Tapas Weekend in Logrono

December 20th, 2011 | Posted by JLynch in Jamie | Traveling outside Madrid - (0 Comments)
Last week I posted about the spectacular wineries I visited during my trip to La Rioja earlier this month. I wanted to expand on that post this week and dedicate some well-deserved space to one of the other highlights of our trip – the 24 hours we spent in Logroño, the capital of La Rioja.

The scene on Calle Laurel early Friday afternoon

We arrived at this small but lively city of 150,000 early on a Friday afternoon. My last minute Google research in the car indicated that the city had a street famous for tapas (Calle Laurel), so we decided to head there for lunch. To our surprise, it was absolutely crammed with people spilling out of the more than 40 bars that are on this tiny, pedestrian street. We strolled down the length of the calle (it only takes about a minute, to be honest) and quickly deduced how it worked – each bar has its own specialty tapa, which is advertised on the outside of the bar. Since trying the local specialty everywhere I go is one of my favorite pastimes, Raul and I went from bar to bar trying the advertised “especialidad de la casa” accompanied by a small copa de vino (Rioja of course).
The specialties in this tapas paradise included such things as patatas bravas, roasted garlic mushrooms on bread (this was the highlight for me), matrimonios (small sandwiches with anchovies and grilled peppers), zapatillas (a hunk of bread with olive oil, tomato and jamón serrano), and sepia. They ranged in price from about €1-3, making for some cheap meals. In fact, we had such a great time and enjoyed the food at lunch so much that we went there for dinner the same day. The wine was also easy on the wallet, making for arguably some of the best and most enjoyable eating and drinking I have ever done in Spain (which says a lot).

The glorious "champis" at Bar Soriano

Our time in Logroño was such a pleasant surprise. While we were there tapeando our hearts out, we were already planning our next trip. The combination of the architecture of the wineries, the wine itself and the tapas of Logroño made this a weekend I will never forget!