Cádiz's Most Famous Ice-Cream Parlor -- On a hot August day, the best place to be in Cádiz is ordering a cone at Heladería-Café Salón Italiano, Calle San José 11-13 (tel. 95-622-18-97). This ice-cream emporium serves velvety smooth concoctions, more than 30 flavors in all. Two specialties are made with Sevillana oranges or prickly pears grown in Cádiz province. This place has been a local favorite since the 1940s. The setting is large, sun-flooded, and a bit antiseptic, with a marble bar top where adults tend to order coffee as well as scoops of ice cream. Open daily from 9am to 11pm; one scoop costs 1.20€ ($1.90).
A Working-Class Restaurant Row in Old Cádiz -- Thanks to its location on a peninsula jutting toward North Africa and the Americas, the geography of old Cádiz is strictly delineated by constraints of space. Closest to the Malecón, a panoramic, sea-fronting promenade, is the La Viña neighborhood, where everyone seems to know everyone and families go back for generations. Visit the dyed-in-the-wool local haunts here at around 8:30pm to experience them at their most convivial. At that time the Calle Virgen de la Palma throws off its daytime slumber and revs into action.
Along the cobblestone street, at least a dozen workaday, unpretentious restaurants are jammed together. A good choice is Bar La Palma, Calle Virgen de la Palma 7 (tel. 95-622-85-87), an aggressively unpretentious hole in the wall whose clients either stand up inside at the rough-and-tumble bar or sit at a table on the street outside. Choose a variety of tapas and raciones, perhaps adding a portion of papas alinades (vinegar-soaked potato salad) with grilled peppers and a platter of grilled fish as herreros, sardinas, or zapatillas. Platters cost from 3.50€ to 9€ ($5.60-$14) each. The specialty of the house is grilled Spanish mackerel, caught off the coast of Mauretania.
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