I am from Madrid, love the city and want to share my special addresses. Every day a new idea, place or thing to do in Madrid. Everything has been thoroughly tested but it is only a personal opinion.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

5 Tapas, 5 Barrios: Try the Real Taste of Madrid (guest posting)

If there is a place in the world for enjoying food, that is Madrid! The Spanish capital is the meeting point when it comes to trying tapas from all over the country. Worldwide travellers discover every year the secret of this city´s cuisine: a beautiful mixture of dishes shaped over the years by people from all over Spain. From posh Barrio de Salamanca to the alternative Lavapiés area, Madrid is a tapas paradise still to discover!
1. Moncloa: Montaditos between students
Moncloa-Arguelles is the departure point for all the colleges and universities in Madrid and it’s probably the best-connected area in the city. This is a lively borough where it’s easy to find nice bars to enjoy a caña with a little platter of crisps and olives. Although it´s not so famous as La Latina, this quartier based in the West of Madrid has great cervecerías which encourage visitors to stay there for hours. If there is a tapa that all the Spanish students love it´s the montadito, a sort of small sandwich that comes with any kind of ingredient on top. Smoke salmon, serrano ham, tuna…The list of montadito variations is endless so you only need to get the menu and order as many as you can!
Visiting Moncloa? Visit El Museo del Traje (Costume Museum), inside the Ciudad Universitaria. Nearest tube station: Moncloa
2. Barrio de Salamanca: The art of tasting “pintxos”
The facades of its buildings reveal an expensive district with hundreds of sophisticated boutiques. The Barrio de Salamanca is one of those places where you can feel the chic Madrid. After a shopping afternoon you only need to have a break and pop in at one of the multiple tabernas offering the most creative cuisine from the Basque Country. Start with a glass of Rioja whilst preparing yourself to enjoy the art of “pintxar”, exactly as the locals do. Don’t hesitate to try a revuelto de setas y gambas (Scrambled of mushrooms with prawns) or any pincho that comes with cod. 
Visiting Barrio de Salamanca? Take a walk along Calle Serrano (Even if you don’t buy anything, it’s a good place to see nice boutiques and crazy prices!)
Nearest tube station: Serrano
3. Chueca: Delicatessen at San Antón Market
Alternative and lively, Chueca is one of the most famous quarters of the Spanish capital, probably because it´s the gay community´s Mecca. For those looking for quality products to taste whilst enjoying a great atmosphere, el Mercado de San Antón (Augusto Figueroa, 24) is the place to visit. It opened its door two years ago and it’s almost impossible to walk around the stands during the weekend (it’s worth it anyway!) Top tip: Don’t forget to try the tapas of traditional sushi.
Visiting Chueca? If you fancy a non-stop night, stay at any of the hotels in the Chueca district. Nearest tube station: Chueca
4. La Latina: Jabugo ham in "El Madrid de los Austrias"
This district occupies much of the oldest area in Madrid or what is also known as “El Madrid de los Austrias”. This is one of the best places in the city to try the variety of the Madrilean cuisine. Escape the very touristic restaurants and pop in at any of the multiple wine bars in the area. Between each glass of tempranillo don´t hesitate to try the best Spanish ham: “jamón de jabugo”, originally from the Andalusian town called Jabugo. Last but not least, don´t forget that bars here open at 8pm.
Qué aproveche!
Visiting La Latina? Visit the famous Madrid’s Flea Market, “El Rastro” (it opens every Sunday). Here you will find hundreds of street vendors offering all kind of second hand stuff at the best price.
Nearest tube station: La Latina
5. Lavapiés: The most tasty Chiken Tikka Masala
Based in the South East of the city, Lavapiés is probably the most multicultural area in Madrid. It offers very bohemian nights and a cosmopolitan atmosphere (more than half of the residents here are not from Spain) especially in the evening. Here you can either experience The Chinese New Year celebration or a wonderful Bollywood street show. If you fancy good food in a terrace, have a go with a sweet chicken tikka masala dish at any of the many Indian restaurants in the area. 
Visiting Lavapiés? If you are a fan of Contemporary Art, don´t miss your chance to visit Museo Reina Sofia. 
Nearest tube station: Lavapiés

Author Bio
Marta López is a travel writer based in London. She loves travelling and Mediterranean cuisine. When she isn´t writing on her laptop, she can be found around the city looking for sunshine and new restaurants to try.


  1. Here's a google map with self-guided tapas tours in Madrid.

  2. Tapas y Foto is my favorite place in La Latina. BTW Marta, you have a wonderfull website. ;-)


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