The gastronomy of Astorga is characterised by some of the features that have made Spanish cuisine and the Mediterranean diet famous: high quality fresh produce and a balance between the different food groups. Astorga is known in Spain for the quality of its typical products, which are highly appreciated throughout the country. Astorga has an important food industry in which meat, local products and sweets are the main protagonists.
The quality of the local products can also be enjoyed in the city’s restaurants, which welcome visitors from all over Spain every year to enjoy a unique gastronomy that combines tradition and modernity. Three restaurants in the area around Astorga have been recognised in the latest edition of the Michelin Guide with the Bib Gourmand quality label.
Typical Spanish products made in Astorga
Astorga is home to some of the typical Spanish products that are popular all over the world, such as chorizo and ham. The local speciality is cecina, a product that is highly valued for its taste and properties, and which has nothing to envy to ham. Cecina is very similar to ham, but is made from beef. There are several specialised shops in the city where you can buy typical Spanish sausages.
Cocido maragato is the star dish of the local gastronomy. Its most important ingredients are the chickpea of pico pardal, beef, pork and chicken and the dessert, the delicious custard. What distinguishes the cocido maragato from other cocidos is that the meat is eaten first, then the chickpeas, then the soup and finally the dessert. The choice of meat and its quality are also an important distinguishing feature.
Mushrooms and other natural fruits can be found in the neighbouring counties and are sold fresh and preserved. Del Monte de Tabuyo produces natural preserves from cultivated and wild products that are appreciated throughout Spain.
The city of Astorga is also famous for its confectionery. The secret of Astorga’s sweets lies in the quality of the ingredients with which they are made. Some, such as merles, are so special that they can only be found in one of the oldest confectioners’ shops in the city, La Flor y Nata. Other traditional local sweets include mantecadas, hojaldres and chocolate. The latter even has a museum about its origins and the city’s chocolate industry.
Tapas in Astorga
One of the ways to discover the local gastronomy is to try the famous tapas. Tapas are small portions of food that are served free with every drink in bars in many areas of Spain. In Astorga you can enjoy tapas such as Spanish omelette, sausages, croquettes of different flavours or other dishes of Spanish cuisine. In the area around the Plaza Mayor there are numerous tapas bars.
In Astorga and the surrounding villages there are many restaurants that have become known for their exquisite dishes, in which local products are the protagonists. Some of the restaurants that are committed to local gastronomy are Vinoteca Encrecepas, Restaurante Serrano, Restaurante La Peseta or Casa Maragata (this one only serves cocido maragato), all of them in Astorga, and also La Venta de Goyo, Casa Lucinio, Casa Pepa or Casa Coscolo, in villages near Astorga.