Santiago de Compostela has a multitude of attractions for visitors, whether they are pilgrims or not. Its cathedral is an obligatory stop, but the capital of Galicia is not only limited to its monumental area, nor to the four squares surrounding the temple of the apostle.
Precisely one of the most attractive alternatives is gastronomy. And you don't have to be a pilgrim foodie to enjoy it. So we have made a selection of the best you can find in the city: 7 restaurants in Santiago for a tribute after finishing the Camino.
Restaurants in Santiago
Everyone knows that Galicia is a good place to eat. We have to thank an extraordinary raw material and a culinary tradition of elaborations that seek to preserve the nutritional values and the characteristic flavour of each element.
In recent years, Galician restaurants have also opted for a more innovative and daring cuisine, anchored in the essences, but with the capacity to surprise. The awards are there. For example, in 2021, Galician restaurants have 29 Repsol suns and 14 Michelin stars. Two of them are in Santiago and are at the top of the list (because one of them had to start with).
The list is completed with other restaurants that, beyond public recognition, have the daily support of the city's inhabitants, who are not in vain those who know best what the city of the apostle has to offer.
What follows is not a ranking. It is simply an invitation to enjoy.
Chef Lucía Freitas' restaurant has been among the Galician elite for years, and with good reason. Her cuisine stands out for its infinite respect for the product and for the originality of its chromatic proposals and its loyalty to the "km 0" philosophy. And so much so. Many of the vegetables that are cooked here come from their own garden, and the rest of the produce from local markets such as the Praza de Abastos, just 100m from the restaurant. A Michelin star and two Repsol suns endorse a place that is a classic in this type of list and one of our favourites.
Led by chef Marcelo Tejedor, this restaurant with an informal approach, very close to the diner, fuses gastronomic references from Galicia, Japan, Peru and Mexico. The result is a creativity that overflows. The treatment of extraordinary Galician fish with Japanese culinary techniques and other similar combinations have earned it a Michelin star and two Repsol suns, as well as local recognition.
Auga e Sal
We continue talking about restaurants in Santiago with another classic, despite its recent opening: Auga e Sal. The name of the restaurant is a declaration of intent: simplicity as a flag and the combination of innovative techniques with the usual product, carefully selected and of exquisite quality. The responsibility lies with chef Áxel Smyth and owner Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón - the ideologist of the proposal. The result is harmonious, without stridency, with the product right in the centre.
Pepe Solla is one of the most renowned Galician chefs and from his Michelin-starred restaurant in Poio, on the Pontevedra estuary, he has set up this restaurant in Santiago, entrusting the kitchen to chef David Abalo. An informal place, which combines his proposals around Celeiro hake and Joselito ham with the music that was enjoyed in the old bar that previously occupied this space.
Taberna Abastos 2.0
Another of those places that seek the greatest proximity to the diner (at the bar, at the table or on the terrace) and to the source of the product. Not in vain is it located in the middle of Praza de Abastos, the largest market in Compostela and the second most visited spot in the city - only behind the inexcusable cathedral. The proposal, designed by Iago Pazos and Marcos Cerqueiro, is based on a unique menu that changes weekly depending on the products and the seasons, but that also seeks innovation - whether it is a version of the traditional Galician empanada with gyoza dough or osmotised apples. One of the restaurants in Santiago de Compostela that we have enjoyed the most.
A Horta d'Obradoiro
In a 17th century house where the cathedral musicians used to live, Kike Piñeiro and Eloy Cancela have been committed to simple, authentic cuisine since 2016, with product as the star on which everything revolves. Market, seasonal and local cuisine. In other words: very Galician. With touches of modernity and at affordable prices, as recognised by the Michelin guide, which has included them among the Bib Gourmand. And in a space that is distributed in two rooms with an orchard-like terrace that, no doubt, has a lot to do with the name.
Orixe Gastronomía Galega
Another classic when it comes to highlighting restaurants in Santiago. In their mission statement they invoke the seafarers, ranchers and farmers who offer some of the best gastronomic products in the world. And they don't betray them. Exquisite cuisine, culinary criteria, evocations of the home-cooked meals of childhood and a conception that goes beyond the classic idea of a restaurant are the hallmarks of the house imposed by its manager, Martín Pais.