Meson de Candido – Segovia, Castile and Leon, Spain

King of Spain’s Culinary Gem

For sheer atmosphere and the best roast suckling pig (cochinillo asado) in a country that prides itself on roast suckling pig, this 100-year-old eatery is the place. In what may be the most beautiful city in Spain, many generations of the gregarious Candido family have entertained everyone from Hemingway to Salvador Dali.

Their restaurant has become a culinary pilgrimage for royalty, politicians, bullfighters, and artists. No one leaves with­out the conviction that a more delightful and quintessential Spanish repast cannot be found. The cochinillo is rivaled only by the cordero asado (roast baby lamb), another exquisitely prepared regional delicacy.

It’s siesta time after a memorable meal here, so before savoring Candido’s outstand­ing food, savor Segovia’s monumental sights. It is believed that Walt Disney took the castle-palace Alcazar as inspiration for the castle in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

It is one of Spain’s most photographed and beloved sites, built during the 12th and 13th centuries on a high crag visible from afar. The equally well-preserved Acueducto Romano (Roman Aqueduct) is one of Europe’s finest surviving examples of Roman architecture, its 166 double-tiered arches constructed without mortar more than 2,000 years ago.

Make time for a retreat to the cool interior of the graceful 16th-century cathedral, the last and most ele­gant to be built in the Gothic style at a time when the rest of Europe was well into the Renaissance.

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