The Top Thing to Eat: Madrid

Top Madrid Foods
Foodies love Madrid. Explore the city’s unique cuisine scene.
Madrid has tapas and stews for everyone. It’s rare to encounter a city with such wonderful and gratifying food.
Get prepared to eat some of Spain’s best food in Madrid. These foods should top your list.
Its Value Exploring
Madrid is a dynamic city with proud residents that love their city and food. This is reflected in the local cuisine: cocido madrileño, paella, churros with chocolate for breakfast, and more.
Madrid emphasizes traditional, savoury foods rather than sophisticated dining or gastronomic exploration. You’ll enjoy every meal here, from street food to Michelin-starred eateries.
Top Madrid Foods
What should you eat in Madrid? I recommend tapas crawl, paella paradise, sweets, wine sampling, and secret meals. First, a tapas crawl is a must-do in Madrid, where you share small dishes and beverages with friends.
Tapas range from jamón ibérico (cured ham) on crusty bread to patatas bravas (fried potatoes) with spicy salsa roja or aioli. This is great because each pub has a specialty, so you can try something new at each stop.
We mustn’t overlook Madrid’s paella. Madrid’s rice dishes differ from Valencia’s, but you’ll still find tasty selections.
There’s seafood, mixed seafood, and vegetarian paella. For dessert, try churros with chocolate or torrijas.
In Madrid, churros con chocolate—long sticks of fried dough dipped in rich hot chocolate—and torrijas—Spanish French toast with a sweet twist—are breakfast staples. Madrid also offers wine sampling.
Rioja and Tempranillo are world-class wines, and consuming them with tapas is a must. Secret meals are great for trying local favourites like cocido madrileño (a stew of chickpeas, veggies, and beef) and callos a la madrileña (tripe stew).
My top Madrid food picks. With so many great foods to try, take your time and enjoy every bite!
“When in Madrid, do as the Madrileños do—go on a tapas crawl.”
Tapas crawls are essential for exploring Madrid’s cuisine. Madrid’s social life revolves around tapas—small dishes of food served with drinks.
Tapas let you try many foods without committing to one big dinner. Tasting the city’s greatest tapas bars is a must.” Classic tapas are essential to a Madrid visit.”
Patatas bravas (potatoes in spicy tomato sauce), croquettes, and jamón ibérico are must-try tapas (cured ham made from acorn-fed pigs). Most Madrid tapas bars provide these Spanish classics.
Try off-menu foods like fried pig ears or bull tail stew. From dives to fine dining, there’s a tapa bar for everyone.
The fun part: the city’s top tapas bars. La Latina, with its small alleyways and antique pubs serving fried squid and octopus salad, is a quintessential Spanish experience. Modern Market de San Miguel serves oysters and truffle risotto.
Platea Madrid, a historic theatre turned gourmet dining hall with tapas from Spain’s greatest chefs, is a more expensive option. Madrid’s tapas scene is best experienced by diving in—the alternatives are unlimited.
Madrid’s Greatest Paellas: Paella Paradise
If you like rice, try Madrid’s paella. Tourists and locals love the city’s savoury paellas. Saffron rice, fish, meats, and vegetables are cooked in a large shallow skillet to make this Spanish cuisine.
Seafood paella is a Madrid favourite. Shrimp, mussels, clams, and squid fill this dish.
The broth from boiling these components with tomatoes, onions, garlic, and spices flavours the dish. When adding the rice, the liquids sink into every bite.
Madrid Paella Varieties
Madrid has paellas for vegetarians and carnivores. The city has various options.
Chicken, rabbit, or pork are added to seafood paella to make a delicious dish. Vegetarians can enjoy real Spanish food with vegetable paella, which includes green beans, bell peppers, and artichokes.
Top Madrid Paella Restaurants
When travelling, finding good authentic food can be difficult, but not if you know where to search! La Barraca Restaurant in Retiro Park has some of Madrid’s greatest paella and vegetarian alternatives. Botín Restaurant near Plaza Mayor serves flavorful plates.
Since 1942, Casa de Valencia has served paella. Their paellas and atmosphere will take you back in time.
These are just a few suggestions—Madrid has many amazing possibilities! Don’t leave without trying Spain’s best paella.
