There is nothing like Spanish food. Fresh seafood, meat, produce, and a gastronomy 2,000 years in the making has earned praise from around the world. The region of Galicia is no exception. Characterized by superbly fresh seafood, hearty portions, and rich flavors, Galicia is a foodie’s dream come true.
Though pulpo (octopus) has become Galicia’s culinary mascot, the region has a wide range of restaurants to satisfy every budget and craving. During my 2012 Galicia trip, I was fortunate enough to sample this unique cuisine at some of the best restaurants in Galicia. Below are my top 20 dining recommendations for Galicia.
Aguamar (A Coruña)
A must-do while in A Coruña, Aguamar is bright, welcoming and airy. Lavish floor-to-ceiling windows boast sprawling views of the marina and are partnered with a decadent menu featuring locally caught seafood. Aguamar serves up traditional Galician cuisine with a twist.
Popular picks include the Monkfish, octopus, codfish and scallops to name a few. Ask to be seated on their breezy outside terrace. Come ready to share-portions are generous!
- Paseo Marítimo Alcalde Francisco Vázquez s/n
- Instalaciones Marina Coruña
- 15001 A Coruña, Spain
- +34 981 204 742
Alborada (A Coruña)
Top-notch service and an inventive menu have earned Alborada a well-deserved Michelin Star rating. Picturesquely located on the Paseo Marítimo, Alborada has a lot to offer diners willing to splurge on to-die-for food. Traditional Galician ingredients are transformed into unique, elegant creations that will captivate your sight along with your taste buds. Alborada’s impressive menu is continuously evolving and always partnered with their impressive wine selection.
Recommendations: Chef’s tasting menu with Lagar do Merens (d.o. Ribeiro) white wine.
- Paseo Marítimo Alcalde Francisco Vázquez, 25
- 15002 A Coruña, Spain
- +34 981 929 201
Restaurant Domus (A Coruña)
Located inside the Domus complex is a world-class restaurant bearing the same name. Like the scientific exhibits housed within the building, the dishes here are also works of art in their own right. A Michelin Star cements Domus Restaurant as one of the best eateries in the city. Each plate at Domus is laced with bold flavors and infused with high quality ingredients. It is the perfect place for those new to Galician cuisine to sample its essence.
Recommendations: Chef’s tasting meu.
- Rua Ángel Rebollo
- 15002 A Coruña, Spain
- +34 981 189 840
Casa Betanzia (Betanzos)
Casa Betanzia is located just steps from the Mendo River. Diners can choose to sit in their cozy dining room or airy terrace. Uruguayan-born owners bring something special to Casa Betanzia’s cuisine by blending typical Spanish ingredients with Latin American cooking styles. Grilled meats, or parrillada, are the specialty of the house, and since I don’t like to mess with perfection, that is what I ordered. Don’t forget a bottle of refreshing Albariño wine!
Recommendations: Seafood croquettes, grilled steak and potatoes, baked clams, fried codfish, strawberry cake dessert and Viña Cartin (d.o. Rías Baixas) Albariño wine.
- Ribeira do Río Mandeo
- Rua Alfoli, 7
- Betanzos, A Coruña, Spain
- +34 981 770 490
For over 60 years the Vázquez family has helped make Campos one of Lugo’s finest restaurants. Award-winning cuisine is partnered with excellent hospitality, and their high quality seafood and savory game meats are sure to leave you satisfied. Non-traditional menu items include partridge, rabbit, venison and wild boar. In true Galician form, all food is prepared entirely from scratch!
Recommendations: Menú Degustación, or tasting menu (€35 per person)
- Rúa Nova, 4
- 27001 Lugo, Spain
- +34 982 229 743
Mesón de Alberto (Lugo)
Mesón de Alberto has been one of Lugo’s culinary treasures since opening its doors in 1975. Patriarch Alberto García originally opened a simple Galician eatery on the ground floor of an antique house. However, it has now expanded to all four stories of the building! The ground floor, known as the tapería, is reserved for casual tapas dining. Here, lobster tanks, contemporary furnishings and sultry lighting lure you in. The upper levels are more formal, and serve up traditional Galician meals that incorporate savory calamari, fish octopus, and percebes (goose barnacles), and lamprea.
Recommendations: Soup of the day, lubina filet (pictured), bogavante (lobster), filloas (flambéed crepes) dessert.
- Rúa da Cruz, 4
- 27001 Lugo, Spain
- +34 982 228 310
O Grelo (Monforte de Lemos)
O Grelo is arguably one of the Lugo province’s best restaurants. It rests perched above the town in a magnificent stone building with matchless views of the surrounding landscape. All of this is paired with gourmet Galician cuisine served over classic white linens and an exceptional wine list. The menu always features an array of local ingredients, seasonal delicacies and avant-garde desserts.
Recommendations: Gallegan cheese sampler, fried whole xoubas (sardines), rodaballo filet (pictured), bull’s tail with wine sauce, ternera (beef tenderloin), dessert special of the day.
