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Food on the via la plata

Karen Cap

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
September2016
My husband and I will walk the via la plata starting in about 2 weeks. I know there are not places to stop for food and supplies between albergue. My question is, do albergue on the Via La Plata offer dinner and breakfasts? Or do I need to carry several days of food between towns? Thank you for any information you may have.
 
A selection of Camino Jewellery
Very rare for albergues on the Via to provide meals. Not enough pilgrims to make it a common practice. But you will not need several days worth of food either. An emergency stash of snacks is very useful and there will be days with no food between night stops. But most of the albergues are in towns or villages with at least one bar or restaurant offering food. Not always a great selection but starvation is unlikely.
 
Very rare for albergues on the Via to provide meals. Not enough pilgrims to make it a common practice. But you will not need several days worth of food either. An emergency stash of snacks is very useful and there will be days with no food between night stops. But most of the albergues are in towns or villages with at least one bar or restaurant offering food. Not always a great selection but starvation is unlikely.
Thanks for the information
 
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Gronze has some info; Not everything on Google Maps is in Gronze; we got as far as Caceres and there were very few fuentes to be seen.
BC
 
Albergues generally don't provide meals, though a couple of donativos do.
I got meals in Fuenterroble and Alcuescar.

Breakfast. You will often find a bar open providing breakfast to the locals. But not always. In those cases buy something the night before.

Lunch. Carry a snack, or as I did, aim to finish by 1-2 pm and get a Menu del Dia as your main meal for the day.

Dinner. You won't find Pilgrim meals, so I usually had a snack in a bar or bought something from a store.

If you use Google maps each day to check a day or two ahead, you can see which villages have shops/bars, (and when they are open) and plan ahead a bit.

I only went without a meal twice, as the place I expected to be open was closed.

Carrying a small snack in your bag is a good idea, just in case.

Obviously in larger towns you will find lots of stores, bars etc.

It's a wonderful Camino, but just requires a bit of planning each day regarding distances, where to stay, where to eat.... Keep an eye on things 2-3 days out. It can be a bit like playing chess. But fun too.

You'll quickly get the hang of it ;)
 
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A selection of Camino Jewellery
No and no.
Generally where there's an albergue there's also someplace to eat but it's a good idea to have something in your backpack which you can eat in case you arrive some place and the shop / bar is closed. Also, during the day, if there's no place to get something along the way, you should carry food and water to see you through.
As others have said, a bit of forward planning is needed.
Buen Camino!
 
Just another bit of context. If you’re planning to eat out in an evening you might have to wait until 8:00 pm or later for restaurants to open. Just something to factor in when you’re looking at the more remote sections.
 
I found it easiest to fall in with local Spanish food times and as "prefiero comer que cenar" (i prefer to eat at lunchtime rather than the evening), I would usually catch a menu del día in arrival to my evening destination. Most places that provide lunch serve it until 3:30 or even as late as 4 pm. So I found I would eat at that time and just have light snack if anything in the evening.

Another thing to bear in mind - any local shop will probably close at 2pm or so until at least 6pm Mon-Fri and not reopen at all on Sat pm. Very few shops open on Sunday though you might catch one in the hour after local mass! So bear that in mind when you stop for the day.
 
€2,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.
I'm thrilled when I can arrive at my destination by 3 or 3:30 when kitchens are still open and you can order a "menu" in the afternoon. However, on caminos like the Via de la Plata and other caminos menos transitados, the stage lengths don't always offer that option (Just did another 40km stage yesterday on the Levante). The option of waiting till 2030 (or later) to order a ración or bocadillo just doesn't work. Too often, the only option is the supermarket - and that can be a problem on weekends. My backpack always has Mexican tortillas and slices of hard cheese as a fall back for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
 
My husband and I will walk the via la plata starting in about 2 weeks. I know there are not places to stop for food and supplies between albergue. My question is, do albergue on the Via La Plata offer dinner and breakfasts? Or do I need to carry several days of food between towns? Thank you for any information you may have.
I agree with replies below. However in some small villages the shop may close at 2.30 on a Saturday afternoon and not open til Monday morning. Be extra careful to shop early/have a stash at weekends away from the main towns. Where you stay on Friday will be able to advise.
 
