If you’re looking for a quick snack or meal that won’t break the bank, think about exploring some of Madrid’s reasonably-priced tapas joints. From local favourites to cheap chains, we count down some budget tapas bars worth checking out in Madrid.
Not a museum, but certainly a showcase of jamón (Spanish cured ham) in all its forms. Ham legs hang from the ceiling and locals crowd around the bar to buy plates of reasonably-priced jamón ibérico or ham baguettes. Order at the bar instead of sitting down for cheaper prices. Wash down the meaty goodness with a caña, or little beer. Most bars also have a meat counter where you can buy ham and other cold cuts to take home – ideal if you’re planning a picnic.
Buy a cider or beer (around €2.50/£2.20) and you will be gifted with a plate piled high with tapas, from bocadillos (little sandwiches) and croquettes to potatoes, tortilla and more. This place, unsurprisingly, is incredibly popular, so don’t be put off by the crowds. Just elbow your way in and find a spot to perch your plate.
This Spanish tapas chain has been going from strength to strength since 1988 and has several outlets in Madrid. Cheap and cheerful takes on Spanish tapas classics mean it’s always busy. It specialises in pintxos – Basque-style tapas that usually consist of morsels on top of a piece of crusty bread. It also offers tapas dishes and bigger sharing options. It’s a cheap option that pops up on many streets around the Spanish capital.
La Sureña sells buckets of beer at cheap-as-chips prices, as well as a range of tapas options to help soak up all that cerveza. They have regular deals throughout the week; on Sundays a bucket of five Cruzcampo beers and a plate of prawns is €7(£6.20) while on Thursdays, raciones (sharing plates) are buy one get one free. A great, cheap option for a group of friends who want to share some food and beers.
Índalo tapas started off as a tapas bar in Alcalá de Henares, a university town just outside Madrid. Today, it has several tapas bars in the city that have a menu of free tapas to choose from when you order a drink. Unlike many ‘free tapas’ bars, where you are not given a choice, Índalo has over 25 varieties to choose from, including hamburgers, croquettes, calamari and scrambled eggs.
This no-frills Madrid institution has been serving delicious battered cod (tajadas de bacalao) for decades and, as its packed bar attests, is a firm favourite with locals. It is located right in the centre of the city, near Plaza Mayor, so give the square’s tourist traps a miss and enjoy a slice of real Madrid. Other favourites include meatballs (albóndigas) and tripe (callos).
This popular chain offers over 100 different kinds of montaditos, small baguettes with various fillings. The montaditos start at a euro and a tankard of beer is just €1.50 (£1.30). There are regular promotions, such as every item on the menu for a euro on Sundays and Wednesdays. Great for a filling and cheap pitstop when exploring Madrid.