Madrid is the great capital of gastronomy, with its more than 3,000 restaurants offering you an unforgettable dining experience with a choice of cuisine from the typical local dishes to flavours of the five continents.

Madrid Cuisine

  • Cocido madrileño (Madrid Stew)

A three-course meal with a soup to start, followed by chickpeas and vegetables, and finished of with a meat dish. It is a common belief that this dish was created during the Middle Ages: ”la olla podrida” (a Spanish dish since the Middle Ages with its literal meaning of “rotten-pot”) -a frequent reference in the Spanish Golden Age literature,  as well as an evolution of the Sephardic dish adafina- a long cooking dish prepared by the Jews on Friday night as no cooking fire is allowed during Shabbath.

  • Callos a la Madrileña (Madrid-style tripe)

It is one of the most beloved dishes in Madrid during winter time, prepared in a mud pan and accompanied by slices of chorizo(Spanish pork sausage), blood sausage and streaks of ham. The first written record of Callos a la Madrileña appeared Guzmán de Alfarache—a novel written by Mateo Alemán and published in 1599, in which “callos” was described as a mixed veal. Normally it is consumed in a mud cooking pot and together with Cocido Madrileño, it is the most distinguished cuisine of the Capital.

*Authentic and traditional restaurants to enjoy the typical dishes of Madrid.

Restaurante Malacatín

Calle Ruda, 5. 28005, Madrid

Telf. 91 365 52 41


La Bola Taberna

Calle Bola, 5. 28013, Madrid

Telf. 91 547 69 30, 91 541 71 64

Restaurante Lhardy

Carrera de San Jerónimo, 9. 28014, Madrid

Telf. 91 521 33 85, 91 522 22 07


Other Local Dishes:

  • Bocadillo de Calamares (Baguette of fried squid)

It is definitely a very local experience to have a bite of “bocata” (a small baguette bread) of squid in one of the bars in the central square(Plaza Mayor). It is quite curious to think about the origin of such culinary custom since Madrid isn’t a coastal city, though consuming fish fried in batter is a Sephardic tradition.

  • Soldaditos de Pavía

It is an appetizer with its name literally meaning “soldiers of Pavía”, which are strips of desalted cod fish, marinated in a mixture of lemon juice and peppers then coated in a frying batter and deep-fried in olive oil. Why Soldiers of Pavía then? When the hussars commanded by General Pavía dissolved the Court in January 3rd of 1874 and put an end of the first Republic, people in Madrid made such an appetizer with its colour similar to that of the Spanish hussar uniform. You can have a taste of Soldaditos de Pavía in the mythical restaurant Casa Labra.

  • Sopa de Ajo (Garlic soup)

Water, green pepper, bay, garlic, olive oil and hard bread–these are the basic ingredients to make this 100% pure Castilian soup with an  humble origin which has existed from the beginning of 20th century in Madrid. Normally two eggs are added in the soup when ordered in cafés and only one is added when ordered in bars.

  • Huevos estrellados (Broken Eggs)

It´s a very simple local dish: fry the eggs in a frying pan while trying to keep the yolks stay liquid so later they can be “broken” by the fried potato chips.

  • Rabo de toro (Bull tail)

During the holiday of San Isidro in May, the most important bullfighting festival in the world is celebrated in the Spanish capital, which is the best time to enjoy this dish. Normally it is tenderized in red wine and stewed with vegetables.


  • Chocolate con churros

It´s a very typical desserts in Spanish cuisine and usually consume very early in the morning as breakfast or as an afternoon snack. Being an enjoyment during the cold months of winter, the sweet  taste of chocolate together with the oily, salty and crunchy “churros” form a wonderful treat.

*La Chocolatería San Ginés (The most famous chocolate shop dating back from 1894, where “churros” are prepared with traditional techniques).

Pasaje de San Ginés, 5. 28013, Madrid

Tel:  91 365 65 46


  • Rosquillas tontas y listas

“Rosquillas listas” are type of sweet coated with icing sugar and those without sugar are called “rosquillas tontas”. It is a  typical local dessert of superior quality during the festival of San Isidro, patron Saint of Madrid.

  • Buñuelos de viento

They are small doughs made of wheat flour, butter and eggs with cream or chocolate filling and fried in hot oil. This desserts normally sold in cake shops in November, as a tradition to celebrate the feast of “Todos los Santos” (All Saints Day) on November 1st.

  • Bartolillos de crema

Typical dessert of Madrid normally consumed during “Semana Santa” (Holy Week). It´s a kind of small triangular fried empanada made from a very thin dough filled with pastry cream.

About Tapas

In Spain, a  “tapa” is actually an appetizer served in most of bars and restaurants together with drinks. Dating back to Middle Ages, those bars were a busy public place frequently visited by the humble class to have a wine while having a chat. Usually those wine jars were “covered” with a slice of bread to avoid the split of the liquid inside, from which the name of “tapa” (cover) is used to call this small portion of food that accompanies drinks.

Recommended areas to have “tapas” and enjoy small portions of cuisines are, La Latina, el Barrio de Las Letras (in Calle Huertas), Malasaña and Lavapiés. And What to order? Pinchos de Tortilla (small portion of Spanish omelette), squid, patatas bravas (fried potato wedges topped with spicy red sauce “salsa brava”), boquerones en vinagre (anchovies marinated in vinegar)…”Tapas” are an important element in those food-wine bars, where the skills of chefs are represented by these small bites of cuisine.

*Tortilla de patatas (Spanish omelette): It is a typical Spanish dish consisting of a thick egg omelette made with potatoes and fried in olive oil. It is one of the most famous and classic dish in Spain, which is offered by any bar or restaurant. You definitely cannot leave Spain without tasting a good “tortilla de patata”!



