It would take years to explore fully all of the tapas in Madrid. Madrid is full of small restaurants that specialise in one dish and do it brilliantly, and Madrid is a big place. I only had a few days and it was my first trip to the city (it won’t be my last – I loved it), but I had the help of some locals, recommendations from fellow food bloggers and writers, and I also had the assistance of a local guide who had a brilliant list of her favourites.
On a bright autumnal Sunday lunch time, we met at Plaza Mayor and headed to Casa Revuelta (Calle de Latoneros 3), a small busy tapas bar famous for light bright and crisp fried cod, served with either beer or wine. A bargain at €2.80 (or €3.80 with wine, €4 with beer) and a perfect first stop. Now owned by Begona, her father in law opened Casa Revuelta 48 years ago. At 92 years old now, he is naturally less involved, but it is still in the family.
From there we head to the La Latina district, to Calle Cava Baja, a busy street full of tapas bars. There are many recommended stops here, specifically El Tempranillo (Cava Baja 38) which specialises in pintxos and has an excellent Spanish wine list, in fact they only have Spanish wines on their list. Other recommended tapas bars on this street which we didn’t have time to visit were Casa Lucas (for foie, pimentos & morcilla) and Casa Lucio, a favourite with celebs but also King Juan Carlos says that the egg and chips there are the best that he has had.
Our next stop was Txirimiri (Calle del Humilladero 6), full of locals and buzzing, I ordered an excellent salmorejo with jamon and egg, battered manchego lollipops and I tried my friends boletus steak hamburger, more of a loose patty with sauce on toast (and it was very good).
Around the corner, we visited Juana la Loca (Plaza Puerta de Moros 4), said to serve the best omelette in the area. It was already packed and before I even tasted the omelette I could see why. The best Spanish omelettes are oozing and just holding together. This one was terrific, and everyone in the bar was eating it.
Taberna El Almería (calle de las Aguas 9), is a little further off the beaten track, and very local. We didn’t stay very long unfortunately as it was so busy, but I mention it here as I think it should be on your list. We headed around the corner to Toma Jamón on Calle Tabernillas, who specialise in Salamanca ham. I ordered a glass of wine, some jamon and pork rinds. The wine came with a little tapas on top, as is traditional.
There are many tapas bars in Madrid, but this selection guided by local Paloma is a terrific start, taking in some brilliant tapas options in a vibrant buzzy part of Madrid. Paloma doesn’t have a website, but if you would like to contact her about arranging a tour of your own, you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For further Madrid eating inspiration: see my previous post What to Eat in Madrid and Where to Eat It.
For further Spanish inspiration: Jamon, Jamon! The World of Jamon Iberico de Bellota from when I visited an Iberico pig farm near Seville (oh I love those piggies and I adore the ham) and my tapas Lunch at Cal Pep in Barcelona (a must visit when in town).
For a taste of Spain in London, see Posh Lunch Club at Pizarro, one of my favourite London Spanish restaurants, along with sibling tapas bar, José, and a review of a recent tapas dinner at the wonderful Barrafina, Adelaide St, London.
I visited Madrid as part of the #MustSeeMadrid blog trip, created and managed by iambassador, in partnership with Spain Tourism. I maintain full editorial control of the content published on this site.