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12 Best Restaurants in Santander, Spain

12 Best Restaurants in Santander, Spain

There are so many great restaurants in Santander to enjoy.

We all know that Spain is famous for its delicious cuisine, ranging from traditional tapas to hearty paella. We have a particular soft spot for Spanish breakfast dishes.

I believe Santander is the perfect place to sample these local dishes, especially as the city is located along the coast, so there’s a big focus on seafood.

The great thing about Santander is that there’s a seemingly endless amount of eateries to choose from. You can opt for a fine-dining restaurant overlooking the sea, an authentic tapas bar down a side alley, or a charming Italian restaurant – the choice is yours!

In this guide, we’ll take you through some of the best restaurants in Santander. Whether you’re in the mood for traditional tapas, fresh seafood, or something more international, there’s something for everyone.

There are also various price points to choose from, so whether you are in Santander to splash the cash or you’re on a budget, you’ll find something to satiate.

Best Restaurants in Santander, Spain

There are plenty of Santander restaurants to choose from, no matter what you are in the mood for. The majority of these eateries are located in the city center, near the area of Puerto Chico.

However, there are some fantastic eateries overlooking the beaches in Santander like Playa Sardinero if you’d prefer sea views. Just keep in mind that many restaurants in Santander are shut during the late afternoon and don’t re-open until the evening.

1. Casa Lita

Casa Lita is undeniably one of the best tapas bars in Santander. This place serves a range of delicious Spanish cuisine but is most famous for its pinchos. These traditional Basque snacks consist of small slices of bread and various toppings. 

The great thing about this place is that there are around 300 dishes to choose from, all of which are prepared daily. These are made with only the best ingredients, ranging from Iberian sausages and northern tuna to Spanish cheeses and anchovies, so there’s something for everyone.

Thanks to its location in the city center, Casa Lita can get busy, especially as there’s outdoor seating near the waterfront. If you do manage to get a seat, you’re in for some delicious food.

Address: P.º de Pereda, 37, 39004 Santander, Cantabria, Spain

pimientos de padron - green grilled peppers from spain in a terracotta bowl on top of a white plate at one of the best restaurants in santander

Pimientos de Padron, or Padron peppers are a popular tapas dish all over Spain. They aren’t spicy, but have a wonderful sweet and bitter taste and are heavily salted like French fries. The perfect bar snack.

2. Bodega del Riojano

Bodega del Riojano is another of the best restaurants in Santander. This charming eatery is located near the area of Puerto Chico and offers a more upscale culinary experience. 

The restaurant’s setting is beautiful and the quality of customer service is incredibly high. However, it’s the delicious food that will blow you away.

Popular dishes here include pastel de cabracho, torreznos, and oxtail ravioli, but there are a lot of other options, too. If you love seafood, you’ll really love the options at this traditional Santander restaurant.

Another highlight of Bodega del Riojano is the extensive wine list and helpful somellier who offers guidance based on what dishes you’ve chosen for your meal. There are some tasty desserts on offer too, such as sobao, a traditional Cantabrian cake made with an anise liquor.

Address: C. Río de la Pila, 5, 39003 Santander, Cantabria, Spain

3. Bodega Fuente Dé

You won’t be short of places to eat in Santander, but Bodega Fuente Dé is a fantastic option. You’ll find this place along Calle Peña Herbosa in the heart of the city. It’s known for its authentic feel, cheap prices, and large portions.

Bodega Fuente Dé offers an extensive menu, with hearty regional dishes and tapas. Cocido Lebaniego and Cocido Montañes are undoubtedly the highlights of this menu. These two dishes are a staple of the local cuisine and both are hearty stews, typically made with various vegetables and meat.

Bodega Fuente Dé is always full of locals, which tells you all you need to know! However, it can get very busy so it’s worth making a reservation unless you don’t mind waiting.

Address: C. Peña Herbosa, 5, 39003 Santander, Cantabria, Spain

photo at a restaurant table from the perspective of one person with two glasses and a croquette on the table and the side of a woman across the table about to pick up her drink.

