Eating in Ourense

Eating in Ourense

Ourense, capitol of the province with the same name, is a city crossed by the Miño river. This geographic position makes its gastronomy very rich, so eating in Ourense will be a delight to all palates. This Galician city is worth the visit and offers all of the region’s typical products. If you decide to eat in Ourense, you will not be disappointed…

If you want to know what to eat in Ourense, you have to keep in mind that it’s the only of four Galician provinces that isn’t near the ocean so naturally, although present, fish and seafood aren’t prominent ingredients of the region with the exception of octopus, which is always a star dish in Galicia.

The Miño crosses the city and many restaurants offer fish from the river on their menus: salmon, trout, and lamprey (similar to eel). In terms of meats, in addition to in-season game, you can eat many of the dishes that come from pig slaughter such as androlla, leg of lamb a la orensana, and the famous lacón con grelos (with I.G.P.).

miel ourense
faba pulpo

Ourense’s cuisine is based in quality produce like the Galician soup with grelos (greens), cachelos (boiled potatoes) and legumes like the Faba de Lourenzá with I.G.P. You’ll have the opportunity to try their typical cheeses: Queso de Tetilla, Queso de San Simón da Costa, and Queso Cebreiro, all products with D.O.P. that pair perfectly with the town’s famous bread, Pan de Cea (with I.G.P.)

In Ourense, the empanada is reinvented with a great variety of ingredients: eel, octopus, and bonito fish are the most highly demanded.

The most common wine in the province is D.O. Ribeiro, but they also make Monterrei, Ribera Sacra, and Valdeorras wines, all with D.O.

Lovers of dessert that come to eat in Ourense will be able to enjoy the cake known as Bica de Trives as well as the cañas (stuffed tube pastries). In Ourense the chestnuts, with D.O. Castaña de Galicia, are especially good, and are eaten either roasted or candied as marron glacé. Another typical product with I.G.P. is the Honey of Galicia.

It’s always good to finish a meal in Ourense with some Aguardiente de Hierbas (herb brandy) or Orujo de Galicia (pomace brandy), especially if the food has been plentiful.

In Galicia they generally celebrate many gastronomic festivals, and a few of the ones in the Ourense capitol are: Xantar (International Salon of Gastronomic Tourism), the fall and springtime Concursos de Pinchos, and Los Magostos, the day of the the patron saint, San Martín de Tours, in which they originally roasted chestnuts around the fire and currently celebrate in different parts of the city as well as surrounding mountainss.

You’re in luck if you’re looking to eat tapas in Ourense. In Ourense, it’s customary to go out to “tomar vinos” (“drink wines”) in old town, the streets near the Cathedral, the Calle Lepanto…In this area we recommend:

The Bar Orellas is one of the most emblematic bars that has managed to stay true to its origins. There they serve a pincho that honors their name, pig’s ears with paprika (orellas means ‘ears’). You can also eat rich tapas at Portovello, another bar with a very good reputation.

For cheese lovers, Mesón O Queixo is a great option. They serve good sausage that you can eat on their pleasant terrace located in a small square.

Finally, to enjoy some rich croquettes and skewers at lunchtime in Ourense, try the Bar Pérez.

There are so many options for eating in Ourense that it will be difficult to choose. You generally can’t make a bad choice because the local gastronomy is so rich. However, if you’re indecisive, here we highlight a few restaurants in Ourense.

At Restaurante Nova, winner of a Michelin star in 2014, chefs Julio Sotomayor and Daniel Guzmán prepare avant-garde cuisine that they call  “from the roots”, and offer the possibility of sitting at a “table-bar”, where the diner sits very close to the chefs as they cook.

At Adega San Cosme, also known as “Casa Sindo”, you’ll find traditional cuisine and in-season game dishes.

Another restaurant you can try in Ourense is the Porta Da Aira, where it’s said that you can find the best sirloin. There’s also Asador do Roa, where they have a firewood oven in which they roast Lechazo Churro de Roa and Cochinillo Segoviano with firewood from Oak and shoots. Highly recommendable.

El Pingallo has a pleasant terrace, space for celebrations and, being in the town’s wine area, is great for some good tapas in Ourense.

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