Toledo might be best known for its architecture but it’s also home to some incredible restaurants. The local cuisine is a melting pot of flavours, as Toledo is often called the ‘city of three cultures’ thanks to the Jews, Muslims and Christians who lived side by side here for centuries. The variety and richness found in the food here makes it an exciting place for foodies to explore. Here’s our pick of the ten best places to enjoy a special meal in Toledo.
Restaurant, Spanish, $$$
Food and beer pairing at La Abadia | Photo courtesy of La Abadia.
This unique restaurant is located in the stunning 16th–century Crafts House building, with various dining spaces tucked inside its original maze-like stone passages and vaulted cellars. La Abadia, or The Abbey, creates both tasting and a la carte menus full of tapas and other plates perfect for sharing. Staff are happy to recommend the perfect beer from their great selection to pair with your food.
Food and beer pairing at La Abadia. Photo courtesy of La Abadia.
There’s no better place to try the local speciality suckling pig than at the modern, classy La Fábrica de Harinas (meaning ‘the flour factory’), which is part of the four-star San Juan de los Reyes hotel. Service is attentive and plates are as pretty as they are delicious. In the warmer months, bag an outdoor table for dinner or cocktails.
Located in a characterful 12th-century building formerly home to a Jewish family, Restaurante Adolfo is one of Toledo’s fancier places to dine. Traditional dishes like cordero are given the gourmet treatment and paired with an exquisite selection of local wines. The chef likes to visit tables to check everyone’s happy, which is always a good sign. Be sure to take the lift up to the top floor to enjoy the spectacular views from their terrace.
Enjoy a modern take on Castilian specialities at this welcoming, traditional restaurant right in the centre of Toledo’s Jewish quarter. La Orza is mentioned in the Michelin guide for its excellent cooking and use of high-quality produce, and is the sort of place where you might find yourself rubbing shoulders with a Spanish celebrity or two. The rustic-style dining room is intimate, and with only a small number of tables available you’ll want to book ahead.
Tucked away in an upmarket neighbourhood of Toledo is the city’s only Michelin-starred restaurant, El Carmen de Montesion. Chef/owner Pepe Rodriguez is best known as a judge on Spanish Masterchef. Choose from the a la carte menu or a seasonal degustation menu, enjoyed in the impeccably modern, bright designer dining room or romantic outdoor terrace.
Get a taste of Toledo’s multicultural heritage at this Middle Eastern restaurant in the Old Town. The dining room is decked out to look like a traditional Moorish building, and every item on the simple but excellent menu is made entirely from scratch. Friendly, English-speaking staff are happy to talk you through any unfamiliar items. For those with a sweet tooth, their heavenly baklava is impossible to resist.
If you want to try a gourmet version of some of Spain’s famous seafood and rice dishes, book a table at local favourite La Mar Salá. The finest local ingredients are whipped up into fanciful creations that are almost too pretty to eat. Add the attentive service and extensive Spanish wine selection, and you’re in dining heaven. It’s a five-minute taxi trip from the centre of town.
Seafood fans will love Casa Valero where, despite Toledo’s distance from the coast, freshness and flavour is the main priority. This truly Spanish venue is perfect for either a formal dinner or just a selection of excellent tapas with a few glasses of wine at the bar. It’s slightly outside the town centre but very much worth the trip.
Sit down to some of Toledo’s best seafood tapas at El Peñón, a lively, unpretentious Spanish restaurant. No matter how busy it gets (and it’s never quiet here) the waiters will somehow manage to find you a table. Beautifully presented plates include local anchovies and pulpo a la plancha (grilled octopus), but don’t forget to leave room for dessert. Great value food at a truly local restaurant.
The countryside around Toledo is stunning, and you can get the best view of the green valley next to the city from glass-walled restaurant and the elegant terrace at Hierbabuena. The name of this restaurant means peppermint, and it seems fitting for a place with not just great views of nature but a focus on using fresh, local ingredients in their innovative dishes.