Our recommendations (Where to eat and drink in Noia, Galicia)
Everybody's tastes are different, so the recommendations below are our personal opinions on where to get a drink, have some tapas or sit down for a meal in Noia. Any "yellow boxed" links will take you to a more detailed review. In summary, going out for a relaxed casual meal is popular in Galicia, so bars where you can get some tapas or other quickly prepared dish proliferate. These bars usually serve good value snack style meals, normally with a regional flavour. Eating out formally however is not so popular, tradition dictates that families have a long relaxed meal in the comfort of their own home. This normally takes place during the siesta hours between 2.00pm and 5.00pm. As a result formal restaurants in Galicia can be limited, expensive and not always that good.Something to drink and maybe some tapas
- If you want a drink, with or without tapas, any of the cafe bars in Noia's main piazza or mediaeval district are fine. Most offer a Galician style snack menu. Our favourite is the bar on the end of the pink apartment building on the main square adjacent to Noia's Civic Hall.
- If you want tapas many of the bars above are fine, but in our opinoin the best was la Parra (closed Jan 2007) in the medieval part of Noia (It is under the arches in the photo to the right). We normally have our first meal of the holiday there to get in to Spanish mode. Two plates of tapas (to share between two) - recommendation: "lomo" (pork) and "calamares" (squid), plus drinks and bread, will be around 17 euros, but these are meal sized portions. Although there will be a couple of tables outside and a bar inside, the main "la Parra" restaurant is inside the building beyond the bar. It is very close to San Martino church.
- Formal restaurants are limited in Noia, but there are a few and some are very good. In our opinion the best, and most representative of Galician cusine, is the restaurant Ferrador. If you want to find out more, hit this link which reviews a seafood Plata at the restaurant. We noted in both 2008 and 2009 that the prices at this restaurant had increased very considerably, so whilst it is still a good place to eat it does not represent great value.
- In the relatively new apartment and "cafe-come-eating zone" overlooking the bay there are a couple of restaurants, each on the first floor level of one of two different apartment blocks. We have eaten at both, but only rate one called San Marco. We have eaten at this restaurant twice, the last time in August 2009, and you can find out more by going to this page.
- We had a meal on 26 July 2005 at a restaurant called Marico (on the "Rua de Galicia"). We actually took my wife' s parents out as a thank you for letting us stay in their apartment and it was their suggestion. I was not all that impressed, partly because the waiter (who new my father-in-law) pretty much ignored us, but I also thought the food was nothing special. That said the restaurant is nice inside, the cost was lower than I anticipated and we were given some concessionary dishes. I should also point out that we dined there the day after a Spain's main national holiday which resulted in much of the fresh seafood being unavailable. I have also been told, by email from an American visitor to galiciaguide, that this restaurant is very good and consequently I suspect that I may have been having a bad day at the time - we will probably try it again.
- A bar with a restaurant (inside) called has been highly recommended by a visitor to galiciaguide. We have had tapas there many times, but never ventured in to the actual restaurant. When we called in there in July 2005 the member of staff we spoke with was very keen that we mention them here and the bar of la tasca is certainly one of (if not the) most popular in Noia.
- Very close to Noia's alameda is a restaurant called la Rustica (now closed), specialising in pasta, meat dishes and pizzas. We were taken there by friends (May 2007) and the food, service and price were all excellent. Around 50 euros for all 4 of us for a 2 course meal with drinks.
A restaurant (and hotel) to definitely avoid is a fish and seafood restaurant on a road called "Costa do Ferrador" which leads down to the bay and out of Noia. There are two similar restaurants on the left side of this road (it is one way) and the bad one is the second of the two called Elisardo. The meal we had was truly awful (and expensive) and we have since heard other bad reviews of this restaurant. In fact it was so bad that we have given you a foto of it to make sure you don't suffer as we did.
- Pizza style restaurants are very popular across Spain and no where more so than in Galicia. They generally offer an extensive menu with pastas and meat dishes and are always good value. Without question the best pizzeria in Noia is Mama Mias. In fact it is so good that we have an extended description of it that you can reach by clicking on this link pizzeria in Noia.
- There are two further pizza style restaurants in Noia, one of which we have eaten at (overlooking the bay and running track) and were not impressed with, and another of which we have heard negative comments.
- Still with good value, if you want something traditional, try lunch at Saineiro. It is located on the same road as the awful seafood restaurant (mentioned above), but on the opposite side. Here you can get a set three course meal with half a bottle of wine or lager and a coffee for 8 euros per head. There is a choice of four or five options for both starters and main courses and the service is fast and efficient and the food is Galician. If you like tapas, then Saineiro's has a selection of over 40 different tapas dishes. As a cautionary note, Saineiro's is nothing special to look at, outside or in, but it has a good reputation with the locals and is always busy.
A coffee and cakes
- As already mentioned, I am a big fan of cakes and the miniture cakes (sold by weight in Galicia) are a particular favourite of mine.
There is a great cake shop (not cafe) opposite the main plaza as you head for old Noia (it is on a corner and you cannot miss it), and another excellent coffee-come-cake shop in the medieval area where you can enjoy these delicasies with a hot drink. That said our two favourites are slightly off the main beaten track and for that reason I will give you a little bit more information on them. To find out where they are and what they look like, click this link: .
- For breads, empanadas etc, try Panaderia el couto, they have a shop in Noia and also a permanent stall inside the indoor market. They are recommended for two reasons, firstly my wife is friends with the family who own them and secondly, they have a bakery in the district of "el couto" which supplies all the bakery shops in Noia anyway. You will also get good bread and great pastries at all of the cafes.
- If you want to try "churros" and hot chocolate, the traditional breakfast of the region, it is best served hot straight from the rotating pan device used to make it. The only place where you can be sure to get a fresh batch is the "churreria" on the first floor level of the indoor market. The churros is great, but the surroundings are some what lacking.
You will also get a couple of strips of churos at the Equis bar if you order a morning coffee and you can buy it straight from the pan in the outdoor markets on Thursday and Sunday mornings.