* San Miguel Market

The market is just a few steps away from Plaza Mayor and it is one of the best examples of iron architecture in Madrid, which was constructed in 1915. For the moment it is a very tempting space of gourmet that offers a diversity of delicate spanish cuisine.

Plaza de San Miguel, s/n.

Metro Sol/Ópera

Opening hours: Sunday to Wednesday: 10:00a.m-0:00a.m

Thursday to Saturday: 10.00a.m.-2.00a.m

*San Antón Market

Located in the heart of Chueca’s neighbourhood,  the market is spread across three floors where you can find perishable products stores and stalls, tavern-wine bars and a restaurants. Go shopping, have a drink or simply experience the wonderful environment, the market will always bring you little surprises and enjoyment.

Calle Augusto Figueroa, 24. 28004, Madrid

Opening hours: First floor (traditional market): Monday to Saturday: 10:00-22:00

Second floor (Show Cooking and Take Away): Monday to Sunday: 10:00-0:00

Third floor(restaurant and terrace): Sunday to Thursday: 10:00-0:00

Friday to Saturday and festivals eve: 10:00-1:30

*Useful vocabulary:

Chato: a short, wide-bottomed, wine glass.

Caña: draft beer served in a cylinder-shaped glass.

Sangría: a refreshing drink made from a sweet soda, red wine, sugar, cinnamon, lemon and/or other liquors or fruits.

Bocadillo: a roll sliced in two lengthways served with a variety of fillings.

Menú del Día: fixed-price complete menu offered by hotels and restaurants, with a limited selection of dishes.

Pulga: a small roll with different fillings.

Ración: a serving of traditional food, normally larger in size than a tapa, and normally served with drink.


International products and gastronomy

Do you miss food and products from your homeland during your stay in Madrid? Spain´s capital city is a cosmopolis where products of all over the world can be found. Make a visit to these areas and look for the flavours of your land.

East and Southeast Asia


  • Usera

This neighbourhood is known as Madrid´s Chinatown, where you can find the essence of China:shops, restaurants, barber´s, telecommunication company, etc. In these big supermarkets such as Wenzho(温州), Lucheng(鹿城), Wenqing(温青), Zhongou(中欧), etc a diversity of products only only from China but also from other Asian countries can be found.

  • Tetuán

In the street General Margallo there is a paradise of markets where Chinese products are sold. Booming big market such as Iberochina and other various asian market can be found here.

  • Plaza de España

Under this square there is a space where there is a Chinese store not only groceries of Asian countries are sold but only books and magazines in Chinese can be found. Next to this store there is a Chinese restaurant, which is small but quite well-known for its authentic flavour and economic prices.


  • Chamartín Market

Calle Bolivia. 9

Tel: 91 457 05 34

Avda. Presidente Carmona, 9. 28020, Madrid

Tel: 91 676 82 47

  • Daisuki: products, food and restaurant

Paseo del General Martínez Campos, 42. Madrid.

Tel: 91 702 41 69

Plaza Mostenses, 1. 28015 Madrid

Tel: 91 542 58 38


  • Alimentación Coreana Hans: food and groceries

Calle Maestro Guerrero, 6. 28015 Madrid

Tel: 91 559 98 96

Bravo Murillo, 122 (Go down the market and turn left)

Tel: 91 535 27 60

There are several big markets where products of  various Asian countries can be found (especially those of China, Thailand, Vietnam, The Philippines and Japan).

  • Foodland: Products of India, Thailand and Indonesia

Calle Virgen del LLuc, 4.

Calle General Margallo 4, 8 y 23

Tel: 91 579 72 59

  • Supermercado Oriental: Products of China, Thailand and Japan

Calle Mozart, 2. Madrid

  • Extremo Oriente: Food and groceries from China, Japan, Korea, The Philippines, India              Underground parking Plaza de España s/n. 28008, Madrid

Tel: 91 547 91 91, 91 548 19 94


  • HUA LIAN FOOD(华联商场): Food from China, Japan, Korea, The Philippines and Thailand

Calle Leganitos, 33. 28013 Madrid

Tel: 91 559 95 40

South Asia and Arabic Countries

  • Neighbourhood of Lavapiés

It is one of the most multicultural neighbourhood in Madrid, where you will be greeted by the colours, smells and flavours of the products from India, Bangladesh and Arabic countries. A lot of stores are scattered along the streets of Lavapiés and all this area, where you can buy spices, canned food, azahar (orange blossom) water, couscous, tahini, pita bread, etc.

  • Area around Mosque of M-30

The Islamic Cultural Centre and Madrid Mosque is located here and around which many Arabic stores, bars and restaurants can be found.

Calle Salvador de Madariaga, 4. Madrid

*Also some scattered stores of Indian and Arabic products can be found in the area of Estrecho and Valdeacederas(Metro line 1).

Latin America


Calle Castelló, 22. 28001, Madrid

Tel: 91 575 35 09

  • La Canasta Mexicana

Calle de Segovia, 15. Madrid

Tel: 91 366 57 49


  • Antojos Araguaney: Breakfast, coffee, desserts, “arepas” and delicacies of Venezuela

Calle Campo de la Estrella, 7. 28050, Madrid

Tel: 91 427 44 60



Calle Alfredo Aleix, 35. 28044, Madrid

Tel:  91 213 30 49



La Franco Argentina: “Nostalgias gastronómicas”, food and memories of this land

Calle Conde Duque, 28. Madrid

Tel: 91 559 74 55

*Small food stores of various Latin American countries can also be found in the neighbourhood Cuatro Caminos.


This post is also available in: Chinese (Simplified), Spanish