Most visitors to Santander dine at their hotels or boardinghouses, which sometimes offer better value for the money and more efficient service than city restaurants. For variety, however, here are a few suggestions.
Lunch at Gaudí's Summer Palace -- The town of Comillas lies 49km (30 miles) to the west of Santander and only a short drive to the west of Santillana del Mar. It makes the perfect luncheon stopover, especially if you go to its major attraction, El Capricho de Gaudí, Barrio de Sobrellano (tel. 94-272-03-65; www.elcaprichodegaudi.com), the summer palace of Gaudí, the fabled Catalan architect. You can't tour the palace, but you can take in its gingerbread windows and swirling turrets. The tile-covered villa was built in 1883. You can have a meal in its dining hall most days from 1 to 3:30pm and 9 to 11pm. It is closed Sunday night and Monday, and from January 12 to February. Main courses cost 18€ to 25€. Well-prepared specialties include grilled merluza with baby clams, along with such Continental dishes as duck magret in a port-wine sauce with a confit of apples, or crepes filled with foie gras and served with grapes and applesauce.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.