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Roncesvalles

Traveller44

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Anyone have any restaurant recommendations in Roncevalles. Thinking when I make it here a nice meal and a bottle of wine might be in order
 
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Rick M

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
April ('16,'18, '19, 21)
For most people who make it to Roncesvalles, a cigarette and a firing squad are in order!

The area is really just the monastery and a few out buildings- its not a town, and your choices are few. The majority of pilgrims eat the pilgrim dinner, which is, I'm sure, not what you have in mind. In this case, the Hotel is about the only real choice, or the bar at Casa Sabina.

A word on Spanish Restaurants is in order for beginners from NA. As a pilgrim, you are really out of sync with the timing for restaurants in Spain. None open before 8 pm, and lots open at 9. Some do a plated meal for one, others are expecting to serve a table family style, and you order a steak, some salads, and a fish, and share it around. Spaniards are more likely to eat their main meal at lunch, while dinner is usually a series of snacks (Tapas or Pintxos) with drinks, often while standing at the bar. Now a sit-down multicourse dinner in the traditional style is certainly available, but such places will only be found in the larger centers, or in a 3+ star hotel. For the most part, Pilgrims eat the pilgrim meal (which comes with wine automatically) because it is served EARLY, and most pilgrims are heading for bed about the time the Spaniards are heading out to meet up with friends.

As with many veteran pilgrims, I have learned to eat the Menu del Dia (a set multi course affair) for lunch at a restaurant as the main meal, and go with the flow for dinner. In many small towns along the Camino, the pilgrim meal or snacks at the bar will be your only real choice for dinner, unless you are staying in a place where you can cook for yourself.

Buen Camino!
 

Traveller44

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Great information. I am looking forward to many pilgrim dinners and Menu del dia, my hope was a dinner in Roncesvalles, it would have been a salute to my wife who contracted brain cancer before we got the chance to walk as we had planned. I will however have it in SJPP instead .Keep all that wonderful information coming, it will make all of the first timers , walk easier. I think the idea to have the larger meal at lunch is spot on. Buen Camino
 

Rick M

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
April ('16,'18, '19, 21)
SJPP will give you many, and more familiar choices. Indulge, Basque cuisine is superb!
 
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Latecomer

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
VDLP (Sept 2015)

CF SJPDP-SdC+
(Sept/Oct 2018)
I had the Menú del día at Casa Sabina. I had a Bacalao starter, a lamb stew, and an attractive dessert. It included an acceptable bottle of Tempranillo for about 12 Euros (in 2018). I enjoyed it a lot and by eating midday there was no conflict with the Pilgrim's Mass.

IMG_2856-COLLAGE.jpg
¡Buen Camino!
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
When I've stayed in the albergue in Roncesvalles you are given the option to buy dinner and/or breakfast. My recommendation is to skip the breakfast option and eat when you get to Burguete or Espinal. If you decide to take the dinner you will be given two different seating options, and assigned to the restaurant at Casa Sabina or La Posada, where you will he seated with other pilgrims. The food is okay, but the company is usually much better.
It's not the place to find a gourmet dinner.
 

Traveller44

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
When I've stayed in the albergue in Roncesvalles you are given the option to buy dinner and/or breakfast. My recommendation is to skip the breakfast option and eat when you get to Burguete or Espinal. If you decide to take the dinner you will be given two different seating options, and assigned to the restaurant at Casa Sabina or La Posada, where you will he seated with other pilgrims. The food is okay, but the company is usually much better.
It's not the place to find a gourmet dinner.
I booked a reservation today for Roncesvalles and fortunate for me I did exactly that. I am an earlier riser , a habit I have been unable to shake since I retired and figured waiting around for breakfast probably would not work for me. I was unaware of the fact that the dinners were at a different location. Thank you for the explanation. I look forward to meeting many other pilgrims and the Camino experience , starting on August 18th. Hopeful that covid has released its grip, if not I will go to plan b.
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
When I've stayed in the albergue in Roncesvalles you are given the option to buy dinner and/or breakfast. My recommendation is to skip the breakfast option and eat when you get to Burguete or Espinal. If you decide to take the dinner you will be given two different seating options, and assigned to the restaurant at Casa Sabina or La Posada, where you will he seated with other pilgrims. The food is okay, but the company is usually much better.
It's not the place to find a gourmet dinner.
I second what Trecile wrote,
In nearby Burguete there is only one church, next to it is a small plaza and at the back of the plaza is a GREAT cafe/bar which opens early every morning and is very pilgrim friendly. Within their complex is the local fronton court.
I always stopped on my way down from Roncesvalles. If is still dark as you leave Roncesvalles be sure to wear or carry and use your head torch.
 
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Doughnut NZ

From Aotearoa New Zealand
Past OR future Camino
2022
I booked a reservation today for Roncesvalles and fortunate for me I did exactly that. I am an earlier riser , a habit I have been unable to shake since I retired and figured waiting around for breakfast probably would not work for me. I was unaware of the fact that the dinners were at a different location. Thank you for the explanation. I look forward to meeting many other pilgrims and the Camino experience , starting on August 18th. Hopeful that covid has released its grip, if not I will go to plan b.
Serendipity operates, of course. I chose the breakfast option when offered it, although I would not do it again. However, over a late breakfast I met a charming Irish couple who I reconnected with later on my way and we recognised each other and joined up for a while. Very pleasant.

Without breakfast at Roncesvalles this would have been missed.
 
