Chueca is one of Madrid’s most buzzing barrios, full of cool shops, restaurants and bars. But where should you start your night of tapas bar hopping? Follow our handy guide to find some of the neighbourhood’s most popular tapas joints.
Just off the busy shopping street Gran Vía, STOP Madrid is a popular pit stop for locals who want a quick drink and tapa. It is one of the city’s oldest taverns and its cosy, wood-clad interior takes you back to the 1920s, when the bar opened. Over 20 different Spanish wines are on offer by the glass and there’s a good range of traditional tapas, from Spanish hams and cheeses to smoked salmon, camembert and prawns.
This modern fusion restaurant, which fuses Spanish and Japanese flavours, is the brainchild of Spanish TV chef Alberto Chicote. Inspired by the traditional Japanese yakitori (skewered chicken) tavern, the restaurant serves different riffs on the kebab or brochette, that is, tapas on a skewer. Dishes include fried cod dough balls with yuzu and chilli mayonnaise, wagyu ribs and spicy sweet and sour chicken wings. There are some good veggie options, too, such as a take on patatas bravas (potatoes with a spicy tomato sauce) and aubergine tempura with red miso and paprika.
Cram into the packed front bar area of this popular restaurant with the locals and order a tosta, a popular Spanish tapa of toasted bread topped with a variety of different ingredients; options here include smoked crab and asparagus. Tapas include ham croquettes, homemade mussel gratin and wild mushrooms and foie gras. You can wash it all down with a delicious glass of Spanish red wine.
If you’re looking for a high-end tapas option, then DSTAgE is sure to fit the bill. Opened by Spanish chef Diego Guerrero in 2014, it soon won a coveted Michelin star. The cuisine is loosely based on Spanish cuisine but is fusion at its best, pushing the creative boundaries to give diners a full sensory experience during a tasting menu of 12, 14 or 17 courses.
A firm favourite with locals, Baco y Beto is a buzzing tapas bar with a creative menu that offers an interesting twist on traditional Spanish cuisine. The tapas include aubergine pate with Manchego cheese and Iberian pork marinated in orange. You can also order raciones (larger plates) to share with friends.
Not just one tapas bar but several are gathered under one roof at this converted local market. The market is set over three floors; the ground floor is traditional market stalls such as fruit and veg and a butchers; the second has a range of food stalls selling all sorts of national and international cuisine including seafood, Japanese, Canary Island and Greek; the third floor has a restaurant and a rooftop bar, and is a great place to relax with a cocktail on a sunny day.
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