This blog post was originally published on January 2, 2013 and updated on December 6, 2017.
With so many bakeries all over the city, it can be difficult to decide where to get your roscón for Three King’s Day. Look no further with our list of the best spots to find this traditional treat.
As is the case with most Spanish holidays, a big part of the Spanish Christmas tradition of Los Reyes Magos is focused around food. The delicious roscón de Reyes takes center stage and makes for the perfect festive breakfast, afternoon snack or dessert! We guarantee you’ll find the perfect roscón de Reyes in Madrid at one of these spots!
What is ‘roscón de Reyes’?
The roscón is a sweet bread (almost like a brioche) that is baked into a circle or an oval shape. It isn’t always filled, but traditional fillings include whipped cream, chocolate cream, meringue or custard cream. It is typical to decorate the cake with colorful candied fruits, creating what looks like a king’s crown full of sparkling jewels.
Bakers hide small trinkets throughout the cake, so be careful when biting into this pastry! What’s hiding inside varies depending on which country you’re in, but in Spain there are two items everyone is on the lookout for—a dry fava bean and a king figurine. The unlucky person that finds the bean is responsible for buying next year’s roscón. Whoever finds the king is declared the king or queen of the celebration and gets to wear the paper crown that typically comes with the cake. Every family member gets involved in the search for the hidden surprises and each one wants to be crowned!
Now that we’re all up to speed on what a roscón is, it’s time to try one! From authentic, traditional recipes to more modern variations, Madrid has every type of roscón one could want—even a gluten-free version! Here are our suggestions on where to try the roscón de Reyes in Madrid.
Antigua Pastelería del Pozo
As one of the city’s oldest pastry shops (it opened its doors in 1830), this is an incredibly popular place for locals to order their roscón de Reyes in Madrid. With a 187-year-old recipe, Pozo says it is their respect to tradition, high-quality ingredients and love and care that make their roscón so delicious. You can try it plain, or stuffed with their tasty homemade fillings. Both options are equally delicious!
Address: Calle de Pozo, 8
It’s not the most traditional spot to try the roscón de Reyes in Madrid, but if you’re looking for a modern twist to this classic dessert, you’ve come to the right place. Supposedly, the tradition of the King’s Cake actually comes from France, and Mama Framboise, a French-style bakery, does an exquisite job proving this theory. You can try it classic style with fruits and toasted almonds or change it up and have one filled with Chantilly cream or raspberry. For something truly decadent, we suggest their newest creation, the roscón de guirlache—a praline brioche filled with a crunchy praline cream and topped with pieces of guirlache—a Spanish candy made of almonds, caramel and dried fruits. Yum!
Address: Calle Fernando VI, 23
El Horno de San Onofre
This family run bakery started small but has since expanded to multiple locations all over the city. This means that no matter where you are in Madrid, it’s likely there is a top quality roscón de Reyes nearby! El Horno de San Onofre offers many variations of this pastry, including hazelnut, chocolate and orange fillings. Or you can have it filled with cabello de àngel—threads of jam made from sweet pumpkin and sugar.
Address: Calle de San Onofre, 3 (The original location)
Founded in 1855 by Queen Isabel II’s personal pastry chef, El Riojano is another of Madrid’s oldest bakeries. Tempting displays of sweets and confections greet visitors at the storefront. Cabinetmakers from the royal palace installed the counters, creating a bakery that is as beautiful as the treats they create. Their years of experience ensure that you will find a delicious roscón de Reyes in Madrid at their central location near Puerta del Sol and Plaza Mayor.
Address: Calle Mayor, 10
Nunos Alvaro Artesanos
Located in the Salamanca neighborhood, this pastry shop takes the traditional and adds a modern twist. Their items can be a little pricey, but the quality and creativity you get is well worth it. They’ve actually won the contest for “Best Roscón of the Year” multiple times, so it’s safe to say Nunos bakery knows a thing or two about making a good roscón. An example from their 2016 collection: a milk chocolate roscón filled with chocolate mousse and hazelnuts and covered with more chocolate and crunchy hazelnut pieces, reminiscent of Ferrero Rocher bonbons.
Address: Calle Narváez, 63
Pastelería La Marina
This classic neighborhood confectionery opened its doors over 75 years ago and is famous for its homemade roscones. As a result, you are bound to see queues of people lining up outside La Marina to pick up their holiday orders. If you’re not a fan of the candied fruits that typically decorate this dessert, you’re in luck! These come topped with toasted almonds and a sprinkling of sugar—simple and sweet!
Address: Calle de Alberto Aguilera, 14
Sana Locura Gluten Free Bakery
Also located in the neighborhood of Salamanca, the idea for this bakery started due to a gluten-intolerant family member. For years, many people could not enjoy roscón, since it was almost impossible to find a gluten-free option. As a result, owner Fermín Sanz and his wife decided to bring gluten-free baked goods onto the market at Sana Locura. This bakery is a celiac’s paradise, offering high-quality bread and pastries. In addition to being gluten-free, most of their menu is lactose-free as well! If you can’t eat gluten or dairy, you too can enjoy a traditional roscón de Reyes in Madrid. It tastes just as good as the original!
Address: Calle del General Oraá, 49Bring the flavors of Spain into your home this holiday season with our new digital cookbook, Spanish Feasts from the Devour Tours Kitchen. (It makes a great gift, too!)
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.