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Tips on how to eat like a local in Cantabria

Most of the northern regions of Spain have green mountains and good fishing. Cantabria is no exception, and that makes this region very interesting when we talk about food.  Keep reading if you want to know more tips on how to eat like a local in Cantabria.

Lighthouse at the Mouro island, Santander, Spain
Lighthouse at the Mouro island, Santander, Spain

Cattle farming and fishing play an important role in Cantabria. The better-known foods here are probably the Anchoas, Bonito or Atún “en conserva” (tinned tuna or anchovies). Their traditional way of preserving fish makes Cantabria famous all around Spain, so our first recommendation would be to try some of these. If you prefer fresh fish, you will also find a great variety of fish and shellfish at any restaurant. Having so many rivers coming from the mountains, not only can you find great fish coming from sea fishing but also from river fishing, like river salmon or trout. 

As we have just mentioned, cattle farming is another important activity in Cantabria. There are a few native species like the Tudanca cow or the Monchina which produce excellent meat labelled as “Carnes de Cantabria” a special designation allowed by the European Union. 

If you want something warm, our recommendation would be to ask for a Cocido Montañés or an Olla Ferroviaria, which are two typical stews that include white beans and some meat, like chorizo and morcilla.


Another thing Cantabria is famous for is its traditional sweet cakes and biscuits. Make sure that you try a Sobao Pasiego, Quesada or Corbata de Unquera. It’s the perfect way to start your day.

And last but not the least, we should talk about the cheeses in Cantabria. Any of them can be a great choice, but if you have to pick one, go for a Queso de Cantabria, Quesucos de Liébana or Queso Picón Bejes-Tresviso, the most popular ones.

Tips and Tapas recommends:

Main dishes:
Beef of fish. If you are in the mountain, Cocido Montañes.
Something you should definitely try:
Sardinas (anchovies). You can buy them tinned if you want to try them later, but make sure they come from Cantabria.
Something to drink:
Cantabria is not very famous for its wine or beer, yet you can find some wines like the ones from Liébana or Costa de Cantabria. The Orujo de Liébana is sort of the most famous drink around, but be careful, because is quite strong.
Something sweet:
Sobaos Pasiegos, Quesada or Corbatas de Unquera.

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