Top 7 Must-Try Typical Foods In Madrid

This blog post was originally posted on January 14, 2014 and was updated on March 17, 2017.

Madrid is full of amazing restaurants boasting delicious cuisine from every corner of the globe! But what exactly are the typical foods in Madrid?

With more bars per capita than any other country in the EU, Spain is a treasure trove of possibilities when it comes to delicious food. In the capital city of Madrid the sheer number of options can be a little overwhelming.

Madrid is a melting pot of typical food from every region of Spain. Andalusian bars boasting great gazpacho sit alongside Galician restaurants advertising heaping plates of pulpo a feira (Galician-style octopus). Don’t get too caught up in food from other regions, though! Madrid’s own typical food is well worth your time. No trip to the Spanish capital would be complete without tasting at least a few of these typical foods in Madrid.

You can find delicious bites from all corners of the world in Madrid. But if you're visiting the Spanish capital, you have to make sure to try the regional gems! Check out our guide of the typical foods in Madrid and make sure to try them all!

1. Cocido Madrileño

As the weather gets cold, the smell of this simmering pork stew begins to waft through the streets of Madrid. Madrid’s take on the traditional Spanish stew usually consists of a flavorful broth full of vegetables, chickpeas, chorizo sausage and pork. The stew simmers for upwards of four hours, creating a blend of heavenly, robust flavors that make for the ideal cure to Madrid’s wintry weather.

Cocido Madrileño is usually eaten in two or three courses. Once the chickpeas, meats and vegetables have been cooked, the broth is separated and used to make soup. This steaming soup becomes the first course. The rest of the flavorful ingredients are served as the main dish, often in two rounds. The chickpeas and veggies come first, followed by the stewed-to-perfection meat.

Interested in trying cocido Madrileño? Join us on our Ultimate Spanish Cuisine Tour! We’ll take you behind the scenes at our favorite little cocido spot so you can see how they make this delicious stew—and taste it!

Loaded with meat, vegetables and chick peas, the cocido madrileno is one of our absolute favorite typical foods in Madrid!
The delicious cocido Madrileño is a local favorite in Madrid

2. Huevos Rotos

Traditional Spanish cuisine is very meat-and-potatoes. Nowhere is this fact more deliciously displayed than in a steaming plate of huevos rotos, which literally translates to “broken eggs.” This typical Madrid dish is a plate of freshly fried potatoes, which are fried in Spanish olive oil and tossed with sea salt. The potatoes are topped with perfect over-easy eggs. Depending on where you go, you’ll either break the yolks with the crusty edge of a piece of bread or your server will break them, often at the table.

Insider’s Tip: Many restaurants add bites of chorizo or ham to the mix for a burst of color and flavor, but this dish served without the meat it is a delicious vegetarian tapa in Madrid. You can find some of the best huevos rotos in the city at Casa Lucio, one of many great places to eat in the La Latina district.

Huevos rotos is one of the typical foods in Madrid. This delicious dish consisted of homemade french fries and perfectly fried eggs. Ham or chorizo are also sometimes added.
In Spain, eggs are more commonly seen at lunch than at breakfast. What better way to enjoy them than a plate of huevos rotos? Photo Credit: Cocina con Carmen

3. Bocadillo de Calamares

No trip to Madrid is complete without tasting the city’s most famous sandwich: the bocadillo de calamares, or fried squid sandwich. Madrid’s central Plaza Mayor is the mecca for this simple, yet scrumptious sandwich.  The most basic (and most traditional) bocadillo de calamares consists of crusty, fresh bread loaded with flour-coated, deep-fried rings of squid.

Some Spaniards top the two-ingredient creation with tomato and paprika puree or homemade garlic mayonnaise. It is almost always washed down with a caña of beer and a side of olives. The many side streets around Madrid’s grand Plaza Mayor are home to some of the city’s most famous calamari sandwich bars.

