Córdoba was a great city for food. There were plenty of incredible bars and restaurants, and the vibe in the city was amazing. Seville is still on top of my list when it comes to food and drink, but the Córdoba restaurants come a close second.

Córdoba, like Granada, is oriented towards international tourists. But unlike some of the places we accidentally stumbled into in Granada, even touristed places here had good food at decent prices. We though that the Córdoba restaurants we visited were pretty cool and authentic.

Viandas de Salamanca

Sadly, we forgot to make photographs of this phenomenal ham sandwich shop. Although Viandas de Salamanca it is not a restaurant, I feel I have to mention it here. Our tour guide directed our attention to this shop at the end of our tour of the Jewish district. She also pointed out the irony of the shop’s location, which is at the border of the district. When you’re here, you’ll notice the shops window displays are piled high with a type of pie filled with a slab of pork and tomato sauce. That’s their famous “Hornazo”. You won’t be able to resist it the moment you see it, so give it a try.

Horno San Luis

Top on our list of Córdoba restaurants is Horno San Luis. We found it a few doors away from our hotel. We could not resist this lovely restaurant with its charming decor and intriguing menu. After a half hearted attempt to see if there were any other options around, we headed right back here for lunch.

A Moorish courtyard with quirky mirrors and vines on its wall
The mirrored wall of the courtyard in Horno San Luis

If you are looking for hearty, tasty food, this Córdoba restaurant will not disappoint. Their menu is fusion gastropub, although it has some typical Spanish starters. To be honest, after a week of mostly traditional Spanish cuisine, we were both up for something different.

A themed restaurant room with green wallpaper and a bordello style lightshade
A themed room in the restaurant

On the menu was an ox-tail pad thai that seemed very tempting, but in the end, we went for a good ol’ burger and some prawn tempura. The food was really tasty and cooked perfectly. The burger arrived, medium rare, as ordered, its toasted brioche buns slathered in sauce. The tempura wasn’t the traditional sort – but the prawns in it were large and the batter light and crispy. It was perfect.

Prawn tempura salad dressed with peanut sauce
The prawn tempura with peanut sauce

The ambience of this place was really something else. We found a table in the high courtyard with vines growing up its walls. Combined with the many mirrors on its tiled walls, the effect was enchanting. We were there at an odd hour between the usual lunch and dinner times, and had the place all to ourselves.

An epic burger with a side of fries
The Horno San Luis burger with its large patty and perfectly toasted buns

It was a great welcome meal for our first day in Córdoba. We enjoyed the food so much here we thought we would have to come back at least once more before we had to leave the city.

Mercado Los Patios de la Marquesa

As we walked around the Jewish Quarter, we encountered “Mercado Los Patios de la Marquesa“. The colourful signs outside the entrance advertised different types of foods. Here, there is something for everyone. The dishes ranged from traditional Andalusian tapas like Berenjenas con Miel to Kebabs and German sausages. There were also drink stalls selling iced coffee (a life saver in the afternoon heat) and a wine bar.

Graphic typography on the wall spelling out the name of the Mercado Los Patios de la Marquesa
Graphic lettering invites passers by to the Mercado Los Patios de la Marquesa

We entered, intrigued. Inside, it was very charming. The main dining area was a square centred among the stalls around it. Patrons could buy whatever they wanted and eat here. It is the perfect solution for those days when everyone in your travel group is being difficult and wants to have it their way.

A dining room with a sun roof in Córdoba's Mercado Los Patios de la Marquesa
One of the dining rooms in the Mercado Los Patios de la Marquesa

Prices here are the same as most other casual dining places, although the portions are generous. A great place to fill up your bellies and recharge your tourist batteries.

A courtyard in a Spanish food market lit from above, surrounded by food stalls
The main courtyard in the Mercardo, surrounded by various food stalls

La Bicicleta

Although La Bicicleta is not really a restaurant, it is still going on our list of Córdoba restaurants. That’s because it serves great food and beer and is incredibly, incredibly cool.

Entrance to a bar-restaurant in Córdoba with fruit and veg on the bar counter
The entrance to La Bicicleta – note the fruit and veg piled up on the bar

When we first came by La Bicicleta, it was so full we couldn’t get in. We walked around for an hour checking out other places – there were a few other places that seemed cool too, but most of them were also full. We then doubled back for La Bicicleta, and lo and behold, there was space enough for two.

A mosaic on the floor of a bicycle greets visitors at the entrance of this Córdoba restaurant-bar
A beautiful mosaic greets patrons as they enter La Bicicleta

Everything here was perfect. Firstly, the ambience is totally out of this world. Their bar area is covered in fruits and vegetables used to make cocktails and salads. Most of the dishes are prepared right there at the bar.

A bicycle hung upside down in the interior of the bar 'La Bicicleta'
The “mascot” of La Bicicleta – a bicycle – hangs upside down on the wall by the bar

They serve a wide variety of craft beers here, many of them produced in the region. In my opinion, there is nothing more authentic on a holiday than drinking locally produced tipple. So drop by La Bicicleta if you want to try out some Córdoban booze.

Hacienda Posada De Vallina

We chose to stay in Hacienda Posada De Vallina because of its location and its illustrious history.

The walls of this hacienda go back centuries, even before the middle ages. Apparently it was built by the same builders who built the Mezquita. The owners of the hacienda believe that Christopher Columbus was one of its occupants during its centuries-long existence.

A long hotel foyer in a Moorish house built before the middle ages
The charming interior foyer of Hacienda Posada De Vallina

The Hacienda Posada De Vallina attracted us because of its charming, traditional Andalusian decor. We also chose to stay there because it was right in the heart of the old town. In fact, the walls of the Mezquita are literally right outside its entrance.

The lobby of a Spanish style estate with stone columns and antique chairs
The impressive lobby of the Hacienda has a lovely mural and impressive stone columns

Review of Hacienda de Posada de Vallina

I wish I had only great things to say about this hotel, but I’ll give you the truth. The rooms are not as nice as its foyer. They were rather small, and the bed wasn’t too comfortable – it felt like the mattress needed changing.

Overall, it wasn’t too bad, but for the price, we thought we could do better. In fact, because the old city of Córdoba is so small, you could stay just outside the main core and still get to the Mezquita in five minutes.

The reading room of a hotel in Córdoba
The reading room of the hotel features some nice chairs to sit on

The one really nice thing it had though was a lovely café. The café served up traditional, homemade pastries and decent coffee. I really enjoyed not having to go far for a lovely breakfast!

By the end of our trip, we found that Córdoba has plenty of great restaurants where you can have authentic Andalusian fare or more modern Spanish/ European cuisine. There were quite a few places we passed by that looked really good but we didn’t have time to visit. This is unfortunate, but it only means we’ll have to be back to check them all out!

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