Our 7 Favorite Restaurants Inside Madrid Markets

Not sure where to dine in Madrid? Have no fear! We’ve chosen our 7 favorite restaurants inside Madrid markets to give you the best of Spain’s food and the most memorable holiday experience yet!

La Casa Del Bacalao in Mercado San Miguel

One of our favorite restaurants inside the famed Madrid markets is La Casa Del Bacalao, a seafood specialist for all you fish fanatics! Located near the famous Plaza Mayor, Mercado San Miguel symbolizes true Spanish culture. For a taste of the ocean, try the mejillones en escabeche (mussels in a vinegar based sauce) and, a personal favorite, smoked bacalao fillets. Alternatively, mix-and-match the huge selection of fresh seafood tapas to eat like a true Spaniard.

La Casa del Bacalao markets in Madrid

A stop at the lovely Casa del Bacalao

Address: Plaza San Miguel

Bar Omaira in Mercado de Antón Martin

For good wine and exquisite tapas, Bar Omaira is a fantastic stop. This restaurant inside Mercado de Antón Martin, one of the oldest Madrid markets, takes a modern outlook on traditional Madrileño and Venezuelan cuisine. A speciality of theirs is the callos a la Madrileña, a tripe-based dish which is famous in Madrid’s winters. This and the ensaladilla Rusa, known to us as the Russian salad, are must-eats for an authentic Madrid experience.

We visit Bar Omaira on our Huertas Neighborhood Food and Market Tour and learn all about her story and her specialities. Find out more here!

Callos, one of our favourite tapas from restaurant Bar Omaira in Madrid Markets.

Address: Calle de Santa Isabel, 5

DP Tapas in Mercado de San Ildefonso

Inside the bustling San Ildefonso market on Calle Fuencarral, restaurant DP Tapas captures Spanish cuisine in a mouthful. This little vendor is a perfect choice for trying all Spanish delicacies in tapas form.

Travel to Cordoba with a helping of salmorejo, a tomato based bread purée topped with Iberian ham. To please a meat craving, try the delicious albóndigas, meatballs covered in a rich sauce, which is served all over Spain.

One of favourite restaurants inside Madrid markets, DP Tapas in Mercado San Ildefonso

DP Tapas’ display of traditional Spanish tapas and more.

Address: Calle Fuencarral, 57

Casa Dani in Mercado de la Paz

Tortilla is known by all as the most famous (and most loved) Spanish food, so why not eat it in the best restaurant? Hidden amongst endless food stalls inside Mercado de la Paz is Casa Dani, the home of Spanish cooking. You’ll find the typical delicious nibbles such as patatas bravas and calamari. What you want, however, is the outstanding tortilla. Casa Dani is well-known by locals and tourists as one of the best restaurants in Madrid markets for a melt-in-your-mouth tortilla. Unleash your adventurous side and try the tortilla with salsa de callos, a tripe sauce.

Yummiest Tortillas in Madrid - Madrid Food Tour

Address: Calle de Ayala, 28

Fiaschetteria La Saletta in Mercado Antón Martin

If you’re a die-hard for good Italian food, Fiaschetteria La Saletta is the place for passionate Italian cooking. As no pizza should be without cured meat, you won’t be disappointed by the pollo diavoli. If you’re more of a cheese lover, the four cheese lasagna is a great homemade favorite for all. Enjoy these dishes and more while soaking up the buzzing atmosphere.

Try some amazing Italian dishes on our Huertas Neighbourhood Food and Market Tour where we make at stop at Fiaschetteria La Saletta and other fantastic restaurants inside Madrid markets.

A close-up of beautifully layered lasagne.

Address: Calle de Santa Isabel, 5

Bond 40 in Mercado de San Fernando

For a restaurant that serves delicious food with character, look no further than Bond 40 inside Mercado de San Fernando. Found in Lavapies, this is up-and-coming neighborhood serves food from all over the world.

Bond 40 is one of our favorite restaurants inside Madrid markets as it specializes in grilled seafood. Every day they serve up dishes-upon-dishes of grilled razor clams, prawns and fresh crab. The best off the menu, however, has to be the grilled sardines. You’ll find that you’ll eat the whole plate without realizing it!

grilled sardines

Address: Calle de Embajadores, 41

Yokaloka in Mercado Antón Martín

As Madrid is the city of culture, it’s not surprising that it boasts a huge selection of Asian-inspired eateries. Yokaloka is one of the best Japanese restaurants inside Madrid markets as it only uses local produce from the surrounding market sellers. Try Chirashi with flambéed salmon, along with the green tea ice cream, will give your taste buds a unique Asia-meets-Europe sensation.

Yokaloka, our favourite Japanese restaurant inside Madrid markets.

Yokaloka transports you to Japan with an authentic street food experience.

