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Meals at the Albergues

Rmcgwn

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
nADA
Would it be possible to join other peregrinos at albergues that have the dinner on offer [menu of the day] even though I wouldn't be lodging there? I would like to share a meal with peregrinos for good conversation and maybe meet some spanish speaking peregrinos. Is it possible to know ahead of time which albergues offer dinner and any reviews about them? I would be using the Wise Pilgrim guide and app. Possibly I could send an email before arriving. I also want to support the albergues. Do any offer a mid day meal while you're in transit? I would hope other peregrinos would enjoy "la sobremesa" as well.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Would it be possible to join other peregrinos at albergues that have the dinner on offer [menu of the day] even though I wouldn't be lodging there? I would like to share a meal with peregrinos for good conversation and maybe meet some spanish speaking peregrinos. Is it possible to know ahead of time which albergues offer dinner and any reviews about them? I would be using the Wise Pilgrim guide and app. Possibly I could send an email before arriving. I also want to support the albergues. Do any offer a mid day meal while you're in transit? I would hope other peregrinos would enjoy "la sobremesa" as well.
Honestly, while I usually dined with other pilgrims, it was usually not at the albergue, but at a bar nearby, or sometimes attached to the albergue. I don't know that you would be accomdated at one of the parochial albergues that offer a communal meal if you aren't staying there, but there are many private albergues that serve an optional "family style" meal that you can probably pay for if you aren't staying there.
You can also just arrange to meet for dinner with the Pilgrims that you walk with.
 

David

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
This is only my personal opinion, I don't offer it as some sort of truth, so please forgive me -

Apologies - but I don't think one can tourist this - one can only be this - and I find this to be true, as sometimes I visit Camino and offer my first aid and pastoral care from driving around in my Citroen Berlingo mini-camper, and sometimes I walk with a trailer .. and I can tell you with certainty that I just cannot be there in the way the daily walkers are when I have my Berlingo .. I help but I am always on the outside - sure, I often get invited to the communal meals, especially after helping maybe half a dozen or so, and although I am welcome and they are kind to me they and I know that I am on the outside - it is how it is ... walking with is the only way to be a true part of it and so, a true part of the communal meals - so my experience - Buen Camino ;)
 
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C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
When we stopped in and asked that question, we were told that they had purchased their food based upon the number of people staying at the albergue. So we wouldn't be able to eat there, at any price.
Not sure I fully believe this.
Why wouldn't you believe it? Sounds reasonable to me.
 

Rmcgwn

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
nADA
This is only my personal opinion, I don't offer it as some sort of truth, so please forgive me -

- but every single communal meal I have had has been spontaneous - or apparently so - it appears to be that if you aren't there you cannot be there - I understand your wish to 'join in' in a sort of temporary visitor way but unless you join in to the daily Camino how can you join in to the evening Camino? ... it isn't an observer sort of thing, it is an involvement sort of thing .. .. there is the shared talking about the pains and joys, the initial difficulties - overcome - of many different languages, the reasons for being there, that awful or wonderful hill, the horned but gentle cattle on the path, the mad guy leaning out of his doorway, the missing sign that led so many astray, the old woman in black who asks all pilgrims to pray for her in Santiago, the ancient dusty dog that sleeps in the middle of the street and cars drive carefully and slowly round her, the shopkeeper who offers oranges for free . and then the laughter, through the tiredness, the downing of good Rioja in toasts and that special special special shared blessed joy at those moments .. .. unless you too have experienced that day - where your connection???

Sure, you could crash a pilgrim dinner table at a bar .. but they would be each part of one thing and you would not be part of that one thing - it would be like a reporter, fresh from their hotel, sitting at an evening meal with combat soldiers exhausted back from the front ..... it just cannot be bought, it cannot be borrowed, it is a gift from doing, a gift from being .. being a part of that long smelly tired joyful tearful community that builds day by day along those hard trails ...