Sweet Treats: Madrid’s Dessert Scene
Madrid’s dessert scene is a must-try. Madrid has many desserts, from churros with chocolate to torrijas.
Churros with Chocolate & Torrijas: Classics
Churros con chocolate and torrijas are Spanish dessert favourites. Churros are deep-fried dough served with rich hot chocolate.
They’re crunchy exterior and soft within, great for dunking in hot chocolate. Torrijas are French toast with a twist.
Torrijas are dipped in egg batter and fried until golden brown from day-old bread drenched in milk or wine. They’re coated with sugar and cinnamon before serving to sweeten this already delectable dessert.
Cafes and Bakeries: Sweet Treats
Madrid has many pastry shops and cafes. San Gines is near Puerta del Sol.
Since 1894, this cafe has served churros with chocolate. Casa Mira, which makes turron and other sweets, is another must-see.
Mamá Framboise is a modern option. This bakery makes wonderful croissants, macarons, and unique sweets like their “Framboise,” a raspberry-filled meringue topped with fresh fruit.
Madrid has a great dessert scene. There are plenty of sweets to taste in the city, whether you like churros con chocolate or something different.
Spain’s Best Wines
Fine wine goes best with Spanish food. Spain has 69 wine regions with different grape varieties and production methods. Madrid has world-class wine bars with a wide selection of Spanish wines, despite not producing wine.
Discovering Spain’s Wine Regions
Spain has some of Europe’s most stunning vineyards, producing wines that match France and Italy. Catalonia’s sparkling wines and Rioja’s powerful reds are distinct. Ribera del Duero demands attention.
Spain’s best red wines come from this region. Tempranillo dominates, producing powerful wines that combine well with beef or lamb.
Top Madrid Wineries
Madrid has many wine bars and restaurants with large wine selections. La Fisna in fashionable Malasaña is a good option. This modest bar provides a rotating variety of natural wines from small producers from lesser-known places.
Ramón Bilbao Wine Bar in the Gran Meliá Palace de los Duques serves tapas and Spanish wines for a more premium experience. Its exquisite decor is perfect for a romantic date or special occasion.
Wine-Food Pairing Tips
If you’re new to wine and food pairing, don’t worry. Red wines go with meat, whereas white wines go with fish and light pasta.
Choose a wine that enhances meal flavours without dominating them. A medium-bodied Rioja Tempranillo matches well with grilled meats or stews, while a crisp Albariño from Rías Baixas pairs well with shellfish like paella or grilled octopus.
Experiment until you discover the right combination. Enjoy every drink!
Secret Eats: Hidden Treasures Only Locals Know About Madrid is known for its cuisine, so locals have their favourite off-the-beaten-path restaurants. Here are the city’s best-kept secrets for adventurous eaters.
Cocido madrileño is a Madrid must-try. This hearty stew is usually served in three courses: broth with noodles, veggies and chickpeas, and meats.
Casa Carola serves this traditional meal better than other eateries. This tiny Plaza Mayor restaurant serves cocido since 1910.
Callos a la madrileña is another hidden gem for adventurous diners. Tripe, chorizo, and blood sausage in a tomato sauce make this spicy dish.
Locals consider it comfort food. La Tasquita de Enfrente serves Madrid’s most unusual food.
Discover These Unusual Foods
Some of these foods are easy to find in Madrid, but others are harder. Explore local neighbourhoods like Chamberí or Lavapiés to unearth hidden gems serving traditional foods like grandma used to make.
Calle de la Libertad 6 near Plaza Mayor is Casa Carola. This popular area fills up fast, so reserve ahead!
Calle de la Ballesta, 6 in Chamberí is La Tasquita de Enfrente. Its callos are Madrid’s best, making it a local favourite despite its unattractive appearance.
Madrid’s food culture contains everything from tapas to fusion. To properly appreciate the city’s gastronomic culture, seek out these local secrets. There are numerous opportunities to improve your palate and find new favourites, whether it’s trying cocido madrileño or callos a la madrileña at one of Madrid’s oldest and most genuine restaurants or exploring lesser-known areas for small family-run cafes.
Go explore! Off-the-beaten-path adventures may provide tasty treats.

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