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What is the food like in Galicia?


Tetilla cheese from Galicia

Tetilla cheese from Galicia

Image: Tourist Office of Spain

Question: What is the food like in Galicia?

Answer: Being near the ocean to both the north and west, the seafood in Galicia is outstanding in this part of the Spain and makes up a large part of the diet here.

Seafood in Galicia

You can expect to see the following seafood in Galicia:


  • Merluza (hake in English), a hearty white fish, is served grilled or baked in olive oil with paprika.
  • Chipriones (squid).
  • Pulpo a la Gallega (octopus).
  • Almejas (baby clams) are tiny and sweet and served in broth.
  • Vieras (scallops) are served their shells with a light tomato/red pepper puree and a bit of cheese
  • The hard-to-find navajas (razor-clams, so-called because they look like a switch-blade knife, or straight razor) are served plain and are a real treat.
  • Gambas al ajillo (little shrimp in hot oil and garlic) have a nice bite
  • The brave might want to try the ugly, chewy, weird-but-delicious percebes (goose barnacles that grow attached to rocks) that look like dinosaur fingernails.


What other food do they eat in Galicia?

The meat served in Galicia is usually local and the game and rabbit are superb. A hearty, winter dish is caldo gallego, a casserole with potatoes, turnip tops, ham and pork sausages.


Are there local Galician cheeses?

There are many, but in particular, try the wonderful, breast-shaped, aptly named tetilla, a mild, semi-soft cow’s milk cheese, or ask for cabrales, a ferociously strong blue cheese from the neighboring province of Asturias which is easy to find for the true connoisseur.


Are there any good Galician wines?

Yes – Albariño is a remarkable white wine that reminds some people of Reisling but has a lighter texture; flowery but not sweet. (Two good Albariños are Martin Codax and Morgadio). Ribeiros are popular and fruity, and the whites have a slight tingle to them that tastes almost like they're slightly carbonated. The reds are dark and acidic, but not complex.


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