Gastroguía de Córdoba: what to eat in the city of the caliphs (and what restaurants you should not miss)

Heiress of an intercultural gastronomic tradition, Córdoba, known for monuments such as the Mosque-Cathedral, or popularized by its private Patios, It is also a city where good cuisine has a great role.

Marked by its past as capital of the Umayyad caliphate, but also by the passage of the Guadalquivir in the city, being a relevant crossroads since Roman times, Córdoba has become thanks to its impressive legacy in a city in which Cordoba and tourists They enjoy harmony, even when sitting at the table.

The 5 most typical dishes of Cordoba cuisine

Having served as a cultural melting pot for centuries has allowed various culinary inheritances to be reflected in the Cordoba cuisine, where we find honorable mentions of stews, garden products and to the fritters, very relevant in a territory where you feel predilection for the quality olive oil.

Although the winks to the Mozarabic culture in the current culinary tradition are not abundant, although there are exceptions, the reality is that there are several dishes that are references of the Cordovan nationwide and that almost all of us have well identified.

1 Cordovan Salmorejo

Tomato, garlic, bread, oil and salt are the five elements on which this cold cream is articulated, which should not be too thick or too liquid, and that constitutes one of the dishes par excellence of Cordoba cuisine.

Popular in summer, although not for that reason not consumed in winter, Salmorejo tomato demands a high maturity point, a quality oil, a dense crumb bread (like the one of telera, own of the city) and a balanced dose of garlic, better if it is of Montalbán. Its relevance is such that there is even a Gastronomic Brotherhood of Salmorejo Cordobés.

2. Flamenquin

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The king of the Cordoba frying, perfect for pecking but also to make it a main course. Characterized by its rolled form, the flamenquín is another of the bases on which the kitchen of the city is based. Its etymology, according to popular argumentation, comes from its golden color, which resembles the Flemish soldiers who accompanied Carlos I when he arrived in Spain.

Historical considerations aside, the flamenquín seduces the tourist and the Cordovan alike, who falls in love with this meat roller -generally pork-, which is stuffed with ham and bacon, then breaded and fried. It is convenient to cut the bias on the table, so that the filling does not disassemble easily.

3. Oxtail to Cordoba

The bullfighting tradition of the city has served as a germ so that in many places and houses this recipe is one of the best ambassadors of Córdoba. It is characterized by its sweetness, produced by the long cooking hours, it is preferable to cook it the day before so that the flavors settle. In addition, the alcoholic part that is added must be wine from Montilla-Moriles, the great oenological reference of the region, so that the preparation is as orthodox as possible.

The result is one of those dishes in which it is difficult to resist accompany with good bread and lots of fried potatoes. As in the case of salmorejo, the importance of this dish is such that it also has an 'association', in this case the Gastronomic Brotherhood of the Rabo de Toro Cordobés.

4. Fried eggplants with cane honey

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It is difficult to find a bar or restaurant whose bar does not contain fried eggplants. Subtly battered by a light dough, the eggplant is one of the queens of the tapas of Cordoba, there are several versions of this recipe: either cut in sticks, in tacos or sliced. There is no quorum in the way of consuming them, just as it does not exist either when looking for accompaniment, being the traditional thing to do with cane honey.

This molasses, which comes from the Malaga town of Frigiliana, is the most puristical seasoning of fried eggplant but there are also options such as flower honey or even salmorejo.

5. Cordovan cake

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Also called pastelón, this sweet is typical of the month of November, when consumed in honor of the patrons of the city. At present it is not difficult to find it in numerous patisseries and confectioners. It consists of a puff pastry that is filled with cider angel hair (and sometimes also with ham), which is sprinkled on the outside with glass sugar after being baked, offering a crunchy and subtle texture in each bite.

They are generally large, being able to take between 10 and 12 portions of them, although there are smaller versions, individually, called 'manoletes', in honor of the famous bullfighter and a great fan of this dessert.

Ration and tapas bars

The tapas are the order of the day in the city, finding numerous examples of classic premises but also of new proposals in which the bar becomes a great protagonist. Frequent in them will be the presence of eggplants and flamingos, but other recipes such as the japuta in adobo, the anchovies in vinegar, the artichokes a la montillana And many fried foods.

