Foods to Try on the Camino de Santiago

Walking the Camino de Santiago can be as much a culinary adventure as a feat of endurance or time for self-reflection! As you traverse this endlessly vibrant and culturally enriching pilgrimage route, you’ll burn enough calories to warrant every meal you sit down to enjoy. From hearty stews to delicate pastries, each region of the Camino offers unique flavors. Here’s our guide to some must-try dishes that will enrich your pilgrimage experience.

Those of you who are especially passionate about food culture might wish to consider booking a place on our Gourmet Camino La Riojo; La Rioja is one of Spain’s finest landscapes with medieval towns, monasteries, vineyards, and, of course, unforgettable local cuisine.

Sweet Treats from Astorga

Astorga was once home to over sixty chocolate factories, and its long history of producing delectable sweet treats is still apparent today. Make sure to visit the local chocolate museum and treat yourself to the artisan chocolates crafted there. Don’t miss out on tasting Mantecados, delightful buttery cakes, and Hojaldres, sweet and sticky puff pastries that local bakers have mastered over the centuries. Remember, sugar-rich pastries, cakes, and chocolates will provide some much-needed energy boosts for your Camino! 

Jamón Ibérico

No Spanish journey is complete without sampling Jamón Ibérico. Celebrated as one of the finest cured meats globally, this delicacy comes from pigs that graze on acorns and wild herbs in oak forests, lending the meat its distinctive, rich flavor. Enjoy it thinly sliced as a tapa, tucked into a bocadillo, or simply with a handful of Spanish almonds. 

Rioja Style Potatoes

This classic dish from the La Rioja region features potatoes tenderly stewed with chorizo in a savory broth, creating a simple yet comforting dish that perfectly embodies the local flavors — it’ll also provide a helpful dose of carbohydrates for Camino walkers! To explore La Rioja’s food and wine culture in greater depth, book a place on our La Rioja Gourmet Camino

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Tarta de Santiago

Celebrate reaching Santiago with a slice of the iconic Tarta de Santiago, an almond-based cake rich in history, dating back to 1577. Traditionally adorned with the Cross of the Order of Santiago, this dessert marries sweet almond flavors with a touch of historical poignancy — it’s the dessert marking the end of your spiritual feast.

Octopus in Melide

In Melide, enjoy the tradition of eating octopus “market fair-style” (Pulpo á feira). Prepared in dedicated ‘pulperías’, this dish features octopus seasoned with sea salt and smoked paprika. It’s a must-try dish that captures the essence of Galician market days. It’s also a delicate and light dish that won’t leave you feeling overfed amid your epic journey. 

Want to journey to Melide with Walk the Camino? We visit the historic town on our Camino Primitivo (Last Section) Tour.

Padrón Peppers

Don’t miss trying Padrón peppers on your Camino. These bright green peppers are sautéed in olive oil and sprinkled with salt, offering a mostly mild flavor, but beware — roughly every tenth pepper packs a spicy surprise, making each bite a delicious game of chance.

Garlic Soup

Along the French Way, particularly in León and Castile, Garlic Soup is one of the many culinary highlights. This robust soup is crafted with simple ingredients like garlic, olive oil, paprika, broth, eggs, bay leaf, serrano ham, and hard bread. Its rich flavors and nutritious profile make it an excellent choice for replenishing energy during your pilgrimage!

The French Way is one of our favourite Camino de Santiago routes, packed with historical wonders and immensely beautiful natural landscapes. Consider taking one of our Camino Tours in France

Empanadas

Empanadas are a staple of northwestern Spain and a heart food to grab on the go. These savoury pastries are delightfully crescent-shaped and come with a variety of fillings — from meats and seafood to vegetables. Whether fried or baked, each empanada you taste belongs to a centuries-old tradition in this part of Spain. 

Pil Pil Cod

If your Camino journey takes you through the Northern Route, make sure to savour the Pil Pil Cod. This Basque speciality simplifies elegance into four basic ingredients: chilli peppers, garlic, olive oil, and cod. The highlight is the vibrant sauce, named for the sizzling sound of the cod as it cooks, which envelopes the fish in rich, garlicky warmth.

Check out our Northern Route tour: Self-Guided Camino del Norte (Basque Coast).

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Queixo de Tetilla Cheese

While trekking the Camino, be sure to try the creamy delight of Queixo de Tetilla cheese. Known for its unique shape inspired by a historical act of protest against censorship, this cheese offers a soft texture and a mildly sweet flavour that contrasts beautifully with Spain’s more famous Manchego.

Lentil Stew

Our final recommendation? A nourishing bowl of lentil stew! This dish is guaranteed to restore your energy after a long day on the Camino. Common across various stops along the pilgrimage, this robust stew blends lentils with garlic, onion, carrots, and smoky chorizo. Its rich flavours and warming nature make it a popular choice on the pilgrims’ Camino menus.

We hope this blog has given you a glimpse of the culinary delights awaiting any walker on the Camino de Santiago. Before you go, browse our Camino Tours. If you have any questions, please get in touch

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