Apologies - but you cannot tourist this - you can only be this - and I know this to be true, as sometimes I visit Camino and offer my first aid and pastoral care from driving around in my Citroen Berlingo mini-camper, and sometimes I walk with a trailer .. and I can tell you with certainty that I just cannot be there in the way the daily walkers are when I have my Berlingo .. I help but I am always on the outside - sure, I often get invited to the communal meals, especially after helping maybe half a dozen or so, and although I am welcome and they are kind to me they and I know that I am on the outside - it is how it is ... walking with is the only way to be a true part of it and so, a true part of the communal meals - so my experience - Buen Camino ;)
So are you saying that if I walk with you all day, my experience is not the same, because I am a tourist and can't contribute to a conversation because I am not sleeping at the albergue. I would be imposing myself on people who I have seen on the trail, maybe had a conversation. You would see me as an outsider. Why does it matter if I don't stay at the Albergue? Did you think I was not walking like everyone else and why the assumption? I was asking about eating dinner in an Albergue not asking about opinions on where I would sleep. Or have I misunderstood. You didn't mention the dinner or the albergue.
 

Raggy

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017, 2018, 2019
If you're walking, I'm sure you'll meet other walkers and enjoy meals with them. If you sleep in a tent or a hotel rather than at an albergue, you'll still have plenty of shared experiences with other pilgrims. At some albergues there are communal dinners for people who are staying at the albergue. Is that what you're hoping to experience?
 

Walli Walker

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances '2009',Portuguese '2015', Ingles '2015', Fin and Muxia '2015'. Camino from Granada '2017'.
Rmcgwn, I think David was under the impression that the original poster was not walking but just hoped to meet for an evening meal.
 

Rmcgwn

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
nADA
Honestly, while I usually dined with other pilgrims, it was usually not at the albergue, but at a bar nearby, or sometimes attached to the albergue. I don't know that you would be accomdated at one of the parochial albergues that offer a communal meal if you aren't staying there, but there are many private albergues that serve an optional "family style" meal that you can probably pay for if you aren't staying there.
You can also just arrange to meet for dinner with the Pilgrims that you walk with.
Thanks for your suggestion about nearby bars. I've done that and it's a good option. I just never considered the idea before that I could have met up with other peregrinos in albergues as well and I thought maybe that can be done which is why I was asking. I see the issue for the albergues about maybe not having food or space which is why I thought I could send an email ahead. But maybe this just isn't done. I hadn't considered that other peregrinos might not appreciate someone not sleeping with them as an outsider as has been mentioned in another post. No importa. Solo quería compartir la cena y la sobremesa, nada más. Gracias a todos.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Here's an old thread about which albergues have communal meals. Some of them are private, and might allow you to participate


Here's the latest PDF version of the list, which I'm sure is not complete, as I remember eating a set menu dinner with a few other pilgrims at this albergue in Hontanas https://www.gronze.com/castilla-y-leon/burgos/hontanas/albergue-juan-yepes

 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019) VDLP?
Would it be possible to join other peregrinos at albergues that have the dinner on offer [menu of the day] even though I wouldn't be lodging there? I would like to share a meal with peregrinos for good conversation and maybe meet some spanish speaking peregrinos. Is it possible to know ahead of time which albergues offer dinner and any reviews about them? I would be using the Wise Pilgrim guide and app. Possibly I could send an email before arriving. I also want to support the albergues. Do any offer a mid day meal while you're in transit? I would hope other peregrinos would enjoy "la sobremesa" as well.
I assume you are walking and prefer to stay at hotels, is that correct? There are some private albergues that offer dinner to Pilgrims in a variety of fashion. There were a few private albergues that I stayed on different camino, especially the Portuguese and the Norte, that offered a pilgrim meal or a pilgrim menu in an attached bar that the albergue was part of or in a dining area. In the attached bar scenario anyone, pilgrim or not can come in. When it was just a dining area you paid when you gave them your Pilgrim credential. The Donativos do not seem like they would be open to the public or outsiders. I have been in albergues/donativos where we the Pilgrims prepared the meal together. It was wonderful and a great shared experience. I guess you could call or ask and it would be up to the Albergue how they felt about it. I have no idea if this is allowed as I have never seen it or thought about it. There are many albergues that do not allow anyone who is not sleeping there into the albergue so that is something to consider also. Hope you have good Spanish skills to explain what you want to do. Not every person speaks English.
 

MinaKamina

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Jacobspad 2017
One can have inspiring conversations over lunch along the way.


