Although wine and tapas can be found on nearly ever corner in Madrid, navigating the food scene isn’t always easy. You may not know exactly where to go or what to order, especially if the restaurants are more local and no English is spoken. Thankfully, food and wine tours can come to the rescue – here’s some of the best that Madrid has to offer.
Reputable tour group Insider’s Madrid leads groups to Botín, the oldest restaurant in the world according to the Guinness Book of World Records. Visiting the restaurant on your own just won’t do it justice, and the The Botín Experience offers you a chance to explore the restaurant when it’s closed to the public. You’ll discover the history of the restaurant, which dates back to 1725, as well as learning all sorts of interesting information, including insights into Botín’s famous diners (patrons have included Ernest Hemingway and Ava Gardner to name a couple). After a thorough tour and history lesson, you’ll get to explore this famous landmark restaurant, including the wine cellar, and enjoy a six-course meal. Pricing starts at €75 for adults and includes the meal with drinks and a small parting gift.
This four-hour long food tour guides you through the backstreets of Madrid’s city center, where you’ll visit four different Spanish tapas bars. The “tapas experts” guides will explain the specialties at each bar and you can select what you’d like to purchase and eat at each one. In between bars, the guides will reveal interesting facts and stories about Madrid. Tours start at €50 but do not include food, which is at your own separate cost. This gives you flexibility on what to order after the guides have explained some of the information and details of the food.
If you’re hoping for the opportunity to experience a more local food adventure, Devour Madrid’s Hidden Food and Market Adventure starts in the literary quarter of Madrid. You’ll be able to enjoy all sorts of unique food experiences with this tour, like visiting a secret back room in Madrid’s oldest grocery store, checking out neighborhood wine and cheese delights, and even the opportunity to chat with local vendors and restaurant owners. To top it all off, the tour, which includes more than 14 tastings, ends with some of the best cheesecake in Madrid baked in a 100-year old oven. Tours start at €75 for adults and include drinks and tastings.
Though centered around wine, Wine Tasting and Tapas is classified as a food tour as Wine Tourism Spain provide tapas to pair along with the wine. The tour includes a visit to one local wine shop, three wine bars and ends on a chic rooftop where you’ll sip wine with a view. At each stop, you’ll learn about wines and wine-making in Spain, as well as getting the opportunity to buy bottles and chat with owners. This three- to four-hour tour starts at €74 per person and includes five glasses of wine and four tapas.
The Picoteo Lover Tour by Food Lover Tour is a five-stop tapas crawl where you can sample some of Madrid’s best fare. Although you only stop at five places, you’ll get to taste 10 to 12 different kinds of foods local to Madrid, as well as delights hailing from other areas of Spain, like the Galicia and Andalusia regions. Tours start at €57 per person.
The Paella Cooking Class and Market Tour by Foodie & Tours offers a guided tour through a local market to shop for the needed ingredients. Then, you’ll actually head over to the chef’s home, where you’ll get to put those paella-making skills to work. At the end of the tour/class, you’ll get to sample your paella paired with Spanish wine. This two-hour combo tour/class starts at €48 per person.