In A Coruña, there is a bar where you can enjoy Galicia’s Celtic roots. Located in the city centre, A Repichoca is a friendly bar which serves homemade Galician liquors and regularly features musicians playing traditional Galician folk music on bagpipes.
Galicia’s Celtic roots
Walking around the sculpture park in A Coruña, you’ll find yourself on a green landscape almost surrounded by the sea. I loved the space and walked around the park’s paths whenever I could during my visit. I also heard the distinct sound of bagpipes being played on two visits to the park. The first time this happened, for a second I thought I could be on the Scottish coast rather than in Spain. The experience seemed to serve as a reminder of Galicia’s Celtic roots.
I asked a new friend in A Coruña about Galicia’s Celtic roots. But she explained that the Celtic influence is more romanticised than actually exists. This may well be true. The romance was certainly rubbing off on me. And if you go into any of the souvenir shops in the city, you’ll find many items highlight Galicia’s Celtic roots.
However, there are age-old Galician traditions that do seem to have similarities with that of other Celtic nations. Music is one of them. Bagpipes (Galician bagpipes are called gaita) are a key feature in Galician folk music. Interested in learning more, my friend suggested we go to one of her favourite local bars, A Repichoca. She said it was one of the best places to enjoy old Galicia.
Enjoying Galician traditions at A Repichoca
A Repichoca is a fun and quirky bar that has the warmth and friendliness of a typical neighbourhood bar in Spain. The bar is known for its live music nights – often featuring Galician folk music. There is often Galician dancing too. But on other nights, I’m told they play a selection of mostly rock and roll from the 60s and 70s.
Inside, it’s colourful with local art and all sorts of memorabilia hanging on its walls. There is also a selection of handmade jewellery and other local handicrafts you can buy if you spot something you like.
On one of the walls, there’s a large mural, which sums up what a night at A Repichoca might be like. In it, there are musicians and people doing a traditional dance as others look on enjoying the show. Whether you’re here for the music or not, it’s a great casual and relaxed bar to have a few drinks.
Homemade Galician liqueurs
A Repichoca has a full bar serving a range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks (including hot drinks). But the bar’s specialty is its homemade Galician liqueur. Their coffee liqueur is what A Repichoca is most renowned for. Other drinks on their homemade liqueur menu include: chocolate with cherry, honey, Tarta di Santiago and Orujo (or Oruxo). If you’re not already familiar with Tarta di Santiago, it’s a Galician cake made with almonds and which is named after Santiago de Compostela. Oruja is a typical Galician liqueur made from grape residue and tastes a little like Grappa.
You can order a glass of your choice of liqueur in three different sizes: a chupito pequeño (small shot), chupito (normal shot) and corto, which is like a short tumbler. By the way, if you want a small beer, it also comes in ‘corto’ size.
Chocolate with cherry
We tried a corto of the chocolate with cherry first. This seemed to be a good choice after our feast of tapas earlier. It’s a perfect after dinner choice: creamy, chocolatey and delicious.
Next I had the coffee one. I opted for a chupito pequeño this time… It’s far too easy to forget quite how alcoholic these are and that I’d been drinking beer and wine for most of the evening already! Cream is poured over the coffee liqueur, which made it look like a very mini Guinness to me. I enjoyed the kick from the coffee and the cream on top was soothing. It was just about the right mix to help me walk back to where I was staying after a long day of sightseeing. Of course, for someone else, it could be just the thing that helps you to keep on going
Finding A Repichoca in A Coruña
Tel: +34 981 21 43 87
A Repichoca is in the Monde Alto neighbourhood just a few minutes walk from Plaza de España.