Food is a major thing in Spain, and specially here in Pamplona by the time you leave Spain, you will understand why…. In the meanwhile, let me give you some tips for a 24-hour food-extravaganza here in town.
7:00 AM If you are in a Balcony you are going to have a light breakfast at your host’s apartment, so no need to have it at the hotel. Remember, the day will be long, so do not over-eat yet!!
8:30 AM Right after the bull run, we locals, go to buy “churros” (an amazing fried dough with sugar, not cinnamon) at a place called, “Churrería de la Mañueta”. It is located at Mañueta street, right behind Death’s man corner (you will see the line standing outside). This place opens just during this week of the year, and they are known as the best churros in Spain. The perfect combination is to eat the churros with hot thick chocolate. I recommend you going to La Plaza del Castillo with your churros and try to find a place where you can buy the chocolate and sit down in an open-air terrace. The best place to me is Hemingway’s café that is called Iruña. It is the big bar with white awning. It is where Ernest Hemingway used to have his Chocolate with churros.
11:00 AM If you know any locals they will invite you to eat “almuerzo”, it is not a breakfast and it is not a lunch. It is just a good excuse to eat again with friends. People set long tables and benches in the street where friends and neighbors eat together. It is as typical from Pamplona as you can get.
13:00 PM If you did not have almuerzo, or if by chance you are hungry again, around 13:00 it is time for tapas (we call them pinchos). Here you can find a selection of our favorite places:
- Bar Gaucho: Calle Espoz y Mina, 7
- Bar Fitero: Calle Estafeta, 58
- Bodegón Sarrías: Calle Estafeta, 50
- Alex Múgica: Calle Estafeta, 24
14:30 PM It is time for lunch, I know it is late for you, but “when in Rome….” Depending on your budget, here are my recommendations of great places to discover our gastronomy. Please remember to book in advance:
- Small budgets:
Tapas are always the best option, to control budget, but if you want to sit down we would recommend a terrace in Plaza del Castillo. It will be around 30 euros per person, but it is a great way to watch the Fiesta in the street.
- One of our favorites is Bar Baviera (Plaza del Castillo 10, Tel: 0034948222048)
- If you need a more international restaurant there is a good Italian restaurant called La Tagliatella in Plaza del Castillo 37 (Tel 0034948229748)
- Medium budgets:
Expect to pay around 50 euros
- Right off Plaza del Castillo in Avenida de San Ignacio 4, 2nd floor (0034948221874), you can find Restaurant San Ignacio, very well cooked traditional menu. Nunchi the owner is a sweetheart.
- Restaurante Otano: Calle San Nicolás 5 (0034948227036). Underneath you will find the bar with the same name, restaurant is on the first floor. The entrance is the door on the left of the bar.
- Large budgets:
For these restaurants, expect to pay over 100 euros, and also expect to spot any VIP in town
In Pamplona, we have two 1 Michelin star restaurant:
- Restaurante Europa, the closest to Plaza del Castillo. Calle Espoz y Mina 11 (0034948221800). Amazing traditional food. There are always famous locals, politicians, bullfighters, soccer players …
- Restaurante Rodero: Calle Emilio Arrieta, 3 (003494822803) It is the perfect combination of traditional and modern cuisine. The owners are some of the most elegant ladies in town, always a great pleasure!!
18:00 PM: bullfight snack: I know that you have finished your lunch half an hour ago and you do not want to think about food for the next 3 days minimum, but if you are attending a bullfight you need to get yourself a bocadillo (sandwich). In all the restaurants, they will prepare one to go. Just ask for a “bocadillo para la corrida”.
It will be at the end of the 3rd bull, around 19:30, when you will see everybody eating their sandwiches. I recommend that you buy some cookies or pastries anywhere before the bullfight so that you can share with people around. If you do that you will see magic!!!! Everybody will share with you their drinks, pastries …. Do not be shy, give it a try, it is a blast!!!
22:00 PM: Dinner Time. If by this time, you are hungry (rather a strange thing), just check the list for lunches. Any of them will be also serving dinner.
If you really eat your way through all of this you are my hero/heroin