advertisement

Be sure to sit down for at least one meal a day in Córdoba. Some restaurants combine food with flamenco -- so make an evening of it.

Córdoba, incidentally, is well equipped to deal with caffeine addicts. Seek out local coffee-shop chain Confitería Serrano. The most central and convenient for most visitors is the branch at Calle Jesús María 8 (tel. 95-747-14-00), occupying the ground floor of the also-recommended Hotel Córdoba Centro, very close to the landmark Plaza Tendillas. The venue also includes a deli where take-away pastries are a popular item. There's a brightly lit counter area, as well as banquettes. Platters cost from 8€ to 18€ ($13-$29).

Heladería Roldan, Paseo de la Victoria at Ronda de la Victoria (tel. 95-747-33-65), is the most plush, elegant, and upscale pastry shop, bakery, and ice-cream shop in Córdoba, with an enviable position between two modern and monumental fountains. Rows of sidewalk tables ramble off toward the busy boulevard in a modern residential neighborhood north of the Mezquita. The cakes and pastries produced by this place are delicious and, in some cases, visually superb, and include confections that display an entire football (that is, soccer) field, replete with goalies, nets, and even some players. After dark on nice evenings, it doubles as one of the most popular cafes in a neighborhood loaded with contenders. Open Monday to Friday 7:30am to 10pm, Saturday 8am to 10pm, and Sunday 9am to 10pm.

A Moroccan Teahouse Salon -- Salon de Thé, Calle Buon Pastor 13 (tel. 95-748-79-84; daily 11am-11pm), is an idyllic spot. On a hot summer day, you might not immediately think of drinking tea, but the cool, Moroccan-style setting here and the way it presents tea as refreshment for the senses might tempt you. The setting, in a labyrinth of impossibly narrow alleys near the Mezquita in the Judería, is a small-scale arcaded courtyard of a once-private home that was originally built in the 14th century, with low-slung (and somewhat uncomfortable) divans covered with Moroccan carpets, overstuffed cushions, and low tables. The menu lists more than 30 kinds of tea, as well as coffee and fruited drinks made, Moroccan-style, from condensed syrups mixed with crushed ice and water. A small fountain splashes fitfully in the courtyard's center, and the background music is rooted in the early Arabic roots of old Córdoba. The place, as you might expect, is busiest every day between 4 and 7pm. Pots of tea cost from 3€ to 5€ ($4.80-$8) for one person or 4€ to 6€ ($6.40-$9.60) for two people, with tapas and pastries ranging from 1.50€ to 6€ ($2.40-$9.60).

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.