The Best Places to Try Tortilla in Madrid
Tortilla | © Tamorlan / WikiCommons
Forget paella, tortilla de patatas is Spain’s most beloved dish. The potato omelette can be found in almost any tapas bar and a classic pincho de tortilla is the ideal accompaniment to a glass of cold beer. But a debate rages around this humble snack. Firstly, to add onion or not to add onion? Secondly, what is the ideal consistency of the tortilla? Some love it running off the plate, the egg oozing out, while others prefer a more set tortilla that holds its shape. Whatever your favourite, we take a look at some of the best places to try tortilla in Madrid.
Juana La Loca
Bar, Restaurant, Tapas, $$$
In the heart of La Latina, this modern tapas bar does a creative spin on classic Spanish dishes in a cool, stylish setting. You can take a seat for a larger meal or do as many locals do and crowd the bar area for a slice of Juana La Loca’s famous tortilla de patatas. The hefty chunk of tortilla, darker than most you’ll see in Madrid, sits on a slice of crusty bread. The onions in the tortilla are caramelised, giving it a different flavour to many average tortillas and, for many, pushing it into the ‘best tortillas you’ve ever tried’ category.
This little restaurant is nestled in the Mercado de la Paz, a great, local, covered market in the Salamanca neighbourhood. It is famed for its menu del día (its bargain lunchtime fixed-price menu) and its tortilla de patatas. A just-set tortilla with a slightly runny middle strikes a good balance between set and soft, and attracts queues and crowds at weekends.
Bodega la Ardosa
Bar, Restaurant, Pub, Bodega, Spanish, Tapas, Wine, Beer, $$$
Bodega la Ardosa, in Malasaña, takes tortilla very seriously and has the awards to prove it. This old tavern, which opened in 1892, is famed for its potato-and-egg omelette, which is made with onion. Its menu also features a host of classic tapas dishes, from melt-in-the-mouth jamón Ibérico to crunchy croquettes.
Bar, Restaurant, Spanish, $$$
This bar in Chamberí, to the north of the centre, regularly makes it onto lists with the best tortillas in Madrid, and for good reason. Sylkar’s potato tortilla definitely falls into the ‘runny’ camp, its egg inside soft and running out onto the plate – ideal to mop up with a slice of bread. Wash it all down with a cold beer!
Bar, Restaurant, Spanish
As the name suggests, Pez Tortilla specialises in tortilla, offering a range of different flavours. This is the place to come if you want to take tortilla to the next level: you’ve already tried and loved the classic and now want something a bit more creative. Varieties include parmesan with sun-dried tomato and rocket, Galician-style octopus, beef with pepper and spicy chistorra sausage. Pez Tortilla also does an extensive range of delicious croquettes, a great accompaniment to your tortilla.
La Buha, in La Latina, doesn’t mess about with its tortillas, offering gigantic versions of the popular tapa. They are typically served whole, a tall and fat potato omelette that is best shared among a group. Aside for the classic tortilla, other varieties include caramelised onion and goat’s cheese, and mushroom.
Bar, Food Court, Spanish
This buzzing Basque pintxo bar, on Cava Baja in the heart of La Latina, does a range of pintxos, served the traditional way, over the bar counter. Its hefty tortillas are served in huge chunks, balanced on top of a slice of crusty bread. They are generally more set than some other tortillas on the list, so if you want to avoid runny, this could be a good option. Wash it down with a glass of crisp, cold Txakoli, a Basque white wine.
These recommendations were updated on July 10, 2018 to keep your travel plans fresh.