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Kirby852

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances in Sept. 2016, Finisterre 2016, Portuguese 2018, Le Puy 2019
Hola from Vancouver, Canada! My name is Kathy and I will be starting my Camino in less than a week from SJDP. Needless to say, I am excited and looking forward to meeting some of you along the Way. A heartfelt thank you to Ivar and all of you that have posted on this forum. I've been a 'forum junkie' for the last several months and have benefited from it immensely. I am in awe of your infinite patience and sense of grace that shines through so much of the time. I am honoured to feel part of this incredible community.

A few weeks ago, a friend of my son's stayed with us for a short time in Vancouver. She had been living and working in Santiago teaching English. Leah was so very kind to send me the following info about Santiago and I thought it would be of interest to some of you. Buen Camino!

From Leah:
First off, there are many foods characteristic to the region that you will see on almost every menu. These include:

1. Pulpo: delicious, buttery boiled octopus. they chop it into pieces and drizzle it with olive oil and sprinkle it with paprika and sea salt. You can find it most places but some places specialize (pulperias). The serving is normally pretty large so I recommend sharing it.

*Also, to note, there is a strong culture of sharing. So, if you can find a friend I highly recommend going to the restaurants and sharing several dishes. You'll end up spending a lot less money, trying more foods, and eating more than enough.

2. Padron Peppers: grilled peppers from the region. the saying goes, "some are spicy and some are not." they are great and sprinkled with sea salt!

3. Percebes: a "goose barnacle" that is considered a delicacy because it is very dangerous to collect. if you like seafood, you're bound to like these because they taste like ocean. They are very unique looking (like little claws) and you eat them like a crab claw. they are one of the most expensive things you can eat per pound but they should cost you around $12 for a bowl of them and they're worth trying!

4. Tortilla: a spanish omelette with onions. most spanish people eat this for dinner or as an appetizer. Served warm and cold.

5. Empanada de atun: Tuna empanada, one of my favorite kinds. You can find it aat almost any bakery (along with other types like carne aka meat). You can buy it in quarters, halves, or whole pies.

6. Croquette: a spanish mozzarella stick. normally filled with cheese and meat or seafood.

7. Navajas: razor clams, comparable to mussels. characteristic of the region and definitely worth a try! but be careful because they are sharp so pull the meat out with a fork!

You can't go wrong with the seafood so explore the menu and try it all! I love the crab (cangrejo), the chorizo, a regional cheese shaped like a boob (tetilla), the grilled calamari, etc!


So, they are a lot of really great restaurants in Santiago.

Here they are:

Cafe O Paris: right in the center of the city and hard to miss. has a great "menu del dia" so go for lunch! they have a few options and you'll get a three course meal and a drink for a very low price. also, many of the staff speak English.

Cafe Tertulia: a short walk out of the center but has a great American and English breakfast (if you are missing it). All of the staff speak English.

Bicoca: has a great Sunday brunch which starts around noon (I believe). The eggs benedict is pretty good.

A Moa: in the evening, after 8:30, this place has free self serve tapas! its a short walk down Rua de San Pedro (which is the route of the camino into Santiago). All you have to do is go and have a drink and can have as many servings as you like of cheese, meat, and sometimes lentil soup. Downstairs there's a very nice restaurant with a pretty courtyard. The curried mussels are great.

La Tita: in the center of town, very famous for their tortilla. If you go and purchase any drink, they'll bring out a very large serving of tortilla for free. The place gets pretty crowded at night because its one of the most popular restaurants for locals in the area. It's better to go for a drink and tapa because the food is pretty ordinary.

Lusco & Fusco: near the center, a very delicious bakery owned by an American woman who makes the best cinnamon rolls, lox and bagels, etc! A nice place to go for breakfast in the morning. Closes at 2pm.

Casa Pepe: infamous for their tapas! Go for a glass of wine or a drink and they'll serve you cheese, meat, and bread. They're menu is filled with tasty food as well.

*Note: Most restaurants serve lunch from 12-2 (or 3) and in the evenings from 8 until late. It is very difficult to find food other times of the day (unless the restaurant has special hours). Additionally, ALL grocery stores and many other places are closed Sundays. So make sure you plan to go out or stock up because Spain DOES NOT operate on Sundays (however many restaurants are open).

Entre Pedras: a very delicious vegan restaurant that has cheap food and a delicious free tapa with your drink (normally a soup or stew). I highly recommend the spicy quesadilla.

*Note: Its the custom to go to several places before you eat dinner. For instance, one drink and a tapa, then a new place, one drink and a tapa, and then another place for dinner. It's all about atmosphere and snacks!

A taberna do bispo: My favorite place in town! It has the best tapas! It's always very crowded but if you're patient you'll find a place to sit or stand within a few minutes. You have to sit in the front near the bar stools to eat the tapas and to eat from the menu you'll sit at a table. It's only a few dollars for the tapas and they are all displayed and you can pick them and pay at the end. Its so good!!! I highly recommend the crab and grilled calamari (from the menu).