The other key things to watch are weekends when many places are closed and due to your start date you will ate some point run into the week of Semana Santa the week before March 31st.
 
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Lots of good advice above. I will add that the VDLP is not commercialised at all like the northern caminos and so establishments look after locals primarily. In towns you might catch a bar open early for workers, but they don't tend to open just for pilgrims. Water can be an issue too, especially on the southern half, always fill up at a bar..

But it's beautiful, an epic camino in every way!
 
Albergues generally don't provide meals, though a couple of donativos do.
I got meals in Fuenterroble and Alcuescar.

Breakfast. You will often find a bar open providing breakfast to the locals. But not always. In those cases buy something the night before.

Lunch. Carry a snack, or as I did, aim to finish by 1-2 pm and get a Menu del Dia as your main meal for the day.

Dinner. You won't find Pilgrim meals, so I usually had a snack in a bar or bought something from a store.

If you use Google maps each day to check a day or two ahead, you can seen which villages have shops/bars, (and when they are open) and plan ahead a bit.

I only went without a meal twice, as the place I expected to be open was closed.

Carrying a snack in your bag is a good idea, just in case.

Obviously in larger towns you will find lots of stores, bars etc.

It's a wonderful Camino, but just requires a bit of planning each day regarding distances, where to stay, where to eat.... Keep an eye on things 2-3 days out. It can be a bit like playing chess.

You'll quickly get the hang of it ;)
Agree the biggest trap I found was small villages with limited store opening times or ones where everything is closed because of feast days. The exception being bakeries. The host at your accommodation will be able to tell you
Small tins of tuna etc are a great standby with crackers
 
Like @happymarkos in post #14, I recommend the small tins of tuna. After the kind recommendation of @wanda I also began keeping tins of the Isabel pasta salads in my hiking trailer. The Isabel pasta salads were excellent and really worth trying.
I often bought food for the next day’s breakfast and lunch at the supermarket or tienda - hard cheese, baguette, fruit - and gosh it all tasted wonderful as I sat and admired the stunning landscape and enjoyed the sounds of nature on the VDLP and Sanabres. The usual trail mix or almonds were terrific too.
Buen Camino on this very beautiful camino -
Cheers from Oz -
Jenny
 
€2,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.
Hi @Karen Cap - if you switch over to the Camino Sanabres at Granja de Moruela, after some days you’ll arrive at Rionegro del Puente. This town has the most wonderful restaurant, Me Gusta Comer. This restaurant offers one of the best pilgrim meals I have ever had the good fortune to eat - in May 2022 it was five courses for €15 including wine and digestivos. It was absolutely magnificent and a highlight on that camino.
Also, if you eat pork, I can thoroughly recommend the braised pork cheeks which some restaurants on the VDLP feature - they’re celestial!
Buen Camino!
Cheers from Oz -
Jenny
 
Hi @Karen Cap - if you switch over to the Camino Sanabres at Granja de Moruela, after some days you’ll arrive at Rionegro del Puente. This town has the most wonderful restaurant, Me Gusta Comer. This restaurant offers one of the best pilgrim meals I have ever had the good fortune to eat - in May 2022 it was five courses for €15 including wine and digestivos. It was absolutely magnificent and a highlight on that camino.
Also, if you eat pork, I can thoroughly recommend the braised pork cheeks which some restaurants on the VDLP feature - they’re celestial!
Buen Camino!
Cheers from Oz -
Jenny
Don't forget. Me Gusta Comer is closed on Wednesdays.
 
Hi @Karen Cap - if you switch over to the Camino Sanabres at Granja de Moruela, after some days you’ll arrive at Rionegro del Puente. This town has the most wonderful restaurant, Me Gusta Comer. This restaurant offers one of the best pilgrim meals I have ever had the good fortune to eat - in May 2022 it was five courses for €15 including wine and digestivos. It was absolutely magnificent and a highlight on that camino.
Also, if you eat pork, I can thoroughly recommend the braised pork cheeks which some restaurants on the VDLP feature - they’re celestial!
Buen Camino!
Cheers from Oz -
Jenny

My one regret in heading North from Granja to Astorga, rather than West on the Sanabres
I might have to go back and walk the Sanabres just to visit Me Gusta Comer :rolleyes:
 
The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
My backpack always has Mexican tortillas and slices of hard cheese as a fall back for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
The tortillas are a great idea, A package is a bit heavy until a few are eaten, but the tradeoff is they take up very little room in your backpack and stay fresh for days. On the long distance trails in the US,they are very popular to carry, along with a jar of peanut butter to go with.

