Logroño: La Rioja’s Pincho Crawl
We all love the wine, but what else do we know about the Spanish province of La Rioja? Located in the North of Spain, it borders the Basque Country to the north, Navarre to the
We all love the wine, but what else do we know about the Spanish province of La Rioja? Located in the North of Spain, it borders the Basque Country to the north, Navarre to the northeast, Aragón to the southeast and Castilla y León to the west and south.
The capital of the region is Logroño and visiting here marries perfectly two of the best things about Spanish culture: food and wine.
Spanish dinner typically consists of something light and small, accompanied by several glasses of fantastic wine. And so, a tiny street called Calle Laurel comes to life at night, when all the bars open up and serve their signature pinchos.
The word pincho comes from the Spanish verb pinchar, which means to peirce. It’s finger food, usually toppings piled on a piece of bread, pierced with a toothpick. They can be considered a form of tapas.
If you want a real local experience, do the pincho crawl next time you find yourself in Logroño. Similar to a bar crawl, you hop from bar to bar, ordering a pincho and your drink of choice- wine, beer or cider. There are no tables, so don’t expect a sit-down dining experience. You’ll see everyone standing around the bar or around wine barrels outside.
Each bar will offer something different. This is a great chance to immerse yourself in local cuisine like never before. Here are some examples of bars and the specialties they offer:
A family run restaurant that specialises in Patatas Bravas: fried potato chunks covered in a spicy sauce.
A small bar that has had 27 years to perfect their Setas a la Plancha: grilled wild mushrooms, that go great with a glass of red wine.
A bar that’s full every time they are open. You’ll see most people ordering at the small window out front. Their delicious specialty is Champiñón con gamba a la plancha: grilled mushroom caps stacked on a piece of bread and topped with a grilled prawn, all held together with a toothpick.
Pulpería La Universidad
As the name suggests, their specialty is Pulpo a la Gallego: octopus done in the Galician style, with mashed potato. If you haven’t tried octopus in Spain, this is a great place to try it. It melts in your mouth and the paprika adds just the right amount of smokiness.
When travelling, the memories you come away with are the ones where you meet people, taste the local food and drink the local wine. The pincho crawl is one such a memorable experience.