Eating in Santiago de Compostela

This blog post was originally posted on November 10, 2013, and was updated on April 19, 2017.

So you’re getting ready to explore Santiago de Compostela? Good choice! You’ve selected one of Spain’s greatest food destinations, complete with an intriguing history and a vibrant and unique culture of its own. Don’t waste a meal on your trip: This guide provides a foundation for where and what to eat in Santiago.

Santiago's winding streets can be difficult to navigate. Use this guide to find out where to go and what to order. Join us on a food tour and we'll take you to the best spots in town and give you a taste of the local culture!

Tucked away in the northwest corner of the Spain, Santiago de Compostela is an unexpected gem. With dark stone buildings, regular rainfall and bagpiping buskers, you’d be excused for thinking you were a little further north in the world. But no, this is what they call Green Spain. And up here the food is fantastic, meaning that eating in Santiago is a dream. There’s fresh seafood from the cold waters of the Cantabrian Sea, delicious beef from the grassy Galician hills and an abundance of vegetables from small market gardens.

Don’t just eat Galician food, experience it! For the best bites in Santiago, join us on a food tour! We’ll show you what to order at our favorite little spots and surprise you with the richness of Galician cuisine. Get ready to navigate the winding cobblestone streets with your local expert guide and discover Santiago’s cultural and gastronomic hidden gems. Come with us to learn how the locals live in Galicia—and feel more like a local yourself!

Boiled octopus sprinkled with sea salt and paprika is a Galician specialty. We'll show you the best places to try this and many other Santiago favorite on our Insider's Tapas & Wine Evening Tour!
You can’t leave Santiago without trying Galician octopus!

What to Try

Pulpo a la gallega: Fresh octopus boiled to perfection and then lightly sprinkled with sea salt and Spanish paprika. For seafood lovers, this dish is the Holy Grail. And rightly so as it’s delicious when cooked perfectly, but so hard to get right.

Pimientos de padrón: These small green peppers have been nicknamed the Russian Roulette of tapas: Most are mild but one in about twenty is hot hot hot! They’re lightly fried then covered with sea salt and are served either on their own as a tapa or as a garnish with red meat.

Tarta de Santiago: This moist almond cake pairs perfectly with a pick-me-up cup of coffee between sightseeing stops. The cake is covered with powdered sugar and features an imprint of the cross of Santiago (Saint James in English).
Padrón peppers, lightly fried and topped with sea salt. But be careful! Some of these innocent looking peppers pack a punch! Try typical Galician dishes like this one and learn about the culture behind them on one of our Santiago food tours!
Typical Padrón peppers are lightly fried, topped with sea salt and full of surprises!
For more in-depth tips on what to eat in Santiago, read our guide to the touchstones of Galician cuisine. You’ll see many of these staple dishes repeated in restaurants around Santiago, but while some restaurants use classic recipes, others favor a more innovative spin on these traditional plates.

Where to Eat in Santiago

Casa Pepe: A top spot – rustic yet refined – for wine, cheese and cured meats. Perhaps swing by Casa Pepe early in your evening or for a bite before lunch. Or, even better, head here after a morning spent foraging in the nearby Santiago market.

Address: Cantón de San Bieito, 5

Abastos 2.0: Eating in Santiago doesn’t get any fresher than this. Abastos 2.0 is a hole-in-the-wall tapas joint that forms part of the Santiago market. Brothers Marcos and Iago, who run the place, cast a keen eye over the market produce each morning, buy whatever looks good, then cook it up for patrons. As you’d expect, the preparation is simple, the ingredients are ultra-fresh and once something runs out… well, there’s always tomorrow, right?

Address: Praza de Abastos

Amazingly fresh clams swimming in a spicy tomato-based sauce. Try the freshest Galician foods and get a feel for this largely fishing and agriculture-based culture on one of our tours of Santiago!
Amazingly fresh clams in a spicy tomato-based sauce. We’ll take ’em!

El Caballo Blanco: It’s not gourmet, but if you like cold beer, generous free tapas and a salt-of-the-earth wait staff, then you’ve come to the right place.

Address: Praza Pescadería Vella, 5

Casa Marcelo: Whoever thought that combining the cuisines of Galicia and Japan was a good idea was… a genius! If you’re hankering for fresh, inventive and cooked-before-your eyes food that’s both comforting and surprising, then hit up Casa Marcelo. The communal tables are a nice touch.

Address: Rúa Hortas, 1

Simple razor clams, cooked and seasoned with salt and lemon. Galicians know how to handle seafood! Try some of the local specialties and get a taste of Galician culture on our Insider's Tapas & Wine Evening Tour!
Simple razor clams, cooked and seasoned to perfection. Galicians do it best!

Mercado de Abastos (aka: the Santiago Market): This traditional food market opens every morning but is especially lively on Saturdays. Vendors selling meats and seafood line the vaulted passageways while local gardeners sell a cornucopia of freshly picked crops outside. You’ll see mountains of Padrón peppers, and this is perhaps the most authentic place to try pulpo a la gallega. Scour this market with us, chat with the vendors and try some of the freshest food in Santiago on our Hidden Santiago Food & Market Adventure.

Address: Rúa Ameás

Galician octopus with a cheesy twist! Try some of our favorite pulpo in Santiago on our Hidden Santiago Food & Market Adventure!
This octopus has a little more going on than just paprika and sea salt. We love new spins on Galician classics!

More Octopus

Apart from the market, we recommend two spots for the best pulpo in Santiago. Los Sobrinos del Padre Benito (Rúa de San Miguel dos Agros, 7) and Pulpería os Concheiros (Rúa de Berlin, 3) are both rustic joints that are locally famous for their octopus.

Visiting Santiago de Compostela? Join us on one of our Santiago tours to learn about the local culture from an expert guide and taste all the best that Santiago has to offer!

7 Comment

  1. […] of typical food from every region of Spain. Andalucian bars boasting great gazpacho sit alongside Galician restaurants advertising heaping plates of pulpo Gallego (octopus). But while every corner of Spanish gastronomy […]

  2. […] here in the capital, Santiago de Compostela, has been a real learning experience for me, as I was born to two meat-and-potatoes-loving […]

  3. LKQ says: Reply

    LKQ

    Eating in Santiago de Compostela – Madrid Food Tour

  4. […] about Spanish seafood, it’s that the Gallegos almost always do it right. Hailing from the northwest region of Galicia, these folks grow up with some of the best catches in the world and don’t mess around when it […]

  5. Nice article and blog! I will follow this website.

    1. Brianne Garrett says: Reply

      Thanks so much! We’re so glad you enjoyed the article!

  6. What I really like from Santiago de Compostela is that everytime you order a beer they give you a huge “tapa”!

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