Bodegón Os Concheiros
Bodegón Os Concheiros is the best place in town to sample the Galician delicacy of polba á feira (boiled octopus). Tender and flavorful, the dish is seasoned here with olive oil, salt, and smoked paprika. The interior is modest – just tables, chairs, and old wine barrels. However, the minimalism shows that the restaurant’s emphasis is on taste rather than aesthetics. This is evident in the other platters available, of jamón asado (strips of roasted ham served with cumin sauce) and pementos de Padrón (small, fried green peppers).
2 Rúa dos Concheiros, Santiago de Compostela, Spain, +34 981 58 86 90
Chef Marcelo Tejedor has formulated an unusual cuisine here at the restaurant that bears his name. He fuses Galician and Japanese cooking as well as elements of Mexican, Peruvian, and Chinese. Recipes like dim sum de cachucha y gambas – dim sum of pork’s head and prawns – showcase Tejedor’s inventiveness. The spirit in which the food is prepared is carried through to the design of the restaurant as well. Casa Marcelo’s open kitchen, communal tables, and reliance on sharing dishes create an immersive dining experience for the guest.
1 Rúa das Hortas, Santiago de Compostela, Spain, +34 981 55 85 80
Enxebre is located just a stone’s throw away from Santiago de Compostela’s cathedral, which is the endpoint of the Camino de Santiago. It is worth making your own pilgrimage to the restaurant in order to sample the best of the cuisine from Bierzo. Try caldeirada de pescados (fish stew), croquetas de cacheira (béchamel croquettes) and filloas de aldea (Galician pancakes). The wooden pews and antique cooking equipment lining the walls give the place a charming, old-fashioned feel.
10 Rúa da Troia, Santiago de Compostela, Spain, +34 981 58 19 09
Traditional Galician cuisine with an imaginative twist is the order of the day at O Dezaseis. This is typified in their approach to octopus – their polba is served á grella, or grilled, as opposed to boiled. Also on the menu are xouvas (small, fried fish), chipirones (baby squid) and lacón con grelos (ham with turnips). Produce is always market-fresh. If you’re in need of something light, there is also a tapas, sausage, and cheese menu. Once a stable, the restaurant has wooden beams and stone walls that give the restaurant a rustic ambiance.
16 Calle de San Pedro, Santiago de Compostela, Spain, +34 981 56 48 80
A Taberna do Bispo
Biting off more than you can chew is a real danger at A Taberna do Bispo, as each delicious tapas dish is laid out along the bar for hungry customers to ogle and salivate over. The premise is an effective one – just make sure you don’t order everything at once. Consider trying out their timbal de vieiras, a scallop dish with potatoes, wild mushrooms, shellfish, and port. Once you’ve made your choice, there is a more formal dining area away from the bar for those who don’t trust their self-control.
37 Rúa do Franco, Santiago de Compostela, Spain, +34 981 58 60 45
La Flor, a quirky cafe decorated with art made from recycled materials, has a varied menu of Galician and international food. If you want to try out the former, go for a Galician tosta, which is bread baked in a wooden stove topped with chicharrones, melted cheese, salt flakes, and paprika. For something a little different, the Tandoori burger – Indian-style range chicken with red onions, lettuce, tomato, and mango chutney – should hit the spot. All items are homemade from local produce. In addition, there are a range of tea infusions, coffees, wines, and cocktails to wet your whistle.
25 Rúa das Casas Reais, Santiago de Compostela, Spain, +34 981 55 63 44
Since 1986 the team behind Los Caracoles has been treating the residents of Santiago de Compostela to their signature dish: snails. They can come served in a smoky paprika sauce, in Albariño (a Galician white wine), or with revueltos. This restaurant is far from a one-trick pony. They also specialize in delectable steaks and a range of seafood, including mussels, clams, cockles, scallops, goose barnacles, calamari, hake, and crab. Situated in the historical center of the city, Los Caracoles offers hearty food for a reasonable price.
14 Rúa da Raíña, Santiago de Compostela, Spain, +34 981 56 14 98
O Curro da Parra
A warm welcome awaits you at O Curro da Parra. This is a cozy venue where you can opt for informal tapas bar-style seating on the ground floor or a well-appointed dining room upstairs. Products of Galicia are the main components of the innovative dishes here. These include marinated pork loins with quince jelly and roasted pine nuts, or monkfish with pea purée, truffles, garlic, and olive oil. Bottles from esteemed Spanish wine-producing regions Ribera del Duero, Rioja, and the Galician Rías Baixas and Ribeira Sacra are excellent complements to the food.
20 Rúa Travesa, Santiago de Compostela, Spain, +34 981 55 60 59
Abastos 2.0 operates two locations at Santiago de Compostela’s bustling market, the Mercado de Abastos. The offerings are thus as fresh as possible, and due to the market’s proximity the owners run an ever-changing daily menu that differs according to seasonality. At the Ghalpón premises you can receive a selection of five tapas followed by a vegetable dish, fish dish, meat dish, and two desserts. There are also optional matching wines if you’re willing to part with a little more cash. This is a true gastronomic destination in the city.
Rúa das Ameas, Stalls 4 and 13-18, Santiago de Compostela, Spain, +34 981 57 61 45
O Gato Negro
As a long-time staple of Santiago de Compostela’s culinary scene, O Gato Negro are experts in the preparation of traditional Galician foods. Examples of these traditional foods are berberechos (steamed cockles), orella de cerdo (boiled pig’s ears with paprika), raxo (sautéed pig loin marinated in paprika), and the ubiquitous polbo á feira, or boiled octopus. The restaurant’s lack of ostentation has done no harm to its popularity. As a favorite with the locals, the few coveted seats here fill up fast. If you manage to nab a place, order a cool glass of Estrella Galicia to wash everything down.
Rúa da Raíña, Santiago de Compostela, Spain, +34 981 58 31 05