Top 7 Must-Try Typical Foods In Madrid

This blog post was originally posted on January 14, 2014 and was updated on July 27, 2018.

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.

If you're wondering what to eat in Madrid, we have the guide for you! Madrid's food culture is second-to-none, and we're proving it with this list of the top typical foods in Madrid. From breakfast to tapas and everything in between, we'll tell you our favorite bites, and even the best bars and restaurants to try them in! #travel #traveltip #tapas #foodie #foodblog #spain #europe

1. Cocido Madrileño

As the weather gets cold, the smell of this simmering pork stew begins to waft through the streets of Madrid. The most common 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.

The typical way to eat cocido madrileño is 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.

Insider’s Tip: Taberna La Bola is our favorite place for cocido in Madrid. This family-run spot have been making cocido in the center of Madrid since 1870 in their primarily woman-owned and managed restaurant.

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 when this is dish served without meat it is a delicious vegetarian tapa in Madrid. You can find some of the best huevos rotos in the city at Taberna Los Huevos de 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, and nothing else.

Some Spaniards top the two-ingredient creation with tomato and paprika puree or homemade garlic mayonnaise. For the full experience, make sure to wash your bocadillo down with a cold caña of beer. 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

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4. Callos a la Madrileña

Callos is another one of the typical foods in Madrid during the winter. You’ll normal find this stew in a clay dish. It features strips of beef tripe (stomach), chunks of chorizo and slices of morcilla (blood sausage). The smoky, 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 paprika usually tints this hearty stew red. 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 Ginés, where madrileños have been devouring the sweet fried treat for more than 100 years. We also love the homemade porras and churros at Bar Chocolat—one of our food tour partners in the Huertas Neighborhood.

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 omelet, 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!

Insider’s Tip: There are a lot of great tortillas in town, but if we had to choose our favorite, it would be at the nondescript Bar Cerveriz (Plaza de San Miguel, 2), one of the stops on our Ultimate Spanish Cuisine Tour. This bar is hidden in plain sight right in front of the Mercado de San Miguel—but tourists are nowhere to be seen inside!

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!

Have you tried any of Madrid’s most typical foods? Tell us in the comments below!

As the daughter of a barbecue master and a pseudo-vegetarian, Amy’s culinary obsessions run deep. She spent time in Galicia before settling down in Madrid, where you’ll usually find her browsing the bottles of a local bodega or ogling the produce at the weekend farmer’s market.

14 Comment

  1. January 16, 2014 at 9:54 pm

    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 ….

    Reply
  2. HELLO says
    June 12, 2014 at 6:16 am

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

    Reply
  3. Mr Szpaks says
    November 3, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    Have a look on that. Great and cheap food 🙂

    Reply
  4. Dean says
    November 4, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    Solid stuff

    Reply
  5. Tom bled says
    September 25, 2015 at 10:19 am

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

    Reply
  6. Mario says
    March 1, 2016 at 9:45 pm

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

    Reply
  7. Ernesto says
    March 6, 2016 at 2:22 pm

    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.”

    Reply
  8. brandon frederique says
    May 17, 2016 at 2:48 pm

    that food looks good

    Reply
  9. Paul says
    December 8, 2016 at 3:26 pm

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

    Reply
  10. Cole Timmons says
    December 16, 2016 at 2:19 pm

    sweet list man

    Reply
  11. Sorcha says
    March 7, 2017 at 9:59 am

    nice one

    Reply
  12. Javier F. says
    July 20, 2017 at 9:59 am

    For eating Cocido Madrileño, I reccomend Taberna La Daniela

    Reply
  13. Ray says
    September 18, 2018 at 8:06 am

    I am going to visit Madrid soon. So, Heads up for the post madam. I will surely like to try these dishes.
    Thanks and Regards
    Ray

    Reply
    1. Devour Tours says
      September 18, 2018 at 6:05 pm

      Enjoy!!

      Reply

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