I'll be spending four days in Zaragoza for work and have found very little to go on food-wise. There's only one thread that actually mentions a Zaragoza restaurant (Ana Saz) versus just driving through it.
Has anyone spent any time here? Any restaurant recommendations? Even the guidebooks have very little about the town, which is surprising given that it's the fifth largest in Spain.
P.S. My apologies for going off topic on the Tickets/Arzak thread. Seriously, what the? How many different ways can someone ask about reservations at Tickets?
I'll hitch my wagon to this thread since I'll be there in late September and have not found much beyond a few blogs and recs from TripAdvisor which I really don't trust at all.
I'm particularly interested in budget, traditional and local sit down places and tapas bars. Not really looking for paella, pizza or Asian-fusion.
Thanks in advance to all,
On the basis that most users of this site don't venture out of well defined parts of Spain (pretty much Barcelona, Madrid, San Sebastian), it's perhaps not surprising there's not much information on the site about the rest of the country
Perhaps you need to do what canny Europeans would do if visiting an unknown area. We'd consult the Michelin Guide and its website. It'd find you the 1* Bal d'Onsera and several restaurants rated from 1 to 3 forks.
I've heard that the Michelin Guide's Spanish recommendations are a bit suspect. Curious to know if anyone has any thoughts about that.
But, it may be the best that we have to go on for Zaragoza. And, it is a relatively small city. Perhaps I could eat my way through it in the time while I'm there. If so, I'll report back on my findings. I'm willing to do my best for science.
I've never used the Repsol. As regards the "fork" listings in Michelin, they are, of course, not as rigorously inspected as the starred places but I find them generally reliable indicators of the quality of a place. For example, we travel to Mallorca regularly and find that the places listed also tend to be well thought of, in posts on local discussion boards there. And, when we've eaten there they've proved to be of decent quality.
Often, it's all there is by way of suggestions, By way of a similar example, we are soon travelling to northern Italy. There is nothing on the particular town we are staying in, other than the usual unreliable TripAdvisor posts. But Michelin has turned up a couple of places that we might not have otherwise picked up on.
We've been living in Zaragoza for just over a year now and overall we've found the food scene to be very underwhelming.
However there are a few places worth checking out.
El Angel Del Pincho is a tiny tapas bar that serves only two types of tapas: Argentinian-style empanadas and tempura. Both are very well executed and cooked to order. Look out for the tempura borraja, a local vegetable which we find otherwise inedible.
Calle de Jordán de Urries, 5
Marisqueria Tony is just around the corner from El Angel and is worth a mention for their excellent razor clams, gooseneck barnacles and octopus. It's a no nonsense kind of place and very popular with locals in the evenings.
Calle Don Jaime I, 40
Bodegas Almau is the best of the tapas bars in El Tubo and has the biggest wine list in that area for sure. El Tubo can be a lot of fun if you just want to eat tapas.
Calle Estébanes, 10
La Fama is the place to hit if you want to eat churros and porras. Some of the best we've eaten in Spain,they're cooked in fresh batches just behind the bar. Sadly, most other bars in town serve up cold, hard two day old churros!!
Calle de Prudencio 25
And finally, if you find yourself in Zaragoza on a Sunday morning head to Antigua Casa Paricio for a glass or two of Vermouth and some pickled fish.
Zaragoza is not such a small town. It is a fairly large city with a bustling centre. The Cathedral and the Basilica are worth a stop inside. Amazing. The Bridge is lovely for a stroll too.
I have a list of the tapas bars and restaurants where we chowed down last time we were there.
I shall send on 1st Saturday.
Have a great time.
I just returned from Zaragoza and it didn't seem like a culinary dead zone to me as bobyjo described, although, my expectations weren't high and I can see how things can get a bit dull after a year there. I actually got the impression that one could eat fairly well there, if at least for a little while. Sadly, I saw bobyjo's recs below a bit too late, after I had left. Thanks for the recs just the same.
I hit a number of tapas bars that were acceptable, but nothing to write home about. Among these, La Republica, stood out for it's decor and throwback ambiance. Elsewhere, I did have some very good tapas at La Reserva. I also enjoyed a lunch that I had at Al Barracin next door. It was nothing sublime, but it was a satisfying, hearty meal. I went with a lamb shank and a seafood salad. I did the three course option that came with a bottle of water and wine for 20 Euro, which seemed like a pretty good deal, especially as I was expecting a glass, not a bottle of wine with it. Another highlight was Casa Lac. I did a couple of tapas samplers with a couple glasses of local wine with a cena before that. My total bill came to about 18 Euro, which seemed cheap. Their tapas were prepared with a bit more flair than elsewhere, really more small dishes rather than your typical tapas (I realize that probably makes more sense in my head than on paper here). I left satisfied, which is saying something after I had hit both Cal Pep and Quimet y Quimet in Barcelona for lunch earlier that day. The service here was great. The staff at La Reserva were a bit cold. Al Barracin were somewhere in between. I would like to have tried Los Victorinos, but couldn't find it. As Harters pointed out, there is a MIchelin one star in town. I also heard good things about the Aragonia Restaurant in the Hotel Palafox.