My short getaway to Cádiz past weekend, when I was in Seville, was purely a quest for the delicious local food…
Why visit Cádiz?
I heard someone compare Cádiz with Havana. And after roaming once again its pastel streets, I felt like I was back in Cuba: Cádiz façades display chipping paint. This is a town where a paint job is required at least once a year to cope with the ever present salty wind.
But, despite of its shabbiness (and frankly – general poverty), you cannot deny there is a special charm to be found in this ancient city.
This 3000 year old city is perched on a rock surrounded by the Mediterranean waters. However, there is very little space for beaches, since it’s encircled by high walls. So if you are planning to enjoy some beach time in Cádiz, think again. There is no other way but to stick your sunshade into the send next to someone else’s colorful parasol.
But enough sidetracking. As I mentioned, I went to Cádiz to eat. And I ate very well.
Fishing is a big deal in the province of Cádiz and the most staple food is pescaíto frito – fried fish. This time around I wanted to go beyond fish and explore more of the hidden treats.
Upon spotting street sellers offering seafood at makeshift stands (just like in Cuba!), I was not tempted to try it. With the high summer temperatures, you would think sellers would stock up on plenty of ice. That was not the case.
Locals suggested that one of the obligatory gastronomic visits in Cádiz is the tapas bar Casa Manteca. It was a mixture of all things I love: an old classic tapas bar, quality local food, a locale that breathes decades of its history and friendly staff who know everything about the food and drinks they are serving. And of course, rows upon rows of shelves with wine and Spanish vermouth bottles.
The house specialty is chicharrones – strips of delicious pork belly.
Morcilla de hígado (liver sausage) was another item on the menu that I could not skip. The classic morcilla is blood sausage, but when it’s made of liver, it acquires a pale color. I loved its pungent flavor and creamy texture.
Montaditos de atún (toasts with tuna) and a glass of Yzaguirre red vermouth rounded off the lunch.
Fishing is big in Cádiz, so no wonder you see lots of fishermen’s boats around. Right in front of such picturesque view there is café and restaurant Quilla.
You cannot pass up on gazpacho when in Andalusia. This cold tomato is such a nice refreshment during the hot days. Tuna tartare was very good too at Quilla. A gulp of coffee, jump back into the car and drive back to Seville along the tree laned roads. I simply love Andalusia!
How to get there:
Getting to Cádiz is very easy from Seville. The drive is just over an hour.
It’s best to combine visiting Cádiz with other towns or cities: Seville, Córdoba and the white Andalusian villages!