My one regret in heading North from Granja to Astorga, rather than West on the Sanabres
I might have to go back and walk the Sanabres just to visit Me Gusta Comer :rolleyes:
I will be on the Sanabres this spring and I have changed up my plans a bit for the sole purpose of having a meal at "Me Gusto Comer". 😃
 
if you switch over to the Camino Sanabres at Granja de Moruela, after some days you’ll arrive at Rionegro del Puente. This town has the most wonderful restaurant, Me Gusta Comer. This restaurant offers one of the best pilgrim meals I have ever had the good fortune to eat - in May 2022 it was five courses for €15 including wine and digestivos. It was absolutely magnificent and a highlight on that camino.
I wrote about my experience at this restaurant after my camino in 2017. It still amuses me to read this.

"I had just rolled into Rionegro. The only accommodation is the very fine albergue, and when I went in, there was a group of pilgrims sitting around the table who turned out to be Irish. It was very late in the day and I was famished. When I asked where I could get some food, they all enthusiastically pointed in unison, indicating the restaurant across the road. Off I went and I was greeted by the owner, a lady, who sat me down at one of the 20 or so totally empty tables. She then explained, I think, that the cook had gone home, but she'd get him back, and proceeded to do just that over her mobile phone. I didn't think that this was very promising, but I ordered a vino tinto, and we waited.

A few minutes later, in rushed this quite extraordinary man, looking a bit like a leprechaun, in bright green shorts and extravagant Hawaiian shirt, with a wild mop of unruly hair. After a few words with the lady, he made an immediate start on my Menu del Dia, in full view of me, at the far end of the restaurant. I was given soup, which only took a few minutes to reheat, then he began the main course and I realised he was putting on a real performance for my benefit. An operatic CD was playing, and he began to sing along in a loud, very passable tenor voice while he prepared the main course. This involved hilarious theatrical flourishes as though he were a magician performing a trick. The sliced pork with potatoes and vegetables was very much to my taste, and when I requested a refill of vino tinto, he produced a large carafe of the stuff, complete with a blue ribbon tied around it. A delicious sweet and coffee followed, and I indicated that I'd like to sit outside and have a smoke. He beamed at this, and insisted on carrying both the coffee, and still virtually-full carafe of wine to a table in the street, opposite the albergue, where he proceeded to sit down opposite me, produced his own pack and offered me one. At this point we were joined by the Irish contingent, who must have been watching the antics from the albergue. We all, including the chef, polished off the wine, followed by shots of whiskey from a large flask which he produced, (again with a dramatic flourish) from his pocket. He chatted amiably in an accent that completely defeated all of us, but that didn't seem to matter. Come 11pm, (one of the Irish guys had the albergue key in his pocket), I thought it time to call a halt, and asked for “la cuenta”. “Diez euros” says he, and he cleared the table, locked up the restaurant, and wandered off up the street."

Of course I got an important detail wrong. The lady must have been just cleaning up, but my complete lack of conversational Spanish deluded me. The chef was of course the owner, Tio, and he is just as remarkable as described. I hope his restaurant is still flourishing.
 
I wrote about my experience at this restaurant after my camino in 2017. It still amuses me to read this.
Paul, I remember reading this post of yours🙂, and also a few other ones enthusiastically telling of their remarkable "not to be missed" experience at the restaurant with the chef's wonderful meals...can't wait!
 
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Everybody, sometime last year there was an excellent thread that included cheap nutritious lunch/dinner ideas. Presumably it didn't start that way because I cannot for the life of me find it. I thought it might be useful to add into this thread if somebody could point the way?
 
The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
I wrote about my experience at this restaurant after my camino in 2017. It still amuses me to read this.

