Madrid is a city fueled by coffee and cañas that never sleeps and never stops eating.
Whatever brings you to Madrid, whether you are a tourist, an English teacher, a volunteer or a gap-yearer, you’ll soon get caught up in the wonderful world of tapas in Madrid.
Here are 5 of our favourite places to enjoy tapas in Madrid
Make sure to also check out our post on the best tapas bars in Barcelona!
Casa Labra – Croquetas de bacaloa
Stepping into Casa Labra is like stepping back in time. Order your delectable croquetas from the small counter to the right, then head to the bar to order a thimble-sized glass of beer or wine to accompany the oozy, creamy morsels.
Fatigas del querer – Patatas dos salsas
This tapas bar in Madrid is always buzzing with Spaniards and guiris alike. The free nibbles that arrive with your drinks are a delicious start. Then move on to the huge raciones of patatas dos salsas or gambas al ajillo and you won’t regret it. Brilliant, but often-chaotic service!
Lateral – Tortilla de patata
One portion of this melt in the mouth tortilla at Lateral is never enough; you’ll be back for more. The tortilla has a soft gooey middle of caramelized onions and is absolute heaven on a plate.
Taberna Txakolina – Pintxos
If you’re in to your pintxos you won’t be disappointed at Taberna Txakolina. The tapas bar in Madrid is lined with beautiful and delicious pintxos combining all sorts of good quality ingredients. A personal favourite is what we like to call the Salmon Tower.
La musa – Tempura de langostinos y aguacate verde
This is such a personal favourite we almost didn’t want to share it! La musa has everything you could want in a restaurant including a delicious selection of BBQ tapas! Try the Tempura de langostinos y aguacate verde for a zingy appetizer.
At El Tigre, you order a glass of vino tinto (red wine) for two euros and then the Tapas God behind the counter hands you a plate piled high with tapas of every kind — tortilla, patatas bravas, jamon, queso … you name it — to accompany your drink. The best part is every time you order your cheap drink, you get another plate of deliciousness to soak up all that alcohol.
Mercado Plaza San Miguel
For a more varied experience, there is Mercado Plaza San Miguel near the Sol Metro. This gorgeous old building is PACKED with little stands featuring some of the freshest and tastiest food, including oysters, fruits and veggies, and tapas. Lots and lots of tapas.
Again, if you want to snag a seat, get there early. Otherwise, start practicing balancing a plate of tapas and a glass of vino tinto and eating/drinking at the same time.
For an explosion of wonderful sites and smells head to Mercado de San Anton in the buzzing neighbourhood of Chueca. On the lower floor there is a traditional market with fruit and veg, fish, hams and cheeses of the best quality. Floor 2 offers a great selection of international stalls where you can get anything from sushi to cured duck to ceviche.
A personal favourite is the Greek stall offering delicious stuffed aubergines and warm pitas with home-made hummus. Head up to floor 3 for a drink on the roof-terrace with fantastic views over the city or a meal in the modern restaurant.
If you want to explore of Madrid’s markets, check out: El Rastro: The Most Popular Sunday Flea Market in Madrid