Madrid is all about enjoying food with others, which means it’s all about tapas. Having spent a few days eating my way through the Spanish capital, I’ve put together a mini-matrix full of jamón, bocadillos and cerveza from my favourite spots in the city. My old economics teacher would be so proud.



La Mallorquina
Make like the locals and head to this classic bakery & cafe in the heart of bustling Sol. Grab a glazed croissant or Napolitana if you’re on the go, or head upstairs for coffee and cubanitos or toasted brioche and people-watch from above with an unbeatable view of Puerta del Sol. (Calle Mayor, 2)


Maestro Churrero
Of course the most famed place for the sweet Spanish classic is San Ginés, but that’s more of a 3am kinda spot. Maestro Churrero on the other hand is perfect for breakfast. You could lounge in here all morning, and why not when they have about 10 types of hot chocolate on offer. What else can I recommend other than the churros? The glazed churros filled with dulce de leche, of course. (Calle del Correo, 4)


La Rotonda at the Palace Hotel
If you’re in the mood for a little glamour en route to Museo del Prado, head to La Rotonda restaurant at the infamous Palace hotel. It’s pricey so if you’re on a budget stick to the coffee, but whatever you do make sure you look up – the restaurant sits under a stunning glass dome currently home to installation by artist Xavi Muñoz. Even if you don’t eat it’s worth coming here just for the view. (Plaza de las Cortes, 7)




El Capricho Extremeño
You may not plan on venturing down here apart from on Sundays when El Rastro takes place, but El Capricho Extremeño is a must if you’re seeking a real taste of Madrid. If it weren’t for the seemingly permanent crowd of people lingering outside enjoying open faced tostas you’d probably walk straight past this place. For a couple of euros you can join them, go for jamón ibérico, atún con aceitunas (tuna with olives) or the deceptively tasty baby eels in garlic aka gulas al ajillo. (Calle de Carlos Arniches, 30)


Jamones y Fiambres
Not so much a place to sit down and grab a bite to eat as it is food shopping heaven, Jamones y Fiambres has it all. A butcher and deli in one, come here for cheese, meats and other tasty bits to eat on the go or stuff your suitcase with before you head home. (Calle Arenal, 7)


Museo del Jamón    
There are places like this all over the city, but this one is an institution in Madrid and frequented by locals for cañas y tapas or for a weekly jamón shop. Stand at the bar under curtains of cured meats hanging from every space available, grab a glass of sangria and order a plate of jamón and manchego, a traditional tortilla or calamares. They’ll try and stuff you with fresh baguette, mini empanadas filled with tomato sauce and tuna, and deep fried green pimientos so don’t get too greedy with your choices. (Paseo del Prado, 44)


Mercado de San Miguel
Fight your way through the crowds and try as much as you can. Grab a glass of wine from one of the makeshift bodegas and scope out what’s on offer. The olives with anchovies and sun dried tomatoes, jamón, mini sliders, black sausage and the oysters are all equally delectable. (Plaza de San Miguel)




Taberna La Dolores
Said to be one of the most popular tapas spots in Madrid this traditional ‘taberna Madrileña’ gets packed on a daily basis. They’re known for their incredible tapas (the discarded cocktail sticks and paper napkins on the floor is proof) and favourable prices. Grab a cañas and a platter for €13 with 6 different types of tapas like bacalao, anchovies and duck jamón. If nothing else definitely make sure you get their homemade crisps, they are pure potato perfection. (Plaza de Jesús, 4)


Taberna Matritum
Situated in La Latina district and famed for their food, Taberna Matritum is another local favourite. It’s tucked away from the hustle and bustle, but despite its relatively quieter location it’s still best to book in advance as it will get full even as early as 9:30pm. The walls are adorned with vintage bottles and a huge selection of wines, and their croquetas are the best I’ve tried in the city. Plus they do things a little differently here, like serving a warm vegetable and mozzarella salad in a sealed jam jar. Delicious food, a fantastic selection of wine and where real Madrileños go. (Cava Alta, 17)


Sobrino de Botin
Aka the world’s oldest restaurant according to the Guiness book of world records. Every guide book will point you in Botin’s direction and you’d be wrong not to follow instruction. It can get a little on the expensive side if like me and my amigos you go for a main each (most locals seem to share), but there is a reason why this place has been open for so long. The waiters are comically aloof and if you’re lucky a traditional ‘Tuna‘ might show up and serenade you whilst you tuck into suckling pig and roast lamb. N.B. wear loose fitting trousers. (Calle de los Cuchilleros, 17)


4 thoughts on “The Madrid Food Matrix

  1. Very useful piece, definitely makes me want to go to Madrid just for the food!!

    1. Gabriella says:

      Madrid is my food heaven! I don’t think I felt actual hunger throughout my entire trip… So much food!

  2. Consider each of these now on the to-do list!

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