 

Anamiri

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016, 2017, 2019 Camino Frances
Would it be possible to join other peregrinos at albergues that have the dinner on offer [menu of the day] even though I wouldn't be lodging there? I would like to share a meal with peregrinos for good conversation and maybe meet some spanish speaking peregrinos. Is it possible to know ahead of time which albergues offer dinner and any reviews about them? I would be using the Wise Pilgrim guide and app. Possibly I could send an email before arriving. I also want to support the albergues. Do any offer a mid day meal while you're in transit? I would hope other peregrinos would enjoy "la sobremesa" as well.
My 2c.
Often the accommodation and dinner price is combined so 'dinner' alone wouldn't be an option. The place I stayed in Zubiri was one of those.
And I found that lots of people like myself often eat at bars and cafe's as the albergue dinner is too late (or I have gotten tired of pilgrim dinners). I like to eat my main meal in the afternoon when I'm done walking, so usually find myself in a local cafe along with lots of other pilgrims, having a long relaxing meal..
So I wouldn't worry , there are plenty of options for dinner socialising that don't involve albergues.
And some albergues run bars and cafe's that cater to anyone, the municipal in Ages was one of these.
 

Rmcgwn

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
nADA
I assume you are walking and prefer to stay at hotels, is that correct? There are some private albergues that offer dinner to Pilgrims in a variety of fashion. There were a few private albergues that I stayed on different camino, especially the Portuguese and the Norte, that offered a pilgrim meal or a pilgrim menu in an attached bar that the albergue was part of or in a dining area. In the attached bar scenario anyone, pilgrim or not can come in. When it was just a dining area you paid when you gave them your Pilgrim credential. The Donativos do not seem like they would be open to the public or outsiders. I have been in albergues/donativos where we the Pilgrims prepared the meal together. It was wonderful and a great shared experience. I guess you could call or ask and it would be up to the Albergue how they felt about it. I have no idea if this is allowed as I have never seen it or thought about it. There are many albergues that do not allow anyone who is not sleeping there into the albergue so that is something to consider also. Hope you have good Spanish skills to explain what you want to do. Not every person speaks English.
Gracias. Menos mal, no pienso que habrá un problema con español. Es verdad, por teléfono es más difícil pero me puedo defender. Espero que pueda conversarlos muchos a los hispanohablantes.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
Would it be possible to join other peregrinos at albergues that have the dinner on offer [menu of the day] even though I wouldn't be lodging there? I would like to share a meal with peregrinos for good conversation and maybe meet some spanish speaking peregrinos. Is it possible to know ahead of time which albergues offer dinner and any reviews about them? I would be using the Wise Pilgrim guide and app. Possibly I could send an email before arriving. I also want to support the albergues. Do any offer a mid day meal while you're in transit? I would hope other peregrinos would enjoy "la sobremesa" as well.
It depends on the albergue. In my experience on the Camino Frances, in the albergues where we had communal meals they were shared among people staying at the albergue, but I don't know if those were the only people who had asked for the meal. I never thought to ask to share in the communal meal at an albergue where I wasn't sleeping. The one communal meal I had on the Camino Portugues did have some pilgrim guests who were sleeping elsewhere.

I don't think it can hurt to email ahead and ask.
 

Rover

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis, Fall 2016
Would it be possible to join other peregrinos at albergues that have the dinner on offer [menu of the day] even though I wouldn't be lodging there? I would like to share a meal with peregrinos for good conversation and maybe meet some spanish speaking peregrinos. Is it possible to know ahead of time which albergues offer dinner and any reviews about them? I would be using the Wise Pilgrim guide and app. Possibly I could send an email before arriving. I also want to support the albergues. Do any offer a mid day meal while you're in transit? I would hope other peregrinos would enjoy "la sobremesa" as well.

It's going to be hit and miss. Alburgues are happy to accommodate non-resident pilgrims IF they have sufficient food. This is part of the adventure. Don't be shy and check it out but as others have said, you may find yourself talking with a disparate group of pilgrims at a nearby bar, which generally is your best bet.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019) VDLP?
Gracias. Menos mal, no pienso que habrá un problema con español. Es verdad, por teléfono es más difícil pero me puedo defender. Espero que pueda conversarlos muchos a los hispanohablantes.
As I live in Mexico and have a Mexican wife, and pretty much live a Mexican life as opposed to most gringos who live here I do ok with my Spanish. But I am muyyyyy flojo! Buen Camino amigo
 

Rmcgwn

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
nADA
As I live in Mexico and have a Mexican wife, and pretty much live a Mexican life as opposed to most gringos who live here I do ok with my Spanish. But I am muyyyyy flojo! Buen Camino amigo
¿Es neta?:eek: Tiene mujer que es nativa y no ha aprendido español. 🤣Me encanta la lengua y paso tiempo en Baja entonces quiero hablar español todos lugares. Mi esposo no habla español desafortunadamente.🤨
 

sunwanderer

Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP to Santiago
Sep/Oct 2015
Why wouldn't you believe it? Sounds reasonable to me.
At what point would the albergue know exactly how many people would be staying for the night? By 2:00 pm?

