La Coruña

by Jax on November 29, 2011

San Sebastian, I was expecting to be a fantastic foodie experience, but ending up in La Coruña for a few days turned out to be a very pleasant gastronomic surprise.20111129-221802.jpg

I had found some very good recommendations for what and where to eat in various blogs on San Sebastian (thanks ThePleasureMonger) San Sebastian  but such tips for La Coruña were harder to come across. So for once I had to suppress my tendency to slavishly follow the guidebooks and go off piste… Leaving behind the tourist greenhouses of the main square (Plaza María Pita) which is still worth a visit to see the impressive floodlit Palacio Municipal, we wandered the streets of the old town.

20111214-201902.jpgAs many bars are small and popular, people spill outside, so the atmosphere is buzzing in both the bars and the streets. It is not hard to find somewhere offering a slightly more imaginative take on tapas-such as La Tapa Negra (try the daily specials) – or traditional gallegan fare done really well, such as at Meson do Pulpo, where a half ración of delicious pulpo (which was almost too much for this greedy girl) was washed down with a delicious glass of the house albariño.

If San Sebastian is a pilgrimage for pintxos, don’t miss out on the tostas in la Coruña-big, tasty and for sharing at la Tapa Negra and an array to tempt you on the bar at Meson el Serrano, where the staff were friendly, the serrano was divine (even though I don’t eat meat?!) and they also offer a delicious empanada del día-in this case ‘zamburiñas’, which I still don’t know what they are…*

20111214-201408.jpgThe geek was happy too, with refreshing fizzy sweet local cider on offer (more appreciated than the local stuff in San Sebastian-hard not to compare the two as our experiences were so close together). He was tempted into one very plain looking, but bustling, bar by the sight of a pincho of some sort of meat and fried potatoes skewered on a cocktail stick, whilst we were waiting for ours to arrive we realised it was crocodile! Not put off, he ate that and ordered another!

Tasca a Troula-pincho de cocodrillo

Tasca a Troula-pincho de cocodrillo

For us it was much more about the food than the drink (especially after four days living from packet food on an uncomfortable Biscay crossing) but it would be unfair not to mention that quirky Bar Ambigu does a mean mojito.

We had an unexpectedly enjoyable few days in la Coruña. Everyone we encountered, from the staff at marina Coruña -especially Anna in the office-, Jose Luis and his staff at marina seca, the guys at Pombo chandlery (efectos navales), to the waiters, was friendly and helpful. The city felt friendly and safe-although the CCTV and police presence (friendly rather than threatening) in the centre of town at night might suggest that others have found it not so. It was easy to walk around and the sculpture park on the headland and the tower of Hercules added interest to a nice stroll-or run, though it was a shame the trams weren’t running for winter.

A note for visiting yachties-it is not easy to find a supermarket

*zamburiñas-baby scallops

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