Pincho Hopping in Logroño: Calle Laurel

Logroño is usually not included on an average trip to Spain, but Calle Laurel puts it on the map. It’s featured in guide books, celebrated by pilgrims on the Camino, and known by Spaniards all over the country, especially after Logroño was determined as Spain’s Gastronomical Capital in 2012.

Not to spoil the glimmering exterior, but locals of Logroño say that Calle Laurel is too expensive and touristy. They prefer to pintxo hop in other streets that I will cover soon! Nevertheless, I still choose Calle Laurel when I want guaranteed good food in a busy, fun atmosphere. You could easily spend an entire weekend trying different bars on Calle Laurel and not go wrong, but here are my must-haves…

Bar Jubera Calle del Laurel 18

This no frills, hole-in-the-wall bar has many options for traditional Spanish pintxos. Their specialty is patatas bravas. You can find patatas bravas in pretty much any bar or restaurant in Spain, but it’s said that these are the best on Calle Laurel.

  • Patatas a la brava are served in a bowl filled with chunks of fried potato wedges topped with a giant helping of ali oli and brava sauce. The ali oli is creamy and fresh while the brava sauce is meant to be a bit spicy. Eaten with toothpicks, the freshly fried potatoes just melt in your mouth.

Taberna Casa del Volapié Calle del Laurel 4

This bar is a bit different from the rest in that it doesn’t focus on traditional riojano food, but rather specializes in different Andalusian foods from several regions. What I really like about it is that there is a good pintxo choice for a hot summer night, and  a cold winter night. Their gambas remind me of peeling crawfish, which Jay and I were happy to discover after moving from Louisiana.

  • Gambas de Huelva claim to be shrimps from the southwest corner of Spain. They’re served cold and salted, stuffed into a small paper sleeve. You have to work to peel them! Gambas go best with vino blanco or a ice cold cervecita.

Bar Laurus Calle del Laurel 11

As one of the higher-end bars on the street, Bar Laurus’ options are a bit pricey by Logroño’s standards… but it’s a good price for the quality. Rather than pintxos, most of their house specialties are tapas and the dishes are served more thoughtfully, with garnishes and carefully-made sauces.

We used to be obsessed with this bar and I still love to visit it, but just keep in mind that there are cheaper options if you’re on a budget. One reason it’s pricier is that this bar is considered to have an innovative menu on Calle Laurel. It would be an excellent place to try for a nicer dinner.

  • Solomillo (pictured below) tastes like a homemade pot roast. The tender, juicy meet is drowning in brown gravy. It comes with potato chips to soak up the extra juices.
  • Bacalao y langostino con salsa de calabacín is a small portion of cod fish and a large shrimp, both fried. It’s served with a garnish of leeks and a zuchinni sauce.

Juan y Pinchame Calle del Laurel 9

Always a crowd pleaser, this bar is always a final stop whenever Jay and I have guests. There are a few different menu items, but it’s one of those places where you can just walk in and they know what you will most-likely be ordering. Their most popular pintxo is a skewer of pineapple and shrimp.

  • Broscheta de langostino y piña is a skewer of grilled pineapple and huge shrimp. It’s coated in oil and a ton of salt– so simple, but so perfect and I’ve yet to replicate it at home. The pintxo comes with bread to mop up the extra oil afterward. Careful not to get addicted!
Calle Laurel by day

Calle Laurel by day

Is anyone tired of food posts yet? I’m not, and there’s still two more streets to go! Those posts may need to wait awhile until I get through San Mateo and the start of school next week.

Did you know? Exactly one year ago today, almost to the hour, Jay and I were being driven to the Tulsa International Airport to begin our journey to Spain. With the time-zone changes, our official “Spainiversary” isn’t until tomorrow, so I’ll be trying to write a post with all of the feelings and thoughts that come with this special date for then.

If you missed it, check out my posts over my favorite pintxos on Calle San Agustín and Travesia de Laurel. New to pintxos? You can also see my tips for pintxo hopping in Logroño here.

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