This year marked the eighth annual Madrid Tapas Fair and with reasonable prices, nice drinks and a whole host of amazing tapas to try – we couldn’t miss it!
We weren’t able to attend the event until its last night, and we weren’t sure what to expect in terms of the variety and the quality of the tapas. We were really pleasantly surprised with the standard of the event. The prices were cheap (1.20€ per tapa or beer) and the tapas were big and delicious! After trying so much amazing food, we decided to put together a list of our absolute favorite tapas from the event.
1. Pincho Carrillera
Slow braised pork cheek (carrillada or carrillera in Spanish) was a fantastic way to start our evening. The meat dissolved in your mouth and the creamy jus, mashed potatoes, and fried onions make it even better. This delicious tapa was the entry from Pinchos ElCano (Calle de Lagasca, 7), a great restaurant hidden in the Barrio Salamanca area of Madrid.
2. Pulpo a la Brasa
Octopus is always a favorite! Even people who have never enjoyed eating it seem to adore the Galician version. It is a must try when visiting Spain, and this tapa, presented by Ostradivarius (Calle de Goya, 82), was an excellent representation.
3. Gazpacho con Bogavante
Cold gazpacho soup was served in a plastic cup with a bit of chopped lobster and basil infused olive oil. It was a wonderful combination of flavors and definitely the most refreshing tapa we tried all night. The picture is the beautiful version presented by Bar El Paraíso (Calle Alcantara, 7) for the judges’ table.
4. Pintxo Solomillo
We were not expecting this creamy delight when ordering a simple sounding tapa of pork loin with carbonara sauce, but it proved to be delicious! The meat was perfectly cooked and incredibly tender. The carbonara sauce was creamy and rich and cut by the sweet reduction of Pedro Ximenez sherry that also topped the bread. Enhanced with a few pieces of bacon, it was pintxo heaven from Restaurante La Plaza (Calle Plaza del Caudillo 3)!
The Madrid Tapas Fair is not to be missed and our only complaint is that it didn’t last longer! Make sure and check out some of the tapas bars mentioned above for an authentic tapas experience in Madrid.
When you’ve had a day of sampling the delights on offer at the fair, why not extend the tapas fun by joining us on our Tapas, Taverns & History Tour through the center of Madrid? Get better acquainted with our city’s fascinating traditions and eat even more spectacular food in the company of one of our expert local guides – you won’t regret it! We hope to see you in Madrid soon!
Lauren grew up in an Italian-American family where 3-hour meals were the norm. After 10 years in the restaurant industry, she moved to Spain where she launched her popular Spanish food blog, Spanish Sabores, and soon after led groups on the first Devour Madrid food tours.