Rioja: Where to stay, shop, eat and relax

rioja, travel guide to rioja, rioja travel guide, wine guide rioja, rioja wine guide, decanter travel guide, guide to rioja, wineries in rioja, wine holiday rioja, rioja holiday, rioja restaurants, rioja bars, People & Places Wine Travel http://decanter.media.ipcdigital.co.uk/11150/0000036ba/56b6_orh100000w160/rioja-eat-shop.jpg http://decanter.media.ipcdigital.co.uk/11150/0000036ba/ded6/rioja-eat-shop.jpg
Rioja eat shop

With amazing tapas, quirky hotels, stunning architecture and wine festivals, see Decanter's recommendations for the best restaurants, tourist attractions and top places to sleep in Rioja.

Tapas in Logroño has been elevated to an art. It’s more fun to go out at 9pm or later in the evening before dinner (or even instead of it) into the narrow maze of streets around Calle del Laurel. After a day wine tasting, you may prefer a small beer (caña) but there are lots of local wines to choose from on chalkboard lists. Each bar has its own speciality; one will have garlic mushrooms, another a spicy sauce for the tortilla, a third pinchos – little kebabs callelaurel.net

Restaurants

Las Cubanas
A bustling tapas bar in Logroño with a more formal restaurant upstairs, serving modern and traditional dishes. Try the suckling pig with crispy crackling served with an orange and vanilla sauce. lascubanas.net

La Chatilla de San Agustín
Traditional Riojan cooking: revuelto (scrambled eggs) with fresh vegetables; lentils with chorizo and steak served on a sizzling hot stone to cook at the table. Excellent Rioja-only wine list. Calle Sa Agustín 6, Tel: +34 9 41 20 45 45

Darien winery
This, one of Rioja’s newest and most distinctive wineries, opened in 2007. A good-value tasting menu with traditional dishes such as Rioja-style beans with chorizo, and roast lamb. darien.es

Echaurren
Two restaurants in the same family-run hotel in Ezcaray. In the El Portal restaurant, Rioja’s first Michelin-starred chef, Francis Paniego, creates modern Riojan cuisine, while in Echaurren Tradicion, his mother Marisa offers the classics. echaurren.com

Mesón Chuchi
This asador (barbecue restaurant) in Fuenmayor offers the classic Riojan feast of suckling pig (cochinillo) and baby goat (cabrito) with roast potatoes and whole heads of garlic. Carretera de Vitoria 4, Tel: +34 9 41 45 04 22

Hotels

Marqués de Riscal
The world’s most famous winery hotel, by Frank Gehry, is a true icon with its riotous titanium roof. Get a bedroom in the building rather than the next door annexe to appreciate the full quirkiness. Restaurant under the guidance of Francis Paniego of Echaurren; Caudalie treatments in the spa. starwoodhotels.com/luxury

Viura
Rioja’s trendiest new hotel in Villabuena de Alava. The rooms are a cleverly arranged stack of boxes with views. hotelviura.com

Los Agustinos
A former convent in Haro, laid out around an internal courtyard. The dining room is in the former cloister. hotellosagustinos.com

Marqués de Vallejo
A good base in Logroño for exploring the region. This is a reliable, modern hotel housed in an early 20th-century building. hotelmarquesdevallejo.com

Tourist trail

Rioja & the Five Senses festival
There are any number of wine festivals in Rioja throughout the year, but Rioja & the Five Senses (September 3-19, 2011), is one of the biggest and most wide ranging. Attend tutored tastings or a tapas competition for innovative creations and feast on a range of wines and traditional tapas dishes. elriojaylos5sentidos.com

Wine train & Vinobus
Book a ticket on the wine train, which takes a gentle journey through Rioja’s vineyards and includes winery visits. Or try the Vinobus, organised by the Rioja tourist board, which runs from July to October (Spanish only spoken). The tourist board also runs evening stargazing events at wineries in the summer (only Spanish spoken). lariojaturismo.com/vinobus

For more information on Rioja, visit winesfromrioja.co.uk.


This article has more pages:

Ajax Galleries

Related Topics