Spain has one of the hottest summer climates in all of Europe, so knowing great ways to cool off is essential!
It’s mid July in Madrid and summer is in full force. Temperatures reach above 90°F (37°C) daily, and Madrid residents have already started escaping the city and heading to their beach houses and mountain cottages. So what can you do if you (like us) are left to fend for yourself in the empty sizzling city? Don’t worry, cooling off in Madrid is easier than it seems, especially when food is involved, so check out these 10 delicious ways to cool off in Madrid and make the most of your summer!
Photo Credit: Roberto Faccenda
1. Ice Cream
It’s the quintessential summer snack and there is no shortage of fantastic options for ice cream in Madrid. From Italian style gelato to the little stands selling the dangerously addictive Magnum bars, ice cream in Madrid is a must if visiting in summer and a wonderful way to cool off!
Our pick: Head to Gelatería La Romana (Paseo de la Habana, 27) for some of the best ice cream in Madrid.
2. Frozen Yogurt
Deserving a category of its own, Madrid has embraced the frozen yogurt craze over the past few years. While a new shop may seem to open every other day, there are definitely some that stand out. For the ultimate summer snack try a tangy natural yogurt with fresh fruit on top.
Our pick: Llaollao (Calle Gran Vía, 56)
Forget about ice cream and frozen yogurt, if you are really burning up you should try a cold and icy granizado. The name of this ice cold drink literally means “hailstorm” and it’s similar to a slushy. Granizados usually come in basic flavors like lemon, strawberry and orange, but no matter which you choose make sure to drink with caution to avoid brain freeze!
Our Pick: Heladería Kalúa (Calle Fuencarral, 131)
4. Freshly Squeezed Juice
Spaniards have been fans of freshly squeezed Valencian orange juice for centuries now, but recently other fresh fruit juices have come onto the scene. Served ice cold and full of vitamins and nutrients, a delicious fruit juice is a great pick for cooling off this summer.
Our pick: The juice stand in the newly renovated Mercado San Fernando (Calle de Embajadores, 41)
This ice cold creamy beverage originates in Valencia and is one of the most delicious ways to cool off in Madrid. Horchata is made out of tiger nuts (chufas), water, and sugar. The result is a sweet, milky beverage that when served ice cold is better than any milkshake!
Our pick: Alboraya (Calle de Alcalá 125)
6. Tinto de Verano
This bubbly wine cooler is what most Spaniards drink instead of sangría and that means you should be drinking it too! A refreshing mix of ice, red wine, and lemon soda, it is the ideal beverage to slowly sip on one of Madrid’s terrace bars.
Our pick: Take to the roof of La Cocina de San Antón atop the San Antón Market and sip away!
7. Gin Tonic
Voted the number one city to drink a gin and tonic, Madrid has made this mixed drink a cocktail of its own. Served in a big balloon glass with enormous ice cubes, specialty gin, and premium tonic water, you can’t miss an ice cold G&T while visiting Madrid.
Our pick: Gin and tonics on the roof of Hotel de las Letras (Gran Vía, 11).
Spaniards will have you believe that a glass of gazpacho cures all things, and it just might be true. What’s definitely sound advice is that a big glass of this vegetable juice will cool you off in no time.
Our pick: The vinegary, ice-cold glass of gazpacho at Casa Toni (Calle de la Cruz, 14)
9. Ajo Blanco
Before tomatoes came to Spain allowing Spaniards to create classics like gazpacho and salmorejo, there was ajo blanco. A cold soup made of crushed almonds, garlic, and olive oil, enjoy it topped with juicy grapes.
Our pick: Try a sampler of various cold soups (including ajo blanco) at Taberna La Concha (Calle Cava Baja, 7).
This cold soup is summer on a plate. Salmorejo is made with fresh tomatoes, stale bread, and olive oil then topped with hard boiled egg and cured Spanish ham. Ask for it to be served without the jamón for an amazing vegetarian alternative. It is healthy, refreshing, and delicious – a must-try and one of the best ways to cool off in Madrid!
Our pick: We like the creamy version at Mercado de la Reina (Calle Gran Vía, 12) as a part of their fantastic daily lunch menu!
Want to try some of this amazing food and drink in the company of a passionate local? Join us on one of our food tours! You’ll sample some of Madrid’s most traditional food during one of our foodie experiences, learning about the capital city’s fascinating history along the way.