Mesón Cervantes - Salamanca

The Mesón Cervantes is a small restaurant that specialises in serving traditional Spanish tapas with a good drink. However the kitchen and the food that they produce should not be overlooked as it is both of an excellent quality and a relatively cheap price.

The Restaurant

Restaurant Mesón Cervantes - Salamanca

This Spanish restaurant is full of history; from the name of the restaurant, to its location and its decoration. The Mesón Cervantes can be found in the Pavilion of the Kings in the Plaza Mayor, which is the main square in the centre of the city of Salamanca. The restaurant has always occupied the same space in the Plaza Mayor; a section that is three balconies across on one side of the square.

The restaurant opened in the middle of the 20th Century under the direction of César Domínguez. Later, the establishment was taken over by Tito García in the 1980s. In 1981, the Mesón Cervantes suffered a huge fire that destroyed most of the inside of the restaurant. From this point on, Tito García renovated and improved the restaurant to make it the famous restaurant that it is today.

The restaurant consists in three separate parts: the restaurant, the terrace and the bar. The interior of the restaurant and bar is made out of stone and wood. Covering the walls and dotted around the rooms are numerous images of Cervantes, the man from who the restaurant gets its name. Cervantes is the famous Spanish writer who wrote the classic Spanish book, Don Quijote. Consequently, there are also many images from that novel too. There is a large bust of the Spanish writer too, but the origin of this sculpture is unknown.

Furthermore, there are many antique objects littered around which add to the traditional feeling of the restaurant, including old musical instruments, lamps, tools and paintings. The taps on the bar that serve the Sangria, a traditional Spanish drink, are also from a mysterious background. On one of the walls there is a fresco painting which was painted by an unsuccessful Spanish painter in exchange for some sandwiches. The decorations at this Spanish restaurant are almost as rich as the food served there.

The Menu

Entrecot - Salamanca

The Mesón Cervantes focuses its menu on the busy tourist who is looking for something quick to eat while they visit Salamanca's sites. Its location means that it is the perfect place to stop for a quick bite to eat on a tour of this great Spanish city. Therefore you will find a lot of snack like foods on the menu.

The restaurant provides a great selection of sandwiches and Spanish tapas and raciones which are great to share between friends and family. Some of the Mesón Cervantes' recommendations include 'patatas bravas' which are cubes of fried potatoes in a spicy tomato sauce and 'el pastel de cabracho' which is a fishcake made out of the red scorpion-fish. However, if you can't decide between their great range of tapas then you could always get one of the mixed plates which incorporate a couple of these smaller dishes.

There is of course a main menu which mainly consists in hot meat and fish dishes, as well as some salads. Some of the highlights of the menu include the 'Solomillo de cerdo ibérico' (Iberian Pork Sirloin steak), 'Chuletillas de lechazo' (Lamb chops), and 'Merluza a la cazuela' (Stewed hake).

Unsurprisingly, being a Spanish restaurant in Spain means that the Mesón Cervantes has an excellent collection of wine. The majority of the wines in the collection are from Spain, and many are sourced locally from the areas surrounding Salamanca. However there are a few bottles from other countries. One of the best drinks you can order at the bar is the Sangría, which is a mix of red wine, lemonade, sugar and slices of fruit. A welcome refreshment after a long hot Spanish day sightseeing around the city of Salamanca.