The Cariñena region is located in a privileged spot indeed. In addition to being surrounded by a magnificent natural landscape, it is close to several attractions of great interest for culinary tourism.
“El Tubo” (or “the Tube”) is a network of narrow streets in Zaragoza, and home to the main tapas area of the city. This zone is accessible directly from Plaza de España and is located between El Coso, Alfonso I, Don Jaime I and Mendéz Núñez. The streets that form the area are August 4, Mártires, Libertad, Ossau, Cinegio, Estébanes, Blazon Aragonés, Pine and Plaza Sas.
El Plata Music Cafe
This is the home of the historical live music cafe El Plata, under the baton of Bigas Luna. The comparsa and cuplé of Surrealism for which the place became so famous years ago is still alive and well here. Visitors can take part in several shows while also enjoying the various tapas at the restaurant. Some of the most ancient eateries include Casa Lac, dating from 1825.
The “Tube,” located in the city center, has known better and worse times. In the 90’s the area was largely abandoned by the people of Zaragoza, leading many bars and venues to close. Only a few of the originals survived but many have returned with renewed energy. Currently the Tube is considered one of the best areas for tapas-hopping in Spain.
Here, visitors can enjoy delicious tapas, bite-sized culinary creations that range from the most traditional (authentic classics of the city) to the most avant-garde versions. All tapas, however, have some things in common: their high quality ingredients and beautiful presentation.
Annual Tapas Contest
One of the region’s most special events is the annual Zaragoza and Provincia Tapas Contest. Several tapas bars from the Tube compete. It is the oldest competition of its kind in Spain and is organized by the Association of Cafes and Bars. Hundreds of citizens and visitors attend this event, following a trail through more than 100 establishments, each of which presents its best culinary creations in tapas-form. It is the visitors, in the end, who decide the winners in each category, electing the best toothpick tapa; the best original tapa, the best Mediterranean tapa and the best Aragonese tapa each year.
Please tell us about yourself. Where does your passion for cuisine come from?
I’m Basque, so that’s the beginning of everything. I grew up in the kitchen and dining room of my grandmother, mum and aunties.
Please tell us about yourself. Where does your passion for cuisine (and wine) come from?
I did my studies in Tourism and, during the weekends, worked at El Celler de Can Roca (a 3 Michelin star restaurant in Girona). I completed a formal training at the restaurant and stayed there working for almost 5 years. There, I learned a tremendous amount about food, wines and the pairing of the two. It was at that time that I fell in love with this world.
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