Mercado Central de Abastos is located in the heart of Cádiz where we locals go to buy fresh fish, seafood, fruits and vegetables. It also has a lot of cafes where you can order anything from fried fish to empanadas. Favorites are Lady Papa’s, which serves traditional tapas, and a vegan stall called Las Niñas Veganas—it’s not easy to find vegan or gluten-free food in Cádiz, so this one is special.
Zucchini croquettes are delicious. Although Casa Manteca is Cadiz’s most famous restaurant, no Gadetanos (People from Cádiz) They really go there because it’s very crowded. We might as well head to Cumbres Mayores, in the northeast of the old town, which has just as much history, atmosphere and quality ingredients. The best thing to ask is click (Fried pig skin).
A five-minute walk from there, Ultramarinos Bar El Veedor is part deli, part café, and my favorite place to buy cold cuts, cheese, anchovies, and olives to pick up or eat at the bar with sherry.
For the past four months, I’ve been working at La Cueva Del Pájaro Azul, the city’s newest archaeological site. We discovered a port and shipyard dating back to the Phoenician era – around the 3rd century BC. Then these underground rooms came back to a second life in the 1960s as one of Spain’s most famous flamenco clubs: Blue Bird Cave. Taking a tour really gives you a perspective on how Cadiz is one of the oldest cities in Europe.
For something a bit more modern, I’d head to Espacio Ecco. This art gallery in a former barracks has some great modern pieces and a good collection of street art and paintings that grew out of the La Movida movement in the 1970s.
Many visitors to Cádiz don’t skip the old city walls, but I really recommend visiting Paseo Marítimo. This chic neighborhood is on Playa de la Victoria beach and is a really nice place for an evening walk, perhaps stopping by some small shops and independent boutiques, then heading to one of the beach bars for a drink. There are also some really excellent restaurants here, such as Nahu Beach and Arsenio Manila. For something more authentic, head to the eastern side of town overlooking Cádiz Bay and the José León de Carranza Bridge. There are amazing views of the harbor with all its ships. It’s a surprisingly quiet and peaceful place: don’t miss the little seafood shack at the end of the quayside called Viento de Levante. The locals love it.
La Alameda Apodaca, a park on the north side of town, is a very romantic park, with plenty of winding cobbled paths, fountains, trees, and statues. The best time to go is just before dark, when you can watch the lamps light up as the sun sinks into the sea. If you are in the new part of town, Varela Gardens is very popular and historically interesting: many Phoenician and Roman tombs were discovered, and you can still discover some burial mounds.
Circo Duende is the place I always head to for a beer. It’s located in the city’s tallest district and has a bohemian feel and live music. For something a little fancier, you don’t need to stay at the Alquimia or the Cathedral Hotel for drinks on their balconies; Both have amazing city views. In La Alameda, La Colonial or El Kioskito de la Alameda are lovely cocktail spots, with outdoor seating right next to the gardens and the sea. For dancing, Ykebana on Paseo Marítimo is always packed with locals and has loud music until the early hours.
Many of the city’s finest old mansions have been converted into short-term rental apartments. One of my favorites is Candelaria10 (starting at £105 per night for two), located in a former convent in one of Cádiz’s most beautiful squares.
Pilar Gil She is a ballerina, archaeologist and art historian who has lived in Cadiz for 23 years