One of the best reasons to come to Madrid is for its food! Spain in general has delicious food, and that’s what I’m here to talk about. I felt like the entire time I was in Madrid I ate fabulously.
One of my favorite things about Spanish cuisine is ‘tapas’ which means ‘small plates.’ They have this idea of eating a variety of small meals throughout their dinner and I love this because it gives you the freedom to try so many different dishes!
In this blog I’m going to share a few of my favorite tapas as well as some of the other fantastic foods I tried while here in Madrid. I felt like I ate such wonderful food but I didn’t get to try everything on my list, so comment below what I need to try next time I’m in Spain!
Head Over to San Miguel Market
If you’re looking for a great spot to browse and sample a variety of tapas then you can’t overlook the San Miguel Market. Located centrally in the city, this market is easy to find and easy to spend a significant amount of time here.
I loved browsing through all of the stalls of food and trying a few different dishes. They have seafood, desserts, fruit, drinks and more. Definitely ask the vendors what their favorite dish is and try their recommendations. That’s what I did because I couldn’t decide! There are so many delicious options!
Eat at a Tapas Restaurant
If you want a real sit-down experience, then head to a restaurant that exclusively serves tapas. You’ll find a great variety of cold and hot tapas and you can order more throughout the night.
At the restaurant I went to, Lamucca, they brought out the tapas as they were finished instead of bringing them all at once. This was really nice because we could try one dish at a time and enjoy it, and then the server continually brought us more food! I loved it!
Tapas are also a great way to try unique or new foods because they come in small portions. I tried squid ink croquettes and they were delicious!
One drink you can’t miss in Madrid is called ”tinto de verano’ which is a mixture of red wine and lemon fanta. It is a staple here because you can’t even buy lemon fanta in the United States. I miss it so much! This drink is fun, sweet and a great pairing at a tapas dinner.
Of course the sangria in Spain is fantastic too!
Order Tapas as an Appetizer
Even if you don’t want to devote your entire night to trying tapas, you can always order a plate or two to start off your meal!
When I was in Madrid I was there over Thanksgiving and they were advertising a traditional American Thanksgiving meal, so of course I had to go! Even at this meal they served us tapas before we got to the main course.
A few things you’ll definitely want to order while you’re in Madrid are paella, pumpkin soup and padron peppers.
Paella is a rice dish mixed with seafood and it is absolutely delicious! It’s not a tapa, but I needed to mention it so you don’t skip it while you’re in Madrid. Pumpkin soup is exactly how it sounds, but it is so creamy and warm that it hits the spot every time. Padron peppers come from northwest Spain and are prepared with olive oil and salt. These may have been my favorite dish that I tried in Spain!
Don’t Skip Dessert!
Across Spain one of the best desserts you can opt for is chocolate & churros! Admittedly I had never had a churro before but I had learned about them in Spanish class and knew they would taste delicious. I was right!
It’s interesting because I always thought churros had sugar on them, and I think in some parts of the world they do, but in Spain the churros are plain. You get the sweetness by dipping them into the chocolate sauce!
The best place to get these churros in Madrid is Chocolateria San Gines. This tiny shop is always crowded with people. There is a seating section upstairs or a tiny diner-style section of seating downstairs, and if it’s warm enough you can go outside as well. We squeezed into a tiny booth downstairs and waited for the waiters to drop off our dessert and then we dug in. The whole experience reminded me of when I ate at Cafe du Monde in New Orleans!
The meal isn’t over when you run out of churros – take after the locals and try sipping the chocolate when you’re done. It was too rich for me to drink much of it, but I took a few sips and enjoyed the warm, creamy chocolate one last time before we left.