Logroño is the capital city of La Rioja, the smallest of Spain’s seventeen autonomous communities. The city is in the north of Spain, bordering the Basque Country, and sits on the shoreline of the second longest river in Spain, the Rio Ebro. Logroño is known for many things including the elaboration of wine, the tapa culture, and being a stopover on the famous pilgrimage route, the Camino de Santiago.
Perhaps a small city but Logroño is booming with life and culture. The city is a must if you’re visiting the north of Spain as the wine and the tapas are (arguably) unbeatable. Even if in Logroño for a short time the city can be thoroughly enjoyed. The number one thing to do is visit Calle del Laurel. A windy street in the old part of the city, Calle del Laurel is chock-a-block with one tapas bar after the other. The following is not only a list of the street’s top tapas but a step-by-step guide on how to enjoy an evening on the bustling street.
First things first, a few key things to know about Calle del Laurel;
Calle del Laurel is a great option for a bachelor/bachelorette party! Delicious food + great prices + awesome night-life = Perfect location for a hen do! Just beware, some spots don’t allow bachelor/bachelorette parties entrance.
~8pm: Start at the Concatedral de Santa María de la Redonda on Calle Portales. (No tapas here but this cathedral is gorgeous and definitely worth a look, especially at night-time when the façade is all lit up.)
Simple and yet delicious, the speciality at Juan y Pinchamé is piña y langostino, a brochette of pineapple and shrimp. The combination is ridiculously tasty. The tapa is served with a slice of bread. Pro tip: Use the bread to shimmy the pineapple and shrimp along the brochette!
Address: Calle Laurel, 9
Just a few doors down on the same side of the street is Bar Donosti. This bar is known for its ‘tostas’ which are small pieces of toast. The best one is topped with a thick round of queso de cabra (goat’s cheese), mermelada de melocotón (peach jam), and nueces (walnuts). You can also choose from a mermelada de manzana (apple jam) or tomato topping over the goat’s cheese. Another of their specialities is the boletus con jamón, it’s another tosta but topped with jamón serrano (Spanish ham) and boletus, a type of mushroom. All their tostas are heated up before being served, it gets sticky but totally worth it!
Note: There are also gluten free options!
Address: Calle Laurel, 13
Keep heading down Calle del Laurel and take a right onto Travesía del Laurel, appropriately named, the crossing of Laurel. A few bars down on the right you’ll see a crowd of people outside a small bar called Soriano. This spot is probably the most popular and so it’s always packed. Don’t be shy, head on in and try to make eye contact with one of the bar tenders. Their speciality, and the only food you can order here, is a pincho de champiñón (mushroom). It’s a tapa that consists of three mushrooms stacked on top of a piece of baguette and topped with a small shrimp. Pro tip: Be careful, it’s super hot! The trick to eating it (after waiting till it cools down a bit) is to push the toothpick down through the stacked mushrooms, one at a time, pulling the toothpick out through the bottom as you go. Order your tapa and wine and stand out by one of the bar’s barriles.
Address: Travesía del Laurel, 2
Backtrack a bit and head to Blanco y Negro. Initially skipped this gem to mix it up before revisiting the culinary delight that is goat’s cheese. Blanco y Negro is on Travesía del Laurel but just at the end of Calle del Laurel. This place has many tapas to choose from but their best one is the queso de cabra, con jamón y mermelada de frambuesa. This is a chunk of baguette spread with goat’s cheese and topped with jamón serrano, Spanish ham, and raspberry jam. It’s absolutely delicious and goes perfectly with a glass of Rioja.
Address: Travesía del Laurel, 1
Head back toward Bar Soriano and continue along Travesía del Laurel until you get to Tío Agus on the right hand side of the street. Tío Agus’ speciality is the pincho moruno, it’s marinated and grilled pork, either in a bun with a special green sauce or on a brochette. The green sauce is some sort of pesto and it’s delicious! The prices are also unbeatable, pinchos go for €1.50. Pro tip: The brochette is served with a slice of baguette on the end, it’s useful for pulling the pieces of meat along the stick! Also, this place seems to have two names, Tío Agus and Bar Lorenzo, no idea why!
Address: Travesía del Laurel, 4
Next stop isn’t for food but for drink. Let yourself digest and take a break from the Rioja wine at Bar La Casita. The bartenders here make a killer sorbete de limón, a lemony slush-esq drink made with cava, a Spanish sparkling wine similar to champagne. You can either get a small glass or go for a pitcher if you’re with friends. If you’re still hungry their tapas involve some delicious looking jamón serrano.
Address: Travesía del Laurel, 13
Once you think you’ve had enough food head on over to El Mexicano. As the name suggests, it’s a Mexican style bar, complete with walls adorned with skeletons, a ton of different types of tequila, and they do a tasty margarita. If you’re feeling especially adventurous go for Mezcal tequila, the brand that has a worm soaking it up inside the bottle. El Mexicano doesn’t only do drinks, take a look at their menu of tacos, they’re delicious, especially when topped with one of the three spicy sauces they keep on the bar. Pro tip: Careful, be sure to ask the bartender which is which of the sauces. Also, although wine and beer is consumed at all hours, it isn’t really customary in Spain to drink hard alcohol until after midnight.
Address: Calle San Agustín, 4
This next spot is a good option for a late night snack or even to nurse that hangover the next day. Los Rotos, literally translated to ‘the brokens,’ specialises in huevos rotos, or ‘broken eggs,’ essentially scrambled eggs with some other delicious ingredients mixed in. At Los Rotos you can choose from chistorra, which is similar to chorizo; gulas, baby eels; bacalao, cod fish; setas, mushrooms; morcilla, blood sausage; roquefort; pimientos, peppers; or pechugas de pollo al ajo, garlic chicken breast. The best one is chistorra and the special thing about the huevos rotos at Los Rotos is that they’re served in a bread bun.
Address: Calle San Agustín, 8
Here is a map of the entire route!
If you’ve got more time and a hankering to try out some more tapas then definitely check out the official website for a list of all the bars and their specialities.