Vermut and tapas are a popular pairing as a pre-dinner aperitivo, especially in the warmer months.

4. Cañadío

While in the city, make sure you visit Cañadío. This restaurant is located in the city center, just a short walk from the Museum of Prehistory and Archaeology of Cantabria, and has a lot to offer.

Whether you’re in the mood for seafood or meat, Cañadío has something for everyone. Like many of the other traditional restaurants in Santander, tapas dishes are available including pinchos, homemade croquettes, and cod fritters.

This place is also famous for its tortilla de patata, which is why many people choose to visit. The hake is another popular option and can be served battered, in tempura, or with sauce.

For those with a sweet tooth, you don’t want to miss out on the cheesecake (tarta de queso). There are some delicious dessert wines to pair with it.

Address: C. Gómez Oreña, 15, 39003 Santander, Cantabria, Spain

5. La Tasca

If you’ve had your fill of Spanish cuisine, then I’d suggest heading to La Tasca. It’s one of the top restaurants in Santander if you’re looking for something more international. It’s all about the wood-fired pizzas at La Tasca.

It offers both indoor and outdoor seating and is located along a narrow street. Although relatively small and usually incredibly busy, La Tasca makes good use of its space.

There are a wide variety of pizzas to choose from here and it’s even possible to do half and half if you can’t make a decision. Better yet, there’s an English and Spanish menu, so the restaurant caters to both languages.

If you still have room after your meal, La Tasca offers a tasty tiramisu. It’s also a great place to grab a cocktail or local beer.

Address: C. Peña Herbosa, 11, 39003 Santander, Cantabria, Spain

rows and rows of pinchos, slices of bread topped with meats, cheeses, and fish which are popular at restaurants in Santander.

You’ll find pinchos and other tapas bars like this all over Santander thanks to its close proximity to the Basque Country.

6. Restaurante Los Peñucas

Next up is Restaurante Los Peñucas, a local eatery that specializes in seafood. This restaurant has been around for over 60 years and is known for its exquisite food and great atmosphere.

Restaurante Los Peñucas boasts an extensive menu so there’s bound to be something to your liking, especially if you love Spanish seafood dishes.

They also offer set menus which offer excellent value for money – perfect for those on a budget. These set menus include their spectacular seafood paella.

The seafood platter is another popular option, as well as the sea bass. 

Restaurante Los Peñucas has such a great reputation, so be sure to reserve a table in advance.

Address: C. Marqués de la Ensenada, 35, 39009 Santander, Cantabria, Spain

7. Marisqueria Casa Jose

When it comes to the best restaurants in Santander Spain, Marisqueria Casa Jose has to be on this list. This is another fantastic seafood restaurant and it’s located just a short walk from the ferry port.

Marisqueria Casa Jose uses fresh fish and other seafood specialties straight from the market. Popular dishes here include chlamys varia, arroz con bogavante, and caldereta especial de marisco. The European spider crab is another big hit with seafood lovers.

Although Marisqueria Casa Jose is located outside of the city center, reservations are still recommended as this place can get busy. Trust me, you don’t want to miss out on getting a table at this fantastic Santander restaurant.

Address: Pl. Cabildos, 1, 39009 Santander, Cantabria, Spain

photo from above the table with four plates of burgers and fries and four people reaching over the plates to eat.

When you’re craving a burger, don’t miss out on a trip to GOIKO Grill for their incredible selection of burgers.

8. La Cantina Azteca

If you want to explore some international cuisines while you’re in Santander, the Mexican food at La Cantina Azteca is excellent.

You’ll find this charming restaurant around a 10-minute walk from the city’s bus station. Once you step in, you’ll be greeted with beautiful decor, including murals and photographs.

Of course, the food is the highlight with a variety of Mexican and Tex-Mex dishes to choose from. This includes nachos, tacos, quesadillas, burritos, and tostadas with meat, seafood, and vegetarian options.

