Where to Eat in Leon, Spain: the Best Restaurants

December 9, 2019
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My hometown, Leon, is a hidden gem in northern Spain famous for its monuments and amazing food. It's Spain's best city for free tapas and it's perfect for a short weekend getaway. From high-end restaurants to gastro-bars and tapas spots, there's no shortage of eating options. On this blog post you are going to find a food guide to the best restaurants and tapas bars in Leon. For more information to plan your trip check out The Complete Guide to Visiting Leon.
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WHERE TO EAT IN LEON: THINGS TO KNOW

Leon was named Gastronomic Capital of Spain in 2018 for good reason. Leon has a great variety of local dishes like cecina (dry meat), Valdeon cheese or botillo. The city’s slogan for the competition was ‘Manjar de Reyes’, which means ‘Food of Kings’, giving a nod to the city’s royal history. Since then, swarms of foodies and tourist fill the city every holiday weekend to try the delicacies the city is known for.

Leon is one of the few cities in Spain where tapas are free. You can go out for drinks with friends and end up having dinner for free without even realizing. Bars are pretty competitive about offering the best tapas because they know that if tapas are bad or they don't offer them, people won't go there.

The best areas to find tapas bars are Barrio Humedo and El Cid. These two quarters are full of bars and restaurants and are packed on weekends. Traditionally, Barrio Humedo (which literally means "Wet Quarter", referring to the amount of drinks served in this area) has been the most popular one but in recent years El Cid or Barrio Romantico has stepped up the game and become pretty popular too. By night these narrow streets are full of people, it's the most bustling area in town.

WHERE TO EAT IN LEON: THE BEST RESTAURANTS

BY VAMUCA
This restaurant and hotel group runs some of my favorite eateries in Leon: LAV, Casa Mando and NiMu Azotea. They have just opened a new one: Marcela Brasa y Vinos which I can't wait to try.

CASA MANDO
A traditional restaurant with a modern twist. I love the impeccably designed space, the delicious food and professional staff. They use seasonal products, the best meat and legumes in the region of Leon and fresh fish from Galicia and Asturias. Book as soon as possible because it's always full. I had been trying to celebrate my birthday there for three years with no luck until this one when we booked one month in advance.
Address: Calle General Lafuente
Phone: +34 987 798 188
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LAV
In my opinion this is the coolest and most modern restaurant in Leon. The name is an acronym for Laboratorio Alfonso V, and if you pronounce it in Spanish it sounds like "lab", short for laboratory. The tasting menu costs €35 and includes six different courses. Read all about this unique dining experience here.
Address: Avenida del Padre Isla 1, Leon
Phone: +34 987 79 81 90
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best restaurants tapas bar leon spain lav alfonso V hotel

NiMu AZOTEA
NiMu is a very popular rooftop restaurant with excellent city views. It's the type of food and ambiance we always look for in a restaurant. We loved every single dish we tried but the most spectacular thing were the desserts, the assorted ice-cream is adorable, isn't it? Their signature dessert is called "the fish bowl". It is literally a fish bowl with an amazing mixture of flavors: nuts, chocolate, lemon...one of the most delicious and original desserts I've ever had.
Address: Calle General Lafuente s/n, Leon
Phone: +34 987 79 81 92
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best restaurants tapas bar leon spain nimu azotea conde luna rooftop
best restaurants tapas bar leon spain nimu azotea conde luna rooftop

CAMAROTE HOTEL
Hotel, restaurant, tapas bar and rooftop all in one of the most beautiful buildings in the city. Their specialty is fresh fish and seafood. My favorite part of this place is the rooftop, it's very close to the cathedral and offers unbeatable views to this stunning monument and other parts of the city.
Address: Calle Damaso Merino, 1.
Phone: +34 987 79 82 34
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best restaurants tapas bar leon spain camarote hotel
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EL PATIO
Located in El Cid quartier, El Patio -Spanish for "courtyard"- is a a cozy little restaurant where the dining area is a library. Food and books, two of my favorite things. There's also a cute outdoor eating area which gives the name to this place. More pics and info here.
Address: Plaza Torres de Omana 2, Leon
Phone: +34 987 03 33 55
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LA MARY RESTAURANT
Combines traditional Spanish food with modern touches. The daily lunch menu here is great value. As a decor enthusiast, I love the white walls, great light and china that decorate the restaurant.
Address: Plaza Don Gutierre 5, Leon
Phone: +34 987 04 34 47
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best restaurants tapas bar leon spain la mary

