The Most Typical Dishes From Galicia You Should Try

Polpo a la Gallega | ©FreeCat / Flickr
Polpo a la Gallega | ©FreeCat / Flickr
Photo of Esme Fox
12 June 2017

Galicia is the region of Spain that sits right in the northwest corner, bordered by Portugal, the Atlantic Ocean and the regions of Asturias and Castilla y León. Galicia has a unique cuisine – here it’s not so much about paella and gazpacho, but more about boiled octopus, fresh seafood platters and hearty stews. The portion sizes in Galicia are also about twice the size of everywhere else in Spain, so you certainly won’t go hungry. Here are some of the most typical dishes from Galicia that you should try.

Pulpo a la Gallega

Also sometimes called Pulpo a Feira, this is Galician style octopus and is the most iconic dish in the whole of the region. Fairly simple to make, it consists of a layer of thinly sliced potatoes, topped with boiled octopus and sprinkled with paprika. It is typically served on a thick wooden dish and eaten with cocktail sticks.

Pulpo a la Gallega, Galicia | ©Javier Lastras / Flickr

Caldo Gallego

A hearty Galician stew, caldo Gallego contains various ingredients such as cabbage, potatoes, white beans, beef, sausage and chorizo. It’s perfect for those cold and wet Galician winters to keep you toasty and warm.

Caldo Gallego | ©Takeaway / Wikimedia Commons

Empanadas Gallegas

A type of Galician empanada, these large pies are pastry cases filled with a variety of ingredients. The most typical is tuna, tomato and onion, although you can also get minced pork or vegetable varieties.

Empanadas Gallegas | ©Tamorlan / Wikimedia Commons

Pimientos de Padrón

Usually ordered as a tapas plate, pimientos de padrón are small green peppers which are fried and sprinkled with sea salt. You’ll find them on almost every tapas menu across Spain, however they originate from the area of Padrón, found in Galicia, southwest of the city Santiago de Compostela. The residents of the area are so proud of these small vegetables that they hold a festival in their honour each August.

Pimientos de Padrón – Galician dishes | ©Jessica Spengler / Flickr


Bordering the Atlantic Ocean, it’s no wonder Galicia is known for its excellent seafood. If you want to taste some of the best in one dish, try the mariscada Gallega. A seafood platter, it’s typically crabs, oysters, mussels, razors, clams and goose barnacles, but could contain any fresh shellfish.

Mariscada Gallega | ©Moritz Barcelona/ Flickr

Lacón con grelos

A typical Galician meat dish, lacón con grelos is made from pork shoulder with turnip greens. Chorizo and sausages may also feature.

Lacón con Grelos – Galician cuisine | ©Tamorlan / Wikimedia Commons

Tarta de Santiago

One of the most famous Galician desserts – tarta de Santiago is a type of sponge cake made from ground almonds and topped with powdered sugar. It usually features the cross of Santiago on the top. The best can of course be found in the city of Santiago de Compostela.

Tarta de Santiago | ©ManelZaera

Merluza a la Gallega

A dish made from hake fish, merluza a la Gallega is another classic Galician meal. As well as hake, it features potatoes, peas, peppers and onions. It’s flavoured with sweet paprika, garlic, laurel leaves, salt and pepper.

Merluza a la Gallega | ©Hotel Gastronomico Casa Rosalia / Flickr


OK so this one’s not specifically a dish, it’s a drink, which is made at Galician fiestas and parties. Not just a simple drink however, queimada is a whole experience. Made from Aguadiente liquor, sugar, coffee beans, lemon peel and cinnamon sticks, it is set on fire and stirred until all the sugar has melted. Known as witch’s brew, it’s quite a sight to behold – take a look in this video below.

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