Where to Eat the Best Paella in Granada: Top 7 Restaurants

Looking for the best paella in Granada is no easy feat, given that there are so many restaurants in the city. While Granada is not its place of origin, it still has a lot of unique places where you can eat top-notch paella and other authentic Spanish dishes. Read on to find out what this dish is all about and where it came from, as well as where to eat the best paella in Granada, Spain.

Paella, typical Spanish dish coming from Valencia, paella with seafood served in a black pan for cooking paella on the grey background.
Paella, typical Spanish dish

1. What is Paella?

Paella is a rice dish that originated from Valencia, Spain. The name of the dish means “frying pan.” It is traditionally cooked and served in a round, shallow, and wide pan made of polished or coated steel with handles on both sides.

1.1 History of Paella

Around the 10th century, Muslims started cultivating rice in Al-Andalus, an area in the Iberian Peninsula where they ruled. During special family occasions and religious feasts, locals would cook casseroles with rice, fish, and spices. By the 15th century, rice had become the staple food in Spain, but it was mainly eaten with fish. People started combining rice with vegetables, beans, and dry cod for their Lenten meal. Nowadays, paella is a customary dish at mass gatherings, such as festivals, protests, and even political campaigns.

1.2 Variations of Paella

There are now a few variations of paella, the first of which is paella valenciana. It started as a lunchtime meal made by farmers and laborers from whatever ingredients were available around the rice fields. This version often included rabbit, duck, or chicken, as well as tomatoes and onions. Poor Valencianas used snails as the meat component of this meal. In the 18th century, special occasions called for water vole, eel, and butter beans as the main ingredients.

Meanwhile, Valencian fishermen on the Mediterranean coast had their own version of paella, with seafood in the shell as a substitute for meat and beans. This is now known as seafood paella. Non-locals, on the other hand, played a role in concocting another version when they combined seafood with meat. This practice evolved into a dish that is now called mixed paella, or preparacion barroca (baroque presentation).

The Philippines, a former Spanish colony, also has its own version of paella, which is called arroz a la Valenciana. It uses glutinous rice instead of short-grained rice and usually includes chicken and longganisa (chorizo) as the main ingredients.

2. Where to Eat the Best Paella in Granada, Spain

Do you want to try the best paella in Granada but don’t know where to start? We’ve reviewed several restaurants in the city and have come up with several top-recommended places. These are the paella restaurants with the best customer ratings, value for money, special menu options, and ambiance.

2.1 Arrocería Maese Píol: Overall Best Paella in Granada, Spain

A table containing several plates and a pan of black squid ink paella.
Black Squid Ink Paella

Arrocería Maese Píol is a restaurant in downtown Granada that offers a variety of paellas, including black squid ink, seafood, shredded chicken curry, as well as rabbit and snails. The must-dry dish here is the black rice paella, which features rice flavored with squid ink and peppered with bits of baby squid. Their seafood paella, on the other hand, uses fresh catch for the day and has an unforgettable aesthetic arrangement.

Aside from their extensive paella options, this restaurant has a private wine cellar. From there, you can pick red, rose, or white wines to accompany your meal. You can also simply enjoy this fine beverage with your family and friends while munching on their delicious tapas.

Location: Placeta de Pulgar

Operating Hours: Monday to Saturday (12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.)

Price of Paella: €15.40 to €23.60 per person

2.2 El Pescaíto de Carmela: Best Seafood Paella in Granada

A pan of seafood paella taken in Guatemala, similar to the best seafood paella in Granada, Spain.
Seafood Paella

El Pescaíto de Carmela proudly offers a menu that is 100% gluten-free, with an extensive selection of rice, fried food, fish, and seafood dishes. One of its specialties is black rice with octopus ink topped with aioli (garlic mayonnaise). It’s no wonder that they are known as one of the places for the best paella in Granada—they use top-quality products that are freshly sourced every day from the Andalusian markets. Other top-ranking dishes in this restaurant are fried fish, seafood dishes, and traditional tapas. 

Enjoy a superb meal at any of its lounges or private terraces while soaking in the majestic views of Granada’s historic squares and cathedral. If you want to experience the same quality of food but in another location, you can try their other branches—the Carmela and La Curacha de Carmela. 

Location: Calle Marqués de Gerona

Operating Hours: Open daily from 1:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m.

Price of Paella: €16.50 to €23.90 per person

2.3 Carmen de San Miguel: Best Vegetarian Paella in Granada

A pan of paella with leafy vegetables and green peas.
Paella with Vegetables

The Restaurante Mirador Carmen de San Miguel has established its reputation as a restaurant that specializes in innovative Andalusian dishes. It is also one of the restaurants that serve the best paella in Granada. They specialize in vegetarian paella with asparagus, beans, and artichokes. They use seasonal and top-quality ingredients sourced from the local area. Other highlights of their menu are duck liver paté with trout roe and sea bass in yogurt and garlic sauce. They also have entrecote with wine sauce, yams, and confitted baby vegetables.

If you want to enjoy their best cuisine, you can try their Gastronomic Menu, which lets you sample their top dishes. These include appetizers, fresh salads, soup, seafood, roast pork, and dessert, with an option for wine pairings. Another bonus for diners is the spectacular view of the city from either the porch, terrace, or backyard of this rustic establishment. Its location on the slopes of Alhambra makes it a great place for a relaxing outdoor meal.

