Spain is well known for its many tasty contributions to the global cookbook. Among the traditional epicurean delights available to those enjoying luxury holidays in Spain are paella, chorizo, Manchego cheese, olives, empanadas, turron, paprika, patatas bravas, rioja wine and of course lots of seafood.
Those who have been on family holidays to Murcia will already be aware that the cuisine in this region of Spain is second to none - however, they may not be aware that much of what they have eaten in Murcia has strong associations with the south-eastern region of Spain.
Paprika, capers, cheese, rice and apricots all have a distinct link with Murcia - Market Uno notes that capers have been a crucial part of Murcian cooking since the 16th century. Those who wish to try out the tantalising flavours of Murcian fare while they are on a villa holiday in Spain may wish to visit some of the following Murcia eateries.
A great thing about eating in Murcia is that much of the food is grown locally, so you can look forward to fat juicy red tomatoes in your salad. A great cafe to visit if you would like a view while you dine is Cafeteria Catedral in the city centre. Described as "lovely" by Viva Murcia, you can enjoy your typically Spanish lunch while observing the daily comings and goings of life in the square outside the entrance to the cathedral.
However - Spanish food is not all that is on offer in Murcia, with the Italian-style Il Caffe Di Roma serving up Mediterranean cuisine from both Spain and Italy. Family holidays in Spain would hardly be complete without some traditional tapas meals and those on family holidays in Murcia are all the more fortunate in this sense.
"Spanish chefs in the know acknowledge that Murcia is home to Spain's best tapas, a result of the city's location between some of the country's richest arable land and the Mediterranean," the Guardian recently claimed. The publication made note of the mussels at La Mejillonera, opposite the Episcopal palace, which come with cumin and chilli "like you'd find in Morocco" and a "lovely" lemon sauce.
Other tapas restaurants that are likely to tickle your tastebuds in the best possible way in Murcia include Los Zagales - which, according to the newspaper, not only serves a tasty crunchy Russian salad but comes complete with friendly locals. If you want to eat in typical Spanish style then make a night of your evening meal and hop from bar to bar trying a different plate of tapas at each one.
Recommended bars in Murcia include Plaza de las Flores, El Bolito, La Tapa, Las Viandas, Las Mulas, Pepico del Tio Gines and Casa Perela - which serves wild mushrooms sauteed in olive oil and garlic shoots, suckling pig and of course paella. However, if moving around between courses is not your style and you wish to eat at one restaurant, then Murcia has many beautiful bistros to choose from.
For quick service, the Spanish Airport Guide recommends Rincon de Pepe, famous for its Paparajotes dessert - made with the leaves of lemon trees. If you are enjoying a luxury holiday in Spain then the guide suggests a trip to the 17th century wine bodega turned restaurant Palacete Rural La Seda for a modern meal made with local ingredients.
Finally, Murcia is famous for its regional wine and so do make sure to try some during your Spanish holiday. The Airport Guide notes that Restaurante El Sordo in the Murcian valley of Ricote offers traditional and creative cuisine served in "very generous" portions, which can be washed down with locally made house wine.