A plate of calamari sandwiches is typical all throughout the Spanish capital, simple yet delicious - one of many great typical foods in Madrid
The crispy bread adds an amazing crunch to a good calamari sandwich

4. Callos a la Madrileña

Callos is another one of the typical foods in Madrid during the winter. This stew-like dish is traditionally served in clay dishes. It features strips of beef tripe (stomach), chunks of chorizo and slices of morcilla (blood sausage). The smokey, savory stew has been a popular cold-weather dish in Spain’s bars and taverns for hundreds of years. The first recipes for callos date back to the 16th century! The hearty stew is usually tinted red from the paprika. You can find it in most bars and restaurants throughout the capital city during the winter months.

This callos stew, served in a clay dish, is the ultimate cold weather tapa and a beautiful choice if you're looking for typical foods in Madrid
A traditional serving of delicious callos in Madrid

5. Churros con Chocolate

Churros are a staple of Madrid’s after-hours nightlife and a definite must-have for Madrid’s fiesta-goers during the wee hours. For non-nocturnal Madrileños, churros with a cup of steaming hot, thick chocolate are a common afternoon snack and are even occasionally eaten for breakfast!

The most famous place to get your hands on a plate-full of churros—or their thicker, richer cousin porras—is San Gines, where Madrileños have been devouring the sweet fried treat for more than 100 years. We also love the homemade porras and churros at Bar Chocolate—one of the stops on our Hidden Madrid Food & Market Adventure!

Crispy, light brown churros when dipped in melted chocolate is a taste explosion and an absolute must-try dish in Madrid
A local favorite in Madrid: a delicious plate of crispy churros!

6. Oreja a la Plancha

When in Spain, eat as the Spaniards eat! And in this case, that includes pig ear. A popular dish among Spaniards, oreja is typically only for the boldest of foreign travelers. Oreja a la plancha, literally “pan-seared ear” is typically served as a ración, or large portion, and eaten with toothpicks. It is often sprinkled with salt or paprika and occasionally fresh-squeezed lemon.

Unlike other parts of Spain where oreja is almost always served by itself, in Madrid you can often find chunks of bacon or mushrooms mixed in with the dish.

Oreja a la plancha, or pan-seared pig ear, is one of the typical foods in Madrid. Here it is served with bacon and a squeeze of lemon on top. Delicious!
Pig ear is one of the typical foods in Madrid for adventurous eaters! Photo Credit: Madrid Chow

7. Pincho de Tortilla

Tortilla, or Spanish Omelette, is a staple of Spanish cuisine and one of the most typical foods in Madrid. Here in the capital city, the huge diversity of this simple dish is on prominent display. You can find every variety of tortilla de patatas. Some are runny piles of egg and potato that you have to scoop up with bread. Others are firm slices featuring everything from caramelized onions to mushrooms to sausage to peppers. Most bars in Madrid will serve a small square of tortilla with a toothpick as a tapa, but to fully enjoy this dish, a pincho (slightly larger slice) of tortilla is a must!

The moist tortilla is the ultimate Spanish tapa for many people, and so many delicious options are available in Madrid. This example of the typical foods in Madrid is a must try!
There’s nothing better than a slightly runny tortilla!

Looking for the typical Madrid experience? Join our Behind-the-Scenes Botin Lunch & Prado Museum Tour! This exclusive small-group tour will show you the ins and outs of two essential Madrid institutions: the Prado Museum and Botin, the oldest restaurant in the world!

The tour starts with a guided visit at the Prado where you skip the line and get straight to learning about 20 of the museum’s most important works with our expert guide. After a traditional aperitif at a century-old tavern, the group will head to the celebrated Botin restaurant, where the likes of Goya and Hemingway have dined before you. Following a private tour of the establishment and kitchens, you’ll enjoy the dish that has been the house specialty for hundreds of years.

For a fresh take on two icons of Madrid, look no further than our Behind-the-Scenes Botin Lunch & Prado Museum Tour. You’re sure to see the city with new eyes.

30 Comment

  1. Awwwww, I only managed to do half of these. Guess I’ll just have to go back to Madrid. And the fact that I’m very hungry right now ….

