The gastronomy in Galicia is renowned throughout the whole of Spain and recent years has seen Galician foods & wines become popular all over the world. Galicia really has an incredible amount to offer from a multitude of sea food (marisco) dishes to fine wines such as the famous Albariño variety that is grown in the region of Galicia.
Some of the typical Galician delicacies include barnacles and razor clams from Finisterre, oysters from Arcade, caldo Gallego, pulpo a la gallega, pimientos de Padron, empanada and tarta de santiago to name but a few.
Where to Eat in Galicia
Every region in Spain has their own distinctive cuisine and traditional dishes, and Galicia is not only no exception to this, it is also renowned throughout the rest of Spain itself as arguably one of the regions with the best gastronomy in the country and especially so with regards to sea food. It is no wonder then why the chefs in the most expensive restaurants located throughout Spain, including those to the extreme south in Marbella on the Costa Del sol, all have their fish and sea food brought over to their kitchens from Galicia.
Eating establishments in Galicia range from simple tapas bars to top quality gourmet restaurants and the numerous bodegas in Galicia are great places to sample the local wines. Regardless of your personal tastes and culinary preferences you can be sure to find something you like to eat in Galicia and with such a huge variety of places to eat and drink in Galicia, along with the friendly and professional service, you simply can’t go wrong.
Galicia Restaurants & Bars
After an exhausting day sightseeing there really is no better place to eat in Galicia than a tapas bar where you can grab a quick bite or snack to eat. If you happen to be somewhere along the coast in Galicia then a beach side chiringuito is not to be missed, these bars located on or close to the beach serve mouth watering food as well as drinks. If you are looking for an inexpensive option and a sit down meal then one of the many family run restaurants and bars in Galicia known as mesones, ventas, posadas or fondas are well worth a try as they offer simple but extremely tasty food at very affordable prices.
Eating Hours in Galicia
Breakfast in Galicia (desayuno) is by tradition a light meal which consists of a milky coffee (cafè con leche) along with a piece of toast, pastry or biscuits. A mid morning break is then taken by many workers between 10 and 11am to grab a quick coffee and a snack from a local Galician tapas bar.
The main meal of the day in Galicia tends to be at lunchtime between 2 and 4pm, where restaurants fill up and become extremely busy, especially on Sundays. Visitors and tourists who are looking for an earlier or lighter lunch in Galicia can go to a tapas bar to enjoy Galician tapas that can range from cold meats, cheeses and salads to hot savoury dishes. Tapas in Galician are often accompanied by a glass of red wine (vino tinto) a small beer (cerveza or caña) or a juice drink.
Galician pastry shops (pastelerìas) and Cafe bars and tea rooms (salones de tè) tend to get busy between 5 and 6pm for an afternoon snack (merienda). By around 8pm the bars in Galicia get busy again with people having some tapas accompanied with wine, beer or sherry.
Dinner (la cena) is eaten quite late in Galicia as well as the rest of Spain and is usually between 9 and 10pm although this can be later especially on weekends and during the summer season. Restaurants not only in Galicia but the rest of Spain will not usually serve meals earlier in the evening before 8pm. The majority of restaurants in Galicia close for a break between 4 and 8pm and they also usually close on one day during the week and some on Sunday evenings too.
Reading the Menu in Galicia
The menu in Galicia (la carta) will usually consist of the following:
soups (sopas), salads (ensaladas), starters or hors d’oeuvres (entremeses), eggs & potato omelettes (huevos y tortillas), vegetable dishes (verduras y legumbres), fish & shellfish (pescados y mariscos), meat & poultry (carnes y aves) and desserts (postres).
You will find that most restaurants in Galicia offer a menu of the day (menù del dìa) which is very affordable, usually 10 euros or less and consists of a starter (entrada), bread (pan), main course (plato principal), dessert (postre) and a drink (bebida) which can either be a water, juice, wine or small beer. Coffee which is usually drunk at the end of the meal may cost extra but will more than likely be included in the price if you have chosen to not have a dessert.
Opting for the menu of the day is always the best value option rather than ordering off the full menu (carta) although it is worth mentioning that there are many restaurants in Galicia that will only offer the menu of the day (menù del dìa) during lunch.
Another type of menu which is offered at numerous galician restaurants is the menù de degustaciòn which is a tasting or gourmet menu and one which is only really available at the more upscale restaurants and bars in Galicia. These menus are of course more expensive than the typical menu of the day but they will consist of a magnificent selection of the chef’s special dishes served in smaller portions.