Piste to plate! The best places to dine in Spain’s Sierra Nevada

YOU might think you have walked into a scene out of a skateboard video.

They call it Rebel Food, but the team at Ci Vediamo, quite frankly, cook some of the most classic food in Granada.

Yes, there is plenty of creativity here too, but the simple dishes of young chef Stevie Silva are often the best.

Take the tartaki of Galician beef served in a yuzu sauce with chives and flowers, or an amazing soft crab tempura, they are mountain fresh and delicious to boot.

And when he gets all arty you find dishes like a ceviche of scallops in a bloody Mary sauce and an amazing false risotto with coconut milk, kimchi and prawns.

With over a dozen years on the slopes, he and his partner (and Maitre d) Luna keep getting better and better.

Thanks to a wanderlust that takes them around the world in summer time (to the Far East and around Europe) there are plenty of new dishes each season.

And on top of that the pair have a new restaurant to go with their collection, a simple joint, Bar Tola, which sits in the heart of the resort’s nightlife sector.


While nothing fancy it has a simple, good value menu that includes lots of hearty tapas dishes.

More exciting is their Asiatic joint Shimbuya, that takes its inspiration from classic Japanese minimalism, with its wood and electric blue interior.

My top tip, go for the California Roll with a king prawn, salmon and sesame seeds.

Next door, keep an eye out for the excellent local Swell, which is a cool place to grab a burger, salad or wok and watch the football.

Back down in the main resort the most established restaurant is easily Tito Luigi, run by two long term pals Luis and Xavi.

At least two kings of Spain have eaten at this seminal joint and the walls pay tribute to their long list of established and famous clientele, including American film stars, bullfighters and politicians.

You will need to book in high season even though it can sit 250 covers a night, but you will be rewarded with splendid Italian fare, my favourite dish being the squid-ink spaghetti with prawns.

The pair have another, hipper restaurant Tito Tapas practically next door and a third joint up the hill in the middle of the resort.

Another great place to eat, particularly if meat is your thing, is La Muralla, run by Argentinian Gonzalo Funes.

The steaks are surely the best in the resort, while the melt-in-the-mouth carrillada is also stunning. 

The ‘tostas’ are also great and come in various guises, while I loved the milhoja of foie gras and a courgette carpaccio with fig sauce.

He and his brother Luciano also run the brand new Muralla Burguer, almost next door, which specialises in the best quality burgers on the slopes.

It’s hard to disagree trying his ‘gourmet’ burger, which is actually made from oxtail ‘rabo de toro’ with a thin slice of cheese and mayonnaise and cooked in its own juice.

The brothers also own the famous Las Gondalas restaurant right in the heart of the resort, next to the slopes and excellent for some apres ski light bites, a hot drink or a beer.

Also look out for the two joints owned by Yolanda, one of them a Swiss joint called La Fondue de Noa and the more exciting La Braseria.

Recently renovated it has a great mix of dishes, particularly specialising on things on the bbq.

I loved the Portobello mushrooms stuffed with provoleta cheese and tomatoes and even the basic onion soup which had the surprise of a whole egg yolk in the middle.

Another great simple joint, but with great home cooked food, is Telesilla Burger.

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It is one of the most popular joints with workers in the resort and that is no surprise both for its great value prices, and the fact that owner Maria works in the kitchen.

Cleverly designed using ski lifts as tables, you can get everything here from hot coffees in the morning to superb desserts at tall times of day.

By far the most fun tapas joint is Bar Esqui, set up by the funniest man in the Sierra Nevada, Nichi, two decades ago.

His place is always buzzing at lunch and in the evenings and comprises a classic soul kitchen concentrating on hardy, simple dishes.

Just up from here, look out for the amazing Bodega Casablanca run by Jose Carlos Villanueva, who grew up on the slopes, with his father opening one of the first hostals in the 1960s.

The historic photos add to the atmosphere (as does a framed Olive Press article!) and the heart-warming soul food is always excellent, and includes stews, lentils as well as prawns wrapped in potato with a soya mayonnaise and lovely lamb chops with whisker-thin wild asparagus.

Another excellent place overlooking the slopes is Tia Maria, which has a good mix of dishes and is a great place for breakfast.

A total institution run by Carlos (part of the Tito Luigi family) this is the spot to chill out and enjoy the sun for the afternoon and early evening.

For coffee, breakfast, and in fact just about everything, Vertical is hard to be beaten and also has a great range of snacks and light bites, including hot dogs for the British clientele.

Finally, few places get as busy as the highly-rated Antorcha, which sits by the Kenia Nevada hotel.

Kenia Nevada

Run by Antonio and Maite for over a decade, each table gets its own ‘sausage tree’, while its speciality of the house is the ‘hot and spicy platter’ on which you can cook your own rump steaks, up to 400gr. It doesn’t get much better than that.


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