*Note: There is a street called Rua do Franco. It is the most scenic and touristic looking street and most appealing to search for restaurants. It is very easy to get lured into any of them because they display seafood, etc. I don't recommend eating at any of them (besides A taberna do Bispo, as last mentioned) because the prices are extremely high and none of the locals go there.

Malak Bistro: Advertised as "exotic food." A very nice owner who speaks English and serves delicious food from Pakistan like kabobs and curries. Very delicious!

Abastos 2.0: A great place for lunch or dinner. The most quality restaurant in town because it is connected to the produce market and all of their food is fresh. The best place in town to get percebes! You can pay around $20-30 for an awesome dinner prepared by them that comes out in several courses. Or, you can just have a few snacks. The majority of people sit and stand outside so its a good place to go with the weather is nice. However, they have an indoor seating portion as well.

Thats it for restaurants!


Now cafes... Its a cafe culture so I highly recommend visiting cafes and bars throughout the day to read, experience the culture, have a drink, etc. It's what Spanish people do.

Here are my favorites.

Cafe La Flor: really great ambiance!

La Croquette: blues ambiance. i highly recommend the tiramisu!

Costa Vella: (a hotel but in the back they have a beautiful courtyard and serve drinks and small snacks, a great place for a light breakfast!) i highly recommend the tosta con tomate.

SCQ: a two story cafe perfect for coffee, tea, wine, and snacks. all of the staff speak english.

Bar Camalea: really great ambiance! i highly recommend the chocolate milkshake (called a batido or batixo).

Pub Momo: A sort of very young-person bar but in the backyard has an absolutely breathtaking courtyard! Go in the early evening during sunset for a drink.

***My favorite wines are Rioja, Mencia, Ribeira, Ribeiro, and Albarino!

As for other things to do:

Parque Alameda is in the center and hard to miss. Its a big park and a great place to walk and explore. Sometimes they have events and carnivals. Pick up an icecream cone and spend some time when the weathers nice!

Casa das Crechas: THE place to see Galician music, on Wednesday nights I believe, relatively late in the evening. They also have different types of music other nights as well.

Two other parks that are really nice are Parque Belvis and Bonaval. Grab an empanada at a bakery and enjoy the scenery (both have views of the city).

Mercado de Abastos: THE produce market in town. It's too much fun to go even if you don't need to do any grocery shopping. Happens every day from early early until 2pm (except Sundays and holidays). Saturdays are the most iconic day and in the center of it all you can get fresh pulpo pulled straight out of a boiling vat of water and prepared in front of you! Also, you can purchase delicious pastries, pre-prepared local foods, fresh squeezed orange juice, etc. Saturdays are crowded but probably the best day for a tourist to go.

Plaza Quintana: When the weather is good and the time is right, theres a man that plays guitar in the plaza. In my opinion its the most beautiful plaza in Santiago. Grab and drink and enjoy the music! Located directly behind the Cathedral.

Tunas: On Friday and Saturday nights, a classical Galician band called the Tuna's perform in front of the Cathedral (after sunset). Its a great time and everyone dances.

Biblioteca Anxel Casal: The Santiago library. Its fun to check out because it's in a different part of town and the views are nice.

Numax: the best movie theatre in Santiago and not too far from the center. It's inside of a bookstore and all of the movies are in their original language (Spain dubs most of its movies). A great place to see a movie if the weather is bad or you have the time!


Additionally, if you have time to check out the region, the termals (hot springs) in Orense are very popular. Finisterre has nice views and is the end of the camino, but doesn't offer much else. Vigo and A Coruna and both very nice cities but are bigger and not quite as scenic. However, if you have the time I recommend checking them out!
 
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SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999, now living in Santiago de C
Year of past OR future Camino
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Santiago - Muxia 2019

Now: http://egeria.house/
"Persebre - They are very unique looking (like little claws) and you eat them like a crab claw. they are one of the most expensive things you can eat per pound but they should cost you around $12 for a bowl of them and they're worth trying!"

Love them! Can you ask her where I can get a bowl of them for the equivalent of only $12 ??? Buen Camino, Welcome to the virtual pilgrims albergue aka forum and thanks for posting this! SY
 

Pelegrin

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Primitivo June 2013
SJPP - Logroño June 2014
Ingles July2016
Very good information of Santiago.

My comments are:
"Empanada de atún " There are more types of empanada, Tuna is the most popular, but also meat, mussels, pulpo, zamburiñas (my favorite)....

"***My favorite wines are Rioja, Mencia, Ribeira, Ribeiro, and Albarino!"
"Ribeira" could be confusing with "Ribeiro", say better "Ribera" (Ribera del Duero).
 