Address: Calle de Santa Isabel, 5

Where are your favourite restaurants inside Madrid markets? What makes the perfect eating experience for you?

Loved what you read? Check out The Top 5 Markets in Madrid. Or even better, experience it for yourself on our Madrid Food Tour!

Photo credits: lokate366 on FlickrJameson Fink on Flickr and cheeseslave on Flickr

A Chocolate Lover’s Guide to Madrid

Are you a chocolate lover? Then you’ll love Spain! Though the Spanish are more known for their wine and paella, there are numerous Spanish sweets that will help you get your chocolate fix. Our chocolate lover’s guide to Madrid includes what to eat and where to try them!

Madrid for Chocolate lovers

Churros con Chocolate

Start your day the Spanish way, with a breakfast of churros con chocolate. These treats are made from a simple dough of butter, eggs, water and flour. To give churros their distinctive look, the dough is passed through a star-shaped tip before being deep-fried. Dip the churros into a hot cup of thick, melted chocolate for a perfect start to any day. Get your fix at Chocolateria San Ginés, a celebrated establishments that sells churros con chocolate 24/7 every day of the year.

A chocolate lover's guide to Madrid

Address: Pasadizo San Ginés 5

Palmeras de Chocolate

This heart-shaped cookie is made with puff pastry resulting in a delicious, flaky texture sure to satisfy your sweet tooth. To make it even sweeter, after they’re baked the cookies are coated with a generous helping of chocolate. Want to sink your teeth into a palmera de chocolate? Head over to El Riojano, a 160 year old bakery that counts the Spanish royal family as loyal customers.

Address: Calle Mayor 10

Napolitanas de Chocolate

This yummy treat is made with croissant dough, so you know it’s going to be nothing less than amazing. A dark chocolate mixture is enrobed in croissant dough, then baked until the dough is a lovely golden color. Try the famous napolitanas de chocolate at La Mallorquina, located right in the heart of the city at Puerta del Sol.

A chocolate lover's guide to Madrid

Address: Calle Mayor 2

Turrones

Though this treat is traditionally eaten during the Christmas season in Spain, they’re worth having any time of the year. Turrones derive their name from the latin word torrere which means ‘to toast’, in reference to one of the key ingredients in turrón: toasted nuts. Though the traditional version of turrón was chocolate-less, nowadays many confectioners offer chocolate-based versions such as coconut & chocolate, almond with chocolate & pistachios, and orange & chocolate.

Try some amazing turrones on our Ultimate Spanish Cuisine Tour where we make at stop at Torrons Vicens.

Bombones

Indulge in some Spanish bonbons while here in the city. Perfect as a luxurious snack or as a tasty souvenir, the chocolate shop Cacao Sampaka offers a diverse range of fun flavors and imaginative pairings. The Flowers, Herbs and Infusions collection includes chocolates flavored with violets, roses and jasmine tea. Other collections include unconventional flavors like curry, whisky, parmesan cheese, and wasabi!

Not so adventurous when it comes to your chocolate? Cacao Sampaka also sells classic flavors like dark chocolate, almond, and coffee.

A chocolate lover's guide to Madrid

Address: Calle de Orellana, 4

Before you go, make sure to check out our list of the best pastry shops in Madrid!

Have you tried any of the chocolate treats above? How often do you eat chocolate?

Photo credits: Sheila Herman on Flickr, Dominic Lockyer on Flickr and Beckmann’s Bakery on Flickr.

Date Ideas for Warm Weather in Madrid

One way to create and maintain a healthy relationship is to try something new as a couple. Instead of another ‘dinner and a movie’ date night, try one of these fun date ideas for warm weather in Madrid.

Date Ideas for Warm Weather in Madrid

Grab Drinks on a Rooftop Terrace

When the weather gets warm the people of Madrid head to the top, the rooftop that is. The change in weather heralds the return of hot nights tempered with cold drinks, high above the bustling streets below. Rooftop bars offer breathtaking views and a relaxed ambiance, and can be found throughout the city. Need some suggestions? Check out our article on rooftop terraces in Madrid.

date ideas for warm weather in Madrid - Rooftop Bars

The view from the rooftop of the Círculo de Bellas Artes.

Get Physical

Going on a ‘sporty’ date is a wonderful way to create a strong bond with someone you’re dating. Why? Because when you’re doing a physical activity your body releases endorphins. Endorphins help calm anxiety, reduce stress, and are associated with feelings of attachment. When else does the body release endorphins? When we are in love. Working up a sweat with your date will help their brain associate those feelings of attachment and calm to you, which will hopefully lead to more dates in the future!

date ideas for warm weather in Madrid - Get Physical

The beautiful scenery of Pontón de la Oliva in northern Madrid, a popular hiking spot.

