The best restaurants in Santander and Cantabria

If you are looking for restaurants in Santander and Cantabria  you should already know that apart from the nature and heritage, one of the things that make Spain, and particularly Cantabria, famous is its gastronomy. The characteristics of the region provide a lot of high-quality products, from great fish and seafood to cheese, meat, and vegetables (like the well-known ‘Tomate de Cantabria’ or Cantabria Tomato).

Before we begin, make sure you meet the traditional products from Cantabria

There are some dishes and products you cannot skip from the list of restaurants below (If available):

 

  • Anchoas de Santoña, or Cantabrian Anchovies, are highly regarded for their quality and flavor. They are typically made from anchovies caught in the Cantabrian Sea, particularly in towns like Santoña, Laredo, or Castro Urdiales. The traditional method involves hand-preparing the anchovies, which contributes to their excellence.

  • Sobaos and Quesada are traditional desserts originating from the Valle del Pas in Cantabria. Sobaos are a type of sponge cake made with Cantabrian butter, which gives them a rich and distinctive flavor. Quesada, on the other hand, is a kind of cheesecake, but with a unique flavor profile that sets it apart from traditional cheesecakes. Both are indulgent treats often enjoyed with coffee or tea, especially during colder weather.

  • Cocido Montañes: This hearty stew is a cornerstone of Cantabrian cuisine, featuring white beans and pork meat like ribs, bacon, and chorizo. It’s a comforting and substantial dish, perfect for colder weather.

  • Cocido Lebaniego: Another delicious stew, this one features chickpeas as the main ingredient, along with meat and vegetables. It’s a regional variation of the traditional cocido, with a first course of soup followed by a second course incorporating chickpeas, meat, and vegetables.

  • Rabas: Rabas are fried calamari, a popular appetizer or snack often enjoyed before Sunday lunch, especially when accompanied by a glass of Vermouth. It’s a beloved tradition in Cantabria.

  • Orujo: This strong pomace brandy is a popular spirit from the mountains of Cantabria, particularly from the Liébana region. It’s known for its robust flavor and is often enjoyed as a digestif.

  • Queso Picón: Queso Picón is a rich and strong blue cheese from the western mountains of Cantabria. Its intense flavor makes it a perfect choice for cheese lovers, and it’s often enjoyed as a dessert cheese.

  • Seafood: Cantabria’s coastline provides an abundance of high-quality seafood, which is best enjoyed from September to April. Whether it’s anchovies, tuna, squid, or shellfish, Cantabrian seafood is known for its freshness and flavor.

Below you can find HiCantabria list of restaurants, we recommend you to take a look at our bar selection where we included some tapas-bars!

Restaurants in Santander

We are excited to kick off our list of recommended restaurants with Santander, categorizing them into three main categories: Breakfast, Budget Restaurants, and Top Restaurants. Despite the diverse culinary scene in Santander, we have handpicked establishments known for their exceptional quality.

 

A small tip to keep in mind: Santander’s restaurants are often bustling, especially on weekends. To secure your dining experience, we highly advise making reservations in advance. While calling directly is the preferred method, some restaurants also accept reservations through Google or via the El Tenedor app (TheFork), particularly the top-tier establishments.

 

If you are looking for vegan restaurants in Santander, check our dedicated Vegan Santander blog post.

Where to have a coffee or breakfast in Santander

The most traditional breakfast in Santander is a “mediano” (small coffee with milk) with a “pincho de tortilla” (Spanish omelette). However, we also aim to highlight international restaurants that offer delicious breakfast options!

  • Amarella Café & Bistro: Very popular among locals, they have an awarded coffee with very good traditional pinchos de tortilla.
    Located close to the bus/train station. Calderón de la Barca 15. 942821675

  • Wabi-Sabi Café & Craft: Top-quality European-style venue offering premium products, exemplary service, and English-speaking staff. Recommended to book a table (Phone or Instagram). San Caledonio 43, 942140361

  • Salvaje Santander: International breakfast in the heart of Santander. Ataulfo Argenta 31, 942786175

  • Pravda: Exceptional coffee accompanied by a delightful selection of homemade cakes in a charming atmosphere. Guevara 28, 695257362

  • Chocolatería Aliva: If you love chocolate with traditional Spanish churros, this is the place to be. A true classic in the city! Daoiz y Velarde  7.  942222049

Besides our selected restaurants, there are also local coffee shops and branches like Quebec or Gallofa that are worth trying, especially if you’re nearby or in a rush.

Best budget restaurants in Santander

When it comes to budget restaurants, Santander offers a wide variety, although some may resemble tapas bars (which we have already covered in our Bars in Santander section).