Location: Plaza Torres Bernejas

Operating Hours: Tuesday to Saturday (12:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.)

Price of Paella: €20 per person

2.4 Bodegas Castañeda, Granada: Best Paella in Tapas Form

A bowl of paella and a glass of white wine.
Paella and White Wine

Bodegas Castañeda is a local hotspot that serves delicious tapas and wine selections. That said, it also serves low-calorie paellas in tapa form, and you can order a cod dish to pair it with. Other highlights of the menu are their cheese selections, patés, embutidos (cold meats), bandeja tradicional (traditional Spanish tapas), and Spanish tortilla with creamy aioli.

Being the oldest wine cellar in Granada, it exudes a traditional Spanish vibe with its decor of barrels and bottles. Given that crowds flock here to wine and dine, you’ll have to prepare to wait for a vacant table. If you want to get a seat right away, visit this place during off-peak hours.

Location: Calle Almireceros

Operating Hours: Open every day from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m.

Price of Paella: Average €10 per person

2.5 Los Manueles: Best Chicken & Lamb Paella

A giant pan of chicken paella.
Chicken Paella

When it first opened in 1917, this tapas restaurant made its name because of its huge croquettes. Nowadays, chicken and lamb paella take the spotlight on the menu. This is an excellent spot for a tapas crawl, a casual meal, or a full dinner spread. It has won numerous prizes and awards for its menu, including its paella Manueles, fried eggs with ham, Maneuels salad, broad beans with ham, and sirloin with ham and wild mushroom sauce.

While you may need to line up for a few minutes to get a table, the tasty cuisine is surely worth the wait. Additionally, it has an appealing ambiance that combines traditional and contemporary elements. It features simple yet stylishly designed tables and a large canvas that covers most of the surfaces of one wall. If you’re going with you’re family, make sure you order from their sharing menu, which offers large servings of tapas-style food.

Location: Calle Reyes Catolicos

Operating Hours: Open daily for lunch and dinner from 12:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m.

Price of Paella: Average of €16.50 per person

2.6 Las Perdices: Best Family-friendly Option

A plate with mixed toppings of seafood and meat.
Mixed Paella

Restaurante Las Perdices prides itself not only for its excellent paella, arroz caldoso, and fish and meat dishes. We recommend their seafood and meat paella. They also have paella mixta, which contains both seafood and meat. It takes a bit of effort to reach this restaurant because it is located outside of the city, right in the heart of the La Alpujarra region. However, the delectable food makes it worth the trip, and the drive itself makes for a great bonding moment for your family. 

There’s an outdoor terrace with breathtaking panoramas where children can play, making it the best family-friendly paella restaurant. If you want to venture beyond the rustic place, you can go hiking or engage in winter sports at a facility about 25 kilometers away.

Location: Camino Real de los Neveros

Operating Hours: Tuesday to Friday (8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.) and Saturday to Sunday (8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.)

Price of Paella: €20 to €30 per person

2.7 El Fogon de Galicia: Best Meat Paella

Rice dish in a spanish restaurant
Best Paella in Granada, Spain

If you’re a meat lover, El Fogon de Galicia is the best place to satisfy your paella cravings. It is quite a hidden gem, and guests are positively raving about their paella de carne (meat paella) and other juicy meat dishes. You can pair your meal with their homemade wine or sangria. Other highlights on their menu are their fresh fish tapas, cured ham, octopus a la Gallega, non-battered prawns, and hearty casseroles. They also serve a variety of fried eggs, toast, and grilled fish.

It is easy to reach this place, and the food is more affordable compared to other places in this guide. Diners love their efficient service, homey and pub-like ambiance, and pleasant decor. Plus, it is wheelchair accessible, making it a great choice for diners with mobility problems. While this place is not as spacious as other contenders in this guide, El Fogon de Galicia is one of the most well-recommended restaurants for paella in Granada.

Location: Calle Navas

Operating Hours: Open every day (12:30 p.m. to 11:15 p.m.)

Price of Paella: €13.90 to €16.90 per person

3. Tips for Eating Paella in Granada

Now that we have outlined the restaurants where you can eat the best paella in Granada, Spain, you’re free to pick the place that best suits your tastes. As a parting note, we’d like to give you tips that will come in handy when planning out your meal excursions. 

The first thing to remember is that in Granada, meal times start much later than in other cities. For instance, lunch starts at around 2:00 p.m., while dinner is usually served at 9:00 p.m. Don’t be surprised if you head out for a meal at a restaurant and the place is quite deserted before 8:00 p.m. Most restaurants open for dinner at 7:30 p.m., so you can come over around that time to avoid long lines for a table.

Another thing to remember is to never judge a restaurant based on how it looks from the outside. Many of the establishments that look very unassuming serve some of the city’s best paella. For the best choice, follow where the locals eat, regardless of whether the place does not look as fancy as you expect. 

Are you vacationing in Malaga but want to visit Granada? Consult our guide for a train journey from Malaga to Granada for the best tips. After your arrival, you may want to know insider tips for visiting the best markets in Granada to buy unique food items and crafts.

If you are looking for more information on the city, you can take a look at Granda’s official tourism website. You can also plan out your transportation route after consulting Granada’s official website for public transportation.