Get those endorphins going and head out on an athletic date. Rent a bike for an afternoon and explore the city together. If you really want to work up a sweat, head to the mountains for a good hike.

Have a Bite at the Market

Can’t decide which restaurant to take your date? Why not have a bite in one of Madrid’s mercados (markets)? A number of the traditional markets in Madrid have been transformed into upscale, gourmet food courts. Mercados are great because they offer a variety of cuisine, all in the same building. Portions are usually tapas-sized, so you and your date can indulge by ordering a bit of everything.

date ideas for warm weather in Madrid - Eat at the Market

Seafood on display at Mercado de San Miguel, including raw oysters which are said to be an aphrodisiac.

There are a number of great mercados throughout the city which offer a wide selection of delicious food. The most popular, the Mercado de San Miguel, has a lively atmosphere but it can get very crowded during the weekend. As an alternative, check out the Mercado San Antón in Chueca which is a bit quieter.

Take in Romantic Views of the City

Start your date with a ride on the Teleférico de Madrid, a suspended cable car on the western side of the city. During the ride you and your date will get a bird’s eye view of the Royal Palace, the Manzanares River and the surrounding countryside.

date ideas for warm weather in Madrid - Romantic Views of the city

Sunset at Temple of Debod

After that, head south to the Temple of Debod, an ancient Egyptian temple gifted to Spain in the 1960s. The Temple of Debod is a very popular spot to watch the sun set, so take a seat on a bench or on the grassy, green lawns and wait for dusk. As the sun moves further south of the horizon, the sky fills with rich shades of blue, pink and purple, creating a romantic atmosphere for the perfect kiss.

Spend an Evening Wine Tasting

Are you and your paramour wine lovers? Then we’ve got the perfect date night for you! Spain produces some amazing wines, so why not spend an evening tasting some of the best Spanish vinos? If you don’t know much about wine, no worries. During our Madrid Uncorked Wine Tastings our wine aficionado shares his expertise in a fun and informative way. After the event, head to another bar with your date and put your newly acquired wine knowledge to use!

date ideas for warm weather in Madrid - Wine tasting

Learn more about Spanish wine at our Madrid Uncorked events!

Take a Delicious Day Trip

Probably not a good idea for a first date, but a day trip is a great choice after you’ve established that you guys actually like each other. There are numerous places for an exciting day trip from Madrid, and many are an hour or less away by public transit. Spend the day exploring cities from eras long passed and feast on delicious specialities from the region.

date ideas for warm weather in Madrid - Day Trips

Visit Segovia to see the aqueduct built hundreds of years ago by the Romans.

Looking for some gothic architecture and sweet marzipan treats? Head to Toledo, the former capital of the country. If you want to check out an ancient Roman aqueduct and have a bite of suckling pig, then it’s off to Segovia. For more ideas, read this list on delicious day trips from Madrid.

Stroll through Parque del Buen Retiro

This luscious park is located in the heart of Madrid, but it’s so large that you actually feel like you’re no longer in the city. Get to know your date better as you stroll along the many trails and paths running throughout Parque del Buen Retiro. Make sure to stop by the Palacio de Cristal along the way to check out the latest art installation. Feeling extra romantic? Up the cheesy factor by renting a boat and rowing your way around the lake.

date ideas for warm weather in Madrid - Retiro park

The Palacio de Cristal in Parque del Buen Retiro.

If your walk works up an appetite, head to Fonty a French inspired bakery within walking distance from the park.

What would be the perfect date for you? Do you have any suggestions of date ideas for warm weather in Madrid?

Photo credits: Eleazar on Flickr, Antonio Tajuelo on Flickr, Bea on Flickr, Emilio García on Flickr, Frank Kovalchek on Flickr and Rodney on Flickr.

Party the Spanish Way: Upcoming Spanish Festivals You Won’t Want to Miss

Planning a trip to Spain? Read our list of upcoming Spanish festivals you won’t want to miss for ideas on how to party the Spanish way. Find out where you can run with bulls, throw tomatoes at complete strangers or take a midnight dip in the ocean.

Feria de Abril

The Feria de Abril (April Festival) is a highly anticipated festival in the Andalusian capital of Seville. During the festival Sevillanos (Seville residents) eat, drink, dance and party for a week. All the action takes place in the real de la feria where you’ll find over a thousand casetas. These canvas tents are put up by businesses, groups of friends, clubs, affluent local families, or political parties and can be accessed by invitation only.

Spanish festivals you won't want to miss - Feria de Abril

Women in their flamenco dresses at the Feria de Abril.

Within the walls of a caseta, you can expect drinks to be flowing, delicious tapas being served, and people dancing to Sevillanas, the official folk music of the city. Don’t have an invite? Don’t worry! There are also a number of public casetas which are happy to welcome everyone. This festival is usually held about two weeks after Holy Week. This year the Feria de Abril runs from April 21st to the 26th.

