Tapas are a traditional way of eating in Spain; locals go to bars and order a drink and several snacks in the form of tapas to start the night off with friends. To act like a Spaniard and get to know the country’s culinary heritage, going on a tapas bar crawl is a must when in Madrid. Below we explore the bars where visitors will be able to find some of the capital’s best tapas.
Managed by famous chef Sergi Arola – who is also in charge of one of the best Michelin-starred restaurants in Madrid, Sergi Arola Gastro – and his wife Sara, Vi Cool serves tantalizing tapas at pretty modest prices, considering the quality and fame behind the locale.Considered one of the best bars in Madrid, this establishment will not disappoint visitors, as their tasty cocas, delicious drinks and modern décor all blend together to create the perfect tapas bar in Madrid’s historic center.
Casa Gonzalez represents a true, traditional Spanish bar, with its simple exterior and crowded interior, covered in tiles, posters and food. The bar was opened in 1931, and now the original owner’s grandson runs the place, making visitors feel at home right away. Jamón ibérico de bellota and queso manchego are some of the musts at this bar; the most typical Spanish charcuterie and cheese can be enjoyed here in an authentic setting.
Mercado de San Miguel | Courtesy of Mercado de San Miguel
Not only is this one of the best markets in Madrid, the Mercado de San Miguel is also one of the best places to eat in the Puerta del Sol area and one of the go-tos for locals who are in search of delicious tapas in a cosmopolitan location. The gourmet tapas stalls located inside this 20th-century iron structure offer hundreds of possibilities: ranging from oysters and champagne to Spanish omelets, the tapas that are served here are without a doubt some of the best in the city. It is best to visit this market throughout the week, as it gets extremely busy on weekends.
Managed by the same team that is in charge of one of the best restaurants in Malasaña, everything about this locale screams out to the world that they serve quality food in a fun atmosphere. The interior is divided into two different dining areas: the informal bar area, where visitors will be able to order a refreshing cocktail, beer or glass of wine while chatting to the people around them, and the more formal sit-down area where the locale’s exquisite tapas are served.
Celso y Manolo is the ideal bar for a night out eating tapas with friends, family or loved ones. The cheery interior is charming and a refreshing change from all the dark, tiny bars in the capital, and the friendly service brightens the mood even further. The possibilities at this bar are nearly endless: with a menu that lists over 80 different tapas everyone is bound to find something lovely, new and exciting to try. Their fresh and organic ingredients ensure that everything is as tasty and healthy as possible, so visitors can sit down, order a wine and enjoy the great food.
Bar, Restaurant, Wine Bar, Spanish, Tapas, Mediterranean, $$$
Located on Cava Baja Street, which is known for its many bars, the Taberna Tempranillo is always at the top of the list when it comes to eating out in the capital. During the weekend this bar is buzzing with people who flock here from all parts of the city to relax and unwind with some great wine (only Spanish wine is served here) and even better pinchos, which are a type of tapas consisting of a slice of baguette with a variety of different toppings. There are not many tables, so visitors who want a seat should get to the bar early.