- C/ Campo de la Virgen
- 27400 Monforte de Lemos, Lugo, Spain
- +34 982 401 701
Martin Fierro (Ourense)
For more than 40 years, Martin Fierro has provided the good people of Ourense with a varied selection of typical Galician plates. This is the ideal restaurant for someone who has never tried Galician food, and would like to sample several dishes from the region. Galicia-bred beef is consistently ranked the tastiest and highest quality beef in Spain, and Martin Fierro does it perfectly, as well as a wealth of other seared and grilled tender meats! Be sure to pair your feast up with a local red wine, and tell them David sent you.
Recommendations: Empanada Gallega, mollejas (sweetbreads) with chimichurri, pork loin, cañas filled with pastry cream dessert, homemade vanilla ice cream.
- Calle de Antonio Sáenz Díez, 32
- 32003 Ourense, España
- +34 988 372 026
Galileo is owned and operated by Chef Flavio Morganti, an Italian-born food mastermind who fell in love with the bounty of Galician sea and soil. Chef Morganti’s dishes are memorable to say the least. Located in a remodeled 19th century home, enjoy your one-of-a-kind meal surrounded by lush countryside. Galileo’s menu is seasonal and always changing to incorporate the freshest ingredients. Diners have a lot to think about when choosing from several risotto, pasts, meat, and seafood creations.
Recommendations: Chef’s tasting menu, Albariño wine.
- Santa Baia-Pereiro de Agular
- 32710 Ourense, España
- +34 988 380 425
Adega do Emilio (Ourense)
This establishment has had a century to perfect both its service and cuisine. Feel like family while you feast in this rustic, yet pleasant, turn of a century farmhouse. The menu features always-satisfying classics like pulpo a feria (octopus) and merluza a la Gallega (hake fish), as well as other signature house dishes like baked clams and tender steaks. The word adega means winery in Galician, so you can be sure that their selection is extensive. However, do not forget to end your meal with a sampling of chupitos, traditional Galician after-dinner liqueurs.
Recommendations: Empanada de xoubas (sardines), clams in mushroom and garlic reduction, pan seared merluza with scallops (pictured), pork with Roquefort cheese and butter reduction in puff pastry shell, apple pudding dessert.
- Avenida de las Caldas, 11
- 32001 Ourense, España
- +34 988 219 111
El Asador de Roa (Ourense)
Asador de Roa offers a wide selection of Spanish favorites at affordable prices in a casual setting. Castilian specialties are hearty, with pork, veal and legumes being standard ingredients. This restaurant has a broad selection from both sides of the Spanish spectrum, Galician and Castilian, and serves guests generous portions of each lip-smacking dish. The restaurant’s wood-burning stove without a doubt is its best asset, as it is used to prepare hundreds of cochinillos, suckling pigs during the summer months-a Castilian classic!
Recommendations: Empanadas caseras, pulpo Gallego, entrecote with hand-cut French fries, baked codfish with alioli and creamed spinach, filloas (crepes) filled with chocolate mousse and cream dessert (pictured).
- Calle de San Miguel, 10
- 32005 Ourense, España
- +34 988 372 276
Casa Zapatillas (Verin)
Named for a unique family history that you’ll simply have to hear firsthand, Casa Zapatillas is now celebrated throughout the region for its homemade gastronomic fare. Soups, stews, roasts and desserts are prepared each day for the famished. The restaurant is tucked away on a quiet street, and features a simple, contemporary dining room and full-service bar near the entrance. With generous portions and reasonable prices, what’s not to love?
Recommendations: Fish soup, roasted lamb with potatoes, pulpo Gallego (pictured), natilla (custard) and flan desserts.
- Avenida Luis Espada, 34 – interior
- 32600 Verín, Ourense, España
- +34 988 410 729
Casal de Arman (Ribadavia)
Casal de Armán is a graceful wine estate owned and operated by a family dedicated to the local art of winemaking. While it is easy to see how this sprawling property would be ideal for weddings and celebrations, most people just come for a few hours to be wined and dined in the heart of Ribeiro wine country. Like the rest of the estate, the restaurant has been completely renovated and features striking stone walls and rustic furnishings. Before sitting down for a meal, take a tour of the grounds and the bodega to educate yourself on the winemaking process, as well as to receive a sample of the goods!
Recommendations: Octopus appetizer, lamb chops, steak with mushroom sauce, chocolate tart dessert, house red and house white wines.
- Rua do Cotino, s/n
- 32415 Ribadavia, España
- +34 988 491 809
Don Gaiferos (Santiago de Compostela)
Since opening its doors in 1975, Don Gaiferos has held true to the restaurant’s original mission: to give visitors a taste of Santiago de Compostela’s traditional recipes in an elegant and relaxed setting. The cozy and peaceful environment is perfect for couples or groups. The seafood is fresh, the wine is refreshing, and Don Gaiferos keeps things simple yet delicious by letting the dishes retain their natural flavors and never over-spicing.
