The 10 best bars in A Coruña, according to an Englishman
We all know that the British love their pubs, and so when I moved to A Coruña in October of last year I was worried that I would miss the important role that the pub plays in my life: a place to meet friends, to share stories, to meet new people and learn about their own lives and experiences. I come from a small town – Stockport, near Manchester – and when I heard that Coruña was of a similar size I was excited to see how it compared in terms of what it had to offer. Here the reason why today I will show you my list of The 10 best bars in A Coruña, according to an englishman.
What I can tell you is that living in this beautiful Galician city shattered my expectations of what a place like this could offer in terms of food and drink. Nothing pleased me more than walking through the streets around María Pita square on a Sunday afternoon, and seeing families and friends sharing a meal, a drink, and conversation. The Spanish way of living, including eating and drinking late, has been one of my favourite things about living here. In Stockport, the pubs close at 11pm, if not earlier, whereas in Coruña there are some amazing places open until at least 2am, every night of the week. I want to share with you some of my favourite places that you have to visit if you decide to see this place for yourself.
The 10 best bars in A Coruña, according to an Englishman
The Breen’s Tavern
The first place you should go when you want to see what A Coruña is all about. The Breen’s Tavern is located at the heart of the city, jutting out onto María Pita square, a spot where you can watch the locals and enjoy the sunshine while sampling what this bar has to offer. Breen’s has a comprehensive menu of beers and wines, at prices that make you want to sit at their comfortable tables for the entire evening.
They also have an extensive food menu, which offers both affordable and delicious options to suit all tastes. Their tapas menu draws you in, with the mini fish and chips and their guacamole being particular favourites. Their vegan offering is noticeably extensive, including vegan callos and a vegan burger. My friends and I would often find ourselves sitting on one of their outside tables after our Spanish evening class, enjoying some tapas and a few cañas, none of which would break the bank. I wholeheartedly recommend Breen’s Tavern for its ability to feel like a home from home for an Englishman whilst simultaneously making me feel right at home in this vibrant Galician city.
Address: Pr. de María Pita, 24, 15001 A Coruña
I stumbled across Santo Libre on a walk back to my apartment in the ciudad vieja after a walk along the beach. Andrey, its Brazilian owner, is determined to bring cachaça to the masses in Galicia, and I can’t help but be inspired by the bar and its stylish and modern setting. A recent addition to the city’s food and drink offering, and located a stone’s throw from local institution Repichoca, I can’t help but feel that Santo Libre represents the future of this ever-changing city. Visit Santo Libre, and you will never leave without feeling you have been well-looked after by their accommodating bar staff. Their house-spiced cachaça shots (often given out for free to polite customers) could take away the painful thoughts of even the most stressful of days, while their caipirinhas, mojitos, and gin & tonics would keep even the most discerning of cocktail aficionados happy for the evening. Be sure to look out for their jazz and other live music nights, which have swiftly become a highlight of my cultural calendar.
Address: Rúa Orillamar, 14, 15001 A Coruña
I don’t quite know how to begin this section on Cañahueca, a bar that for me has become my “local” something that every Englishman has in their home country. The smell of beautifully toasted popcorn and the sounds of an excellently curated musical indie/ rock playlist characterise a visit to this small and cosy bar, in the centre of the city. They offer Guinness at a price that would be hard to beat back in the U.K., and the bar staff will look after you with their selection of complementary snacks. When I am looking for a quiet night with friends, I always choose Cañahueca. Be careful of their darts board, unless you want to spend hours engrossed in this classic English pub game!
Address: Rúa Cordonería, 14, 15003 A Coruña
Penique was recommended to me by a friend who was truly passionate about his beer. And I have to tell you, his recommendation did not disappoint. I chose to visit Penique for the first time when my dad came to visit me from the U.K.,and I was taken by it immediately. . Charlie, the owner, is a charismatic «aficionado» of all things beer-related, and Penique has what I would claim is the best set up in the city when it comes to the combination of good beer and a good place to drink. I would challenge you to find a bar in the whole of Galicia that has the same range of bottle and draught beer. Penique’s stock of Brewdog beers (a personal favourite) is particularly impressive. Be sure to stick around until the early hours, when the bar’s mesmerising selection of whiskies will draw you in, alongside the possibility of a fascinating conversation that is on offer from any number of their eclectic clientele.
Address: Rúa Costa da Unión, 1, 15005 A Coruña
The Black Dog Tavern
Right by a church in a beautiful part of the old town, you can find leather-clad rockers enjoying a delicious IPA in the sunshine. Inside, the long bar makes it easy to ask for recommendations from David, the charismatic owner,, whilst their chicken wings are a must if you are staying for a few drinks.
Address: Rúa de Santa María, 2, 15001 A Coruña
El Viejo is an incredible bar. Once inside, you are transported to a world of mahogany, darts, and great beer. Be sure to visit El Viejo as a brief respite when exploring the calles de los vinos at the heart of the city. Their beer selection is extensive, and the cavernous interior feels like an ideal escape from the busy city streets when you are looking for a relaxing evening with good drinks, and good conversation.
Address: Rúa Franja, 53, 15001 A Coruña
One of the spots in the city, Cafe Universal is ideal for escaping the Galician weather and sipping a hot chocolate, or a [insert name of that liquor coffee u drink]. You may struggle to find a seat at night on the weekend, but it’s usually quieter on the weekdays, and provides the perfect combination of bar and cafe which is so lacking in the UK. Also, the soundtrack is usually pretty good too.
Address: R. San Andrés, 1, 15003 A Coruña
Enter MALTE and you’ll be mesmerised by their screen-menu of beers from across the world. They serve Warsteiner as standard (an absolutely excellent German pilsner) alongside a selection of unbelievably delicious beers! MALTE is located right in the centre of the calles de los vinos, the central hub of Coruña’s food and drink scene. If you arrive at MALTE feeling hungry, they also have an enticing menu designed to satiate the hungriest of customers.
Address: Rúa Galera, 47, 15003 A Coruña
We were first introduced to this lovely little bar when seeking out a screening of the Rocky Horror Picture Show on Halloween. It’s surprising how many people can fit in this (true its name) pretty much living room sized bar, and how much atmosphere there can be. With ever-friendly bar staff and quirky decor, there’s nothing not to love. When there isn’t an event on, it’s the perfect spot to play a board game with friends.
Address: Rúa José Luis Pérez Cepeda, 23, 15004 A Coruña
A list of bars in Coruña would be lacking without mention of this local staple. Almost always busy, always stocked up with cheap and tasty tapas, this little bar is the definition of Spanish cheap and cheerful.
I could go on, and on, about the best places to drink in this wonderful city. You can be sure that wherever you end up, the hospitable nature of the Galician people will ensure that your night will always end well (except for Coruna’s distinct lack of late-opening takeaways, possibly the one thing I would change about living here). Anyway you have to know that the owners change place and now they open a new bar, WITAK, just few meters from La Bombilla.
Here my personal list of the 10 best bars in A Coruña, according to an englishman.
If you are searching for something cool to do in A Coruña, have a look to our article about 10 free things to do in A Coruña