Spain is fast becoming known for it’s wide variety of foods from east to west and north to south the Spanish diet and food is very different. With inumerous Michelin stars the first restaurant in our province, Acanthum, Huelva, was awarded their first star in 2016. There are also quite a few restaurants in the sierra which are highly recommended in the Michelin guide (see below). 2017 also sees Huelva become the Capital de Gastronomía in Spain.
Chef José Pizarro is a big fan of our area and there is a great article in the times from Feb 2016
José Pizarro in Aracena
When we explain what to do and see in the village and rest of the park we always mention places to eat. There are lots of restaurants in the area and we haven’t been able to try them all despite the time we’ve been here – too committed! There are a couple of things that need to be mentioned: the opening times and the style of eating here in the area.
Firstly, the main meal is served at lunch time and, in keeping with Andalucian tradition, it is very unlikely that you will find any restaurant open and ready to serve lunch before 13.30 but you can be served up until 15.30 and even later at the weekends. Dinner tends to be a lighter affair but you will not find a restaurant open before 21.00, although if you are looking for a full 3 course dinner a restaurant will serve you at this time. Bars are open earlier and you can usually get a cold tapa to put you on until the kitchen opens.
Please don’t let meals and restaurant timetables mar your experience here in Alájar, it can be frustrating to have to wait until later for your evening meal but if you have a few snacks through the day or order a picnic from us and spread that out, we hope that it will “put you on”!
Re the style of eating: most starters are intended for 2 or more to share so you may find you are over faced by the time you get to your second course if you each order a starter!
All the bars here serve tapas and raciones. A tapa is a way of eating which originated in Andalucia and has migrated through Spain and into the rest of Europe. It is simply just a small portion meaning that you can try a few different things during the same meal and is a popular way of eating especially at the weekends.
When I first arrived in Sevilla Ángel would order a couple of tapas in a bar which we would share and then we would move on. In Sevilla tapas have developed into what I like to call “gastro tapas” where the portion is larger and the presentation is delightful. Now there are 3 of us the tapas don’t go as far but thankfully Sofía is as adventurous as we are so we keep on sharing! There a few restaurants in Aracena are taking up the challenge but here in Alájar the tapas are still pretty simple – but full of flavour!
Restaurants in Alájar: all with an A La Carte and Tapas menus
El Corcho (with an impressive ceiling of cork and more than 600 pieces of ceramics) Open daily for lunch and evening meals except Thursdays.
Las Palomitas (modern restaurant) Open daily for lunch and evening meals except Mondays.
Restaurante El Molino (old mill building with machinery and terrace outside) Open weekends only.
El Padrino (18th century building with a lot of old utensils for decoration) Open weekends only.
La Botica de Amparo (traditional home cooking with friendly Amparo) Open daily for lunch and evening meals except Mondays
Casa Cruz (nice setting upstairs, speciality on iberian pork) Open from Thursday till Sunday.
Restaurante la Peña (up in the Peña de Arias Montano) Open daily for lunch and evening meals except Mondays.
La Plazita – Peña Flamenca. Lovely atmosphere serving pizzas from a woodfired oven. Often has live music at the weekends. Open Thursday evening – Sunday evening
Various bars for tapas and raciones (bigger portions). Bar Román, Bar El Poleo, La Esquinita and La Parra – all found around the main square of Alájar.
Trip Advisor reviews for bars and restarauntes in Alájar
Restaurants further afield that we are happy to recommend and feature in Dining Secrets of Andalucia by John Clarke:
Almonaster – El Rincón de Curro
Aracena – Del Tinto al Odiel, José Vicente, Montecruz , Jesús Carrión, Puerta 20
Linares de la Sierra – Restaurante Arrieros
Fuenteheridos – La Caldera, La Arquería, Mesón Biarritz
Castaño del Robledo – El D´hornillo, El Roble
Valdearco – 14 Arrobas