Recommendations: Berberechos (clams) (pictured), bogavante con vieiras (lobster with scallops), jumbo shrimp with smoked salmon, steamed percebes (goose neck barnacles), Terras Gauda Abadia De San Campo (d.o. Rías Baixas) white wine.
- Rúa Nova, 23
- 15705 Santiago de Compostela, Spain
- +34 981 583 894
El Gourmet Aljan (Riberia)
Upon entering, eclectic décor backdrop the smiling hostess that greets patrons. Guests immediately feel welcome and ready to relax while they feast upon Galician staples such as ham, eggs, pork and fish. All of which are transformed into distinctive dishes that you will not find anywhere else! El Gourmet Aljan also features an extensive selection of Spanish wines. The mood is intimate, the food is mouthwatering, and the service is spot on.
Recommendations: Croquetas de langostinos (shrimp croquettes), baked clams on the half shell with béchamel (pictured), merluza (hake) filet baked in clay pot with potatoes and peas, pork loin with gravy, tiramisu and liquid chocolate tart desserts and Paco & Lola (d.o. Rías Baixas) white wine.
- Avenida Miguel Rodríguez Bautista, 15 Bajo
- 15960 Ribeira, Spain (A Coruña)
- +34 981875334
La Bodeguilla de San Roque (Santiago de Compostela)
Economic, laidback, and completely delicious, La Bodegullia is perfect for anyone on a budget looking for a stellar after-dark tapas joint. Not to mention authentic! La Bodeguilla de San Roque also offers an good sized selection of Spanish wines and imported beers.
Recommendations: Pan con tomate, Iberian ham, pork loin with cheese sauce, salted tuna with red peppers and potatoes, veal meatballs with creamy spinach sauce (pictured), tiramisu dessert and Vina Nora (d.o. Rías Baixas) white wine.
- Rúa de San Roque, 13
- 15704 Santiago de Compostela, Spain
- +34 981564379
El Mosquito (Vigo)
For the past 80 years, El Mosquito has enjoyed fanfare amongst locals and international food critics alike for its delectable Galician cuisine in an upscale ambiance. El Mosquito still serves its signature tapas, but has moved on to include a variety of dishes like mussels, empanadas, steaks, fish filets and, home style desserts.
Recommendations: Galician cod fish empanada (pie), mussels with oil, vinegar and garlic, octopus, shellfish croquettes, navajas (razor clams) and the fish of the day.
- Plaza da Piedra, 4
- 36202 Vigo, Spain
- +34 986 433 570
O Pescador (Vigo)
Small and cramped, it is best to sit outside of O Pescador to feast on this divine cuisine. A local treasure, this place has been dishing up only the best for over 35 years. Try the chef’s signature dish: a mixed grilled seafood platter called the parrillada de mariscos. This heaping mountain of grilled sea creatures also happens to be his very own creation, and he isn’t shy about letting anyone know it either. He is credited with inventing the parrillada de mariscos, now one of the most iconic dishes of the Pontevedra province.
Recommendations: Parrillada de mariscos (pictured), paella marinara, bottle of Almuiña Albariño wine
- Rúa de Ribeira do Berbés, 5
- 36202 Vigo, Spain
- +34 986223068
Casa Valladeiros (A Guarda)
Casa Valladeiros blew me away with its authentic hospitality, super fresh food and inviting ambiance. Family-owned and just 25 feet from the water’s edge, savor a lobster right out of the tank, enjoy a wine of your tasting, and partake in Casa Valladeiros’ unique tradition of having customers wedge “wish coins” into the spaces between the stone and brick walls.
Recommendations: Mussels with tomato salsa (pictured), berberecho clams, navajas (razor clams), Padrón peppers, grilled octopus, flan de queso dessert.
- Calle del Puerto
- 36780 A Guarda, Spain
- +34 986 610 468
Restaurant Banasteria (Pontevedra)
Banasteria is all about its novel cuisine. Traditional Galician ingredients meet a creative and exceptional kitchen staff. Fish, pork, beef and shellfish are marinated, fried, sautéed, flambéed and baked to perfection. Every dish I tried was nothing short of amazing. Both the wine cellar and the ingredients are seasonally updated!
Recommendations: clam and crab in pastry shell (prize-winning dish), crunchy shrimp with basil citrus mayonnaise, scrambled eggs with foi gras and apple, black rice with duck confit, roasted cochinillo (sucking pig), brownie and vanilla ice cream dessert.
- Calle General Martitegui, 4
- 36002 Pontevedra, Spain
- +34 986 106 937
If you have any other restaurant suggestions for best restaurants in Galicia, please leave us a comment below!
To the best of our knowledge, all of the information provided in this post was accurate at the time of publishing. Davidsbeenhere.com, LLC. assumes no responsibility for changes or errors. All opinions are my own. A special thanks to TurGalicia for helping to arrange this trip.