EL PARADOR DE SAN MARCOS
You already know about my love for Paradores hotels. They are our home away from home. There are only two five-star Paradores in Spain and one of them is the one in Leon. Unfortunately, The place is currently closed for renovations, but I still recommend you add it to your list. I can't wait to go there as soon as they open again. Read all about Paradores here.
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best restaurants tapas bar leon spain parador san marcos

WHERE TO EAT IN LEON: THE BEST TAPAS BARS

Because tapas are free, tapas bars are even more popular than restaurants in Leon. They are concentrated in three main areas: Plaza San Martin and Plaza Mayor -both part of Barrio Humedo- and just a few steps away El Cid.

Order your drink and you will get the most delicious tapas with it. To give you an idea, these are some of the most popular ones: Spanish potato omelette, croquetas, fried egg with chorizo or morcilla and little sandwiches. It may not be the healthiest choice but it sure is comfort food.

For croquetas, El Rebote is the most famous bar. Go to Ezequiel for the best cold meat: ham, chorizo, cecina, etc. For chips -not your average ones, these are thicker and tastier- El Flechazo is your best choice. If you like jamon, Four Lions Brewery serves a full plate as a tapa. Morcilla, a.k.a. blood sausage is very typical from Leon and La Bicha is very popular for their morcilla tapas. Finally, La Compatencia serves Leon's most famous pizzas and they serve a slice with your drink.

WHERE TO EAT IN LEON: MAP

To take this map with you, simply click on the star next to the title and it will be saved to your maps. WEAR THIS HERE
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25 comments

  1. Looks magical and delicious! I've never been to Spain, but this sure makes me want to go!

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  2. NiMu definitely sounds like my kind of place! Love this guide.

    Anika | chaptersofmay.com

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  3. Leon looks amazing! I love the sound of free tapas! I've only been to Madrid on mainland Spain but I loved it. Thanks for linking up!

    Emma xxx
    www.style-splash.com

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  4. I always love your photos dear. Great guide you have here!

    Jessica | notjessfashion.com

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  5. I have never thought to travel to Leon but it sounds amazing! I love trying all the food when we travel, so Leon sounds like it could be an ideal location for a little getaway. Thanks for sharing - Shelley @ Wander & Luxe #KCACOLS

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  6. http://ladyfi.wordpress.comDecember 16, 2019 at 5:34 AM

    Mmm - my mouth is watering!

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  7. Free tapas in all the bars? Wow. Count me in. That makes a trip to Leon definitely worth while. I'm really excited to add it to my growing list of places to visit in Spain now. Thanks for sharing on #farawayfiles

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  8. I love your sweater with the little colored puffs. And the ice cream assortment looks so delicious. You're living the good life.

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  9. I need to save this post for when I get to visit Leon for the first time 😊

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  10. These look like marvelous places to dine!


    Thank you for joining us this week at https://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2019/12/coffee-shop-humor.html

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  11. Muchas gracias por tus recomenaciones guapa! Me las apunto para futuras visitas!;)
    Un besazo enorme!:)

    La ilusión de Nina - http://lailusiondenina.blogspot.com/

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  12. I'm really regretting reading this before dinner - I'm so hungry now! Thanks for the great guide. #FarawayFiles

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  13. Thanks, Rebecca! I hope you get to come some day

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  14. It's great for a little getaway. Thanks for stopping by, Selley!

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  15. Thanks, Clare! It's definitely worth it

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  16. Thanks so much, Sharon! Being a foodie, I can't complain ;)

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  17. You have to go! I'll show you around ;)

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  18. Me alegro de que te hayan gustado :)

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  19. Thanks so much, April! I'm really glad you enjoyed the post

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