Spain is known for having more bars per person than any other country in the world! So it’s no surprise we love hanging out at our local bar!
But some bars have a bit more history and tradition behind them than most. While these tapas bars may differ in décor and clientele, they are certainly some of the best historical bars in Santiago.
If you’re looking for a typical, local Spanish tapas bar, this is the place for you! One of the oldest bars in the city, you’ll find Cafetería Candilejas in a small, pretty square featuring some beautiful university buildings and the last-standing Medieval doorway to Santiago. Don’t expect frills or fancy food—this is a place to sit (outside in the terrace, if the weather allows), order a drink and enjoy watching the world go by while snacking on the free tapas you receive with your drink. It can be anything from olives, potato chips, tortilla (Spanish omelette) or tiny fried squid! This bar is classified as “de toda la vida,” or a typical neighborhood bar, and makes our list of the best historical bars in Santiago.
Address: Praza de Mazarelos, 11
Our next suggestion for one of the best historical bars in Santiago is Bar Orense. When you enter this simple, traditional tapas bar you may well think you’ve gone back in time as the décor hasn’t changed since 1964! This is the bar to try the local Ribeiro white wine in the traditional ceramic wine bowls called cuncas. Don’t forget to order a plate of local cheese and cured meats to get the true Galician experience! Try some of this fab Galician wine, local cheeses, tapas and other specialties on an Evening Santiago Tapas Tour with us!
Address: Rúa da Raíña, 25
Bar O Gato Negro
Not far from Bar Orense, this is another old-fashioned, simply decorated Galician tapas bar. Inaugurated in 1920, it’s one of the oldest in the city and therefore definitely deserves a place on our list of the best historical bars in Santiago. Get there early if you’d like to actually go inside. The narrow entrance and bar area is always packed with locals having their lunchtime or evening wines. Try the pulpo a feira (market-style octopus) or the caldo gallego (Galician soup) if you manage to bag a table!
Address: Rúa da Raíña
This cool bar in the former stables of an 18th century house is possibly the oldest pub in Galicia! You can enjoy a great selection of cocktails, liqueurs, spirits and local beers, and you won’t be bored while you sip because they’ve been hosting live music here since 1971. It’s rumored that Mick Taylor of the Rolling Stones played here once!
Address: Praza de Feixóo, 1
If you want to have a drink where Santiago’s aristocrats and socialites once did since this café opened in 1873, then head to Café Casino. On one of the main streets in the Old Town, you won’t miss its opulent interior and huge windows looking out onto the street. It’s always nice to sit outside, but in this case, take a look inside at the traditional posh décor and soak up the atmosphere. You’re in the place where one of Galicia’s most famous writers—Valle-Inclán—wrote some of his well-known works! Without doubt one of the best historical bars in Santiago!
Address: Rúa do Vilar, 35
We’ll show you some amazing historic places on our food walking tours in Santiago! Join us to taste fantastic Galician cuisine made by passionate locals, learn all about the history of the city, and discover the places and the food of Galicia’s enigmatic capital!