Madrid’s immigration wave didn’t really start happening until the 1980s or 1990s, and with it slowly many new cultures and flavors emerged. Nowadays, you can find almost any style of food in Madrid, like Iranian, Ethiopian, Senegalese, American BBQ, dim sum, Thai and more.
Most high-end chefs in Madrid stay true to their Spanish roots. Whereas international fusion is now big here, you can still find plenty of traditional Spanish restaurants, or even fancier spots that take a new spin on authentic Spanish dishes.
Netflix lovers can now rejoice, because several companies such as Deliveroo, Just Eat and Uber Eats will take food straight to your door from almost any restaurant. While this may not seem like a big deal, just a few years back it was almost impossible to get food delivered, so this is a great advance for those who want to eat at home.
In the past couple years, the concept of food markets has really blown up. While markets have always been a thing in Madrid, they used to be geared towards the Spanish grandmother who would stop at different market stalls to buy fruit, bread, and meat daily. These days, markets are trendy hangout spots for people of all ages that offer a variety of Spanish and international food stalls as well as items to buy and take home.
One thing the Spanish have always been great at is sharing. While other countries are starting to offer group plates to share and family-style dining, the Spanish have always ordered tapas and raciones to share. Eating in groups is important to Spaniards and they’ll always stress the importance of sharing a good meal together.
Many countries are now into “eating local” and fresh over frozen. Spain’s always been about eating local, and you’ll notice that there’s very little prepared food in Spain’s grocery stores compared to other countries. They continue to offer fresh seafood, delicious ham and plenty of locally-grown vegetables and fruits, which is fantastic for those wanting to cook at home or eat out.
The Spanish do love their ham, but there is a growing trend and focus on vegetarianism, veganism and organic foods. Many shops now sell eco-friendly and organic products and there are many new restaurants serving the vegetarian and vegan community of Madrid. Juice bars are popping up everywhere, and there’s a general trend towards healthier eating and living.