Heading to Seville and looking for an authentic taste of scrumptious local cuisine? Check out the newly launched Seville Food Tour!

La Diada de Sant Jordi

In Catalonia, a Spanish autonomous community in the north, Valentine’s Day isn’t in February but in April! On this day of love and romance, friends and lovers exchange books and roses. Traditionally men are supposed to buy roses for women, and women should buy books for men. However, times have changed and gender no longer dictates who gets what. La Diada de Sant Jordi commemorates Catalonia’s patron saint, St. George and is celebrated on his death anniversary on April 23rd.

Spanish Festivals You Won't Want to Miss- Sant Jordi

On St. George’s day gifts are often decorated with the flag of Catalonia, as seen on these roses.

Fiesta de San Isidro

Every year on the 15th of May, Madrileños (Madrid residents) celebrate their patron saint’s feast day. During the Fiesta de San Isidro (Festival of St. Isidore) the city celebrates with concerts, fireworks and other special events. The festival originally began as a religious holiday, and many Madrileños still celebrate the festival with a religious pilgrimage.

Spanish Festivals You Won't Want to Miss - San Isidro

Rosquillas, ring-shaped cookies eaten on San Isidro come in a variety of flavors such as strawberry, lemon or sugar-glazed.

The pilgrimage finishes at the la Pradera de San Isidro (St. Isidore’s Meadow), where people can picnic on the grassy green lawns or purchase prepared meals from the many food vendors set up specifically for the event. If you head to the pradera de San Isidro don’t forget to try rosquillas, the sweet treat typically eaten on this day.

La Noche de San Juan

To welcome the summer, coastal cities all over Spain celebrate La Noche de San Juan (the Night of St.John) on June 23rd. This festival takes place on the summer solstice, the longest day of the year and a period of time believed to be magical.

Spanish Festivals You Won't Want to Miss - Noche de San Juan

A fireworks show during the festivities of La Noche de San Juan.

During La Noche de San Juan, revellers come together around bonfires and partake in superstitious activities. These include jumping over fires, burning a piece of paper with a lover’s name or burning something personal to cleanse their spirit. Once the clock strikes midnight, many will also go for a swim in the ocean as they believe it will purify the body and soul. Celebrations take place in many Spanish cities, but the biggest party is held in Alicante in the south of Spain.

Fiesta de San Fermín

The Fiesta de San Fermín (festival of San Fermin) takes place in the city of Pamplona. It is rooted in celebrating Saint Fermin the co-patron saint of Navarre, the region where the festival is held. Often referred to as the running of the bulls, this festival was made famous by Ernest Hemingway in his classic novel The Sun Also Rises.

Spanish Festivals You Won't Want to Miss - San Fermín

During San Fermín, people traditionally wear an all white outfit and a red scarf.

Though there are numerous events during the festivities, the running of the bulls is the most popular event. It occurs every morning from the 7th to the 14th of July at 8 o’clock in the morning. During this event, hundreds of brave participants try to outrun six bulls which have been trained for bullfighting. Thinking of doing the run? Think carefully! Over it’s history, 15 people have died and hundreds have been wounded during the event.

La Tomatina

Dubbed the “World’s Biggest Food Fight”, La Tomatina is a fun festival that encourages participants to throw tomatoes at each other. Though no one knows for sure, there are various theories as to how this messy tradition started. Some say it began as a class war, others say it began with townspeople started throwing tomatoes at local politicians. Who knows that they truth is!

Spanish Festivals You Won't Want to Miss - La Tomatina

During the tomato fight, homes and shops are covered in plastic to protect them from the mess.

What is clear however, is that the event attracts tens of thousands of people from all over the world. In previous years attendance was as high as 50,000 people, but due to safety concerns it is now limited to “only” 20,000 participants. The event takes place in the normally quiet town of Buñol, near Valencia on the last Wednesday of August. This year La Tomatina will be held on August 26th.

Have you attended any of these Spanish festivals? Which one sounds like the most fun to you?

Photo Credits: David Sim on Flickr,  Núria on Flickr, Estrella Sansait, Dennis van Zuijlekom on Flickr, Tammy Friesen on Flickr and Graham McLellan on Flickr.

Off the Beaten Path: 7 Unique Tours in Madrid

Planning a trip to the vibrant Spanish capital? Let us help you plan an unforgettable trip with these unique tours in Madrid. Whether you’re a history buff, art aficionado or a foodie, there’s something for everyone. Read on to discover the 7 unique tours in Madrid that await you.

