When it is time for lunch at the office instead of a sit down typical Galician meal or eating a bocadillo on my desk I prefer for a tapa & wine walk around my favourite spots of Vigo having a few tapas and wines at each stop. I could do it all day but have to get back to the office!
Friday… my favourite day of the week and since I have everything out of the way I have decided to take a breather from work at EATour Specialist (www.eatourspecialist.com) and for lunch to take a walk-a-bout Vigo my way. I actually live now in the village of Cangas across the other side of Vigo bay so the day started by taking the catamaran boat over to Vigo which only takes about 20mins with nice view of the bay and the city.
Angie my wife joins me on my gastro-art tour of Vigo; we start by walking up Velazquez Moreno Street reaching Garcia Barbon Street, the business district of Vigo with all the banks, corporate offices, etc… We pass by Principe Street leaving the visit there for later.
First stop of the morning is at the Mercado de Progreso (http://www.novomercadoprogreso.com), which is one of the oldest markets of Vigo but now in fact the building is being fully renovated. Here we see the fresh catch of the day at the fish stalls and Angie takes advantage to buy some Merluza (Hake) to take home for dinner since today we have tapas on the agenda for lunch.
We had a nice chat with the chefs of Progresa na Cociña – Novo Mercado Progreso (http://www.facebook.com/novomercadoprogreso) who have an interesting project to show the people of Vigo easy dishes with excellent products to enjoy at home and with friends in times of crisis “en tempos de crise” cooking-easy at home but having fun. I was just in time to try the 1st plate which was Rucula con Parmesano (Salad rocket or roquette or rucola with Parmesan Cheese and Cherry tomato). A tasty start to the morning and I was getting hungry.
Receta en Galego: RUCLA CON PARMESANO
Ingredientes: 1 ensalada tipo rucual, 1 cuña de queixo parmesano, 5 tomates cherry, aciete de oliva, vinagre balsamico, pan para torradas.
Peparacion: Poñemo-la recula enteira sobre unha torrada e aderezamos con aceite de oliva virxen e un poquito de vinagre balsamico. Logo, soteras que colocar parmesano rallada enriba e un tomate cherry cortado pola metade.
Leaving the market we walk down to Principe Street (www.centroprincipe.com/) with views of Urzaiz Street up the road with more stores for shoppers. Next stop the Marco Contemporary Art Museum of Vigo (http://www.marcovigo.com). I like a relaxing stroll thru this museum with spectacular spaces presenting the contemporary art from local artist of the city. Continuing down Principe Street Angie takes a peek in Zara and a couple of other stores to see what is on sale.
Arriving at Puerta del Sol we are met by the gigantic Real Celta de Vigo (http://www.celtavigo.net) jersey hanging on the El Sireno (The Merman) Statue. It was put there to support their team for the fight to stay in Primeira division (1st Division Spanish League) and it worked since they won their last game against Españyol and Deportivo lost their game against Real Sociedad so that made Celta de Vigo stay in La Liga for next season. Hala Celta!
Crossing the Puerta del Sol we enter into the Plaza de Constitucion where they celebrate every year on the 28th of March the “Dia de la Reconquista de Vigo” (The day of the Reconquest of Vigo).
Vigo celebrates here its reconquest against French Napoleonic Forces in the city. In the corner of the square we make our 1st wine and tapa stop at Las Chavolas (www.restaurantelaschavolas.com) a small bar/tavern one of the oldest in the city serving Ribeiro home-made white wine right from the barrel, in traditional ceramic bowls and pitchers. Many famous people and artist have frequented this bar and have their photos on the wall. I ordered a couple of tapas… Polbo A Feira (Octopus Galician Fair-Style) and Mejillones de la Ria (Mussels from the Bay) with of course a small pitcher of the home-made Ribeiro wine to go alongside the seafood tapas.
Time to walk off the tapas until the next stop… we continue down the La Rúa dos Cesteiros (Wicker-basket maker street). Here is where wicker-baskets are lined along the cobblestone street which are hand-made in the small basement-style stores.
We take a peek at the La Colegiata de Santa María Church a neoclassical construction built upon the ruins of a Gothic church burned down by Sir Francis Drake. Cross over the A Laxe Bridge that connects to the commercial mall of A Laxe.
We then climb the stairs to the roof-top terrace to see the excellent panoramic views of the fishing port, nautical port and Vigo bay with Cies Islands at the mouth of the bay.
Leaving the mall we cross over to A Pedra, which was the oldest fish market, but now is a place to eat the seafood of Vigo on the restaurant’s terraces. The Oyster ladies are lined up selling a half-dozen or dozen of fresh raw oysters for the people to enjoy alongside the other seafood. Today I didn’t feel like oysters, leave them for the tourists I can have them any day.
Now after walking off the tapas time for our second gastro-stop at Baraciña a vinoteca restaurant-bar where I like come often to taste albariño, mencia, godello, etc… wines. Today I picked an Albariño to accompany the cured Spanish meats (Jamon, Chorizo, Salchichon, etc…) and local cheeses (Arzua, Tetilla, etc…). This vinoteca-bar is quite unique because they have tables right inside the wine cellar where you can have a lunch as a group and taste various wines. My clients love it when we visit here on my tapa route.
Before our last tapa and wine stop we stroll along the nautical port promenade all the way to the end enjoying the nice sea air and a stop to admire the memorial statue of Jules Gabriel Verne. A French novelist who devoted a chapter about the Bay of Vigo in his famous book, 20,000 Leagues under the Sea, fuelling the legend of the Rande treasure with the adventures of its popular main character, Captain Nemo, and his famous Nautilus.
We aren’t done yet and the last stop for tapas is at Boga Restaurant (http://www.restauranteboga.info). Moving away from white wines it is time for a Menica young red wine accompanied by Spanish Torilla and a rice tapa with jamon and peas, which was very tasty. Looking at my watch as the saying goes… “how time fly’s when your having fun…” time to head back to the office getting our last bit of fresh air in this busy city wandering thru la Plaza Compostela park with beautiful fountains and sculptures in small gardens.
Our day has come to an end… until next Friday when I can hopefully do my route again. I don’t get tired of it even after living and working in Vigo for over 14 years and love to show visitors my view of this Galician city which I hold close to heart… VIGO.
Sean’s Virtual Video of the route:
Sean’s Photo Album
Sean’s Google Map
Sean’s Triplie Map
Other Useful Links: