Santander from bar to bar


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We assume that you know, but in case you didn't remember, Santander is one of the capitals of good homeland eating. In addition to its cultural and architectural value, the Palacio de la Magdalena, the lavish Botín center, the Pereda promenade, the Sardinero beach and a Casino that removes the hiccups, the Cantabrian capital stands out above all for its gastronomy.

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Eat the Cantabrian: Basque Country, Cantabria and Asturias

And this is how the products of the Cantabrian Sea slip into the restaurant menus, so that you return from there with the benefits of Omega 3 well rooted in your body. His iconic dish? The squid rabas, of course. They have become the queens of the appetizer for their unique simplicity and flavor.

But not only rabas lives the man, so we will tell you the bars that you have to frequent on your next visit. Ready? Bon Appetite!

Croquetas del Riojano, Santander

Croquettes of Riojano, Santander © El Riojano

LA MAYOR (Juan de la Cosa, 5. Tel. 942 216 973)

If you give yourself a pleasant walk along the majestic Paseo de Pereda and visit the Botín center, surely your stomach starts to roar with hunger at some point. Therefore, it happens that many of the bars we will talk about, are located in the outskirts of downtown Santander. Our first stop will be at La Mayor, a small restaurant located behind Castelar street.

In front an always willing and smiling José, who serves in his bar one of the most precious rabas of Santander. Have the classic ones of magano (big squid) fresh, but if you ask for those of the house, you will see their particularity, since here they make them squid, crispy and with a perfect batter.

Do not even think about throwing lemon on top, you have to appreciate its flavor without any seasoning. But there is not the thing, because its offer is completed with mussels, sandwiches, Russian salad and seafood. You can always take a look at your nursery or ask what has come that day: barnacles, crabs, crabs …

They are also masters in the preparation of fish such as turbot or sea bream that you can taste in their upper dining room. Just do not expect luxuries in decoration, here is the least.

La Mayor

La Mayor © La Mayor

THE BOMBI (Casimiro Saín, 15. Tel. 942 21 30 28)

They opened in 1934 and since then, they have positioned themselves as one of the essential places to make our stomach happy. Its history starts when Antonio del Ojo and his wife Bernardina, open the La Bombilla tavern where, after a small bar, they made famous their anchovies in oil and their sardines recently brought from the port. Over time, the parishioners begin to affectionately call her La Bombi.

Already in 1985, Boni Movellán crosses the restaurant and consolidates it forever. Being at the foot of the canyon every day, they have managed to find in their bar - and restaurant - only the best raw material and the freshest seafood in Santander.

Although the room is impeccable, we, who are more than a bar, fell in love with this space that is conceived in the key 'horro vacui' with hundreds of photographs of the Bombi landmarks, wines and souvenirs. If you go, the tribute has to go through a few rabas, its famous clams to the pan, grilled sandwiches or onions maganos.

Barra de La Bombi

Putting your elbow here is a WONDERFUL experience © La Bombi

LA TUCHO (Corbán, 12. Tel. 94 233 61 77)

Although away from the usual circuit and a bit out of control, we think it is especially important that you know La Tucho.

Located on the outskirts of Santander, just in front of the Corban seminar, it has more than 50 years of history behind it. It was in 1956 when Antonio Gómez and Juana Soto, better known as La Tucho, opened a grocery store that incorporated one every meal.

The thing grew and they happened to have a bar and an annex restaurant that now manages the next generation. In La Tucho you make sure you enjoy around the table.

We were eager to try it but at night, the kitchen does not open until nine. Seated at a table we got in the bar area, we rushed a few bottles of beer while the place began to fill up to the flag.

What to order in La Tucho? For starters, its rabas, large, delicate, tasty and without a drop of extra oil . To continue, as they are also experts in seafood, you can order some morgueras open in a pan with a few drops of oil without masking its flavor, and finally, fried hake or monkfish. What a simple and delicious thing. They come served with a little lettuce and tomato and are printing.

La Tucho

La Tucho © La Tucho

LA CIGALEÑA (Daoíz y Velarde 19. Tel. 942 210 184)

Wine lovers! Here is a mandatory stop in the Cantabrian capital. "Every day we open to follow the story … of good and wine", so we enter this wine cathedral and wine museum.

His story begins on the honeymoon of Mariano Conde Caballero and Moisesa Camazón Benito. He wanted the destination to be spent in Santander and decided to make it his residence. From that day on, his only obsession focused on filling La Cigaleña with flavors, memories and the best of each vineyard.

To enter there is to make it a world of wine relics, newspaper clippings and travel souvenirs that have made La Cigaleña what it is today. Now in the hands of the brothers Count Laya, these have been those who have taken care of the tradition of the place. The best of all is that they have opted to stock up on natural wines, adding them to the relics of old and hard-to-find wines in other establishments that they treasure in their wineries.

They sell them by the glass and at more than democratic prices, because here there is no speculation about the wine, and so they invite you to try more on each visit. To accompany, ask for some Soria torreznos, skewers of seasonal products or well selected cheeses .

“Bread that over, meat, that is enough and wine… that is not lacking”

La Cigaleña

La Cigaleña © La Cigaleña

BODEGA DEL RIOJANO (Río de la Pila, 5. Tel. 942 216 750)

This historic Santander winery houses the world's first 'Redondo Museum'. And what is that? This is a vast collection of about 120 works painted by renowned artists on the tops of wine barrels, always in a round, clear format.

Its bar is always the busiest and is completed with a few small tables for a snack, not forgetting the huge room they have after passing a door.

Founded in 1940, it has gone through ups and downs until it reaches where it is today. It was in 2006, after a few years closed, when Carlos Crespo assumed the management of the restaurant while looking at the tradition and history that is breathed in its walls.

The essentials of the house begin with some great snails stewed from La Rioja, continue with piquillo peppers stuffed with meat and end with a caramel egg flan to remove the hat.

But, oh friends, it is not convenient to forget about its creamy sweet and egg croquettes, its Russian salad, a potato omelette stewed with cornstarch sauce, Iberian sausage and aioli (blandengues refrain) and a chicken ravioli pedres with fresh and creamy foie of apionabo.

Bodega del Riojano

Bodega del Riojano © Bodega del Riojano

EL PINCHO DE TORTILLA DE PIZZA JARDÍN (Autonomy, 2. Tel. 942 39 18 81)

One of the best tortillas in Santander is in the gym cafeteria. Yes, as you read it. We didn't believe them either until they gave us the sneak and we decided to go meet them. It's called Pizza Jardín and it's inside the Body Factory gym complex in Mataleñas. The best? That every day they prepare a multitude of potato tortillas ideal for the breakfast skewer.

From Santander with their coffee and their skewer, to those who have just left to exercise, they go there for their ration. What we don't know is how effective it is to sweat and then put a skewer between chest and back. Be that as it may, we went to breakfast and if you want to get your ration, you have to hurry. Many days, at about twelve o'clock, they have no more.

They have potatoes or stuffed with tuna, ham and cheese or vegetable. The skewer is what we would call perfect: with the potato well done and neither too curdled nor too liquid. It is served with a good piece of bread, so make sure you get out of there well for breakfast.

Pincho de tortilla de Pizza Jardín

Pizza Tortilla Skewer Garden © Pizza Jardín

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Eat the Cantabrian: Basque Country, Cantabria and Asturias