7 Unique Tours in Madrid

Bike Tour

If you’re a bit short on time, a bike tour of the city may be just what you’re looking for. Bravo Bikes offers tours of all the major sights in Madrid, including the Royal Palace, Plaza Mayor and the Prado Museum. Perfect for cyclists that are used to cycling in a city environment, it’s a fun way to see the city and get a bit of exercises in for the day. If you have more time, and are up for a bit of a challenge, Bravo Bikes also offers bike tours to popular day trip destinations from Madrid. Ride to Segovia to see the Roman aqueducts, or to Toledo to visit the Alcazar.

Flamenco Tour

Spaniards are proud of their cultural heritage, which includes the passion-filled musical style and dance called Flamenco. Learn about the origin and history of Flamenco with Ogo Tours and then visit the place to shop for Flamenco clothing, instruments and accessories. To cap off the experience, you’ll watch an authentic Flamenco show in one of the oldest Tablaos (Flamenco venues) in Madrid.

Unique Tours in Madrid - Flamenco Tour

Segway Tour

Segway tours have been popping up in cities all over the world, but this one comes with a sweet Spanish treat at the end. Standing on an electric, two-wheeled vehicle, you’ll stop by popular landmarks across the city. Without breaking a sweat, take in the sights at Plaza de EspañaPuerta del Sol and the Almudena Cathedral. To finish off the tour, you get to indulge and enjoy a decadently sweet treat of churros con chocolate at Mercado San Miguel.

Madrid Food Tour

Enjoy an authentic taste of Spanish cuisine with a gastronomical tour of the city. Madrid Food Tour offers guests a tasty cultural experience that is sure to leave you satisfied. This experience is much more than just a eating at bars and restaurants. Madrid Food Tour take you on a journey through the history of the city, introducing you to local food artisans and chefs and of course, giving you a taste of Madrid’s best dishes.

Spanish Civil War Sites Tour

History comes alive with Spanish Sites, as they take you on a tour to key sites from the Spanish Civil war. The Spanish Civil War is one of the most important events in Spain’s modern history, and ended with thousands dead and a dictator in power. Learn more about the the conflict, and how it has influenced Spain today on this historical tour.

Hot Air Balloon Tour

For an experience that will take your breathe away, why not book a hot air balloon tour? Aerotours offers a unique view of Madrid’s natural surroundings. As you slowly ascend upwards towards the sky, enjoy a bird’s eye view of the mountains, the Guadarrama river and monuments like the Castle of La Mocha. It’s sure to be an unforgettable experience!

Unique Tours in Madrid - Hot Air Balloon Tour

Contemporary Art Tour

If you’re an art lover, you’ll be happy to know that Madrid is home to a number of wonderful art museums, including the Prado and Reina Sofia. These museums house pieces from the biggest Spanish artists that ever lived. However, if you want to discover the current art scene, than a Contemporary Art tour is your best bet. The Art Gallery Tour takes guests to a number of contemporary art galleries showcasing the works of Spanish artists. Don’t know much about contemporary art? The Art Gallery also offers an Initiation Tour, which explains how art galleries work, the different techniques and formats used, and how to appreciate Contemporary Art.

What’s the most unique tour you’ve been on? What’s your favourite way to tour a city?

Photo Sources: Littlemoresunshine on Flickr and Flavio~ on Flickr

Spring has Sprung: 5 Ways to Enjoy the Beautiful Parks in Madrid

There are numerous parks in Madrid, and now is the perfect time to go out and visit them. Read on to find out the best place to have a picnic and a secret event that only happens once a year!

Parks In Madrid

It seems like winter is finally over in Madrid, and we couldn’t be happier. Make the most of an early spring and spend some time outdoors. Looking for some ideas? Here’s a list of 5 parks in Madrid that offer fun experiences we’re sure you’ll enjoy.

Get Active at Parque del Buen Retiro

Do you prefer to work up a sweat when you’re outdoors? Then head to Parque del Buen Retiro, a lovely outdoor space formerly owned by the Spanish Royal family. Here you’ll find wide, paved roads that are perfect for bike riding, skateboarding or rollerblading. It’s also a great place to train for marathons, with miles of running trails found throughout the park.

Parks in Madrid Retiro Park Crystal Palace

Not that athletic? Retiro should still be on your list. Take a leisurely walk to admire the fountains, statues and the Palacio de Cristal, a beautiful glass palace. In the summer, the park holds free concerts and outdoor art exhibitions from artists all over the world.

Watch the sunset at Las Vistillas Gardens

After a long day of sightseeing, head to Las Vistillas Gardens to watch a beautiful sunset. This lovely park is on the westside of Madrid, and is known for having amazing views of the Mazanares River, Casa de Campo and the Almudena Cathedral. As various colors fill the sky, and the sun slowly makes its way down the horizon, sip on a cold drink on one of the many terraces on the park grounds.

Gaze at the Delicate Almond Blossoms at Parque Quinta de los Molinos

Located a bit further out from the center, Parque Quinta de los Molinos isn’t quite as popular as the other parks on this list. What this means is that only a few people know about a special secret we’re happy to share with you.