Past OR future Camino
2014, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19
Various routes...
In nearby Burguete there is only one church, next to it is a small plaza and at the back of the plaza is a GREAT cafe/bar which opens early every morning and is very pilgrim friendly. Within their complex is the local fronton court.
I always stopped on my way down from Roncesvalles. If is still dark as you leave Roncesvalles be sure to wear or carry and use your head torch.
I also. Margaret is right - this is a wonderful place to have breakfast.
One thing to add is that if there is snow on the ground, even a little, you may be better off taking the road to Burguete. One March camino I ended up stomping through crusty snow up to my knees in the half-light, looking for partly buried mojones - and emerged in town much hungrier and colder than I otherwise would have een.
IMG_7275 (2).JPG
 
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Doughnut NZ

From Aotearoa New Zealand
Past OR future Camino
2022
I also. Margaret is right - this is a wonderful place to have breakfast.
One thing to add is that if there is snow on the ground, even a little, you may be better off taking the road. One March camino I ended up stomping through crusty snow up to my knees in the half-light, looking for partly buried mojones - and emerged in Burguete much hungrier and colder than I otherwise would have been.
View attachment 100811
Is that Bar Fronton?
 

Doughnut NZ

From Aotearoa New Zealand
Past OR future Camino
2022
I second what Trecile wrote,
In nearby Burguete there is only one church, next to it is a small plaza and at the back of the plaza is a GREAT cafe/bar which opens early every morning and is very pilgrim friendly. Within their complex is the local fronton court.
I always stopped on my way down from Roncesvalles. If is still dark as you leave Roncesvalles be sure to wear or carry and use your head torch.
Is that Bar Fronton?
 
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mspath

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Yes it is the Bar Fronton. They kept a big ledger of pigrim signatures and dates; the staff were very friendly.
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
I also. Margaret is right - this is a wonderful place to have breakfast.
One thing to add is that if there is snow on the ground, even a little, you may be better off taking the road. One March camino I ended up stomping through crusty snow up to my knees in the half-light, looking for partly buried mojones - and emerged in Burguete much hungrier and colder than I otherwise would have been.
View attachment 100811
VN,
Of course I agree with you.
I always followed the road N 135 from Roncesvalles down to Zubiri in winter. It was slightly longer than the camino path but MUCH SAFER in fog, heavy rain or snow.

Check out the Winter Wonderland /Roncesvalles photo in this post.
 
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Ianinam

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
CF 2013 / CP 2018
Hospitalera at Roncesvalles:
2015/2016/2017/2018/2019/2020
There are three restaurants in Roncesvalles:
- La Posada
- Casa Sabina
- the restaurant at the hotel

Pilgrims dinner is served in La Posada (great ambiance) and Casa Sabina (excellent kitchen): a three course meal at € 11,00, including wine/water.
Most of the time a pilgrims dinner at the same price is also served at the restaurant of the hotel.

You can buy a ticket for your dinner at the reception desk of the albergue.
You can choose to have dinner at 7 pm or 8.30 pm.
The pilgrims mass at the church is at 8 pm (on Sundays at 6 pm) so if you choose the 7 pm dinner you can be in time for the church (most people choose the 7 pm dinner). If you choose the 8.30 pm dinner you have to leave the church early; the priests will not be happy and you will probably miss the pilgrims blessing at the end of the mass!

All three restaurants serve a menu del Dia too, and even a dinner a la carte.
If you prefer that, you can better go to the restaurant later. But not too late: the albergue closes the door at 10 pm. If you have to ring the bell because you are too late, the hospitalero will tell you to be very, very quiet, as all the lights are off and the snoring has started ;-)
 

JamesVT

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2019
When I've stayed in the albergue in Roncesvalles you are given the option to buy dinner and/or breakfast. My recommendation is to skip the breakfast option and eat when you get to Burguete or Espinal. If you decide to take the dinner you will be given two different seating options, and assigned to the restaurant at Casa Sabina or La Posada, where you will he seated with other pilgrims. The food is okay, but the company is usually much better.
It's not the place to find a gourmet dinner.
Definitely not the place to find a gourmet meal.
 
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Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2015, 2017, 2019) and plans for 2021 (Sept, Oct)
Our first two caminos, my wife and I enjoyed dinner at the early session of Casa Sabine. We shared a table with another English speaking couple. The meal was pretty basic and the four of us split one bottle of wine, which was one glass a piece. We ordered another bottle of wine and of course there was an extra charge. During our 2019 camino, we had reservations for a private room at Hotel Roncesvalles, and decided to have dinner there. The dinner was delicous and far superior to what we ate at Casa Sabine.

During our first camino we had breakfast at Casa Sabine. Despite going early (6:45 am), there was already a queue of pilgrims waiting for the doors to open at 7 am. The breakfast was basic - toast / croissant, juice and coffee. The restaurant was short handed and it took forever to be served and also find a table. Our second and third camino, we headed out of town early, walked to Burguete, and found a cozy place for breakfast. We'll eat there again this next camino.

On a related note, upon arrival and checking in at Roncesvalles, we always head to Casa Sabine to have a few drinks at their outside patio. The patio is spacious, just outside the bar and a great place to relax after the long hike, and meet other celebratory pilgrms. Bob
 

Anhalter

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2019 CF
Pilgrims meal and breakfeast at Roncesvalles were...nourishing. Not bad. Not good. I liked the dinner for the company and the breakfeast for the coffe. I might skip the breakfeast if i was staying there again, but more likely, i'd skip Roncesvalles alltogether and sleep in one of the following villages.
Luckily, a bit further down the road, Pamplona offers everything one could want from the spanish cousine. Be it great tapas/pinxos or fancy dining.
 

Glenshiro

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Le Puy - León, Camino Frances (2012 - 2019)
On my second trip, I walked from SJPdP to Burguete, where I stayed at the Hotel Rural Loizu a nice hotel with good food. On my first one I stayed at La Posada in Roncesvalles, which is okay, but the Pilgrim dinner was so-so at best. Burguete is no more than 35 minutes walk further on, on level ground in woodland, and gives you a head start in the morning.
 
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