The staff here are extremely friendly but just be mindful that it can get very busy, so waiting times may vary.

Address: C. Burgos, 9, 39008 Santander, Cantabria, Spain

9. GOIKO Grill

Although you won’t be indulging in the local cuisine here, GOIKO Grill is still one of the top restaurants in Santander. This restaurant is famous for its delicious burgers, of which there are plenty of choices.

When it comes to standard burgers, you can choose from various types of meat, including beef, chicken, and pork. There are also vegetarian and ‘beyond meat’ options so there’s something for everyone.

GOIKO Grill offers tasty smash burgers and specialty burgers too.

You can have something like the Kevin Sobrada which is made with a beef patty, sobrasada (similar to chorizo), two types of cheese, and cooked onion. The speciality menu is extensive with over a dozen burgers to choose from.

Not to mention, they also offer options for children making it a great family-friendly establishment.

GOIKO Grill is a fantastic all-rounder and the decor is funky too. What’s not to like?

Address: Pl. Remedios, 1, 39001 Santander, Cantabria, Spain

table with a few empty glasses of wine and a bottle of wine.

There is always so much regional wine to try when you visit a new part of Spain and Santander is no different. Try some local white wines from the Cantabria coast.

10. Restaurante El Serbal

If it’s fine dining you’re after, look no further than Restaurante El Serbal, a Michelin-star restaurant. This inviting eatery overlooks Playa Sardinero and boasts jaw-dropping sea views so is a brilliant option for those who want a special occasion place to eat in Santander.

Restaurante El Serbal uses produce from the Cantabria region in their creative dishes. The tasting menu offers the best value for money, as you’ll get to experience a variety of dishes. You can also add wine pairing to your menu.

At El Serbal you get a seafront location, high-quality food, and mouth-watering wines. Not to mention, all the dishes are presented beautifully.

So if you’re looking for a luxurious dining experience, then I’d suggest booking a table at Restaurante El Serbal.

Address: Av. Manuel García Lago, 1E, 39005 Santander, Cantabria, Spain

11. Restaurante Maremondo Santander

Restaurante Maremondo Santander also overlooks Playa Sardinero but it’s definitely the more affordable option compared to El Serbal. This place offers both outdoor and indoor dining, with the latter featuring large glass windows so you can enjoy the sea views.

When it comes to food, this restaurant operates a seasonal menu which typically includes various fish and meat dishes. However, Restaurante Maremondo Santander also offers a seafood gastronomic experience where you’ll get to enjoy several courses.

If you’re short of time, this eatery is a great place to just grab a drink or something small, especially as there are so many sweet treats to choose from. The chocolate and churros are to die for!

It’s also a popular spot for breakfast, where you can enjoy the sea views with a coffee and a complimentary mini croissant.

Address: Plaza Italia, 3B, 39005 Santander, Cantabria, Spain

inside of an empty restaurant with white walls, a mirror on the far wall, windows on the far right wall and a bunch of tables with white chairs at them at the best restaurants in santander.

Many restaurants in Santander close during mid afternoon, so make sure you know the opening hours the different restaurants before you head out for a meal.

12. Taberna La Prensa Restaurante

As you can see, there are tons of Santander restaurants to choose from. Taberna La Prensa Restaurante is another top place to eat in Santander because it offers incredible regional cuisine, making it a great place to sample local dishes.

Seafood is the highlight here, with fried calamari, scallops, crab, hake, and sea bass all on the menu in a variety of ways.

There are also some delicious homemade desserts available, including the cheesecake made with goat’s cheese, tiramisu, and carrot cake.

The one thing to consider with this restaurant is that it’s located about 5 miles from El Sardinero, in the Monte neighborhood. It’s around a 40-minute walk away or a quick taxi ride from the area of Puerto Chico.

Be sure to reserve a table in advance, just in case there are no tables available when you get there.

Address: Bo. Monte la Torre, 86, 39012 Santander, Cantabria, Spain