Mondays.
11. And finally, Pan de Cádiz, anywhere
Pan de Cadiz is a large marzipan type cake, made with almonds and sugar, and filled with pieces of candied fruit and crystallised pumpkin formed into a special shape resembling a chest.
It is usually eaten at Christmas, but you can find good Pan de Cadiz in almost any market place, an indicator of how popular a desert it is.
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