Here’s where to eat the best tapas in Madrid. The places not to be missed
It is probably the best known and most used Spanish word in the world: tapas. And there must be a reason, right? Perhaps because it evokes the pleasure of eat togetherperhaps because they are normally good or just because the idea of being in Spain drinking and eating brings joy. In any case, everyone likes tapas. And we agree. On the other hand, the success of tapas is also in the fact that they are adaptable: they can be good for an aperitif but they can also become a dinner. Or even a tasty night remedy to buffer one beer too many. As it is the capital is the place to go around and experience. And here are the right addresses for the best tapas of Madrid.
The best tapas in Madrid: a long tradition
Tapas also have a history that goes back a long way. According to some versions they were born in the thirteenth century, under the reign of Alfonso X the Wise, which mandated that a bite of food be served alongside drinks to prevent the harmful effects of alcohol. According to other sources, however, the origin would be attributed to Seville because of the flies. To prevent insects from entering wine glasses in taverns, someone began to put some “caps” stick over the glass.
But the empty cap looked sad and a more generous innkeeper began placing a piece of bread. Which she soon got rich on a bit companatico: and from the cap to the tapas the step was short. And a myth was born that we are going to discover in the places that serve the best tapas of Madrid where the classic ingredients are always the same: cheese, anchoviesolives, Ham. But also tripe, potatoes and calamari are some of the products that form the traditional tapas usually served with beer, the wine or the vermouth. But the combinations are practically endless. And at this point we are hungry. Let’s go and discover the best tapas in Madrid.
Where to eat: the areas
All the center of Madrid it is full of bars where you can sip a wine or a beer accompanied by a good tapa. In particular excellent addresses are located in the area of Sol, Plaza Mayor and in the surrounding streets. Not far away, we find the area of Huertas where you can do interesting tastings as well as around Plaza de Santa Ana where you can find a mix of traditional tapas and more creative and modern ones.
Also noteworthy is the area of Alonso Martinezwhere the streets like calle Harztenbusch it is famous for its breweries and cider houses. Finally, it is forbidden to leave Madrid without trying the tapas that can be found in the neighbourhood The Latin: in its taverns and bars you can find the flavors not only of Madrid but also of the rest of the Spain and the world in an explosion of gastronomic multiculturalism.
Casa Gonzalez represents a real spanish bar icon traditional, with its simple and always busy interior, lined in floor tiles, posters and food on display. The bar was opened in 1931, and is now the grandson of the original owner who runs it with a no-nonsense style that makes customers feel instantly at home. The best Iberico de bellota ham and the this manchego are some of the products not to be missed in this bar which maintains an authentic atmosphere in which to enjoy the best tapas in Madrid.
Calle Leon 12
For more than 30 years this old man seafood restaurant it is the right place to eat tapas and raciones based on what comes from the sea. Born as a simple shop where you can drink wine and nibble on something, it has grown over time in terms of quality and service but maintains its tapas card. In addition to its dining rooms it has a large and well-stocked bar where you can sample the seafood from Galician oysters with shrimp Huelva. The great specialty of the house is one Russian saladprepared without tuna, which for many is the best in Madrid.
Calle de Narváez, 68
Wine and pinchos
Located on Calle Cava Baja which is known for its many clubs, the Taberna Tempranillo is always at the top of the address list when it comes to eating the best tapas in Madrid. During the weekend the place explodes with people who come from all parts of the city to relax and enjoy some great wine (here, they proudly say, only Spanish wine is served) e pinchos even better, which are nothing more than a type of tapas consisting of a slice of baguette with an infinite variety of toppings. There aren’t many tables, so either arrive early or be resigned to waiting.
Calle Cava Baja 38
The house of the abuelo
Its history is very long as this place was founded in 1906 and is famous for serving prawns and sweet wine. The reason is curious: until the Civil war the place served sandwiches stuffed in baguettes but with the conflict the bread became almost unobtainable. “What can we serve? asked the managers of the family Waldberger Ruiz who now continue the tradition with the fourth generation: “Simple: – they said – prawns. They are good even without bread”. So it was and so it still is.
And the place still specializes in prawns and scampi to combine with a sweet red from the region of Alicante. Even the furnishings reflect a deep devotion to tradition: and the walls are lined with old advertisements and black and white photos. Not far away there is a second place with the same name where you can instead choose tapas based on hot peppersausages and mushrooms with spices.
Calle Victoria, 12
“Typical dishes of Madrid“, says a sign at the entrance to the Freiduría Gallinejas and this is the best introduction for this place, founded half a century ago. For fifty years, Gallinejas has specialized in flavors that not everyone may like: innards. And as the name says in fried. Little light? Patience. Among the proposals fried lamb intestines and offal accompanied by strong red wine. Of course there are also more conventional proposals like it jamon or the cheese. But for a real dive into the original style of the best tapas in Madrid this is the place.
Calle Embajadores, 84
Beer and snails
Founded in 1892 by Rafael Fernandez Bagena, owner of vineyards in the region of The Ardosa, this is a charming place that has to be on our must-see list for enjoying the best tapas in Madrid. Taken over in 1970 by the family that runs it, it began to specialize as brewery: and here every blonde is served in a workmanlike manner. Among the tapas to taste while drinking one “cana” (or a draft beer) certainly the tortillas, the Cantabrian anchovies and croquettes but also plates of meat. Beyond the bar counter there is a room also with tables for more traditional lunches.
Calle Colon, 13
Snails, which abounded in the orchards around the Manzanares until the middle of the last century, they have always been one of the most popular dishes offered in taverns offering tapas a Madrid. The name of this makes its specialty evident. The place is characterized by the warm and traditional atmosphere with the facade painted red, the color of the wine that in that street was offered by dozens of clubs in the recent past. Even today people come specially to taste it snail stew, whose very spicy sauce invites you to dip the bread and enjoy a few glasses. But if you don’t like the genre, fear not: there are also tapas of other kinds with anchovies (excellent) and other products. Old-school service with surly waiters and a large crowd of regulars.
Calle Toledo, 106
In the Plaza Major area
Founded 50 years ago by Santiago Revuelta arrived in the capital from Valladolid, this place which is located near the Plaza Mayor at first it was specialized in sausages and cheeses to accompany with vermouth. But now this place is absolutely famous because people come here to eat the best cod in town. Enthusiasts say that the fried food is of superior quality, very light and that the raw material cannot be found elsewhere. What is certain is that Sunday in particular, but also other days, is always full of people devouring tapas and raciones. Also try the croquettes and on Wednesday there Madrid tripe in this small place with a few tables and decorated with Castilian-style lamps and tiles.
Calle Latoneros, 3
TO the Venice you breathe the air of Madrid of the past. Between the peeling paint on the walls, the dark wood counter and the wooden barrels dusty behind the bar, this is the kind of place you might expect to catch a glimpse of the ghost of Hemingway drinking in a corner. Behind the counter very park hosts with smiles are needed sherry selected. With the glass you will get flavored olives (excellent) but then you can choose between Manchego cheese seasoned, jamon and other sausages and tuna in oil good quality. The clientele is very varied, from the elderly of the neighborhood to some well-known faces of the city. One of the local rules is strict: no photographs are taken. People come here for the tapas, not the selfies.
Calle de Echegaray, 7