Gourmands of the world: the epicurean capital has an enviable gastronomical offering, whether you’re seeking the perfect tapas or the comfort of fine dining. Zaragoza and its open kitchens are ready to welcome you and delight your palette.
Like other Spanish cities, Zaragoza has a deeply-rooted tapas tradition, in fact it’s almost a religion. Although, unlike other places on the Spanish Peninsula, you don’t usually get free tapas when you order a drink here, portions are usually generously-sized and beautifully well made. And if the tapas tradition is almost a religion, there needs to be a decent number of “temples” where people can worship at the altar of this delicious custom.
The best place to enjoy quintessentially good tapas is in the historic quarter, near Calle Alfonso and the Basilica del Pilar, in an area known as “El Tubo”, a crossroads where the streets are filled with bars and restaurants. Some of the most traditional establishments are to be found in and around the crossroads where Calle Libertad and Calle Estebanes meet. Good examples are: Doña Casta, famous for its croquets including such delicious combinations as porcini with liver, cod with wild asparagus and chicken with chocolate; El Champi, who -rather successfully- place a strong emphasis on griddled mushrooms, and Bodegas Almau, a must-visit for anchovy-lovers as they prepare them in highly original ways: with cheese and chocolate, with honey and moscatel or with avocado, mint and almond.
As well as these traditional locales, there’s no shortage of more contemporary places, with equally attractive menus. This is definitely the case with El Melí del Tibo (Calle Libertad 12), two floors with contemporary decor where you can enjoy exploring its cocktail menu and a generous selection of creative tapas: ceviche bonarense, chupa-shups de ternasco (suckling lamb lollies), or hamburguesa de rape y gambas (monkfish and prawn hamburger), among others.
Although El Tubo is the most popular area to go for tapas, it’s not the only place where you can enjoy these culinary marvels. Almost all neighbourhoods have establishments where exquisite tapas are served. This is certainly the case in Bar Cervino (Calle Ainzón 18), in Almozara, a little place which is always full thanks to its top quality fare. Back in the centre, another area worth visiting is the area around Calle Mayor and Calle Heroísimo, where Thursdays are very special thanks to a special deal called juepincho (tapas and drink for two euros). Not far from there, at no. 6 Calle Cadena, we find another unmissable establishment: Casa Pedro, serving their signature tapas which have won a multitude of prizes, the most recent being first prize in the National Tapas Competition.
But Zaragoza is so much more than finger foods and snacks. If you’d like to enjoy a pleasant brunch in elegant surroundings, with music and a modern ambience, head to Garbo Gentlebar (Plaza de los Sitios 18), one of the city’s trendy locales, where you can taste their delicious cocktails before sitting down to dine on some fantastic Eggs Benedict, or stuffed brioches. There’s also no shortage of locales “crowned” with prestigious Michelin stars, like La Prensa (Calle José Nebra 3), or Cancook (Calle Juan de Aragón 5), both with tasting menus and prices of around 65 to 95 euros per head.
Ultimately, the gastro offerings of the Aragonese capital are more than capable of satisfying even the most demanding palette. One last point: make sure you try the ternasco (baby lamb meat), it’s traditional local produce and is prepared in many different ways, in tapas -such as the highly delicious madejas (rolled lamb), for example-, as well as in bocadillos (baguettes) or chuletillas (roasted cutlets)…. And don’t forget to try some of our Aragonese Denominación de Origen wines: Somontano, Cariñena, Borja and Calatayud. Cheers!