Wine bars and shops in La Rioja

We will be in La Rioja next week and have our dining plan already sorted but we are still putting together a few activities.

We won’t be doing any tours or tastings this but I was hoping to be able to find wine bars with a good selection of wines by the glass. I realize that many wineries have opened these but was hoping to find some independent ones in logrono or even better, towns in the region.

Also, we are looking for a good wine shop to buy bottles from bodegas which are not open to the public (eg Oxer wines).

Any advice would be appreciated.

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Hi tigerjohn,
Wine bars in Logroño that we enjoy-

*Wine Fandango across from the Parque del Espolón (where there’s an underground garage)—sleek, contemporary, creative, a local favorite, Repsol recommended

On the famous tapas bar lined street of Laurel in the Old Quarter-
La Tavina at number 2, at the entrance to this street on 3 levels

On the other tapas bar lined street of San Juan-
Tastevin, with back room for wine sipping/pintxos sampling at high tables at number 25

Uumm, Food and Drink by Alex García at number 1

Torres Gastrobar at number 31

More of an excellent wine shop and new-
Viura Negra at Marqués de Murrieta 5 (with a Repsol solete)

In Haro, in the historic quarter’s tapas bar area of La Herradura, our wine maker/chef friends have taken us to Los Caños on the Plaza San Martin.
It´s a simple, traditional bar but recently remodeled and given a modern touch by the son of the owner.
This son is also the Mugaritz-trained chef of the new Michelin-starred Nublo, next door (which are friends didn’t particularly rave about, btw).
Just in case you find yourself in Haro.

Thanks, Maribel. I’ll check out those places in Logrono. We are giving Nublo a try and will report back on our experience.

I’ll look forward to your report on Nublo.

The Mugaritz-trained chef, Miguel Caño, came back to the Rioja first to man the kitchen at the Palacio de Tondón in Briñas (now a Marriott Autograph hotel) then left the hotel to open his Nublo next to his mother’s place. As I’m sure you know, the cooking there is by open fire only. It does have that Michelin star and a nod from Repsol, so I’ll be eager to know what you think. It’s certainly gotten a lot of buzz in the Spain gastro press.

A brief report on La Rioja:

Unfortunately we didn’t get a chance to visit any wine bars in Logrono as our arrival was held up and we had to get to dinner. Speaking of which IKARO was quite good, incorporating flavors from Ecuador with Rioja tradition. A series of exellent dishes was marred somewhat by a substandard fish preparation (seemed like it wasn’t fresh). Still worth visiting.

NUBLO was an enjoyable meal but the overall experience was probably better than the food. The setting is the glassed in central patio of an old house in Haro from which you can see stars on a clear night. Somewhat modern design and service approach on top of the setting. You are invited in to talk to the chef before the meal where he explains the concept and shows you the kitchen. Everything is cooked using wood as the heat source. A number of the dishes are hand held bites with a few plates at the end. Some,including anything involving meat, were excellent. Others seems to miss the mark a bit. On the fence as to whether to return but not regretting going. Overall an very nice experience.

VENTA de MONCAVILLO was great as usual. They have redone the Comedor so that it is a single wall of glass overlooking the garden. The focus on vegetable dishes even more prominent but handled extremely well.

Gomez Cruzado was a new bodega in Haro for us to visit. Super friendly, no need to book to just try the wines. You can get glasses of high end Reservas and other pricey bottles as well. A good alternative to the big names.

Ikaro is my winemaker friend’s favorite restaurant now in Logroño. I haven’t been. My friend is the one who wasn’t overly impressed with Nublo, but he urged us to try it to judge for ourselves.
We may give it a go.
Our favorite in Haro (more classic, not experimental) is tiny Alboroque on the Plaza de la Paja with only 16 seats.

Gómez Cruzado in Haro is our favorite as well.

Glad you had some very enjoyable meals!