Castro Urdiales is a small and charming little town located on Spain’s northern coast, between Santander and Bilbao. It may be small, but it has some great dining options, particularly for fresh seafood, Cantabrian classics and pintxos. Here’s our pick of the best restaurants in town.
Mesón Marinero is one of the best seafood restaurants in town. You’ll be enticed inside not only by its good reputation, but also its elegant facade and charming decor. The restaurant serves everything from soup and rice dishes to grilled fish and meat, but of course the standout dishes are the seafood ones. Make sure to try the baked spider crab, spiny lobster, clams in seafood sauce and local Basque delicacy – goose barnacles.
Bar Javi is an excellent pintxosand tapas spot, with tasty offerings lined up along the bar. Pintxos include green apple with foie gras, ham and tomato jam; croqueta topped with squid in its own ink; and mini rolls filled with bacon and cream cheese. The bar also has more than 40 different types wines and over 20 different types of beer.
La Arboleda, Castro Urdiales | Courtesy of Restaurante La Arboleda, Castro Urdiales
La Arboleda is located near the Parque de La Barrera and is a great quality seafood restaurant with a friendly, family atmosphere. As well as fresh seafood and grilled fish, it offers some good meat dishes too. Visit on Friday nights for a special menu of €70 (USD$70) per couple, which includes cuttlefish, Spanish ham, grilled prawns, grilled fish or meat, one bottle of wine, coffee and a shot.
Located right by the port, Asador El Puerto offers beautiful views over the sea and the mountains from the upstairs outdoor terrace. The restaurant specialises in traditional Cantabrian cuisine and seafood, although it also offers delicious rice dishes, such as paellas, too. Dishes include clams from Galicia, fish soup, prawns from Huelva and steamed mussels. There is also a special three course menu for €39.50 (USD$49) per person.
Set on a lovely sunny square, right opposite the Paseo Maritime, Marisqueria Alfredo is a cosy and casual bar, and a great spot for pintxos and seafood. Sit outside on the terrace and you’ll be able to enjoy charming views of the boats in the port while you eat. The bar is lined with pintxos which you can just help yourself to, while the seafood can be ordered from the menu. Try the octopus salad, squid rings and baked scallops.
Restaurant, Bar, Spanish, Wine, Beer, Cocktails, Pub Grub, $$$
La Fuente, Castro Urdiales | Courtesy of La Fuente, Castro Urdiales
Bar La Fuente has been a town favourite since it opened in 1965. It’s housed on the site of an old fish market and named after a fountain that used to be used by sailors in the area. With whitewashed walls, chunky wooden beams and big wine barrels for tables, it specialises in two dishes – anchovies in vinegar and tortilla(Spanish omelette).
Gastrobar Amarras is perfect spot for gourmet tapas, main dishes and pintxos. They serve beautifully-presented dishes inside mini flower pots, shaped like ice creams or served in little glass jars. The pintxos are innovative and creative, featuring everything from duck with raspberry tapioca and vegetable tempura to cod with gratin and mini shish kebabs. Come here for breakfasts, lunches, dinners, or even just snacks.
Restaurant, Bar, Fusion, Spanish, Wine, Beer, Cocktails, Fast Food, $$$
La Tasca, Castro Urdiales | Courtesy of La Tasca, Castro Urdiales
La Tasca is a casual bar in the centre of Castro Urdiales, which offers crowd-pleasing food. From hamburgers, and sandwiches to pastas and fresh fruit smoothies, there’s something for everyone here. It’s excellent value too – with medium pizzas from €3.50 (USD$4.35) to hamburgers from €2.50 (USD$3.10).
Bar, Restaurant, Food Stall, Spanish, Steakhouse, Fast Food
Sidraeria Marcelo | Courtesy of Sidreria Marcelo, Castro Urdiales
Sidreria Marcelo is a traditional cider bar in the centre of town, which specialises in grilled meats and baked fish, as well as cider. Inside, sit down at chequered tables surrounded by stone walls and enjoy huge hearty meals. They also serve tasty desserts too.
Casa Regio is a simple and cosy place with a large wooden bar, dark wine red walls and two big wine barrels standing outside. It may be small, but offers friendly service and good quality products. Dine on typical Cantabrian dishes such as baked octopus, ham with green beans, mixed seafood platters and giant grilled asparagus.