 

Be sure to explore the following options:

 

  • Bodega Fuente Dé: One of the most renowned budget restaurants in Santander. We highly recommend trying their selection of cured meats such as ham, cecina, lomo, and chorizo (embutidos). During the day, they often serve cocido montañes. You might consider finishing your meal with a selection of local cheeses. Absolutely delicious! Peña Herbosa 5, 942213058

  • Parrilla Brasas: Located near Fuente Dé, another restaurant offers delicious grilled meats. We suggest starting with Cantabrian tomato salad topped with white tuna, followed by a succulent grilled entrecote. Peña Herbosa 3, 942361284

  • Bodega La Conveniente: An old-fashioned styled restaurant offering a selection of Spanish cured meats, fried delicacies such as croquettes, and an assortment of cheeses. Enhancing the ambiance is the live piano music. Gómez Oreña 9, 942212887

  • Los Peñucas: A bit farther from the center in the fisherman neighborhood of Los Peñucas, you’ll find a great place to sample local seafood at a reasonable price. We recommend trying the grilled sardines during the summer months. Marqués de la Ensenada 35, 942229445

  • Restaurante Las Olas: Enjoy magnificent seafood right by the coast, although reaching the restaurant requires private transportation. Monte-Corbanera 98, 942342027

  • Conde Luna: Our top pick if you’re in the Sardinero area. While slightly more expensive, the quality of their food makes it well worth the price. Inés Diego de Noval 11, 942391716

  • Querida Margarita: A place where you’ll feel like you’re dining at a Michelin-starred restaurant without the high price tag. Andrés del Río,7, 630341743

Top-Tier restaurants in Santander

Cantabria is renowned for its Michelin-starred restaurants, and while we will recommend some, others offer equally exceptional quality with top-tier products.

If you’re seeking an exceptional gastronomical experience in Santander, be sure not to miss:

  • El Serbal: A Michelin starred restaurant with exceptional views of Sardinero Beach, we recommend you to try one of their suggested menus. Manuel García Lago 1e, 942222515

  • La Bombi: In the heart of Santander, La Bombi offers the finest quality products in Cantabria. Exceptional Service. Casimiro Sainz 15, 942213028

  • La Mulata: The place to be if you want to experience top-notch seafood, with great advisory from their staff. Tetuán 942363785

  • Casona del Judio: Michelin-starred restaurant with innovative cuisine; private transportation is required. Repuente 20, 942342726

We also recommend taking a look at Cañadío, La Flor de Tetuán, Bodega del Riojano, Cadelo, and La Capitana.

Restaurants in Cantabria

Just as we did with Santander restaurants, we’ll present you with a curated selection of dining spots you should definitely try in Cantabria. Additionally, we aim to feature a special category highlighting the top restaurants this region has to offer.

Best budget restaurants in Cantabria

If you happen to be around the region, we highly recommend writting down the following restaurants for an exceptional taste of local cuisine!

  • El Cazurro: located not far from Santander, offers a delightful array of seafood dishes paired with arguably the best views of Costa Quebrada! Barrio la Arnía, 942578524

  • Las Quebrantas: an excellent choice if you find yourself in Somo after a surfing session or simply enjoying the beach. They offer fantastic fish and rice dishes! Somo, 942510259

  • Pan de Cuco: from Somo, in Suesa, you’ll find this restaurant showcasing an innovative selection of dishes and exciting new flavors. Suesa, 942504028

  • Casa Cofiño: If you’re journeying towards the western part of Cantabria, this restaurant provides a compelling reason to make a pit stop and indulge in an incredible meal featuring local products. Caviedes, 942708068

  • La Bolera: In Los Tojos, if you’re craving a taste of game meat and red beans, this restaurant is conveniently located next to Saja Besaya Natural Park. Los Tojos, 669633754

  • Mesón Puente Viejo: A great taste of local food between Santander and Torrelavega, do not miss Rabas there! Puente Arce, 942575402

  • La Dársena: If you are in Suances, do not miss La Dársena if you want to try some good seafood. Suances, 942844489

  • El Oso: The best selection in Picos de Europa, our favourite place if you want to try ¨Cocido Lebaniego¨, please note that it is a hotel with a restaurant. Cosgaya, 942733018

  • Adolfo: Another great place for seafood in Comillas, 942722014

Top-Tier restaurants in Cantabria

Last but not least, we want to share the list of the best restaurants in Cantabria… so get your wallet ready!

  • Cenador de Amós: Boasting 3 Michelin stars, it solidifies its place among the best restaurants in Spain. Anything else to add? It is located in Villaverde de Pontones, not far from Somo, 942508243

  • Solana: Another Michelin star in ¨La Bien Aparecida¨, good choice if you are around the eastern part of Cantabria. 942676718

  • La Bicicleta: Very close to Cenador de Amós you have La Bicicleta, another restaurant with Michelin Star. Hoznayo, 636296970

Require additional information or have any restaurant suggestion? Get in touch with us! Get in touch with us!

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