There are two main areas in which to go out to the bars and taverns of Córdoba: the Jewish quarter and the Plaza de las Tendillas, considered the gastronomic epicenter of the city, although in our route we will also take you out of the most common places so that you know a different Córdoba.

Luque Tavern

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Here the outsider and Cordoba are fraternized, around a large bar that is filled with appetizers and weekends with motivation. Its trinity of salmorejo, tail and flamenquín is known in the city but you should not leave aside the iron from which seafood and fish are cooked. All this properly watered with earth wine and very, very close to the Mosque - Cathedral.

Calle Blanco Belmonte, 4

The Fan Tavern

© Taberna El Abanico.

Garlands and colorful flowers welcome this tiny tavern where you can also review the podium of the three great dishes of the city. Good reputation here also has fried eggplants, the cordovan copper and the croquettes - especially the tail of bulls -, so you can easily discover the culinary banners of the city in its bar.

Velázquez Bosco Street, 7

Gongora Tavern

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Simplicity and tradition are cited in this familiar, affordable place but where an impressive winery with which you could lose your head is also hidden. In his letter there is also the aforementioned trilogy of the tapas of Cordoba but here the pilgrimage is carried out in search of his lemon anchovies, of the most famous in the city, so it is not convenient to stop passing by the Góngora Tavern.

Condes de Torre Cabrera Street, 4

El Pisto House

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Gastronomic copper has been beating in this centennial bar since 1880, in which Cordoba society has been meeting and especially bullfighting for generations. The proper name of the place in the kitchen is the pisto, which is crowned with egg. Special mention also deserves their fried fish of the day or meat stews, such as lean with tomatoes, the deer in sauce or the everlasting oxtail.

San Miguel Square, 1

Salinas House Tavern

Japuta, ajoblanco or picás oranges with cod They are just a sample of the traditional cuisine that is served on this old bar. There are also the five great dishes of Cordoba cuisine, ready to be served in tapas and rations, in which there are also spoon dishes such as the handyman stew or some superb beans with tail.

Tundidores Street, 3

Restaurants where to eat well and cheap

Córdoba is also an example of gastronomic coexistence between new and old times, and in these restaurants, without leaving a fortune, you can learn about the best of the city through the plate.

The steak

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His oxtail is just reputed to be one of the best in the city, so it is always an option to consider if one wants to secure the shot. It also has a good selection of meat and fish, even a peculiarity, relatively rare, as it is the pine nut gazpacho with apples and raisins, which is also tasted in the bar and is really amazing.

Romero Street, 16

La Montillana Tavern

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This tavern has been open for more than 70 years, only in recent years it has carried out a facelift, both aesthetic and culinary, that has given it new air. There is still a classic recipe book, which is raised in five or six dishes, but also some more international winks and elaborations with which to reinforce the laurels of the Cordovan product, such as the Iberian pig, the cuts of cow of the Valley of the Pedroches or the local vegetables. Special mention deserves the tail of the smelly bull, accompanied by a cream of orange vegetables that has just fame.

San Álvaro Street, 5

Kitchen 33

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Breaking with the gastronomic topics of the area, Cocina 33 has a traveling proposal in a very relaxed atmosphere, for which David Carrillo and Gloria Santiago are responsible, who have conquered the Cordoba public who wants to get out of the culinary routine. The letter is full of fusion touches in which oriental preparations as gyozas or thai mushrooms coexist with the oxtail risotto (an essential) or the roasted tuna in black sesame crust.

Paseo de la Ribera, 24

San Cristobal Tavern

© Taberna San Cristóbal

From the modern we go back to the gastronomic purism, in a restaurant that we could catalog “of a lifetime”, in which the frying accompanies the Cordovan classics, among which the snails are very famous -as long as it is season- and an extensive menu of meats between lambs, calves and Iberian pork, perfect to hit with the command at any time of the year.

