Ourense concentrates the best of the different gastronomic cultures in Galicia: from the coast it adopted the taste for the octopus, and from the inland the taste for meats and homegrown vegetables. Many of the most renowned products of Galician gastronomy are produced here, several of them protected with denominations of origin. Bread, meat, potatoes and (of course) wine are just a small sample of the ingredients that are present in our dishes with great variety and quality.
It is curious that being an inland province, Ourense interior has gained a well-deserved fame for its octopus, which is a must in any celebration. Also the lamprey and the eels from river Minho have their place in the local cookbook, as well as pork, beef and game. And let’s not miss vegetables, especially turnip tops, the ideal garnish for pork shoulder. Along with cabbage and collard greens, they are the main ingredients of the Galician stew. We should also mention the empanadas and breads, highlighting the one baked in the neighbouring town of Cea.
The pantry is completed with pastry delicacies, such as the bica or butter cake, the almond cakes and the cannoli. Don’t forget that Ourense is an important producer of marron glacé or candy chestnuts: there are plenty of chestnuts here, and one of the most popular festivals in the city, the Magostos, is devoted to them.
These excellent proposals are accompanied by internationally recognized wines. Part of the municipality of Ourense belongs to the denomination of origin of Ribeiro, which is historically associated with it, although three other denominations complete the provincial enotouristic map: Ribeira Sacra, Monterrei and Valdeorras.
Where to Eat
The catering offer in Ourense covers a wide range from small bars and taverns to restaurants that have been able to combine the most traditional home cooking with the latest gastronomic tendencies. Awarded with a Michelin Star, the Nova Restaurant stands out for the roots cuisine of chefs Daniel Guzmán and Julio Sotomayor; restaurants A Taberna and Galileo have also received two Suns from the prestigious Repsol guide. To these recognitions we must add the many Q of quality that have recognized the good work of many establishments in the city, all worth discovering and with an unbeatable value for money.
A good way to discover local cuisine is to go out for tapas, one of the most recognizable features of the city and an almost obligatory experience for any visitor. The main dining area (although not the only one) comprises the streets surrounding the Cathedral in the Historic Centre (known as “Os Viños”): a small labyrinth that concentrates more than 50 bars and taverns where to enjoy snacks and tapas and discover the Atlantic diet. If you don’t want to get lost, it’s well worth taking a look at our tapas route.