Here’s the beauty about #eats in Madrid. If you want a taste of the Spanish culture, you have about 239483 tapa spots to choose from. And if you are sick of jamón and paella and want something familiar (and not from a pig) in your mouth, you are also in luck. Here are my faves of both.
1) El Mercado de San Miguel
Why: If you are in Madrid and you like to eat, you absolutely must go here. No excuses. Whether you just want to quickly check it out and grab one tapa to nibble on for an afternoon snack, or you want to feast (I recommend the ladder), you will be happy you did. The classic Spanish tapas market offers every kind of tapa you could ever dream of, and then some. The best part is that you can buy a la carte, mix and match, and see what your getting first. No scary surprises. The market also offers a wide range of gourmet wines, sangria, fancy coffees, and of course…dessert. Save room. And effectivo.
Price: 2-5 €. Go crazy.
Find it: Plaza San Miguel. You can’t miss it.
2) Casa Gonzalez
Why: Do you like free samples? ‘Cause I do. This hidden local gem is a gourmet deli, cheese shop, and wine shop that is also a tapas restaurant. You know all of their tapas are fresh, as they are coming straight from their gourmet in-house deli. And before you buy, you can try. It’s not advertised, but it’s known among the locals. If you would like to try a fancy unheard-of cheese, try it. A wine from France? Just ask.
Price: 4-6 € tapas. Unlimited free samples ? Priceless.
Find it: Calle León, 12
3) Greek and Shop
Why: I am so utterly obsessed with this place. The very first thing I did when I arrived in Madrid for my second time was run here to get a 4.95€ Gyro. The tzatziki sauce is incredible. The pulled asado (grilled) chicken is to die for. The fresh toppings (you pick your poison) are unlimited and delicious. Not to mention their exquisite coffee, freshly squeezed OJ and baklava. Oh, and if you prefer to steer away from the Gyro root, they have fabulous gourmet sandwiches…AND THEY ARE OPEN LATE NIGHT.
Price: 4.95 € for a big a$$ Gyro. Aww yea.
Find it: Calle Corredera Alta de San Pablo 9, Malasaña
Why: When you need a break from all the tapas, get some (surprisingly) high quality sushi here. This chic, modern, to-go sushi bar has a wide variety of sushi dishes to choose from, as well as other classic Japanese fair. Their Ramen is to-die-for as well. Don’t be fooled by the pre-packed appearance when you pick out your plate, because it was all prepared within the last 10 minutes, Sushi chefs themselves (as seen in the pic above). Don’t forget to grab some gourmet tea with your sushi…or a nice, cold beer.
Price: 4-9 € for a full carton of sushi.
Find it: Calle Fuencarral 91