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Christmas in Granada and New Year's in Seville--looking for dinner reservations recs

Finalizing our plans for Andalucia and need recommendations for Christmas dinner in Granada and NYE and/or NYD in Seville restaurants. I hope to get reservations and wonder what you all suggest. We are market/grocery store/picnic travelers but try a few lunches or dinner out when traveling. We are not foodies, obviously, or drinkers, but want good local food for a reasonable price (prob a stretch for the holidays). Fire away with your ideas! Thanks! 3 adults.

Posted by
1973 posts

I am assuming by Christmas dinner, you refer to the dinner on Christmas Eve (Dec 24th)? In Spain we call this "Nochebuena", this is when we have our main dinner/celebration of Christmas.

Unfortunately you will find the vast majority of restaurants are closed in Spain, on Christmas Eve, even in the big cities. Nochebuena is a very familial time for us in Spain, spent in one's house with the family. For smaller cities like Granada or Cordoba, it is almost impossible to find a "Spanish" restaurant open on Christmas Eve, but Christmas Day is a little easier.

I'd try looking at different cuisines, for example a Chinese restaurant or a Turkish restaurant. You will have a higher probability of finding those kinds of restaurants open on the 24th. Definitely reserve a table in advance for both Christmas Eve and Day, if you're able to find a restaurant open that is.

As for NYE, you'll encounter no problems (though you'll need to reserve in advance). However, for NYD, you may find a good number of restaurants will be closed again.

Posted by
1522 posts

Ellen - Dec. 25th is the only day that is a public holiday. Most monuments and sights, including the Alhambra, will be closed on the 25th. In general shops will also be closed on the 25th. However, many restaurants and bars will be open.

Big shops will open normal hours on the 24th and 26th (9/10 am-8/10 pm), but on the 24th some smaller shops that normally open 9-2 and 5 -8 ish may not open in the afternoon. Some restaurants and bars will be closed in the evening on the 24th, but enough will be open.

For Granada On Christmas Day:

Dine at a posh restaurant facing the Alhambra.

Carmen Verde Luna Restaurante

Address: Camino Nuevo de San Nicolás, 16, 18010 Granada, Spain

For Seville New Year's eve & Day:

San Marco

Address: Calle Mesón del Moro, 6, 41004 Sevilla, Spain

Phone: +34 954 21 43 90

El Giraldillo

Plaza Virgen de los Reyes, 2, 41004 Sevilla, Spain

Phone: +34 954 21 45 25

https://www.restauranteelgiraldillo.com/

Posted by
1973 posts

RJean - I'm not sure where you are getting your info, but I think you may need to double check it :-)

Big shops will open normal hours on the 24th and 26th (9/10 am-8/10 pm), but on the 24th some smaller shops that normally open 9-2 and 5 -8 ish may not open in the afternoon.

You'll find on the 24th, in general, med-large shops will be open in the morning, but most, if not all, shops will be closed in the afternoon, I would not count on the big ones to stay open normal hrs on the 24th, even el Corte Ingles closes early on Christmas Eve.

Some restaurants and bars will be closed in the evening on the 24th, but enough will be open.

Sorry Rjean, but I gotta call this out, this is simply untrue, especially as it relates to smaller cities like Granada, please see my above explanation.

As for the Restaurants recommended, are you sure they are open on Christmas Eve or Day? You'll certainly have to call ahead to check, I'm a bit doubtful.

PS: Sorry for my "Spanish directness" but I just want to set things straight :)

Posted by
1522 posts

Carlos,

I have a Spaniard work colleague from Seville who I have known for many years. He shared the info with me about restaurants opening during the Christmas holidays in Andalusia. He spent every Christmas in Andalusia with his family.

Posted by
1973 posts

Hi Rjean, thanks for the reply, however what's open during Christmas holidays in general, may not be open on the 24th or 25th specifically. I only say to double check, because in Granada I can assure you that you'll find 95% of resturants closed on Nochebuena.

Posted by
1491 posts

What are the links for the online news websites for Muslims and Jews in Andalucia?
Just as American Jews traditionally go out for Chinese food on Xmas, there must be an equivalent for Andalucia, I'd imagine.
In past years here on the forum this issue came up for Toledo and we were able to find a few restaurants open and serving on these nights...

Posted by
1522 posts

I do trust your knowledge Carlos when it comes to Spain. You are a wealth of information regarding your homeland. You can literally be our personal tour guide on this forum. Do these restaurants I have listed have limited hours during the holidays or are they completely shut down on Christmas day and New Year's?day? I just looked on the restaurant website for example, El Giraldillo restaurante de Seville, listed New Year's eve and New Year's day hours of operation.

Posted by
26 posts

Thanks, RJean and Carlos.
Here is more clarification about our plans. We arrive on the evening of the 24th and plan to eat at the airports before we head into town. My question is about eating on Christmas Day in Granada, so thanks for your suggestions.

Posted by
1522 posts

Ellen I will defer that question to Carlos. He will have a more accurate answer for you for those particular days.

