How many times, when imagining gastronomic discoveries or small places where to live singular experiences while eating, we wish to discover a city, a mysterious alley with a mystical air, a special corner to carry forever in the memory. This is exactly what happens when you get to know the Manolo Bar Restaurant in Vigo, located in the seaside neighborhood of Teis. The restaurant is the classic evolution of the bar of a working class neighborhood of the whole life that with the passage of time goes specializing without stopping to have the air of traditional establishment of always. As it is supposed to be a large restaurant of Galician cuisine, seafood and fish are its main elements due to the situation in the middle of the Vigo estuary, although the product is selected from the best of the other estuaries and coasts of Galicia.
The district of Teis is related to the sea originally for fishing and later for the naval sector which is a reference industry in the city of Vigo. In this context the workers came to regain strength to the typical nearby taverns. The Restaurant Bar Manolo conserves the essence of that time in its appearance and in its kitchen. The place appears to be wandering through the old Vigo and is a genuine and truthful way to know the roots of a city so turned over to the sea. The restaurant has the distinction of having two different spaces, a covered terrace very pleasant by the light and the color of the tablecloths. On the inside, a large dining room adjoins the kitchen to the view where the aroma of the stews that are prepared at low heat from the morning is a sensation. A large display shows the product of the day, usually almost equally between large fish and seafood.
As everything that has its beginnings many years ago, the restaurant has a family attention that gives it that friendly and close treatment that both improves situations when it comes to living a gastronomic experience. The general captain in the kitchen is Pilu, who has an excellent hand for fish stews and seafood rice. Perhaps what makes the Manolo Bar Restaurant the most complete is the outdoor grill where every day grilled fish such as red pomfret, bream or san martiño is prepared. This is a very rare specialty among the great restaurants of the Rías Baixas and therefore a very original option to taste all the flavor of wild fish. In the room the presence of Alvaro attending the tables, recommending the best of each day and worrying that nothing is missing is a plus for the occasion.
Above all in the restaurant is the product. There is no fixed menu that can be maintained daily because it depends on the markets. It is known that the genre that comes from the Galician rias will reach the kitchens depending on the weather, the seasons and the availability of the day. The only premise that remains is the quality of the product with which we work. Everything in Restaurant Bar Manolo has to have the quality and the indispensable size to be able to arrive at the table; that’s what makes it special.
As for the style, Pilu is a faithful representative of classic Galician cuisine and for sample it will suffice to choose between clams with seafood, grilled knives, octopus feira or taste the seafood: king crab, crayfish, shrimp, or barnacles. They will always recommend us to try some stew to test the level of cuisine of the restaurant and for that, nothing better than a stew of noodles with clams or wild turbot or some onions chocolitos. Any of these options with a good fresh Galician white wine will enhance the flavor and experience. Restaurant Bar Manolo in the Teis district of Vigo is one of those old gastronomic temples frequented by the oldest and wisest of the place, a space to recover the good old kitchen.
Telephone: 986 264752
Tuesday-Saturday: 1 PM 1 PM to 4 PM & 8:30 to 11:30 PM
Sunday: 1 PM to 4 PM
Text: Víctor Sarmiento
Photographs: Jesús del Río