That seems a little late to be arranging for food for an albergue. Large bulk orders of food usually need to be planned a day or two in advance. Also, a little extra is often ordered to account for spoilage, breakage, etc.

What happens when someone sits down to a meal and decides not to eat a particular item? If the initial count was accurate, that item is now a leftover.

What happens when a few pilgrims decide to skip eating at the albergue and go out to a local bar or restaurant for their meal? Even more surplus.
 
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David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
That seems a little late to be arranging for food for an albergue. Large bulk orders of food usually need to be planned a day or two in advance.
For what it is worth, the hospitaleros in Grañon told us that they used the donations from one day to buy the food for the next day's supper and always went shopping for the ingredients the day of. I don't know if there were exceptions for Sundays, though.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019) VDLP?
¿Es neta?:eek: Tiene mujer que es nativa y no ha aprendido español. 🤣Me encanta la lengua y paso tiempo en Baja entonces quiero hablar español todos lugares. Mi esposo no habla español desafortunadamente.🤨
I speak enough Spanish. I have my wife when I need it. I also work for a Mexican Real Estate company where I am the only gringo at the company and all business is conducted in Spanish. They haven't fired me yet!!!!!!!!
 

sunwanderer

Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP to Santiago
Sep/Oct 2015
For what it is worth, the hospitaleros in Grañon told us that they used the donations from one day to buy the food for the next day's supper and always went shopping for the ingredients the day of. I don't know if there were exceptions for Sundays, though.
Thanks for the info.

It would seem that Grañon might not be very large. Do you know how many beds they have?
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
They have no beds. Just a bunch of mats on the floors. Although the welcome and the community were wonderful, it wasn't our best night's sleep on the Camino by any stretch of the imagination.

That said, they seem to have a capacity of about 40.
 

Mima1965

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Norte/Primitivo/Frances (2021)
Gracias. Menos mal, no pienso que habrá un problema con español. Es verdad, por teléfono es más difícil pero me puedo defender. Espero que pueda conversarlos muchos a los hispanohablantes.
Tu español es excellente, enhorabuena! Si quieres practicarlo una suherencia

I speak enough Spanish. I have my wife when I need it. I also work for a Mexican Real Estate company where I am the only gringo at the company and all business is conducted in Spanish. They haven't fired me yet!!!!!!!!
Bien dicho! ... Aparte de peregrinos hay muchas ocasiones para hablar español con la gente local y aprender de la cultura. A mucha gente mayor les gusta la compañia.....contar historias y la sobremesa! Los bares de los pueblos estan llenos de oportunidades para el que las busca.
Buen camino a todos!
 

kelleymac

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
March/April 2015, Late April 2016, Sept/Oct 2017, April 2019.
I arrived in Figeac in the early afternoon, and was ending my camino (chemin) there. I was taking the night train to Paris that left about 11pm. So I walked around... and around... and had coffee. Then I went to the tourist info office and asked them if they knew of a place I could hang out waiting for the train. (the train station was minimal with hard plastic chairs.) The woman there suggested the hotel lobby, but I'd have to buy dinner... Or I could get a room. I asked her if she would call a gîte (albergue) and ask if I could join them for dinner-- and that I would pay for dinner. So she did, and the gîte invited me to join them. (The tourist info also told me it was too far to walk (3 km) Ha. ). I was welcomed at the gîte with open arms-- on a table there was cold water with limes, and a dish of dates and almonds. The gîte was run by a couple with children, who had toys and were running about. There was a dark eyed baby watching his mother cook. There was a kitchen and a lounge area upstairs for pelerins, and a dormitory room. The owners brought me a towel and I took a hot shower (heaven). For dinner the wife made an incredible mideastern meal with couscous and lamb. -- After dinner at about 10, I got up, got my pack, said good bye and headed out. The was an incredulous "vous faites de la randonnée la nuit, dans le noir?" (you're hiking at night in the dark?), and I answered in really bad french, "Non non-- Mon chemin est es finie, je vais à la gare.". So I was wished good luck and I wished them all a Bon Chemin-- and it was a perfect way to end that Camino. --

So my advice is that you should always ask-- my guess is that you will be welcomed at most places.
 
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