  2. […] the city. That’s what we recommend, anyway. The Arab and Mediterranean influences make for traditional dishes that will wow your senses, and the melting pot of cultures in Madrid offer anything a foodie could […]

  3. HELLO says: Reply

    HELLO! Hmm these dishes sound yummy! I should put these on my blog, “Spain The Country Of Yumminess!”

  4. […] Chickpeas (also called garbanzos) originally came from the Middle East as well, and made their way into the Spanish kitchen by way of the Phoenicians. Their importance in Spanish cuisine is paramount, and  they are a primary ingredient in many popular Spanish dishes, such as the delicious Cocido Madrileño.  […]

  5. […] the city on the list of other Europeans dining meccas. But Madrid is not especially known for its native cuisine. Spanish chefs, therefore borrow from other cuisines in an attempt to reinvent traditional […]

  6. […] and is home to its fair share of tourist traps. Surprisingly, it’s also a great place for traditional Madrid foods (think fried calamari sandwiches and suckling pig). But if you want a sit down meal and a change […]

  7. Mr Szpaks says: Reply

    Have a look on that. Great and cheap food 🙂

  8. Dean says: Reply

    Solid stuff

  9. […] ate garbanzo beans. Now, I eat them all the time. I especially love them when they’re in the traditional Madrileño dish, cocido. I don’t really like eggs, but since living here I’ve learned to enjoy a good tortilla […]

  10. […] 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 […]

  11. […] true Madrid classics. Join our Ultimate Spanish Cuisine Tour to find out all about them or see our tops foods in Madrid post for […]

  12. Tom bled says: Reply

    MMMMMM I like Madrid’s style of food, makes me hungry

  13. […] Madrid Food Tour […]

  14. […] Madrid dish is a plate of homemade french fries topped with the most perfectly fried eggs – a must-try dish when you’re in the city. Right before serving they break the yolks, often at the table, thus […]

  15. […] asked what they consider a typical Madrid dish, many people instantly think of the famous Spanish omelette. With so many places offering the […]

  16. Mario says: Reply

    I’m from Madrid and I’m TIRED of these foods…

  17. My favorite is this list is the bocadillo de calamaes, and there’s one restaurant within the plaza major that simply tastes heavenly. Only 3.50 euro or 5 euro with bebida, and if you buy it “para llevar.”

  18. […] were big and delicious! After trying so much amazing food, we decided to put together a list of our absolute favorite tapas from the […]

  19. […] and San Gines’ churros, there is a plethora of places packed with culture, beauty and, of course, spectacular Madrid food, if you only know where to look.  So ditch the travel book, toss the tourist map, and come explore […]

  20. […] gluten free in Madrid does not mean you have to miss out on the best of typical Spanish cuisine! Many of the most delicious and most traditional tapas in Madrid are naturally gluten free, such […]

  21. brandon frederique says: Reply

    that food looks good

  22. […] Read more: Top 7 must-try dishes in Madrid […]

  23. Paul says: Reply

    Thanks for the tips. Great inspiration for my coming Madrid trip!

  24. Cole Timmons says: Reply

    sweet list man

  25. […] I’m apparently the only person under 60 who actually likes them, but just trust me on this one. Callos con garbanzos, with some red chilies. Thank me later. They’re one of the most typical foods in Madrid. […]

  26. […] For those more adventurous eaters, we highly recommend callos a la Madrileña. This special stew is prepared using a tomato base and features tripe. Understandably, callos is not for everyone, but we encourage you to experience firsthand Madrid’s tradition of tail to snout eating. After being sliced into strips, the tripe is cooked to mouthwatering tenderness with and garbanzo beans, bell peppers and plenty of spices. If you’re wondering what to eat in Madrid in winter,  callos is an absolute must-try. […]

  27. […] this brief history leaves one thing clear: paella is not a typical dish in Madrid! However, if you’re in the city craving your dose of this symbolic Spanish dish, don’t […]

  28. […] Pro tip: Pair that caña with one of the many delicious dishes Madrid is known for! […]

  29. Sorcha says: Reply

    nice one

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