Parks in Madrid - Parque Quinta de los Molinos

The park is populated with over a thousand almond trees, which all start to bloom in early spring. Stroll through the rows of magnificent almond blossoms, and then act like a total tourist and take a few snaps with the beautiful buds. Don’t delay, once the blossoms fall off the tree you’ll have to wait until next year to see them again!

Be Amused at Casa de Campo

Covering over 1700 hectares of land, Casa de Campo holds the title for the largest park in Madrid. On any given warm weekend, the park is filled with families spending some quality time together.

Madrid Zoo Aquarium

Casa de Campo is home to two very popular, family-friendly activities. The first is the Madrid Zoo Aquarium. Here visitors can watch and learn about thousands of animals, including pandas, koalas and dolphins. The other main attraction is an amusement park called the Parque de Atracciones de Madrid. Here families can pass the time on thrilling rides, amusing shows and fun carnival games.

Picnic at the Temple de Debod

Located minutes away from the iconic Plaza de España you’ll find an ancient Egyptian temple. What is an Egyptian temple doing in Madrid, you ask? Well, In the middle of the 20th century – in return for Spain’s help preserving another temple – the Egyptian government gifted Spain with the Temple de Debod.

Temple de Debod

The temple is a popular tourist spot visited by travellers all year round. However, once the temperatures rise, locals are there as well, soaking up the sun. The lush lawns surrounding the temple offer a perfect place for a lovely picnic. Take in the view of a 2000 year old temple while you munch on some Spanish favorites like tortilla, ham and Manchego cheese.

What kinds of activities do you enjoy doing in the spring? Have we missed any of your favorite Madrid parks?

Photo credits: Antonio Tajuelo on Flickr, LWYang on Flickr, Manolo Gómez on Flickr and Rodney on Flickr. 

In the Know: Trendy Cafés and Tea Rooms in Madrid

If you can’t get a day started without some good coffee, you’ll love Madrid. The city has a thriving café culture, which means there is always one nearby. Read on for six trendy cafés and tea rooms in Madrid that are worth a visit.

Trendy cafés and Tea rooms in Madrid

Federal Café

Looking for scrumptious, eco-friendly food? Than look no further than Federal Café, an Australian inspired restaurant in the Conde Duque area. With it’s minimalistic decor and health conscious menu, it’s easy to see why Federal Café appeals to the in crowd. Head over to try their tasty burgers (veggie option available!), fresh pastries, or organic juices.

Visit Federal Café at Plaza de las Comendadoras, 9.

Tekoe

Spaniards enjoy their coffee in many different ways, but in recent years tea has had a surge in popularity. Tekoe, a Swiss tea company, has been earning rave reviews since they opened in Madrid last summer. Dedicated to serving high quality, ethically sourced teas from around the world, Tekoe has gained quite the following. Want to know more about tea? The tea room also holds tea tasting sessions, which includes the fascinating history of the soothing drink.

Visit Tekoe at Calle Huertas, 22.

Fonty

Before opening up this French inspired pastry shop, Marie Valdez honed her culinary skills at the prestigious L’Ecole Ferrandi. Fonty serves a wide range of savory dishes: omelettes, curries, sandwiches and much more. The main stars of the shop however, are the entremets proudly displayed behind the glass counter. These cakes are a bite of heaven and come in fun flavor combinations like gooseberry and yogurt or chocolate and passionfruit.

Trendy Cafes and Tea Rooms in Madrid

Visit Fonty at Calle Castelló, 12.

El Jardín Secreto

This charming café is the perfect place to wind down after a busy day of sightseeing. Once you’ve entered El Jardín Secreto, it’s as if you’ve stepped into another world. The café is decorated with wicker mats, floral garlands and a mix of other eclectic trinkets. Once you’ve grabbed a table, place a drink order. They’ve got everything from cocktails to milkshakes. If you’re feeling indulgent, order something from the dessert menu. El Jardín Secreto’s desserts are all satisfyingly sweet.

Visit El Jardín Secreto at Calle Conde Duque 2.

Café de la Luz

Wandering along the streets of the eclectic neighborhood of Malasaña, you’ll stumble upon numerous cafés. What makes Café de la Luz special is it’s cozy atmosphere, friendly staff and yummy offerings. Decorated with mismatched chairs, vintage lamps and shelves of books, you can’t help but want to stay a while.

Visit Café de la Luz at Puebla, 8.

Salón des Fleurs

Salón des Fleurs is a chic tea room located in the Chamberí area of Madrid. Having opened only a few months ago, it has quickly become a very popular spot. The decor is French inspired, with quirky details and beautiful flowers to finish off the look.

