Hello CHers, just back from a lovely trip to Vigo and thereabouts. Thought I'd mention some of the places where we ate, since this city is sadly lacking in recent recs on here...
Casa Zapatillas: nice lunch on the way in to Vigo, in Verín, Ourense (this about one hour east of Vigo). We had to wait about 20 minutes, since it's a popular local lunch spot and we didn't have reservations. We had all sorts of tapas, and everything was prepared well, including the excellent pimientos de Padrón and patatas bravas. Reservations recommended.
O'Dezaseis: lunch in Santiago de Compostela; 10 min walk from the cathedral, just outside the city center. Pretty and cozy restaurant with a lovely vine-covered ceiling in the main dining area in the back. We had excellent pimientos de Padrón and zamburiñas here - the best zamburiñas of this trip - covered with cheese and garlic butter and baked). By the time I remembered to order the recommended pulpo here, we had already ordered too much food, and besides, I had pulpo almost every day anyway. We had reservations here and they are recommended.
Mercado de Abastos de Santiago: this is a sprawling food market near the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela, with fruit,cheese, meat, and the star of the market...seafood. We ordered some fresh oysters from the stand to go and then went to the outdoor standing tables and ordered 2 glasses of albariño to pair with them.
O Rei Pescador (Vigo): great food and attentive service, everything was well-prepared. I was worried this place might be too touristy, but it's been around a long time and we did have a nice dinner here.
Paco Durán: in Baiona, about a 35 min. drive south of Vigo. Lunch here after visiting the Parador de Baiona. The restaurant is a 9 minute drive from the Parador, up the sharp-turning hills, but it's a beautiful drive and well worth the trip, in my opinion (as is the Parador!). Anyway, this was our favorite restaurant of the trip. Beautiful views of the Parador and the Islas Cíes, great service and delicious food. This is a popular lunch place with the locals; reservations are recommended. We didn't have reservations and the restaurant was full. We had a very typical Spanish lunch here - lingering and satisfying - just the kind we love to experience whenever we're in Spain. I should also mention that before lunch and before our hike around the Parador, we stopped for coffee at the beautiful café in the Parador, which faces the ocean and has a terrace with a scenic view. They brought us a yummy soft bread (not previously ordered) which was coated with sugar. I dipped this in my also-delicious café con leche (I love how they pour the steaming milk into the coffee when they serve you- so Spanish!)
Mesón Compostela (Vigo): on the main drag. Good solid dinner here. Great paella. The restaurant has been around a long time and was full of locals. The dining room isn't exactly pretty and I didn't care for the lighting but the food was good.
Carboente (Vigo): also on the main drag. We strolled in here at 11pm, straight from the train station and our trip to Porto, and they happily served us (love Spain!). We had the best calamari of the trip here, fresh and lightly battered, served with that delicious aioli that in my opinion the Spanish do the best. I also had a surprisingly enormous filet of cod (bacalao) served with tasty slivers of peppers. I wondered if the reason they served me such a huge filet was because it was already so late, and by the next day it wouldn't have been fresh.
I hope this is helpful to anyone visiting this beautiful corner of Spain.
Casa Zapatillas (Verín, Ourense), Av. Luis Espadas, 34
O'Dezaseis (Santiago de Compostela), C/San Pedro, 11; www.dezaseis.com.es
O Rei Pescador (Vigo), Praza de Compostela, 29; www.oreipescador.es
Mesón Compostela, Praza de Compostela, 6; www.mesoncompostela.com
Paco Durán (Baiona), Rúa de Igrexa, 60; no website
Carboente ((Vigo), Praza de Compostela, 19; no website