La Ruta del Pincho
Thursday Tapas in Historical Vegueta
Every Thursday night in Vegueta, the scent of mojo and mariscos fills the air and hungry patrons – both locals and guiris alike – fill every bar, terrace and square inch of sidewalk. It’s the weekly Ruta del Pincho aka Tapas Thursday in the historic center, where friends gather together to share a bucket (or 10) of botellínes and sample the countless pinchos on offer.
The weekly event centers around Calle Mendizábal & Calle Pelota. Early birds start trickling in around 8:00pm, but the real ambiance starts after 9:00. Though the event technically only lasts from 8:00-10:00, bars keep serving pinchos until they run out, and the good vibes last for hours to come.
The crowd is mostly 20 – 30 somethings and is especially popular with the universitarios, which probably has a lot to do with the prices. On Calle Mendizábal, a bucket of botellínes (small beer bottles) will cost you about €5 for 5 (€1 each) and a tapa or pincho will set you back around €1.50. Bars on Calle Pelota tend to charge just a bit more. Basically 15 bucks later you’ll be well fed and maybe even a little tipsy.
Do as the Spanish Do
Tapas are about balancing out the booze, not stuffing your face. Rather than juggle 7 plates of pinchos, the idea is to pick a couple to taste and a glass of wine or beer, eat up, have some laughs and move on to the next bar for more.
Below are 5 of my usual stops on the Ruta, introduced to me by local friends and ones I’ve kept going back to. Read on and buen provecho!
1. La Barbería de Vegueta
Calle Mendizábal, 14
This one wins big points for selection and creativity alone. The entire bar top is double stacked with imaginative pinchos – from the standard goat cheese & caramelized onions to the more creative French omelet stuffed with creamy salmon salad. For the guy who’s tried everything, go nuts with a doughnut hamburger (which is exactly what it sounds like).
I love the atmosphere, the staff and the veggie options. For me, no tapas Thursday is complete without a stop at this bad boy.
Calle Mendizábal, 20
Marsala is my standard go-to restaurant when I have friends visiting from out of town, and might just be my favorite restaurant in Vegueta. In case you don’t have time to stop in for a sit-down meal here, at least pop in for a taste on Thursday.
Their creative and inspired pinchos are reflective of their usual menu and will definitely leave you wanting to come back for more.
3. La Champiñonería
Calle Mendizábal, 30
The forte here is – you guessed it – champiñones (mushrooms). You can tell by the massive crowds from outside looking in how popular this one is with the locals. They have tons of champi pinchos, and a few meaty options for those that don’t eat fun-guys.
La Champiñonería is probably the most vegetarian friendly option for those looking to skip the jamón.
4. Trés Jolie Las Palmas
Calle Mendizábal 24
If you arrive late and hangry, head straight to Trés Jolie. As other bars are starting to run low on options, Trés Jolie are still popping piping hot pizzas fresh from the oven.
Rather than trying to squeeze in between the throngs at the bar and shouting your order louder than the guy next to you, Trés Jolie sets up their goods at a table just in front of the entrance. You line up Subway style, point at what you want, order your botellín or copa de vino and pay at the end of the line.
The main offer here are pizzas and puffed pastry style tapas. I usually save this spot for later on in the evening – or as I like to call it – second dinner.
5. Tasca La Picadita
Calle Herrería, 12
If squeezing in a packed bar or competing for the servers’ attention isn’t your cup of
tea vino tinto, head over to Tasca La Picadita for a more relaxing atmosphere. Rather than pinchos, La Picadita does discounted tapas on Thursdays.
All the typical tapas options are available – ensaladilla, tomates aliñados, etc. You’ll pay a bit more, but there’s usually plenty of seating on the terrace and you won’t have to balance a plate and a bucket of beers while chowing down.
- Early birds catch the tapas. If you’re new to Spain and not familiar with the whole tapas culture, beat the crowds and get there at 8:00. The staff will be much more patient and inclined to explain the what/how if you’re not in a sea of hungry patrons.
- Slow and steady. This is a marathon, not a sprint. Rather than stuff your face in the first bar, sample one or two pinchos and move on to the next one.
- The night doesn’t end when the tapas do. Thursday nights are a blast in the center. Stick around Calle Mendezábal, or head to local favorites like the Azotea de Benito for a digestive gintonic or Paper Club to dance off your dinner.