"I had just rolled into Rionegro. The only accommodation is the very fine albergue, and when I went in, there was a group of pilgrims sitting around the table who turned out to be Irish. It was very late in the day and I was famished. When I asked where I could get some food, they all enthusiastically pointed in unison, indicating the restaurant across the road. Off I went and I was greeted by the owner, a lady, who sat me down at one of the 20 or so totally empty tables. She then explained, I think, that the cook had gone home, but she'd get him back, and proceeded to do just that over her mobile phone. I didn't think that this was very promising, but I ordered a vino tinto, and we waited.

A few minutes later, in rushed this quite extraordinary man, looking a bit like a leprechaun, in bright green shorts and extravagant Hawaiian shirt, with a wild mop of unruly hair. After a few words with the lady, he made an immediate start on my Menu del Dia, in full view of me, at the far end of the restaurant. I was given soup, which only took a few minutes to reheat, then he began the main course and I realised he was putting on a real performance for my benefit. An operatic CD was playing, and he began to sing along in a loud, very passable tenor voice while he prepared the main course. This involved hilarious theatrical flourishes as though he were a magician performing a trick. The sliced pork with potatoes and vegetables was very much to my taste, and when I requested a refill of vino tinto, he produced a large carafe of the stuff, complete with a blue ribbon tied around it. A delicious sweet and coffee followed, and I indicated that I'd like to sit outside and have a smoke. He beamed at this, and insisted on carrying both the coffee, and still virtually-full carafe of wine to a table in the street, opposite the albergue, where he proceeded to sit down opposite me, produced his own pack and offered me one. At this point we were joined by the Irish contingent, who must have been watching the antics from the albergue. We all, including the chef, polished off the wine, followed by shots of whiskey from a large flask which he produced, (again with a dramatic flourish) from his pocket. He chatted amiably in an accent that completely defeated all of us, but that didn't seem to matter. Come 11pm, (one of the Irish guys had the albergue key in his pocket), I thought it time to call a halt, and asked for “la cuenta”. “Diez euros” says he, and he cleared the table, locked up the restaurant, and wandered off up the street."

Of course I got an important detail wrong. The lady must have been just cleaning up, but my complete lack of conversational Spanish deluded me. The chef was of course the owner, Tio, and he is just as remarkable as described. I hope his restaurant is still flourishing.
Wow, Paul! I love, Love, LOVE your account of the exceptional Me Gusta Comer - you’ve taken me right back there. Thank you!
Cheers - Jenny
 
My one regret in heading North from Granja to Astorga, rather than West on the Sanabres
I might have to go back and walk the Sanabres just to visit Me Gusta Comer :rolleyes:
The Sanabres - and Me Gusta Comer! - are eagerly waiting for you and Pat, Robo!!!
Cheers - Jenny
 
When my wife and I were on the VldP, we got into the habit of carrying a 1/2 kg package of peanuts with us as backup. (They have a LOT of calories.) Apart from that, we generally bought something from the grocery store for lunch the day before, and always researched the opening hours of the grocery stores in the town we were walking to the next day. Those three things worked out pretty well for us.
 
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I'm on the vdlp now. I carry my own kitchen to make something should the shops be closed, none at all or no restaurants. I have a gas stove, pan and plug in boiling coil. The coil gets used everyday.

The albergues are provisioned with kitchens, but that might only be a microwave. Gas cookers without a lighter, missing cutlery, dreadful cleaning items, and so on.

Then add the contention between meat eaters and vegetarians. It can get tricky at times.

I'm at la calzada de behar. No shop, but the bar does meals. Tonight at 6 pm.

The plug in boiling coil and condensed milk are my most used items.
 
Also - when you stay in towns - quite a few large ones with fantastic places to visit - then you have a plethora of places to eat - and amazing tapas - in Zamora it was memorable! But indeed in some places (like in my avatar pic on left!) the shops/bars were thin on the ground. Nuts and seeds and bananas always good to fill a gap....
 
When I started in Cadîz on March 20, I never had more than 2x 0.5L of water with me. But always a Mars and jelly babies. For me 64kg it was always enough, I didn't die of thirst or starvation. But that's very individual indeed. I’m walking fast and visiting Bars if available.
 
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