Going out for Tapas in the land of the Apostle
Among all the tourist attractions that stand out along the Camino de Santiago, the gastronomy of its different cities and towns is what people love the most. One of the concepts that most surprises visitors when they arrive in Galicia are the famous tapas. Therefore, we have developed this guide with all the information to experience the best tapas routes in Galicia.
Lugo and Santiago are the favourite cities of many to go for tapas because they are free, abundant and common. But the truth is that there are many other Galician cities and towns that have nothing to be jealous of either.
It would make no sense to talk about a tapas route in Galicia without mentioning places like Ferrol, Vigo or Melide, among others. In fact, every inhabitant of any village in Galicia could tell you about their favourite tapas bar on the corner of their street. That’s the magic of Galician gastronomy!
The magic that hides inside the tapas
Let’s unleash your imagination! You just walked a 20-mile stage, your legs are a little resentful, you feel a bit tired and hungry. Suddenly, the Camino de Santiago leads you to the picturesque old town of a Galician city. An urban and pulsating heart, made of stone, arcades and terraces.
You sit at a free table, on the terrace of a tavern located in a lovely square in which you breathe in joy and fun. At the other tables, the inhabitants of this friendly town say “cheers” with Estrella Galicia, laugh heartily, and eat for free! It’s tapas time!
Routes and tapas in Galicia
Have you got yourself in the mood? Can you imagine the context? Perfect! Now choose your Camino de Santiago and start your tapas route in Galicia!
The tapas route in Melide: A Galician classic
You can’t talk about a tapas route in Galicia without talking about Melide. On stage 31 between Palas de Rei and Arzúa, on the Camino Frances; And on stage 11 of the Camino Primitivo, the stop in Melide is obligatory. A real tradition among pilgrims.
Without a doubt, if there is something to highlight in Melide, it is their “Pulpo A Feira” (Galician-style octopus) tapas. They are not served free with a drink, but paying a small cost, you can enjoy a generous portion.
Some of the most traditional places are the “Pulperías” (Octopus restaurants) in A Garnacha and Ezekiel. In addition to eating octopus, you can enjoy a good glass of cloudy wine.
We recommend that you also take advantage of your passage through these lands to order an Arzúa-Ulloa cheese tapa.
… And to eat, Lugo
Stage 9 of the Camino Primitivo goes from Cádavo Baleira to Lugo, and at the end, it crosses the historic centre of Lugo. A city that feels alive and special.
Not in vain, the official slogan of the city is “… And to eat, Lugo. ” This phrase is a mantra repeated over 60 years by locals and visitors alike. And there is no doubt: to eat, Lugo.
In its Roman alleys, surrounded by a wall with more than 2,000 years of history, you will reach the wine area surrounding the Plaza del Campo. Once there, with a couple of drinks you’ll have dinner, check it out for yourself!
Lugo’s tapas are famous for their variety and its omnipresence. In addition to their quantity and for being totally free!
Once the waiter has placed the drink on the table, he will announce the list of different tapas for you to choose the one you like. After that, they will come around numerous times, between the tables, with a tray of snacks. It’s impossible to stay hungry!
Some suggestions for recommended places: Las Cinco Vigas, Taberna de Daniel, Ave César y La Fábrica. But exploring for sure you’ll find a lot of other delicious stops.
The Ferrol route: more tapas in Galicia
Starting the Camino Ingles as a tapas route isn’t a bad idea. Ferrol, the city that is the starting point of the Camino Ingles, is also known for its cuisine.
In the centre, you will find a multitude of bars and restaurants where you will be offered a snack or a free tapa. Although in all Galicia, Albariño wine is present, in Ferrol, they prefer red wine and Rioja, Ribera del Duero, and Mencia, and beer.
The A Coruña tapas route: following the Camino Ingles
In A Coruña we will find some places where tapas are free. However, the most common thing in this city is to pay a small amount in exchange for a good portion of food with which to accompany our drink.
If you are doing the Camino de Santiago from A Coruña, you have to go out for tapas. The busiest area is the part between Calle Estrella and Plaza de María Pita. If you are looking for something more relaxed, and quieter, we recommend the area of Matogrande.
The Vigo tapas route
Vigo, the most populated city in Galicia, also gives you the opportunity to have a few beers on the terraces accompanied by rich tapas. Starting the walk in the Plaza de la Constitución and going down to the Collegiate Church, through Calle Real, you can try the best tapas in Vigo.
