Classic Spanish Appetisers
Tapas are small portions of food, usually served to accompany a drink. A traditional Spanish custom, now elevated into a distinct meal event in its own right, similar to the Greek mezedes.
Not widely encountered in Andorra to the same level of sophistication found in Spanish cities, although there are a couple of very notable exceptions:
Don Denis (££)
An Andorran institution, and one of the capital's most popular lunchtime venues. Dine a la carta in the main dining room or, for a more authentic experience, stay in the main bar area where dozens of cured hams are hung from the ceiling; take a seat up by the bar and choose from the huge range of excellent fresh tapas served directly from the long bar-level display.
Carrer Isabel Sandy 3, Escaldes-Engordany.
Tel. +376 820 692
Basque-influenced local tapas bar. Packed at lunchtime; just politely reach past the customers sat at the bar to serve yourself from the delicious tapas in, and on top of, the glass display cabinets on the bar. When something new comes out of the kitchen the staff call out and pass the dish around; don't be shy!
Avinguda Meritxell 86, Andorra la Vella.
Tel. +376 863 994
It has to be said, vegetarians usually have a hard time when eating out in Andorra, and vegans even more so. The concept of vegetarianism is still not fully understood, or acceptably accommodated, in Andorra; even in the largest hotels. You may have to resign yourself to picking through salads and pizzas to remove anchovies, prawns and ham.
Most of the vegetarian options offered in most hotels and mountain restaurants depend heavily on salads, eggs and cheese, with the omelette being king. Buffets and self-service venues are easiest, but they still rely mainly on meat and fish dishes for main courses; the only vegetarian option again usually being an omelette, charged at the same price as the more involved main meat-based dish.
Crêpes, pasta and pizzas are all reliable options, as are tapas, many of which are vegetable-only dishes.
Fondue & Raclette
These Swiss- and Savoy-style recipes are popular in the more French-influenced Pas de la Casa area.
Vegetarians should specifically ask for the cheese-based fondue savoyarde; otherwise it will be assumed you want the meat-based fondue bourguignonne.
The former version is a blend of two or more cheeses and a little white wine, gently brought to near boiling to liquify, then served at your table in a pot with a flame burner to keep it hot. You are provided with chunks of bread and little spears with which to dip the bread into the bubbling cheese mixture.
Usually served with potatoes and/or salad.
A Raclette consists of a half-wheel of the smooth raclette cheese served mounted on a special heater; this melts the cheese, which you then scrape off hot on to your plate or bread. Raclette is usually served with potatoes and pickles, but in many cases also comes with ham and/or salami.
Tapas & Vegetarian Options