Pelegrin

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Primitivo June 2013
SJPP - Logroño June 2014
Ingles July2016
Well .... In second thoughts "Ribeira" could also mean "Ribeira Sacra" (that is mainly Mencia grape).
So anyway I think that "Ribeira" could be confusing.
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
SY, in Muxia, restaurant O Prestige (why would they call their restaurant that?!) serves percebes at a great price. They may not be the fattest ones, but they are tasty, you just have to take your time eating them. I have also eaten percebes in some of the seafood restaurants on the main street of Muxia, but at a higher price.

Btw, percebes are eaten by twisting the claw from the leg, a tube of white meat will come out attached to the nail, and that's what you eat, simply sucking it. A messy messy dish, but oh so good.

Also, on the touristy rua do Franco, there's a lovely new restaurant called Con Culler. Smallest kitchen ever, but a young and creative chef and another person to do all the work. Well worth a visit. Not your typical tourist food, and well priced.

Croquetas are not a fried mozza stick, rather a bechamelle or mashed potatos with ham and other good bits mixed it, then breaded and fried.

Now I'm hungry!
 
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Ian T

I now have a back pack
Year of past OR future Camino
When she says I can
I have seen these is Santiago for around 200 Euros a kilo, but along the coast in places such as Llanes they were around 30 Euros a kilo. Strange that.

In Llanes they usually accompany the dead cider so quite a ritual when combined

Yummy though

Ian
 
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domigee

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2020? Looks like.... nowhere! 😁
I have seen these is Santiago for around 200 Euros a kilo, but along the coast in places such as Llanes they were around 30 Euros a kilo. Strange that.

Ian

All the sea food is much cheaper along the Northern coast. I went to the market in Santander with friends from Madrid and they were comparing the prices, such a HUGE difference.
 

SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999, now living in Santiago de C
Year of past OR future Camino
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Santiago - Muxia 2019

Now: http://egeria.house/
A lasting memory of this year was eating Percebes (in fact a whole mariscada) with SYates and other friends. Seafood and a chilled alboriño - yum!

Still remembering that Mariscada (but even more the companionship!) fondly!!! Next one is one me! SY
 

Pelegrin

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Primitivo June 2013
SJPP - Logroño June 2014
Ingles July2016
All the sea food is much cheaper along the Northern coast. I went to the market in Santander with friends from Madrid and they were comparing the prices, such a HUGE difference.

In relation to seafood prices I would like to remember that the seafood origin is very important. For example, in general Galician seafood is much more expensive than North African seafood, that is very common in Spanish markets. This could explain such a huge difference in prices.
 
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domigee

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2020? Looks like.... nowhere! 😁
In relation to seafood prices I would like to remember that the seafood origin is very important. For example, in general Galician seafood is much more expensive than North African seafood, that is very common in Spanish markets. This could explain such a huge difference in prices.

I wish my friends were here to discuss it with you @Pelegrin , I'm only reporting what I heard. :) Believe me, they went through it at length! :D And with the stall owners and with the restaurants' staff !
As far as I can gather, only the sardines were not local :)
 

jcat

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Sarria - Santiago 2016
Camino Ingles 2019
Croquettes so different and so much better than mozzarella sticks. My Favorite!

Thanks for the info! I love the food of Galicia.
 

Kirby852

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances in Sept. 2016, Finisterre 2016, Portuguese 2018, Le Puy 2019
"Persebre - They are very unique looking (like little claws) and you eat them like a crab claw. they are one of the most expensive things you can eat per pound but they should cost you around $12 for a bowl of them and they're worth trying!"

Love them! Can you ask her where I can get a bowl of them for the equivalent of only $12 ??? Buen Camino, Welcome to the virtual pilgrims albergue aka forum and thanks for posting this! SY

Thanks! I wasn't sure if you were joking or not but it sounds like good persebre is not a joking matter! I did pass on your comment to Leah to let her know that people were interested in her info. Here's her response. It will mean more to you than me:

You can get a bowl of them for around 8 euro at a restaurant called Abastos 2.0 which is attached to the Mercados de Abastos in Santiago. It's a small bowl but more than enough for one or two people.
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
I don't usually laugh out loud at what people write...maybe an inner chuckle...but that did it, @Wokabaut_Meri!

I have to admit to scheduling at least 3 nights in Santiago at the end of a walk...to connect, and to enjoy. :)And I've met some fine people there...you know who you are...
 
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Wokabaut_Meri

somewhere along the Way
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Francés 2015
Pilgrims Way 2018
Via Francigena #1 Canterbury-Dover 2018
What about volunteering at the pilgrims office and enjoy the culinary delights of Santiago in your free time? ;-) Buen Camino, SY
Now there's a very good idea!
 

norelle

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2011 April, 2014 March) San Salvador, Primitivo, Finisterre, Muxia (June 2015) Del Norte (Sept/Oct 2016)
Thanks @Kirby852!

I've been to Santiago 3 times and am returning again in October. After reading your post I think I need to allow for much more time there!

buen camino
 

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