Oviedo, Spain best places to eat: Tour leader Andreas Holland's picks


Andreas Holland has spent many years leading groups of food loving walkers through Spain and South America, but has a particular love of the Cantabrian Asturias in north-west Spain. In September, he leads the 15-day Food Lover's Spanish Camino with UTracks. See utracks.com


A popular breakfast in Oviedo is a cup of good coffee or a mug of hot chocolate. Asturias is by far the biggest producer of milk, cream and chocolate in Spain. Have it with a plate of Oviedo's famous "casadielles'' – hot doughnuts filled with ground walnuts, almonds and anise. When it's time for another coffee – this is Spain, after all – have another one of Oviedo's famous pastries, a carbayon – puff pastry made with egg yolks and filled with almond paste and glazed with a mix of sugar, lemon juice and cognac. Try them at Camilo de Blas. See camilodeblas.es


Most of the population of Oviedo lives in small apartments, so going out is a popular pastime and central Oviedo probably has more cafes and bars per capita than most other cities in the world. Perhaps the most famous dish in Asturias is the fabada Asturiana. It's a wonderful, hearty, traditional bean stew with pancetta, chorizo and black pudding cooked slowly in a tomato broth – delicious. I've eaten it many times in Oviedo in many different places but have been told the most refined version is at the Casa Fermin. See casafermin.com/en/


An essential eat for anyone who enjoys a good tea and a delicious biscuit is the Oviedo "moscovitas'' – a chocolate-covered almond biscuit that's like a chocolate-coated Anzac. The perfect place to try these is at the famous Cafe Rialto. See moscovitas.com/en/


Also essential for anyone visiting Oviedo is a meal in a traditional "sidreria'' – quite literally a cider house or cider restaurant. Asturias is famous for its apple orchards and cider is by far the single most popular drink, served by pouring it from a great height. These sidrerias usually include classic Asturian dishes like roast ham, ham and cheese croquettes, octopus served simply with olive oil and paprika and to finish off, the classic and creamy Asturian rice pudding with a thick caramelised top, served straight from the oven. There are many sidrerias in Oviedo especially on Gascona Street and one I have often visited is La Pumarada. See lapumarada.com


Aside from being famous for its cider, Asturias is also famous for some very good wines, produced in the Cangas de Nacea region: notably the Albarin Negro and Verdejo Negro. Both of these and some wonderful apple and cider-based cocktails, such as the "Mojito de Manzana y Sauco'' an Oviedo classic made of apple and elderflower, are available in Opera Cafe (Calle Arguelles 35) and the wine bars of Manuel Pedregal Street.