Madrid is known for tapas, and bar hopping around Madrid’s central Puerta del Sol square offers some of the best tapas in town. Here are some of the best places to go.
Mercado de San Miguel
Mercado de San Miguel is heaven for anyone wanting to try tapas. With stand after stand featuring every tapa
known to man – think cheeses, meats, and everything under the sun on small pieces of bread. You can sample a variety of olives, plenty of seafood and even small portions of cocido
, a stew-like dish Madrid is famous for made of chickpeas, sausage and vegetables. Plus, the market
is pretty amazing from a visual standpoint as it’s the only market left in Madrid with its original iron structure still intact.
Restaurant, Tapas, $$$
Lateral is one of the best tapas restaurants in Madrid, as it’s cheap, trendy, delicious and centrally located near the Puerta del Sol. With a wonderful variety of tostas and tapas to chow down on as you sit outside on the terrace in the middle of Plaza Santa Ana, visiting Lateral is an experience you shouldn’t miss. Although they don’t take reservations, service is fast, so head in and have a drink by the bar while you wait for a table. The goat cheese with red pepper and sirloin with caramelized onions (both on slices of lightly toasted baguette) are worth the wait. The tapas platter is great for sharing in a group, allowing you to sample a variety of seasonal tapas.
Cervecería Sol Mayor
Bar, Pub Grub
It may not be considered a tapa
, exactly, but getting a famous bocadillo de calamares
(a calamari sandwich on a baguette), is an essential experience you have to have when hanging out in the Puerta Del Sol area of Madrid. Cervecería Sol Mayor is one of the most famous places to stop in and order the sandwich alongside a beer. This no-frills, economic joint also offers hearty plates of Madrid’s most typical cuisine
, like ham, cheese, croquets and more.
Casa del Abuelo
Restaurant, Tapas, $$$
Casa del Abuelo, which was founded in 1906, continues to be a family restaurant to this day. With lots of authentic Spanish tapas, you can’t go wrong ordering anything here, but you should definitely try their famous prawns. The tavern first started selling only donuts and sweet wine, then incorporated sandwiches, sausages and more, but became famous in the 1940s when they started offering shrimp. In fact, the restaurant actually served 306 kilos of prawns in just one day! Help them break that record by heading in and ordering some prawns yourself.
Restaurant, Mediterranean, Spanish, European, $$$
This spot, situated behind the San Miguel Market, is the place to be for hearty, delicious tapas and raciones to share with a southern Spanish vibe. The salmorejo, a cold gazpacho-style soup is creamy and delicious, topped with bits of egg and ham. The variety of cheese and ham offerings is fantastic, and paired with a gourmet bottle of wine, you’ll have the perfect meal.