On this route, you will find both traditional and modern bars. The atmosphere in this area of the city is quite relaxed and informal.
Our advice is if you pass through this city on your tapas trip in Galicia is to avoid the bars of the Mercado de la Piedra and the port. They are much more expensive and some of them will want to charge you more for the simple fact of being a tourist.
The Ourense tapas route: The spa capital of Galicia
The pilgrims who complete the Via De La Plata, following the Camino Sanabres, will be fortunate to visit a charming city with unenviable gastronomy: Ourense. In all the old town you will find places to go for tapas, although perhaps the most classic street is Rúa dos Fornos.
The most classic place to go for tapas in Ourense is called Bar Orellas. But there is also A Baiuca, the Acio wine bar, or O Souto, among others.
Pontevedra: The Camino Portugues
All those pilgrims who have chosen the Portuguese routes will have the opportunity to have tapas in Pontevedra. The Camino Portugues (Central) passes through this city on stage 25 and on the coastal route on the 10th.
The city is known for its squares. And from one of them, begins this Galician tapas route. From the Plaza de las Cinco Calles, the main streets to have tapas in Pontevedra begin to show up.
In Calle Nicolás, you will find traditional taverns and pulperías. O Pulpeiro is spoken of very well. Other recommended places are: O Noso Bar, El Bocaíto or La Alquería de Mudéjar.
Padrón Peppers: A classic tapa on the Galician route
As in the previous case, all pilgrims who have chosen the routes of the Camino de Santiago that run through Portugal will have the opportunity to try the famous Padrón peppers, in the same locality where they are produced.
Although this is not just entirely true. In fact, this famous vegetable is originally from Herba. It was the Franciscan monks, at the end of the 16th century, who imported them from Mexico.
The peculiarity of Padrón peppers is that some are spicy and others are not. Therefore, a glass of good wine or beer and a tapa of this vegetable is always a laughing matter among diners. Don’t forget to include this dish on your tapas route in Galicia!
All the Caminos will take you to the heart of Galicia
In Compostela, the heart of Galicia, we will not go hungry either. The end of the road opens the doors to a gastronomic universe that is given to us with beer and wine. And everything, no cost!
The old zone of Santiago is alive every night of the year, at least when it is not raining to seas. The thing is, that, we’re not going to lie to you, it happens quite often. Rúa Franco is the best-known street to do a tapas route in Compostela, although you cannot miss Rúa Nova.
The inhabitants of Compostela call Rúa Nova “Tortilla Street”. On it, you can eat the most abundant and juicy tapas in the whole world. Perhaps we have exaggerated a little with this last, but for tastes, tortillas. At least they’d be in the top 10, that’s for sure.
In the already very well-known Tita or in Moha streets, it is obligatory to stop to eat an omelette tapa. They say it’s impossible to finish the third, so do you accept the challenge?
In addition to these two venues, the whole city is a diverse tapas route. You will find vegetarian options in the Entre Pedras or a delicious variety of the cane. The most traditional tapas can be found in the Abella, San Clemente or Orella bars.
The tapas route at the end of the world: more Galicia
If after your arrival in Santiago de Compostela, you decide to continue along the Camino de Finisterre, you should know that in that part of Galicia you can also enjoy a good tapas route. Get ready to enjoy an Estrella Galicia beer or an Albariño wine accompanied by authentic Atlantic flavours.
It could be said that in the area of the Cape Finisterre they promote more snacks than tapas. To enjoy a snacks route in this area of Galicia we would recommend to you in Finisterre: La Galeria, located in the Rúa Real, or the cosy terrace of Casa Velay.
Here at the end of the world ends our tapas route through Galicia. We hope that this guide will be useful for you to enjoy the snacks and tapas whether you travel to Galicia or visit following some of the routes of the Camino de Santiago.
Before we say goodbye, we remind you that every town, area or village in Galicia has its favourite tapas. There are those who prioritize variety, while others are interested in quantity and others for innovation. The gastronomic richness of a tapas route through Galicia is precisely the inability to choose a single place.
As always, we invite you to share this Galician guide to gastronomy with your friends on Facebook. Also on this occasion, we ask you to leave a comment telling us which is your favourite tapas place in Galicia.
Thus all pilgrims of the Camino de Santiago who read us, will be able to discover in depth all the gastronomic magic that hide the Galician lands. To do this, we have also developed this guide to eating tips on the Camino de Santiago.