Where to Eat Around the World ts

In Galicia, the restaurant with the most extensive water list globally: €17,500 for the "luxury" one.

Francesca Feresin
copertina O Lar do Leiton

Carlos Crespo of Ourense O Lar do Leiton has developed an unparalleled water list that gathers brands from around the world. Prices? Often prohibitive.

Cover photo: @Inaki Osorio

The Place

"(Experience) boldness, temptation, curiosity, finesse, and discretion" are the sensory characteristics with which O Lar do Leiton organizes its water menu. "We leverage the flavors, textures, and sensations of dishes to recommend water pairings based on factors like mineralization, pH, and our experience as guiding elements," is written on the first page after the rest of the ordinary waters. Water has become a true art and seems to be a luxury, even fascinating figures like Cristiano Ronaldo. There are not only wine sommeliers but also water sommeliers dedicated to pairing the type of water with food.

@Pablo Araujo

"As an additional note, as a general rule, we advise against pairing sparkling waters with wines, as they tend to distract from the experience," it says online. The restaurant is also an "illustrious honorary member of the Fine Water Society," a foundation that considers water something more, positioning itself as a leading guide for industry experts. In 2007, as elperiodico.com explains, the establishment sought to propose something radically different and opted for water. "It's a drink you can't choose anywhere, one of the healthiest and most appreciated drinks in the world," says Carlos Crespo, the owner. "You order a beer, a soda, and you have different brands, the same for dishes, but with water, this doesn't happen," he explains. Neither he nor his daughter consider themselves water sommeliers, although they have attended various courses.


Crespo says that they are now "well-known" and people from all over the world visit them to experience waters of all kinds, origins, packaged in bottles of a thousand shapes and colors, from Romania, Chile, Norway, Russia, and Spain. They recently added one from Iran, whose brand contacted them directly. In their extensive menu, next to each image, there is a small description related to the water's origin, pH, and potential pairings. Prices range from the cheapest, commonly offered in a regular bar, to some exorbitant ones. In the Celebration section, for example, there is one from Svalbard (Norway), the only place on Earth where more polar bears live than humans, for 380 euros (75 centiliters).

O Lar do Leiton

A water tasting "is similar to a wine tasting" and "you can't say which is the best in the world" because it depends on individual tastes. What you can know is the bottle with the highest price. It is found in the Collections and Gifts section, "sommelier recommendations for collectors," many of whom have become such after visiting the place. This gem is Fillico, a natural spring water from Japan whose price ranges from €500 (30 centiliters) to €17,500 (72 centiliters). Its description reads: "From the depths of the underground, at the foot of Mount Nunobiki in Kobe, Japan, this authentic jewel-like water is born. Filtered over the years by highly breathable granite, it presents a unique mineral balance with antioxidants and calcium."

O Lar do Leiton 2

He emphasizes that not only is the water of "undisputed quality," but its "true value" lies in the bottles, "designed with luxury inserts, meticulous care, and materials such as gold, silver, and obsidian. They are considered jewelry objects and symbols of opulence and extravagance." Another product in the collection is bottles from the Czech Republic specifically designed for weddings and bridal attire. Carlos chooses a simple one, Cabreiroá with gas, a "high-quality" mineral water. It all depends on what you desire or what you are eating.

carlos crespo acque costose

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