La Ruta del Pincho happens every Thursday night and shouldn’t be missed! Next time your in Las Palmas, skip lunch and go nuts. And click here to learn more out more about what to expect from traditional Canarian cuisine.
If you’re a Las Palmas local, let me know if I’ve missed any of your faves and which stops are your top picks to picar on Thursdays!
Erica 💙 ✌️
Big thanks to La Barbería and Marsala for permission to use some of their images. I was too hangry to get any good shots on my own!
© Erica Edwards and getupgetoutgetlost.com, 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Erica Edwards and getupgetoutgetlost.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original
28 Comments Add yours
ñom ! genial, gracias!
Its been a while since I had tapas and these do look mighty tasty. cant wait to fly back to Spain next week 🙂
Nice! Which part of Spain are you headed to??
Your pictures suddenly made me hungry! I can well see why tapas are so popular, even if I must say it’d be hard not to stuff your face with so many delicious dishes!
I get hungry every one I open up this post! 😂 Can’t wait for Thursday night so I can go back for more 😋
Tapas – one of my favorites. Dont get much exciting in Sydney or London though. Pinning it for my Europe trip! Cheers for next Thursday:)
Excellent! There are plenty of cheap flights between Spain and London – the Canary Islands in particular! Maybe I’ll see ya down here one of these Thursdays 🙂
I’ve never had tapas. This seems like such a FUN meal to have!
The tapas are tasty, but the best part is definitely the social aspect!
You can’t beat pinchos, and the Champinoneria sounds especially incredible. I lived in Madrid for 6 months for an internship and have to say this part of the culture is really something I miss – such a great attitude to mixing drinking, friends, food, and fun all in perfect measure!
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One of the things I love most about Spain is the social culture – nightly mixing, meeting friends and simply enjoying life! I much prefer winding down after a long day with a glass of red and a few laughs at a local cafe rather than snuggling up on the couch with the tele on.
Tapas is becoming such a popular way of dining here in New Zealand too – there are many restaurants that aren’t necessarily Spanish, but have taken on the idea of small sharing plates rather than a single big meal. It’s great for groups and great to get a sample of a variety of foods too! No more food envy!
After so many years of living in Spain, I struggle going back to the states where everyone orders their own dinner plate. I’m so used to sharing and tasting everything, I get bored with one giant plate of the same flavor!
Wow, so many awesome choices, plus I just want to steal the idea of Tapas Thursday and bring it to my hometown. Makes it so much easier to explore more than one place in a given night.
Right?! One of the things I love most about tapas culture is getting to explore so many different places and not getting bored in the same booth all night.
Tapas Thursdays seem to be rocking affairs with lots of food and drink. A great way to welcome the weekend in advance with good food, drink, and company. La Barbería de Vegueta looks like one of the best places to head to. The visual presentation of the bar is really amazing.
I make a bee line for La Barbería every time I go there for tapas, their pinchos and selection are incredible!
Awwww Yummy – how much I love tapas – and you blog post made me really hungry! Vegueta seems to be the perfect place for food-lovers hm?:)
It definitely is! I get hungry just thinking about the tapas 🙂
Amazing! This all looks so delicious! Reminds me so much of my trip to Bilbao a few weeks ago – the birthplace of pinchos
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I LOVE Bilbao! I thought the pinxos in Bilbao were even better than those of it’s more famous neighbour, San Sebastian. Did you have the chance to visit both?
Thanks for the tips!! Had a great time last night. I loved the barbería de vegueta.
Yay, glad you liked it! Barbería de Vegueta is definitely my fave for pinchos! Are you here on holidays or moving to Las Palmas?
Hi, I have heard that Tapas Nights in Vegueta is no longer allowed, so they will close it down. Correct?
It sounded promising when I read about ruta del pincho. However, the food was disappointing. You get what you pay for…
Haha, a shame to hear you were dissapointed. You have to understand that tapas culture isn´t about gourmet food, but rather about socializing, with small bites in between to tide you over and soak up the cañas 😊 I imagine it would have been quite dissapointing if you had gone into it thinking you were going for a sit down meal 😂😂 If you ever venture out again, I highly recommend going a bit earlier when there is more selection and trying a few tostas from La Barbería and Malvasia. If you´re interested in tasting Canarian specialties as oppossed to simply tapas, check out this post https://getupgetoutgetlost.com/2017/05/20/eating-my-way-through-the-canary-islands-top-10-typical-dishes-in-the-canaries/