Posted by
1973 posts

Hi Ellen, so in the USA - Christmas dinner is the dinner on Christmas Day, not Christmas Eve? Hmmm that's very interesting, I guess that's the joy of travelling, one finds different celebrations, even for the same holiday! Anyways... ;-)

On the Christmas Day (25th) in Granada, you can count on a greater number of restaurants open during the lunch time, which is main large meal on Christmas day. In Spain, dinner on Christmas day is unremarkable, usually something small at home, as we mainly eat during the lunch, thusly many restaurants would be closed on the night of the 25th. You may be able to get away with a Tapas bar in the touristy centre of Granada.

As for eating the night of 24th at Granada airport, you should know that the airport itself is but a small regional one (there's only one big room), I don't think you will find much in the way of restaurants there, like you do in the USA.

Posted by
1973 posts

@RJean not sure about the specific restaurants you have listed, I'd chance they are open NYE and NYD, but closed the nights of the 24th and 25th, quizas pregunta a tu amigo de Sevilla? ;-)

Posted by
1522 posts

Yeah Carlos, I will confirm it with my Seville compañero de trabajo.

Posted by
6088 posts

Ask your hotel for help with finding restaurants open on those holidays.
We will be in London and have been dealing with all of these closures too. The few places open are restaurants in hotels and they tend to serve Christmas Lunch, a dinner, served mid day.

Posted by
20863 posts

We spent New Years Day including NY eve in Seville a couple of years ago. Our experience matches exactly Carlos's comments. I would give his comments a lot of weight. Hope RJean is posting from recent experience and not just hearsay that does not match our actual experience nearly four years ago.

The day before NYE we had been warned by our walking tour guide that Seville would begin shutting down around mid afternoon and nothing would be open on NY day. She was accurate. We hit the local super market around noon and laid in a supply of snacks, wine, cheeses, fruits, etc. --- and grapes -- grapes are very important. By 5pm very little was open and a couple bars along our path to our hotel were occupied by only one or two person. By 8pm or so it was strangely quiet compare to what it would be like in the US on NYE. At midnight we gathered in the plaza and ate our 12 grapes as the town clock struck the hour. Lots of families and kids, some fireworks, lots of wine, and some festivities, and then everyone headed somewhere else at 12.30.

The next day in Seville we only saw a couple of restaurants associated with big hotels that were open and the lines were long. None of the bars or small restaurants around our hotel were open. There were a lot of people on the sidewalks just strolling around and in the parks, weather was terrific but we did not see any commercial activity. The city was closed. Fortunately we had laid in good supply of food and our hotel had nice rooftop garden for our picnic meals.

Posted by
24 posts

In Granada I'd try Hotel Palacio De Santa Paula, Autograph Collection (a Marriott property). It's in the city center. We stayed there 3 nights and had a great dinner one of the nights. I'm not sure about their hours over Christmas.

Posted by
26 posts

Carlos, in the US people I know celebrate Christmas with a special meal on either the 24th or 25th. For my family, we celebrate it whenever we all are available! (We work in the medical field and usually someone has to work the 24th or 25th. This year, Hubs isn't free until Dec 27.)

I am meeting my adult son in Malaga on the evening of Dec 24. We plan to eat at our connecting airports (me at CDG, him at AMS) as it seems like most places will be closed Dec 24. Our plan is to travel to Granada morning of 25th for a few days. I am interested in a nice meal either in afternoon or evening on Christmas day, but not too late! If it doesn't work out, we will celebrate Christmas on another day!
Suki, we are staying in an apartment, but that's a good idea to ask our host.
Frank, thanks for your reply as well. We are picnickers so your method for NYE and NYD suits us just fine.
And before you all comment on the bad choice of travel dates . . . just let me say when my adult kid who lives in Germany invites me to meet him in Spain (or ANYWHERE, lol) for the holidays, I am there!

Posted by
389 posts

We just flew out of the Granada airport. There are no “restaurants” there. There is one place that has bottled drinks, coffee, chips etc. You might be able to get a pre-made sandwich, but I don’t think they have any hot food. No fast food places at all. The gift shop does sell refrigerated cheese and meat. It is a VERY small airport, with only 4 gates. We arrived two hours before our flight and sat around for 1 hr 45 minutes after checking in, going through security, and buying our bottled drinks.

We were there in late Nov. and every restaurant I had researched and planned to go to (no reservations) was closed for an break during the off season. There were plenty of other restaurants open, just not the ones I had planned on! And their websites said they were open.

I would definitely recommend reservations for Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.

Posted by
4167 posts

Hi Ellen, so in the USA - Christmas dinner is the dinner on Christmas Day, not Christmas Eve? Hmmm that's very interesting, I guess that's the joy of travelling, one finds different celebrations, even for the same holiday! Anyways... ;-)

Same as the UK. Christmas dinner is held on Christmas Day (25th December), a large extravagant lunch typically served around 2 pm, think of a posher Sunday roast (typically turkey but more traditionally goose). Christmas Eve is often celebrated as an evening party with drinks and canapes rather than a sit down meal.

Growing up as a child with Polish grandparents Christmas Eve was always a big affair with an elaborate meal at my nan's house. The following day was a traditional British Christmas lunch so we had the best of both worlds.

These days the Christmas Eve tradition has been passed to me but as we're going to be in Thailand over Christmas we're having our Christmas Eve celebration tomorrow!