Travel Guide

Meals on the Camino de Santiago – Dishes to Experience

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Meals is a giant deal when strolling the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage. The pilgrim menus are one thing to look ahead to if you’re planning to stroll to Santiago de Compostela. Spanish meals is nice and burning a whole lot of energy strolling all day will make you hungry! The Camino de Santiago is a community of routes. We had been very privileged to stroll 9 completely different routes to Santiago de Compostela and revel in nice meals in smaller cities and larger cities on the Camino Francés, the Basque nation, the Camino Portuguese, the Through de La Plata, and several other different Camino routes.

pilgrims dinner camino frances
Pilgrims having fun with a communal dinner within the Albergue on the Camino Frances. A incredible method to meet individuals and share tales on the Camino de Santiago.

Completely different Camino routes discover completely different areas, every with its personal culinary highlights. Discovering meals isn’t an issue on the Camino with loads of café, bars, eating places, and grocery shops and a possible cup of espresso or glass of purple wine encouraging you to stroll to the following village. Don´t neglect the opening hours of retailers may differ from what you’re used to, the Spanish love their siesta. 

Everyone has their favorites and after I point out Camino meals; tortilla de patatas (Spanish omelet), café con leche (espresso with milk), and menu del dia are the primary things talked about by pilgrims sharing their scrumptious meals experiences.

On this Camino de Santiago meals information, I’ll share with you some meals choices whereas doing this lengthy stroll, among the most conventional dishes to not miss on particular routes, and a few money-saving ideas. What you eat could have a large affect on the price of strolling the Camino de Santiago.

Tarta de Santiago (Cake of St James) Camino de Santiago
Tarta de Santiago (Cake of St James) is an Almond cake/pie embellished with the Cross of St.James, slices can be found at eating places. Normally served with cream or ice cream. Some retailers promote an entire Tarta de Santiago to eat at your lodging.

The place do you Eat on the Approach?

You’ll in all probability eat most of your meals at bars. The bars in Spain are open from early morning until late and serve drinks, pastries, meals, and nice espresso. It’s type of a social middle level for residents dwelling within the space and folks hang around right here always of the day. We frequently do buying and put together our personal meals within the Albergue kitchen. Some Albergues put together communal meals for dinner, that is at all times incredible and a fantastic social occasion, a fantastic place to satisfy different pilgrims.

Breakfast on the Approach

You’ll need a wholesome meal to arrange you to stroll at tempo all day. Breakfast (desyuno) on the Camino is normally a light-weight meal and most pilgrims make two stops. The vast majority of individuals begin strolling very early (between 5 am and 6 am) some even earlier. If you could find an open bar serving breakfast, it’s early for a heavy breakfast and most pilgrims eat one thing gentle like a tostada (Spanish toast) or a napolitanas de chocolate (chocolate croissant). I really like Spanish tomato tostada for breakfast, a chunk of toast with olive oil and tomato pulp drizzled excessive. Churros con chocolate is a superb breakfast that’s fairly frequent in Spain. Churros is a crispy, fried-to-perfection dough stick, evenly dusted with sugar after which dipped in thick scorching chocolate. A candy, deep-fried dough deal with with chocolate is a scrumptious breakfast, you’re going to stroll all day anyway. In greater cities on the Camino hold an eye fixed out for a conventional churrería the place you could find this deal with at worth. In Santiago de Compostela, Chocolateria Metate is well-known to serve wonderful churros.

At about 10 am after strolling the primary 5 to 10 km, we cease for one thing a bit extra filling, it does occur in small cities the place nothing is open for early breakfast! Right here my favourite is Spanish tortilla, the Spanish omelet is baked egg, potato, and typically with onion. Just like a French Quiche with out a crust.

Tortilla de patatas, also known as tortilla española
A slice of Tortilla de patatas, also referred to as tortilla española is a extremely popular dish on the Camino de Santiago

Tortilla bocadillo is the Spanish omelet served on a bocadillo (baguette). It’s turning into extra frequent to see bars providing an ‘American breakfast’ with toast, fried eggs, and bacon. It’s a good suggestion to simply purchase some contemporary fruit the day earlier than. Freshly squeezed orange juice, espresso or tea can be found at most locations 

Espresso on the Camino de Santiago

We’re caffeine junkies and I search for espresso earlier than I take into consideration meals. Café con leche (espresso with milk) is known in Camino circles and many individuals fall in love with this scrumptious espresso. Like cappuccino and latte, it’s microfoam milk and espresso, just like a latte, however with a bit much less milk. It has a bit extra foam, so creamier than a regular latte. I drink my espresso black, and just like the Americano in Spain, they add little or no water. A cafe solo is an espresso. 

