Sidra has been a big part of our Asturian experience — from learning the art of the Escanciado, to sitting with friends at one of the many sidrerías on Calle Gascona. There’s something grandly social about cider, and we’ve made sure to drink as much as possible.
On a rainy Saturday night, I went to a bar which a couple friends had recommended. Al Fondo Hay Sitio… There’s Room at the Back. It was a fun evening out. The bar had a great atmosphere with live rock music, a good selection of beers and an abundance of tapas, which the waiter insisted I try. “Picante, ¡SÍ!” Bowls of fruit were on the tables, and a guest book was at the door; funny little touches that give the bar a unique feel.
While Jürgen’s family was visiting from Germany, we spent a day driving around the Comarca de la Sidra and ended up in a tiny town called Grases, which home to Los Caserinos: a family-owned farm that’s been making cheese and milk for nearly a century.
On Calle Cimadeville, just past the open arch of the Ayuntamiento building, La Más Barata is one of Oviedo’s most famous and popular restaurants.
Carbayón is a word with various meanings to the people of Oviedo. First and foremost, it refers to a beloved oak tree which had been the symbol of Oviedo for centuries, until it was torn down to make room for Calle Uria in 1879. The term “carbayón” can also refer to a native of Oviedo.
Here’s a tip for young entrepreneurs. Want to make sure your new bar is massively popular? Offer free slices of pizza with every drink. And make the drinks crazy-cheap.
After sitting down at the popular Mesón Casa Pedro on Calle Asturias, we did like everyone else and ordered the cachopo. A delicious breaded, fried “sandwich” of ham and cheese, cachopo is similar to Cordon Bleu. Just a lot bigger.
On a recommendation, we decided to try out the menú del día at El Yantar de Campomanes, a rustic restaurant serving up traditional Asturian fare on the southern side of the city center.
It didn’t take much time for us to develop an appreciation for cider, the favorite drink of Asturias. In the few weeks, we put down a fair share of bottles and improved at escanciando: the tricky art of pouring cider. So, it was soon time to visit a sidrería and see how the drink is produced.
The largest market in Oviedo is found in the Plaza del Fontán, which has been home to the city’s food merchants since the mid-16th century. In the middle ages, the plaza was still on the outskirts of the small city, and bordered a small lake filled by natural springs, which gave the plaza its name. The lake is gone but the focus on food remains.