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Madrid is built for foodies. The whole city loves to eat, and if you’re visiting, you’re bound to fall into the same category. As the gastronomic center of Spain, you’ll consume far too many calories during your visit. Before you start worrying about your diet, remember you’re on vacation and Madrid is the perfect place to indulge.
If you don’t have days on end to spread your nibbling over, you can still eat the best of Madrid in a single day as long as you pack an appetite.
Breakfast: Churros Con Chocolate
Photo by Carina Glasser via Trover.com
With Madrileños partying until 3 a.m., it should come as no surprise that their local breakfast is deep-fried and greasy in a delicious way. Tourists head to Chocolatería San Ginés, one of Madrid’s oldest cafés, and a delicious option for these Spanish doughnuts dipped in sweet, thick chocolate sauce. However, locals head to their neighborhood Fabrica de Churros y Patatas Fritas, which serve churros alongside fried potatoes.
Mid-Morning: Market Snacks
The local markets in Madrid are fabulous and amazingly, many are almost tapas experiences. Head to Mercado San Miguel and sample specialty hams (like the famous jamón ibérico made from pigs exclusively fed acorns), cheeses, and more. Once you find what you like best, ask vendors to vacuum pack snacks to eat later.
Photo by Jazzinto via Trover.com
Lunch: Callos Madrileños
Lunch in Madrid is typically served late and can often come in two or three courses on a set menu known as the menú del día. In winter, look for a restaurant specifically serving callos madrileños as the main course. Set aside any preconceived notions about eating tripe and dig into a bowl of Madrid style stew. You’ll also find chorizo and morcilla sausages, all tinted deep red from a heavy dose of paprika.
Evening: Tapas Around Town
Although tapas are found throughout Spain, Madrid is my favorite place to eat them because they’re so delicious everywhere you go! If you only have room for one, ask for tortilla, a Spanish staple. These slices of cooked egg and potato may have extra ingredients, like caramelized onions or sausage. A small square served with a toothpick makes a great tapas option!
Dinner: Hearty Flavors in Cocido Madrileño
If you smell something delicious in the air, follow your nose to a dish of cocido madrileño. This slow-simmered dish features chickpeas, vegetables, plus pork and chorizo. This substantial dish will fill you up quickly, but if you’re traveling with someone else, it’s great to share!
Late Night: The City’s Most Famous Sandwich
What, you’re not still hungry? Make some room because it would be a shame to leave Madrid without tasting the bocadillo de calamares. Despite being inland, Madrid has a fantastic selection of fresh seafood. Grab one of these simple sandwiches made from crusty bread, deep-fried squid rings, and either tomato purée or garlic mayonnaise to go with your caña of beer. The best bocadillos are on side streets near Plaza Mayor.
Photo by Ursula Bernal via Trover.com
Next time you head to Madrid, take some time in between museum hopping, strolling through the heart of the city, and taking a siesta to eat your way through the city.
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This post is an entry to the Accor Hotels 24 hours in… competition.
2 thoughts on “24 Hours in Madrid (for Foodies!)”
How did you like the Churros? I expected it would be similar to hot chocolate but it was much thicker, just melted chocolate. I had some around 4PM and I must say I didn’t think about supper before 10-11PM that evening 🙂
@Caluwaerts Kris, I have mixed feelings on churros – they were tasty, but not my first choice of a dessert and I try to indulge only for “best of” type dishes. Still, it’s a Madrid must-do!