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Eating Out in Salamanca

SALAMANCA GASTRONOMY
Salchichón Cular

Salamanca is known for its cold meats, particularly its jamón de Guijelo (cured ham from Guijelo), a local delicacy. Local variants of lomo ibérico (Iberian loin), chorizo cular (a seasoned sausage made with the large intestine of pigs), longaniza (spicy pork sausage) and salchichón (a spicy sausage similar in taste to salami). Curation is carried out using a special method which is made possible by the unique climate of Salamanca's mountain range. Other local culinary delights include Armuña lentils, Morucha beef, patatas revolconas / meneadas (stirred potatoes) and the bollo preñao (literally "pregnant bun", a roll filled with chorizo and bacon). Be sure to look for the denominación de origen (protected designation of origin label). The cochinillo is another exquisite dish with variants all over Castilla.

Bollo Preñao

After savouring some of Salamanca's suculent meats you may find yourself in need of something sweet for a change. That's where its desserts come in. Try out the delicious, creamy, Salamancan chocho de yema. Salamanca is also known for its special queso Arribes (Arribes cheese). If that doesn't whet your appetite, satiate yourself with a wide selection of freshwater fish such as tench (a type of carp), crayfish and trout.

TIPPING

In restaurants about 10% or 15% will suffice if you're satisfied with the service, though tipping is not universal. Generally, rounding up should be enough and although it is expected for you to tip, there should not be any kind of pressure. Eateries are legally required to include service charges.

WHERE TO GO
Chocho de Yema

Usually the deciding factors in choosing where to eat out are price and the quality of the food. Fortunately, in Salamanca the quality will generally be excellent, albeit with variations in price. With that off your mind, let's take a look at some of the available selection. First there's Restaurante El Candil a Castilian tavern which attracts a younger crowd, combining the ideal mix of distinguished food at affordable prices. With a prestigious reputation spanning over 60 years, it goes without saying that El Candil has hit the nail on the head here. The bullfighting decor gives you a real sense of culture while dining. Try the Morucha steak for high grade ingredients and flavour. If you have a sense of adventure in sampling foreign cuisine, the secret ingredient sausages will appeal to you.

Valencia Restaurante is several decades old and its speciality is parrilladas (mixed grill). For a real unique twist, try tongue with pine nuts. This traditional restaurant has earned its fame through its wine expertise. There is always a specialist on hand to tailor the wine to perfectly complement your meal, so there's no way you can go wrong. Another first class venue is El Bardo. With a full three floors, it boasts great value for the money. It caters well to vegetarians with a set menu veggie dishes. Check it out in Avenida de Portugal.

Patatas Meneás

Want to get away from the typical tourist trails? Then you'll want to visit Patio Chico, a cosy, traditional bar where tapas are served. They are renowned for their T-bone steak and arroz con leche (rice pudding) for dessert. Head out early as the main downside is that this bar is extremely popular, making it difficult to get a table. Remember that "early" in Spain means at around 2:30 in the afternoon for lunch and 8:30 at night for supper.

For the wine connosieur there is Rio de la Plata. They have an exceptional selection of fine wines and have also won several gastronomic awards for their food. A family run business, it is stellar in every aspect as the wine is followed by delectable fresh fish, such as their speciality, grilled turbot. This is certainly the right place to get a taste of exquisite Castilian cooking in an inviting atmosphere.

Finally there is the ideal alternative venue, Erasmus Bruin Café. There are wine connosieurs and then there are beer connosieurs. Erasmus caters to both with a wide selection of delicious beers including Kronenbourg, Brugs, Nostrum and Mort Subite, just to name but a few. It has been described as an atmosphere with a great sense of variety and could be a perfect hangout for a group of friends or a place to take a loved one for a romantic dinner. With a superb choice of food on the menu, you can't get it wrong. Whether you want a taste from home or are feeling adventurous, Erasmus has you covered.

For exceptional ambience, try out the Restaurante Tormento on Espoz y Mina street. There are fantastic tapas bars in the Van Dyck district, while the Plaza Corilla is a nice place to eat out in Salamanca, both day and night, while Pizarrales and Pycra have the best dining atmosphere.

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