Spanish Dishes for Lunch

The place and what you eat for lunch might be very dependent in your strolling tempo and the time you begin strolling. In case you are nonetheless removed from being executed on a scorching day, you’ll in all probability really feel much less like consuming a set menu and ingesting wine, than if you’re completed strolling for the day, and you’ve got already kicked off your sneakers. 

Spanish Serrano ham
The Spanish Serrano ham broadly out there is solely scrumptious.

We at all times eat a whole lot of bread on the Camino, I feel that (and the wine and beer) might be the primary reason why pilgrims typically decide up weight despite the fact that they stroll 20 to 30 kilometers per day! A standard Spanish bocadillo, is a sandwich served on a baguette. Normally a 6- to 8-inch lengthy portion of baguette, sliced in half and crammed with Spanish chorizo sausage, or tuna. Sandwich jamón y queso (ham and cheese) is a extremely popular meal and type of my Camino staple meals. Omelet bocadillos are additionally a pleasant filling lunch.  The Spanish Serrano ham is incredible. I really like the Spanish baguettes, however typically on the bars, they put together bocadillos on actually massive items of bread which isn’t that nice. 

The mid-day meal for the Spanish is taken into account the primary meal of the day and lots of bars serve a Menú del Día, or Menu of the Day. The pilgrim’s menu is a menu del dia aimed toward pilgrims. Menu del Dia consists of three programs: a starter of salad, soup, or pasta, adopted by a second course which is normally a meat, fish, or rooster dish with potatoes, and dessert or espresso. 

Dinner on the Camino de Santiago

Dinner is at all times the spotlight of the day on the Camino for us, by this time we’re ravenous and it’s normally fairly a social occasion. For dinner many pilgrims cook dinner for themselves, different well-liked choices are to exit for tapas, eat the shared meal on the albergue or eat the pilgrim´s menu.

The Pilgrim Menu

Some bars, eating places, and albergues that cater to pilgrims supply a particular pilgrim’s menu, or Menú para peregrinos (pilgrim’s meal). This Menú is just like the Menú del Día. These Menús are served with a basket of bread and typically include a drink, wine, water, or a cool drink. For the wine they normally convey a carafe with a couple of glass. If it’s a low-cost menu del dia we normally skip the wine, now we have had some very dangerous wine with low-cost menus as you may anticipate. The menu prices 12 Euro on common and it’s normally a giant meal.


Tapas may simply be essentially the most well-known Spanish culinary custom. A tapa is a small meals portion, an appetizer, or a snack. A number of of those small tasty dishes may be mixed to make a full meal. In some bars and eating places tapas have advanced into a really subtle delicacies. The best way to eat tapas is a whole lot of enjoyable, strolling from bar to bar sampling the best-looking finger meals with a small beer (a caña is round 200 milliliters of beer) at a number of completely different bars.

Pintxos on a bar counter on the Northen Camino
Pintxos on a bar counter within the Basque nation on the Northern Camino

Every area in Spain focuses on completely different tapas, primarily based on its distinctive abundance of elements and the culinary historical past of that area.

Some cities which are world-renowned for his or her particular tapas are Leon, Pamplona, and Logroño – Camino Frances, Vigo-Camino Portuguese Coastal Route, Granada –  Camino Mozárabe, Salamanca – Through de La Plata, San Sebastián – Camino del Norte and Santiago de Compostela. In these cities, you usually get a free tapa in the event you purchase a beer. You’ll very seemingly run into pintxos strolling the Camino, what a deal with! 

The Basque nation in Northern Spain tends to do every part a bit otherwise together with tapas. Right here, they’re known as pintxos and are generally served on little skewers (toothpicks). Tapas are small variations of regular dishes whereas pintxos are fancy little one-bite delicacies.

pintxos San Sebastian
A bar counter lined in Pintxos in San Sebastian

Tortilla (smaller portion), patatas brava, spicy fried potatoes, cured ham, cheese, and olives are tapas generally discovered throughout Spain. The perfect Pintxos I’ve ever tasted was in San Sebastian on the Camino del Norte, strolling from bar to bar with a caña and buen camino at every cease.

Communal Dinner

Some albergues serve communal dinners for a payment or typically for donation. We’re at all times excited once we arrive at an Albergue providing communal mealsThe meals are sometimes a three-course meal with bread, and wine, similar to the usual pilgrim’s menu. What makes these meals particular is the corporate of different pilgrims, it’s a excellent spot to satisfy different pilgrims and take heed to their tales. In additional than 100 albergues now we have stayed now we have had some nice meals. One of the vital memorable was at Albergue La Cabaña del Abuelo Peuto (non-public) in Güemes on the Northern Camino. The proprietor is Padre Ernesto, a priest that traveled all around the world serving to individuals in want, and it was nice to take heed to his tales.