Rodolfo Gil Street, 4

High price restaurants

Michelin stars with historical ascendancy, promises of the new Cordoba cuisine and some historical reference fill the podium of the city's 'expensive' restaurants, although as always, valuing a menu always ends up being relative.

Campos Wineries

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With more than a century of history (they opened in 1908), Bodegas Campos is a fundamental restaurant to understand the cuisine of Cordoba. In its rooms, many of them adorned with wine barrels, signed by countless personalities, you can taste some basic local cuisine such as the oxtail, the salmorejo or the flamenquines. In addition, they are accompanied by some more contemporary recipes with which to seduce all audiences without leaving a fortune, since a standard command can range between 35 and 40 euros per person.

Lineros Street, 32

Noor

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The big star (Michelin) of the city is commanded by chef Paco Morales, who in just a decade has become the reference of the Andalusian cuisine of the city. Making an intense gastronomic collection of centuries-old recipes, the chef translates into the 21st century many preparations almost lost in time. The result is a signature cuisine in which the flavors of yesteryear immerse the diner on a journey through history. All this in a unique environment, with a modern and bright dining room in which there are also many winks to the past. The prices of the proposals, available in three tasting menus, range between 95 and 170 euros, not including pairings.

Pablo Ruiz Picasso Street, 8

I recommend

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Periko García is another of the architects of the gastronomic renovation of Cordoba. Example of haute cuisine but with your feet on the ground, the chef offers two tasting menus in this cozy local (with optional pairings) quite adjusted in price - between 38 and 48 euros per menu - in what he calls "souvenir kitchen". A culinary option that caresses the stars (including those of the gala guide) and that is a fundamental in the gourmet routes of the Caliphate capital.

Mirto Street, 7

The Manolete Bistro House

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Two are the gastronomic spaces that have recently opened in what was the house of the famous bull slayer: A flor de piel and La Casa de Manolete Bistro, whose Culinary proposals are developed by chef Juanjo Ruiz. At Casa de Manolete, the chef from Cordoba revitalizes the classic recipe book without losing the north. An example is the salmorejo - one of the chef's specialties - contemporary with smoked Rio Frío sturgeon and white asparagus caviar or a reference like the Pickled partridge pate. The letter also suffers daily variations and may be more or less affordable depending on the command, but usually offers an average ticket between 30 and 40 euros.

Avenida de Cervantes, s / n

The Envero

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In less than 10 years El Envero has become one of the fundamentals of the new Cordovan table. At the controls of the kitchen is now chef Zahira Ortega, who has 'inherited' the position of Antonio López (now in Tellus), to continue reaping successes. The mazamorra is essential, as well as the fluid croquette, which are already house stamps. It is not convenient to let the Iberian dam tiradito or the shrimp tartare with cherry gazpacho. Winning horse bets that also consolidate with an important winery, thus rounding up an experience close to the honors whose average ticket moves in ranges of between 30 and 50 euros.

Teruel Street, 21

Breakfast and brunch In cordoba

Throughout Córdoba, coffee shops abound in which to start the day, usually based on toast with bread and oil, although you will also find other options. An example of this are the syringes, which could go through churros, and share with them the form of preparation and the fact of being fried, although the Cordoba version is thicker and has yeast. Once this gastronomic enigma is resolved, it is best that we look for a couple of references to fill the good morning gut in the Caliphate capital.

Nice coffee

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Since 1964 he has been giving breakfast this popular cafeteria, an authentic institution in the city, in which syringes are obviously served in the morning and during snacks. In addition they are usually accompanied by chocolate, so it is a good mid-afternoon stop. They also make their own bread, sourdough, so it is a good option for those who want a different alternative.

Antonio Maura Street, 43

Maddow Coffee Shop

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Homemade cakes of international style such as carrot or red velvet coexist with classic toast in this modern place, where fresh juices made from different fruits also gain prominence. Located in the Juderia, this contemporary cafeteria is a good counterpoint for those who want to bet on a breakfast of more sophisticated touches within the city.

44 Cardenal Gonzalez Street

Images | Pixabay / David Mark / Javier Álamo / Kepa Martínez / Waldo Miguez.