Of all the restaurants here listed perhaps none is as innovative and creative as Casa Marcelo. Located adjacent to the cathedral square in an unassuming and intimate space, the creative team behind Casa Marcelo have sought to unite robust Galician produce with the clean precision of Japanese cuisine. This fusion presents one of the most enlightened dining experiences one is likely to find in Santiago, if not the entire country. The menu makes for a joyful read given the depth of surprising innovation, though a discerning eye could readily identify iconic Galician preparations in all their eastern finery. Casa Marcelo is undoubtedly essential eating for all who travel to Santiago and should not be missed.
Known locally as simply ’16,’ O Dezaseis has been experimenting with classic Galician dishes for over 20 years and has become the shining star of Santiago’s vibrant culinary cosmos. Set within a renovated stable, this rustic lunch house – or casa de xanthar – retains many of its original features, creating a space that exudes character and spirit. This charming establishment also boasts a signature dish of grilled octopus (polpo a grella) that has achieved an almost mythic status among santiagues and should be top priority for intrepid foodies visiting the municipality.
Named after a region in the province of Leon, Bierzo Enxebre marries Galician culinary traditions with that of its namesake to craft a fulfilling dining experience. Despite such diverse influences, the menu remains deliberate and established, listing seasonal treats such as Caldo Gallego and Gazpacho, all accompanied by a selection of carefully curated wines from the Bierzo region. What stands out among the various inspired dishes, though, are the platters of cured meats and local cheeses that, in their honesty and simplicity, convey the quality and freshness of the regional produce. Enxebre really is the one of the best ways to sample all that Santiago, and indeed Bierzo, has to offer.
Bierzo Enxebre, Rúa da Troia, 10, 15704 Santiago de Compostela, A Coruña, Spain
The taberna at Abastos 2.0 represents a more conceptual contingent in food culture and does so under a veil of unassuming modesty. The restaurant consists of a single under-lit table that traverses the entire space; reinforcing the community aspect of the dining experience and returning a sense of ceremony to the act of eating. Offering a menu that changes daily, based on the freshest produce sourced at local markets allows each visit to Abastos to be profoundly unique. The ephemeral nature of the dining experience coupled with the perfect simplicity of the food makes Abastos 2.0 unmissable for those who seek wonder, adventure, and, most importantly, delicious tapas.
Antollos, located on the Rúa das Orfas, is one Santiago’s prime purveyors of pinchos – tapas served on a toothpick, with or without bread – and manages to maintain a casual, laid-back atmosphere. As a result, Antollos has become a refuge for those seeking rest and relaxation from the vibrant throngs of Santiago’s busy streets. One of the strengths of Antollos is certainly the sheer variety, not only offering a wide range of pinchos, but empanadas and traditional tortilla. This is not to mention the plethora of wines to choose from, made all the more pleasurable by the informed and approachable staff, ever-willing to assist even the most uninitiated diners.