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Coffee! Let’s talk about coffee.
Life’s indispensable elixir and corpse reviver (long before the cocktail was a thing). Your reward for getting out of bed in the morning. Your strong and reliable old friend who keeps you ticking along until it’s time to relax with a glass of your preferred poison. Coffee; when it’s good, can only be described as the nectar of the gods.
Granada (Spain in general, in fact) has pretty decent coffee. Most places have a corner dedicated to a conspicuous and usually noisy industrial coffee machine. I’ve tried coffees of all kinds (con leche, solo, cortado, cappuccino, flat white) in many spots around the city. Most is good, some bitter as hell. But fear not, a handful come to mind where the coffee is impresionante.
You can walk everywhere in Granada, and if you’re hitting the Alhambra, there’s a lot to cover. There’s no doubt you’ll want to start your day off right – these places will give you a hand.
Durán Barista – Durán is located along the Darro river, a very popular area bustling with activity all day and night. The coffee at Durán is excellent, the café is bright and clean with a great atmosphere, space to work and they do a buffet breakfast for €9 per head to set you up for the day. This café is the most expensive, with a flat white costing €2.50 (still cheaper than Dublin!) but it’s worth it for the quality. Since it’s such a busy area, the price doesn’t surprise me – you’re in the Albaicín, you’re along the river, close to the beautiful Paseo de Los Tristes, and the best part – sit by the window and you’ll have the Alhambra for company.
Tip: Ask the barista for a cappuccino and he’ll make it personalised just for you, piping your name and coffee art of the Alhambra on top.
Bar Terra – Located in Plaza de Realejo in a quieter part of town, Bar Terra has a bit of everything. Food (American and Spanish, mostly) desserts and milkshakes, cocktails, breakfasts and lots of original artwork on the walls, all up for sale. These guys don’t play up their coffee at all, but it’s a hidden gem. The girls who work there just know how to make great coffee, and they are fantastic at remembering orders – great for when you come in half asleep in the mornings. A café con leche will set you back a mere €1.20. There’s lots of space, good music and free WIFI.
Tip: The WIFI password is on a piece of paper beside the till if you don’t feel like asking! Every Wednesday Bar Terra hosts an intercambio, if you want to brush up on your Spanish. Bar Terra is also located at the foot of the Cuesta del Realejo, a walkway of very steep steps that lead all the way up to the Alhambra Palace Hotel and indeed the Alhambra. Fuel yourself with coffee and head up the walkway for amazing views of the city and a look around Granada’s most famous hotel.
La Finca – Definitely in my top two (I find it hard to pick between here and the next spot!) and probably the city’s most popular. La Finca’s location is unbeatable – it’s beside Granada’s cathedral (which will take your breath away with its enormity, stopping you right in your tracks. This still happens to me, every. single. time. And trust me, it will happen to you!) La Finca is small, with a mix of excellent coffee (of course!) muffins and cakes, Spotify playlists, simple wooden tables and fairy lights. Very hipster, but a Granada gem. A flat white will set you back €2.00.
Tip: Make sure to get a loyalty card! 10th coffee is free. Sit in the window and enjoy some people watching. La Finca can be very busy, or wonderfully quiet. Early in the morning (breakfast is available) is a good time to stop by, or around midday. Later on and I’d recommend a coffee to go.
Café Lisboa – It’s a toss up between La Finca and Lisboa for me. Lisboa do a mean coffee. Like La Finca, they really know what they’re doing, and you can pick up bags of coffee and coffee accessories in there too. They also do a great breakfast and serve themed brunches which I’ve seen a couple of places in Spain do, and I really like the idea. The Spanish brunch is a typical local breakfast, the English is a full English with pudding and sausages and fried eggs…you get the idea. You can also add a bottle of cava for less than €20. A very good deal!
Since Cafe Lisboa is located at the end of Reyes Catholicos where the street meets Plaza Nueva, this place can get pretty busy. Because the breakfast is good, locals and tourists start their day here, and many people spend the afternoon sitting outside on the terrace. Go early in the morning to experience life as the locals do (don’t worry, the servers are swift and attentive so it’s more than manageable) or stop by for a mid-morning coffee and snack – their pastries and baked goods are excellent. Pricewise a cafe con leche inside will only set you back €1.20. A bargain considering the location.
La Casita del Pan – I may have contradicted myself every so slightly by including this one, but it’s featured in my favourites for good reason. The picture says it all! Being honest, the coffee is fine. It’s not fantastic, but I’ve definitely had worse. What I love about this place is you get a coffee and a large flakey chewy croissant for just €1. That’s pretty hard to beat, don’t you think? There’s more than croissants too, if you’re not a croissant fan…which makes you a weirdo. Anyway, a great choice for students and tourists on the move. They’re practically giving the stuff away! And you’ll get a pink coffee cup and a little pink paper bag for your croissant.
Tip: There’s more than one location. One in the centre on Calle Puentezuelas, the other is on Calle Tablas. Go for the offer in the morning or early afternoon, while the croissants are still good.
Dulcimena Coffee & Go – Last but not least, another great spot where the owner is crazy passionate about coffee. Even smaller than La Finca, Dulicimena is in a quieter area (near Bar Terra, in fact) on Calle Molinos. Here you can get seriously good coffee in various sizes at very good prices (a medium café con leche will set you back €1.50) coffee accessories, cakes and luxury chocolate.
Tip: Dulcimena is closed on the weekends, and opens from 8am-1pm and then again from 4pm-7pm on weekdays. So don’t get caught out with trading hours! Dulcimena also sell small bags of various coffee blends which is a fantastic idea, they’re smaller and cheaper than standard bags of coffee so you can try a few without spending a fortune.
Enjoy fuelling your Granada adventures ☕
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