The economy is bad but we love to travel. Although Toledo is a fairly affordable destination, also for lunch or dinner, we have thought of recommending some places in the city where you can enjoy a quietly exquisite sandwich of a lifetime: ham, potato omelette, a good breaded filet…, or make an urban picnic. There are many opportunities now that the good weather has arrived: parks, viewpoints, squares…
In the year in which Toledo is “Gastronomic Capital of Spain” we are going to do something different, groundbreaking, we are going to “deconstruct “the art of eating sandwiches when we travel, as our city offers a magnificent setting for eating in the street. And since nobody expected it, we dedicate this article to the noble art of “bocadillear “when we visit a city. In Toledo there are wonderful corners where you can feel “like a king” (or queen) while tasting a bread with a lifetime ham, accompanied by a good beer without alcohol or coca-cola (in Toledo the consumption of alcoholic beverages is not allowed in the street, eye) and contemplating incredible monuments hundreds of years old. All a luxury, the best table is set by you.
Before we begin, we cannot forget that Toledo is full of great restaurants of very different prices, and that we invite you to visit, and to make an expense, that many families live from it, and by spending something from time to time nothing happens, it is good for the spirit and the stomach. That is why we have already written several articles recommending places to eat economically or spending a little more and that we advise you to read quietly:
- Where to eat cheap in Toledo
- Where to eat or dine on “legend” in Toledo?
Having said that, we undertake the task of recommending places in which to rest for a while from the intense tourist route that Toledo supposes, recovering forces. But previously we are going to analyze:
Cases in which you could bring (or buy) a sandwich to Toledo:
- By need. It is economic. Access to eat on weekends to any restaurant (even fast food) does not cost you less than 10 euros.
- For time. You are only going to spend a few hours in the city and you have to see as much as possible in a short time. The stop for lunch can only be about 15 minutes or even less!
- For diversity and savings. I’m going to spend several days in the city but to be every day eating breakfast, eating, snacking and dining out can mean a notable decrease in the family coffers (especially if you are several in the family!)
- Because I like sandwiches! All right, it’s a perfect choice.
We are not going to list places where to buy sandwiches in Toledo. Not long ago they opened several stores of “fiambre “of a certain quality in which to buy juicy sandwiches of Iberian ham, chorizo, lomo, etc., which are worth spending a while. They are not as economic as those bought in the neighborhood store, but affordable for everyone. The other option is to “bring in” the sandwich or buy it in shops in the old town (there are still some, but few). Or finally, buy a great sandwich just made in one of the bars that are in the most touristic areas of the helmet (do not look for the sandwich of carcamusas, so far has not been invented)
There are more options: people who bring their own cold cuts, potato omelette or breaded steak and are looking for a good bakery where they can stuff an exquisite loaf or loaf of bread. In this case I do recommend the “Benipan” workshop, very close to the Cathedral (Calle Nuncio Viejo, 6), with a wide variety of homemade breads, pastries, etc.. Also “Masa Madre” (Callejón de San José, 17), a new artisan bakery of great quality (don’t miss its chocolate palms)
If you are looking for a supermarket where you can shop without leaving the old town, you can go to Mercado Municipal, located in the Plaza Mayor, next to the Teatro de Rojas.
Having said this, we will now comment on some of the places where you can stop and eat your sandwich in peace:
Zocodover square on a rainy day. If you catch one of these days, it complicates the operation sandwich. There aren’t too many such days in Toledo…
1. Plaza de Zocodover. At lunch time you will see dozens of people sitting on the benches and in the parapet that surrounds the entire square tasting a variety of sandwiches, hamburgers, ice cream… Zocodover is not only the central point where there are crowds of people to meet, is a large open air “restaurant” where thousands of people stop every day.
2. Plaza Mayor. Steps of the Teatro de Rojas. Especially on bridges and holidays you will find hundreds of people sitting there, in the sun, eating sandwiches. The proximity to the Municipal Market and the centrality of these steps (behind the Cathedral) make them a perfect place to make a stop on the way.
Imagine eating your sandwich watching these views… From the Valley. And if you climb a little higher to the Moorish King’s Stone, the experience can be legendary.
3. The Valley. In addition to being forced to visit the city, is a place with hundreds of meters of parapet (and easy parking) in which to sit and watch the city eating that ham sandwich that we had stored. You have to take the car, or arrive by bus, but it’s worth watching the sunset sitting there… With our sandwich.
4. Mirador del Corralito (above the Parking), next to Alcázar. Alcazar Gardens. Two locations in one. Quiet and spacious places, where children can run around or play while we have a snack. We will have behind the imposing Alcazar and we will have a great view towards the Tagus.
5. Mirador del Paseo de Virgen de Gracia. An impressive place to watch the sunset. Especially recommended for couples, for a late snack or sandwich dinner. It will be the most romantic snack of your life. The view with the San Juan de los Reyes Church in the background is unique. Have you thought about bringing a candle and putting it on the bench while the rich ham and tomato sandwich disappears? If so, share the photo with us. And if the romantic is far away and the children run around you without stopping… You have a playground next door for a little relaxation.
The views from the Miradero are magnificent. And there are benches to sit down to eat.
6. El Miradero. Have you been sightseeing in Toledo for a few hours and you miss Madrid? In this viewpoint you can sit down and see the Madrid motorway in the distance. If you are looking forward to returning, you can end up having dinner at this great lookout point over the new Palacio de Congresos and contemplate how the new city is being lit up. Next to this viewpoint are the escalators, which take you directly down to where you parked your car for free in Toledo. All very economical.
In the Paseo de la Vega (Paseo de Merchán) Near the Puerta de Bisagra there is a pleasant promenade, where some years ago the August fair was installed, now the market is installed on Tuesdays (not festive) and from time to time some medieval market… It is a park with big trees, some park for the smallest and a lot of free space without cars. There are several kiosks (and a well-known churrería) where you can buy drinks and sandwiches.
They were doing a sporting test and swam the Tagus through the area of the passenger boat. Remember: after eating the sandwich, don’t try to refresh yourself in the Tagus, not even when you have done the digestion. (We hope that the athletes are still alive or at least without too many mutations)
8. Ecological path. Embarcadero y barca de pasaje. If you are not afraid of the pollution of the Tagus and like to be surrounded by nature (in the broad sense of the term), you can go down to what in the city we know as “Ecological Path” and eat with ducks and large fish that will be delighted to receive the crumbs you have left over. If you’re lucky, you can also cross to the other side of the river by boat and wear down the sandwich you’ve swallowed, going up to the viewpoint of the Valley that we mentioned before. There you can drop the other sandwich you have saved in case hunger comes in.
We take advantage, once again to ask for a solution for the Tagus river enough pollution!
9. The Roman Circus of Toledo. Sometimes forgotten, mistreated… Toledo had one of the most important circuses of Roman times. It is very “dismantled”, but its monumentality is still visible. It occupies part of a very pleasant park, in this case outside the old part of the city, although not very far away.
The Roman Circus of Toledo, photo by Trujinauer
10. You put the last place. Surely there are many more places where you can quietly (or not) eat a sandwich in Toledo. These are some ideas in which we facilitate again the arduous task of visiting Toledo. If you’ve been or are from Toledo in the Facebook group you can comment some more location, or leave your comment at the bottom of the page.
By the way, did you know that there are some night tours in Toledo where you can also take sandwiches? Many do…
The places we have chosen, on a map:
My thanks to Gregory for (unwittingly) giving me the idea for this article.
Head photo: José María Moreno García