Trendy Cafes and Tea Rooms in Madrid

Take your pick from a list of twenty teas and infusions, which include choices like strawberry and champagne or cherry caramel. Order a slice of violet cake or banana bread to accompany your drink. Want to take some of the beauty home with you? Salón des Fleurs is also a flower shop! Have the in-house florist whip up a gorgeous bouquet for you to take home.

Visit Salón des Fleurs at Calle de Guzmán el Bueno, 106.

What do you look for in a café? What makes your favorite café unique?

Traditional Spanish Comfort Food at Home: Cocido Madrileño Recipe

Cocido Madrileño Recipe
On cold winter days, there’s no better feeling than digging into a deliciously warm and comforting meal. Spaniards have quite a few hearty dishes to choose from, but for most Madrid residents nothing warms the soul quite like a good cocido Madrileño.

The dish originated from Madrid, and grew in popularity during the 19th and 20th centuries. Since the dish’s main ingredient – chickpeas – were relatively cheap and easy to acquire, it was often on the menu of taverns and small restaurants. Nowadays, it’s a household staple.

Cocido Madrileño is usually eaten in two courses. Once the chickpeas, meats and vegetables have been cooked, the broth is separated and is used to make soup. This is served as the first course, and then the rest of the flavorful ingredients are served as the main dish.

Enjoy this traditional Spanish meal at home by following this Cocido Madrileño recipe.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups chickpeas
  • 9 oz. veal, cut into 2 inch chunks
  • 5 oz. chunk of Serrano ham
  • 1 5” ham bone
  • 1 3” chunk of veal bone marrow
  • 5 oz. 2-inch thick bacon chunks
  • 1 large 10 inch chorizo cut into 4 inch pieces
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 large carrots
  • 2 potatoes
  • 1 cup pasta noodles
  • Water, enough to cover the ingredients and two inches over
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Morcilla (blood sausage) [can be omitted]

Instructions

  1. Allow garbanzo beans to sit in water overnight; drain excess water and set aside.
  2. Peel the garlic, onion, carrots and potatoes and set aside.
  3. Cook veal, bones, chorizo and ham in a large pot in just enough water to cover. Add salt to taste.
  4. When the water begins to boil, remove the excess foam.
  5. After an hour, add the chickpeas, garlic, onion and carrots, whole.
  6. Cover pot and simmer for an hour and a half.
  7. Drain the stock and reserve the rest of the ingredients on a platter.
  8. Put the stock back into the same pot, and use it to cook the noodles.
  9. In a different pot, boil the peeled potatoes, drain and place along with the rest of the ingredients you reserved.
  10. Cut the cooked vegetables into big chunks and add to the meat platter.

This recipe serves 6.

Have you ever tried Cocido Madrileño? What’s your favourite winter comfort food?

10 Beautiful Spanish Instagrams You Need to Follow

Follow these beautiful Spanish Instagram accounts and discover the spectacular views and sights Spain has to offer.

Spain

best Spanish Instagram accounts

The official Instagram account of Spain’s tourism board highlights breathtaking images from all over the country. They regularly hold themed photo challenges and winners’ photos are shared with their 27 thousand followers. Tag your photos with the #VisitSpain hashtag to share your snaps with them.

Visit Euskadi

best Spanish Instagram accounts

Euskadi is the Basque name for the Spanish autonomous community Basque Country. With everything from majestic mountains to an idyllic coast, Euskadi has an endless supply of beautiful images to share on their tourism board’s official account.

Disfruta Sevilla

best Spanish Instagram accounts

Sevilla is one of the most enchanting cities in southern Spain. During it’s annual Feria de abril de Sevilla (April Festival of Seville), the city spends a week dancing, drinking and eating until the sun comes up. This account reflects the fun and energetic feel to the city, publishing photos of popular attractions and stunning views.

Turismo Asturias

Beautiful Spanish Instagram Accounts

This account is dedicated to showcasing the natural beauty of Asturias, a province in the region known as España Verde (Green Spain). Due to this region’s rainy and mild climate, it’s an ideal place for forests and pastures to flourish. When you visit this lush province, don’t forget to try it’s signature dish, fabada Asturiana.

Tsempere

Beautiful Spanish Instagram Accounts

This account is based in Alicante, a beachside province on the eastern coast of Spain. The province is a popular summer spot because it has a reputation for having pristine beaches. Tsempere publishes captivating photos of the coast, sandy beaches and other beautiful natural scenes.

Txecinco

Beautiful Spanish Instagram Accounts

A mix of urban scenes and natural elements populate Jose’s Segovia-based Instagram feed. A popular day trip from Madrid, Segovia boasts the largest, and best preserved, ancient Roman aqueduct in the Iberian peninsula. It is also home to the lovely Alcázar of Segovia (Segovia Castle). Though you may not have heard of Segovia Castle, you’ve seen one that was inspired by it: Disney’s Cinderella Castle.

