Postcard from Burgos, Spain: Pilgrims should indulge in Santiago’s symbolic seafood

Above: Broiled zamburinas, Gallaecian scallops, at La Cantina Burgos

Bronze scallop shells embedded in the streets of Burgos lead pilgrims along the Camino de Santiago route to the Cathedral. The trail of shells conveniently passes right by La Cantina de Burgos, where one can find perfectly prepared grilled zamburinas, Gallaecian scallops. Earlier in this same trip, a blog post explains both the shell’s connection to Saint James and the bicolored anatomy of the bivalves.

We were there in May of 2022 before prime pilgrimage season and as restaurants reopened after long COVID closures, so La Cantina Burgos was packed with locals eager to be back out on the town with friends. They lined up at the bar to share tapas and filled most of the tables; yet we always managed to find one open. And, yes, we went there several times because we already became zamburina addicts while in Zaragoza. The cantina’s vegetables tempura were bountiful, fresh and crispy.

A stone’s throw from the Cathedral, El Huerto de Roque has one room designated a gastrobar and one a restaurant, and you definitely need reservations to partake of its three-course prix fixe lunches in either one of the casual spaces with fairly formal service. Pumpkin soup offered to us as an amuse bouche proved a flavorful starter. A first-course tower of eggplant and bell peppers crowned by a thick slice of melting caramelized goat cheese proved the star of our meal, despite the well-prepared main courses and creamy desserts.

Definitely recommend both of these establishments for hungry pilgrims.

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