This cold river is a foodie hotspot.
Rio Frio has a population of 300 people but supports at least a dozen restaurants even out of season.
The name Rio Frio translates to “Cold River” and this small village gets especially busy at weekends. People flock here for the trout for which it is famous throughout the region. This tiny place produces half a million kilos of trout a year from the streams and fish farms. The best Spanish caviar is harvested here too from a variety of sturgeon fish unique to Andulucia.
On Sundays there is a small open air market along the stream from the picturesque 16th century stone bridge, which makes for a nice stroll as you decide in which restaurant to dine. We did, in fact, see trout in the stream just a few hundred metres from the bridge.
It is the quality of the water that draws both trout and the anglers hoping to catch them. It is possible to buy a permit and hire gear once you arrive and fish for your own supper. As much as I would love to catch my lunch, we chose to eat in Meson Alazor, as recommended by a friend. The restaurant was heaving, with lots of Spanish family gatherings. The service was good, the prices not expensive and the atmosphere lively. We had the trout (of course!) , but had such a good table that we could see lots of other dishes coming out to other tables. The meat dishes all looked fantastic and we will be back to sample some of these. Glad we got there early at 1.30pm as any later would have meant no table and no food!
Coming soon – the lowdown on Rio Frio Caviar. (It is so special El Bulli had it on their menu!)
updated post from 2013