Fercabafer

Beautiful Spanish Instagram Accounts

Run by Riojano photographer, Fernando Caballero, this account is a treasure trove of gorgeously colorful photos of the La Rioja region of Spain. While perusing Fernando’s account, you’ll notice photos of grapes and vineyards. This is because wine production plays a big part in La Rioja’s economy and cultural tradition. The province has been making wine for over a thousand years, so it’s no wonder it produces some of the best wine in the country.

Barcelona Citizen

Beautiful Spanish Instagram Accounts

Barcelona’s distinct architecture plays a starring role in Barcelona Citizen’s instagram feed. Antoni Gaudí’s masterpieces, which are scattered throughout the bohemian city, make frequent appearances. Unexpected angles and focus on quirky architectural details result in awe-inspiring pictures of the second largest city in Spain.

J4UM3

gorgeous Spanish Instagrams

Jaume’s exquisite account will tempt you into booking a ticket to the breathtaking island of Mallorca. Unlike its partying neighbor Ibiza, Mallorca is an oasis of calm and relaxation. From ethereal shots of sunsets, to perfectly timed photos of the coastline, Jaume does an amazing job capturing the natural beauty of the island.

Secretos de Madrid

Beautiful Spanish Instagram Accounts

Last, but definitely not least, is the Secretos de Madrid account, a feed that publishes dazzling photos of Spain’s capital city. Photos highlight the architectural beauty of Madrid, including iconic attractions Puerta del Sol and Plaza Mayor. If you ever find yourself in the this vibrant city, make sure to join us on one of our food tours!

And in case you didn’t know, we’re on Instagram too. Follow us for photos from our tours, snaps of our charming city and of course, pictures of mouthwatering food!

Are there any Instagrammers you would add to our list?

Combat the Cold Weather: 5 Spanish Meals to Try this Winter

Have a case of winter blues? Cheer yourself up with a hearty dish from our list of Spanish meals to try this winter! From the classic dish of lentejas, to the lesser known sopa de ajo, you’ll find something to suit your tastes.

Have a case of winter blues? Cheer yourself up with a hearty dish from our list of Spanish meals to try this winter! From the classic dish of lentejas, to the lesser known sopa de ajo, you’ll find something to suit your tastes.

Fabada Asturiana

For a taste of north-western Spain, indulge in a bowl of fabada Asturiana, a stew made of white beans, morcilla (blood sausage), chorizo and pork shoulder. Though it originates from the autonomous community of Asturias, this dish has become a national favourite and can be bought ready-made at most supermarkets. For an extra dash of Asturian flavour, enjoy your fabada with a cold glass of Asturian cider.

Spanish Dishes to Try this Winter

Cocido Madrileño

If you have a large appetite, your best bet is a cocido Madrileño. As the name implies, cocido Madrileño originated in the capital, and is a dish you must try while in Madrid. This delicious stew’s main ingredients include garbanzo beans, potatoes, chorizo, beef shank and pork belly. The stew’s flavors can be further enhanced with carrots, cabbage and morcilla.

Cocido madrileno traditional food in Madrid

Once everything has been cooked, the broth is separated from the rest of the ingredients and is used to make a Vermicelli  soup. This soup is served as the first course, followed by a main course composed of the other ingredients.

Sopa de Ajo

Sopa de ajo is traditionally eaten in Palencia, a city in the province of Castile and León. In English it means ‘garlic soup’ so it’s no surprise that a key ingredient is garlic. What is surprising is the other key ingredient: bread! After the bread has been cut into chunks, it is served soaking in a broth of paprika and garlic and topped with a poached egg.

Spanish Dishes to Try this Winter

Caldo Gallego

We’re heading back up north again, but this time to the luscious province of Galicia. Here, locals fight the cold weather with a satisfying bowl of caldo Gallego. This savory soup includes bacon, white beans, potatoes, chorizo and cabbage. If you find yourself doing the Camino de Santiago during the winter months, order a large serving of caldo Gallego to warm yourself up after your long journey.

Caldo Gallego - Spanish Dishes to Try this Winter

Sopa de Lentejas

Another legume-based dish, the simple but classic sopa de lentejas (lentil soup) is a well-loved household staple. This deliciously nutritious dish is easy to make using lentils, carrots, onions, potatoes, chorizo and some smoked paprika. Not in the mood to cook? Head over to a traditional Spanish tavern for lunch, chances are it’s on the menu.

Sopa de Lentejas - Spanish Dishes to Try this Winter

Have you tried any of the Spanish dishes we’ve mentioned above? What’s your favourite winter meal?

Photo Credits: Masaaki Komori on Flickr, Flavio Lorenzo Sánchez on Flickr, G M on Flickr, doronko on Flickr and juantiagues on Flickr.