Fantastic value right in the centre of Bilbao
Posted on 07 / 21 / 2010
Fresc Co is situated on the main shopping street in Bilbao. It's a canteen-style all you can eat buffet; look to your left as you enter and you'll find instructions in English on the wall. You take a tray and plate and load up your plate with whatever you fancy from the salad bar. The selection is huge; although it's not a vegetarian restaurant, there are loads of vegetarian (and vegan) options and it all looks freshly prepared and of good quality. The salads are not all labelled but it's pretty easy to work out what's veggie and what's not. Once you've chosen your salads, help yourself to dressings, nuts and toasted sesame seeds and order your drink. Your drink is included in the price, even if you order a beer! Once you've paid, you can also access the hot food and soup counter at the back. Again, take a plate and help yourself. The selection here for vegetarians is not brilliant - pasta in tomato sauce and gazpacho the nights I visited. The second night I went they did have veggie pizza but it had been made as one third of a large pizza that had another third with ham, so I didn't risk it. You can also help yourself to dessert (a choice of icecream from a machine, fresh fruit salad or a baked pudding) and tea/coffee/herbal tea. The table and chairs are just basic canteen style. The first night I visited it was fairly busy and the table-clearing staff were a bit over-zealous. The staff were very pleasant, however, and I felt quite comfortable as a female dining alone. The second night, I went back with non-veggie friends; the place was very quiet as it was a Sunday and also the night of the World Cup final. My friends and I thought Fresc Co was just really great value (only €9.95 per person, all-inclusive); tasty, cheap and cheerful. Having found the Basque Country a bit of a struggle as a lone veggie with just a few words of Spanish, this restaurant was a real oasis, where I could choose what to eat and enjoy it in relaxed surroundings.
Great value, Non-smoking, Very clean
Over-reliance on tomatoes in hot dishes, Some meat dishes, Over-zealous table clearers at busy time