Gastroguía of the A-1, the asado road: where to eat well from Madrid to the Basque Country without deviating or ruining

An old proverb says that to find a good place to eat on the road, just see where the truckers stop. It is not true. Truckers stop in service areas with large parking lots, regardless of whether you eat well or not. And the size of parking It says nothing about the food in the attached restaurant.

Actually, the true masters of the road bar are the traveling, the musicians and all the people who live in a city that is not yours. They have less strict schedules than carriers, make the same sections over and over again and have vehicles that can be put in any tiny town, left by the hand of God since the national stopped passing by when the new highway was built. Y those are the sites that interest us.

Live to the PalateThe best restaurants (and bars) to eat the classics we love

It is your knowledge that we have used to carry out this series of guides, which will try to offer better options to stop to eat in the main highways of Spain. It is not here to review great restaurants, but places to eat well without paying an exorbitant price -Something that unfortunately is not usual in most areas of service-, nor deviate too much.

We have only followed two rules: the restaurants must be located at a turnoff of no more than 15 km from the highway (although almost all are closer) and should not be located in large cities, where you have to find life to park.

Eat on the A-1

We begin our gastronomic review of the main roads of Spain on the A-1. The north highway, which links Madrid with Irún, passing through Burgos, is one of the busiest roads in Spain. Like the rest of the six radial highways, part of the old layout of the N-1, which was unfolding from the 70s. Its last tranche was paid until last year, when the AP-1 disappeared after being considered amortized.

We begin our review from Somosierra and up to Vitoria, Leaving aside the Community of Madrid and Guipúzcoa, it doesn't make much sense to stop to eat when you just left. For that you stay in San Sebastian eating some skewers. Faithful to the tradition of Spanish infrastructures, we started our tour in Madrid. First stop: Santo Tomé del Puerto.

From Madrid to Aranda de Duero

Km 99: Hostel Restaurante Mirasierra

Recently refurbished, this restaurant serves Decent portions and very good snacks at normal prices. Just what we ask for a good roadside bar for a quick stop. It has a spacious cafeteria and a restaurant to eat a la carte that is not bad, although for this there are better options a few kilometers away.

More information and reservations here.

Km 99: Juan Sanz Bakery

Also at exit 99 of the highway, but heading to the small Segovian town of Sao Tome del Puerto we found this bakery where they do fantastic empanadas and good sweets. Ideal if we have to make an express stop or even buy something to eat along the way.

More information here.

Km 103 (and detour to N-110): Hermitage restaurant of Hontanares

Very close to the town of Riaza, Going up to the chapel of Hontanares, we found this charming restaurant. It is the biggest detour we invite you to do throughout the guide, but if you have some time the visit is very worthwhile. In a unique environment We found this hidden jewel where some are served great croquettes, some meatballs that remove the hiccups and the best handyman I've tried in my life. In season there are good mushrooms. Reservation is essential.

More information and book here.

Km 115: Boceguillas Area

A restaurant service area that It appears in the Michelin and Repsol guides? Incredible but true. In this oasis, fantastic for a quick stop or sit down to eat more slowly, a excellent homemade pastry, some roasts more than worthy and some oil cake sandwiches of those to put the handbrake. The establishment is also nice, far from the road standards.

More information and reservations here.

Km 146: Milagros Winery

Just before reaching Aranda del Duero is the municipality of Milagros, located at the foot of the A-1. There we find El lagar de Milagros, a steakhouse in which to take one of the best lambs in the area no need to get into the center of Aranda (a bad idea if one does not want to go eating forever). In bar it is worth asking for Eggs with blood sausage or torreznos and gizzards. It may not seem like the ideal menu for driving, but it is one of the names that our sources have repeated most. There must be a reason.

More information and reservations here.

From Aranda to Burgos

Km 200: Ducal Restaurant

Taking the exit to Lerma, but without having to get into the center of the town, we find this restaurant, a very good option to eat something at the bar, where some are served beautiful portions, as if you fancy a today's menu With a great value.

More information and reservations here.

Km 233: The Alfoz

At the entrance of Burgos is this large restaurant cafeteria, recently renovated in the modern minimalist style that is being worn today. The restaurant is correct, although on the expensive side. For a short stop it is better to opt for the cafeteria, with a large assorted bar of good skewers, portions and sandwiches. It also has a playground.

More information and reservations here.

Km 234: Landa

It is one of the most traditional establishments of this guide and the best known (and quoted by almost all our sources). Opened in 1959, It is an institution in Burgos, a city located just two kilometers away, and is famous for serving one of the most reputed black pudding. Your bar is fine, but your room even better. Although it is one of the most expensive restaurants we recommend, with an average price of around 50 euros, it is worth visiting to pay homage. In addition to black pudding, chorizo, gizzards and, of course, roasted lamb are highly recommended.

More information and reservations here.

Km 234 (and diverted to N-120): Los Claveles

Passing the ring road of Burgos, on the way to Vitoria, it is worth turning 8 kilometers to get closer to the town of Ibeas de Juarros and sit down to eat at Los Claveles, one of the most reputed restaurants in Burgos. His star dish is the rotten pot, an exquisite bean stew (well-stocked of chacinas) that may not be the best option to continue driving, but you can also opt for the roasted cod or vegetables, with those who work very well.

Km 234 (and turnoff to N-627): Sotopalacios

Taking the ring road of Burgos, and heading along the N-627 towards Aguilar de Campoo and Santander, it is worth stopping at the Sotopalacios restaurant, which serves one of the best black pudding in the area. It is a good option to stop with children, because it has a children's area. It has menus and menu at normal prices.

More information and reservations here.

From Burgos to the Basque Country

Km 304: La Casona

The 100 kilometers that remain between Burgos and Vitoria, through which the old AP-1 used to run, are a wasteland as far as gastronomic stops are concerned. The service areas, as in any toll road, are more expensive and with fewer options than conventional highways, and although there is no need to pay to cross the road, these must continue to suffer.

You have to wait for the exit 4 of the old AP-1, leading to the town of Pancorbo, To find a good stop. Attached to the old N-1 is the restaurant La Casona, which serves a decent menu of the day at 11.50 euros during the week, 14.50 at the weekend.

More information and reservations here.

Km 341: Hotel Ruta de Europa

If we want to stop at the final stretch of the trip, before entering Guipuzcoa, where the options for eating well multiply as urban density increases, a good option is to do so at the Hotel Ruta de Europa, located on the service road of the highway, very close to Vitoria. Although it is the typical hotel for weddings, the food is above average for this type of sites, and has good options to eat both at the bar (well stocked with skewers) and à la carte.

More information and reservations here.

Images | Emilio / Zarateman