Churros are one of Spain’s best loved sweets, popular as a mid-morning snack (merienda), a festival treat, an after clubbing pick-me-up or a warming indulgence on a cold winter’s day. Long thin fingers of fried dough with distinctive ridges, they are crispy on the outside and spongey in the middle. Churros are best eaten hot, straight from the fryer and dipped in a cup of thick hot chocolate. Hot chocolate in Spain is different from the warming drink you may be used to; here it’s as thick as custard or pudding and needs to be eaten with a spoon. Read our top tips on where to enjoy chocolate con churros in the capital, Madrid.
Chocolatería San Ginés
Bar, Cafe, Dessert Shop, Candy Store, Restaurant, Spanish, Dessert
Madrid’s most famous spot for churros is tucked down a tiny side street, just off the majestic Plaza Mayor. Tables are packed in down the small alleyway or inside the café itself. Dating back to 1894, the chocolatería is reminiscent of a 19th century establishment with white marble tables, old lamps and mirrored walls. It may be busy and there may even be queues, but the sweet, thick hot chocolate and crispy fingers of churros are worth the wait.
Valor is Spain’s best loved chocolate brand – the equivalent of Cadbury’s in the UK or Hershey’s in the US, so you can’t go wrong with a trip here. In fact they have a few different establishments dotted around the city, so you’re bound to find yourself near one of them. Sit at the bar to watch them being made, or outside to people-watch along the street. They also have an attached chocolate shop selling handmade bonbons.
A modern and bright café, this small business has been open since the 19th century, with three generations of the same family having worked here over the years. While they specialise in making churros and porras (fat, spongey churros), they also serve pastries, toast, freshly squeezed orange juice and coffee, making it an excellent spot for breakfast.
A family run establishment going strong since 1902, Chocolatería Los Artesanos has a large glass window where you can watch the churro artists at work, squeezing the dough into spiral shapes, straight into the hot oil. Smaller and not as busy as Chocolatería San Ginés or Chocolatería Valor, you’ll have a higher chance of getting a table here straight away. They also offer both milk and dark dipping chocolate, which is unusual for Spain.
Dating back to 1913, La Antigua Churrería now has two branches in the city offering crunchy tear-shaped churros and fat thick porras. Inside, the café is cute with stylish décor and old photos of the churro shops decorating the walls. They also serve ice cream and churros filled with cream, chocolate or dulce de leche (a kind of caramelised milk syrup).