Making ready our personal meals

We frequently ready our personal meals on the Camino and typically cooked with different pilgrims, that is at all times nice enjoyable. Most albergues have some type of a shared kitchen, sadly, utensils are sometimes very restricted. So earlier than you go and purchase a whole lot of meals on the native grocery store to cook dinner up a storm, first go and see what is obtainable within the kitchen for cooking. There may be normally a fridge, microwave oven, and a kettle. Typically a range, however not at all times pots and pans. If attainable to cook dinner a fundamental dish we purchase meat, olive oil, contemporary greens, pasta, and wine and put together our personal meals. We at all times have a Swiss military knife in our backpack and lots of meals find yourself being a baguette with butter, Jamón Serrano (Spanish ham), and cheese. Certainly one of our favourite meals is customized salads. There are a number of variations of those pre-packed meals out there from grocery store cabinets. We normally go for a salad with pasta, it’s simply extra filling and infrequently add cheese and jamon. When you comply with a particular food plan (e.g. gluten-free food plan), the most effective locations to go for meals are the primary grocery chains. Our favourite grocery store chains in Spain are Carrefour, Dia, Lidl, Eroski, Mercadona, and Aldi. We all know that bread, dairy merchandise, meat, and salads are good. We’re aware of the costs and know the merchandise. 

Concentrate on Siesta! This Spanish afternoon nap is a really actual factor and has left us hungry, aggravated, and ready a number of occasions! Small retailers are usually closed between 14:00 and 16:00 o’clock, some even till 17:00. I’ve even seen retailers that belong to massive chains being closed for a siesta in small cities. 

Particular Dishes to Strive on the Camino de Santiago

The Camino de Santiago crosses a big space and meals will differ from area to area. Listed here are a few of our favourite dishes to attempt in your Camino pilgrimage. 

Pulpo a la Gallega (also called Pulpo á feira)
Pulpo a la Gallega (additionally known as Pulpo á feira) – is a conventional octopus dish in Galicia and probably the most well-liked delicacies discovered on the Camino de Santiago.
  • Pulpo a la Gallega (additionally known as Pulpo á feira) – is a conventional octopus dish in Galicia that you could find at most eating places on the French Approach. Cooked items of octopus are sprinkled with salt, paprika, and olive oil and go nice with beer or wine. 
  • Tarta de Santiago (Cake of St James) — Almond cake/pie with added lemon zest and brandy embellished with the Cross of St.James which provides the title to the pastry. In eating places, Tarta de Santiago is normally served with whipped cream and/or ice cream. It’s gluten-free. A scrumptious candy deal with with café con leche. 
  • Pimientos de Padrón (Padrón Peppers) — Pimientos de Padron or Padron peppers is a conventional dish that comes from the small Galician city of Padron, 20 km south of Santiago. Small inexperienced gentle peppers are fried in olive oil and served scorching with salt, a really fast and simple dish.
  • Bacalao al pil-pil (Spanish Codd with Pil Pil Sauce) – is a conventional dish from the Basque Nation that may be a well-known dish throughout Spain. So look out for it on the Camino del Norte. The scrumptious pil pil sauce makes the dish distinctive. It’s made with salt cod, garlic, and olive oil.
  • Churros con chocolate – A preferred Spanish candy snack constituted of a choux pastry, pushed via a star-shaped nozzle, fried in oil, and coated in a mixture of sugar and cinnamon. Dipped in thick scorching chocolate. Common breakfast. 
  • Pastel de Nata (additionally known as Pastel de Belém) – strolling the Portuguese Camino? don´t miss this well-known Portuguese pastry whereas strolling via Portugal. An egg custard tart pastry, optionally dusted with cinnamon, has a special stage of deliciousness.

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Hey! A bit about us - we’re John & Maria and we're a couple that loves to travel the world and document our adventures! We enjoy writing, blogging, exploring and sharing our adventures. We’re always embarking on new journeys and here you’ll find articles covering many travel destinations, and topics, such as culture, history, art and cuisine. Our goal and mission is to present compelling stories, photography and personal opinions, as well as serve as an online resource for anyone who wishes to plan their own trips and visit the destinations we've been to. We genuinely love meeting new people, mingling with locals, listening to their amazing stories and trying new travel experiences.

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