7 Foodie Things to do in Madrid for FITUR 2018 Attendees

Here in Madrid, we are lucky to host FITUR — one of Europe’s largest International Tourism Trade Fairs. FITUR attendees come from all around the world to set up their beautiful booths during this five-day event.

The beautiful FITUR stand from Alicante, Spain
The beautiful FITUR stand from Alicante, Spain

When is FITUR in 2018?

The 2018 FITUR dates are the 17-21 of January. The 17, 18 and 19 are industry-only days. On the weekends, local visitors crowd in to see some of the beautiful booths, tastes foods from around the world, and maybe even choose their next vacation destination.

See also: Reasons to visit FITUR in Madrid

FITUR tourism fair Madrid
Dancing at the Peru stand at FITUR.

Foodie Things to do in Madrid for FITUR Attendees

Madrid is an incredible destination, and one worth exploring after FITUR shuts its doors each evening. It’s also worth planning to stay a few extra days on either side of the tourism fair, as you can explore many of Madrid’s top sights and amazing museums in only a couple of days.

Read more: Top 10 travel tips for Madrid

But the best way to experience Madrid? Eating and drinking like a Madrileño of course! Here are our top tips for devouring Madrid like a local.

1. Warm up with a Cocido Madrileño at Taberna La Bola

FITUR takes place in January, one of the coldest months in Madrid. But instead of turning up the heat in your hotel room, venture out to try Madrid’s traditional winter stew, the Cocido Madrileño. This iconic dish consists of a rich broth, followed by heaping platters of local chickpeas and stewed meats. It’s a delicious experience, and best enjoyed with a bottle of Spanish wine.

Cocido Madrileño

2. Devour Madrid on a food tour

Another way to get to know Madrid’s incredible gastronomy is by taking a food tour. This way you’ll taste a variety of Madrid’s dishes (at least 10!) in a short amount of time. We’d recommend that FITUR attendees try the Ultimate Spanish Cuisine Tour for a true taste of Madrid’s most iconic dishes (including the Cocido Madrileño mentioned above!) during the day, or the popular Tapas, Taverns and History Tour (a 2-in-1 tour of Madrid’s best tapas bars and historic city center) in the evening.

After checking out great places to buy leather goods in Madrid, it's time for tapas!
Enjoy a delicious night out with or Tapas, Taverns and History Tour!

3. Go Local with the Bocadillo de Calamares

If there’s no time for a tour or a Cocido, at the very least you must grab Madrid’s signature sandwich, the bocadillo de calamares. This delicious creation stuffs freshly fried calamari rings on a hearty baguette. Locals eat it plain, but mayonnaise and spicy bravas sauce make great additions. One of the most famous places in town is conveniently located in front of the Atocha train station: El Brillante.

calamari sandwich is a must try Madrid snack. We think it's so typical, we've included it in our Ultimate Guide to Madrid
Crunchy bread stuffed with crisp calamari is a typical Madrid bite, and a perfect pick-me-up during a day of sightseeing!

4. Save Sunday and explore the Rastro tapas scene

If staying until Sunday, there’s no better way to spend the morning than by discovering the vibrant Rastro flea market. As Madrid’s largest flea market, you’ll find everything here from paella pans to gas masks! But the true gem of the Rastro? It’s booming tapas scene! This video shows you some of the best, and for a guided experience, check out our Madrid Rastro Tour and Tapas Crawl.

5. Impress your clients with dinner at Angelita Madrid

Our team is picky when it comes to eating in Madrid, but we all agree that the Angelita Madrid is one of the most impressive new restaurants in town! The amazing wine bar features fantastic local Spanish wines by the glass and even more by the bottle. The restaurant menu is excellent, and they also have a creative cocktail bar in the basement (get their gin and tonic for a real treat!). This is a place to impress clients– but don’t forget to make a reservation.

See also: Book a Madrid wine tasting and learn all about Spanish wines!

6. Treat yourself to Madrid’s best hot chocolate

Forget about the churros– Madrid’s rich chocolate is the true main event! And no one makes it better than Confitería El Riojano (we taste this on our Ultimate Spanish Cuisine Tour!). Everyday pastry chef Roberto melts down rich chocolate to create his masterpiece, the best hot chocolate in Madrid. It’s traditionally served with a ladyfinger biscuit (ask for the soletillas).

best chocolate in madrid
Delicious hot chocolate on our Ultimate Spanish Cuisine Tour!

7. Eat at the oldest restaurant in the world

Another must-do is lunch or dinner at El Sobrino de Botín. Officially the oldest restaurant in the world (according to the Guinness Book of World Records), Botín is a hard reservation to snag, but well worth it for the incredible history and delicious roast suckling pig. Can’t get in? Try our best-selling Prado and Botín experience and check off two of Madrid’s top icons in style, with a pre-opening tour of Botín and a tour of the Prado’s most iconic pieces.

Botin and prado tour Madrid
Experience the incredible history and hospitality of Madrid classic, Botín

Read more: The Inside Scoop on Botín

Whatever you decide, Madrid is an incredible city to experience! Filled with delicious food and friendly people, you can’t go wrong with any of the ideas on this list. If you are headed to FITUR 2018, don’t forget to visit the city center and devour Madrid for yourself!

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