Madrid food: Guide to the Spanish capitals traditional dishes including cocido Madrileno and bocadillo de calamares

Madrid has more bars per capita than any other country in the European Union, making the Spanish capital an ideal destination for wine tourists – but, where there is wine there is food and the city is equally renowned for its unique cuisine.

Madrid food is a melting pot of regional styles and international influences, but there are numerous versions of dishes that you will only find in the city, which is also the centre of the country’s politics, culture and monarchy.

In Spain, Madrid food and wine tours are a popular way for visitors to explore the metropolis while experiencing the local delights of the country’s notable cuisine and world class wine – ranging from the eponymous red Rioja to white Torrontes varietals and even sparkling Cava styles.

At Wine Paths, our local expert can organise exclusive Madrid food and wine tours that can be tailormade to meet your exact requirements, while ensuring every detail is taken care of before you arrive. Our exclusive Insiders’ Epicurean Tour of Madrid, for instance, takes you through a mosaic of neighbourhoods, discovering the essence of the city as you go.

Together with an experienced Madrileno host, you may visit the oldest market in the city, the Mercado de San Miguel, taste delicious Iberian ham, artisanal cheeses, pastries and chocolate at a variety of local stores and boutique delicatessens while sampling the best Spanish wines.

Eating like the locals guarantees not only a series of taste sensations but gives you a better understanding of this vibrant city that is as steeped in traditional history as it is a modern European hub of excitement. We have complied an inspirational list of classic dishes so that you don’t have to shy away from the local fare and can enjoy Madrid food to the fullest:

Cocido Madrileno is a traditional Spanish stew made from a broth of vegetables, chickpeas, chorizo sausage and pork. It’s generally a winter dish that is served in two to three courses – the broth is drained to create a soup starter followed by the chickpeas and vegetables with the stewed meat coming last.

Bocadillo de Calamares is a signature Madrid food sandwich, which can be found sold from street stalls around the city, especially is the central Plaza Mayor. Freshly made crusty bread is crammed with deep fried squid for an indulgent experience.

Potatoes feature regularly in Spain, and Madrid food is no different with dishes such as huevos rotos (which translates as ‘broken eggs’) consisting of freshly fried potatoes topped with over-easy eggs.

Next on a Madrid food you must try callos a la Madrilena, another winter stew – this time featuring strips of beef tripe (stomach), chorizo chunks and slices of morcilla (blood sausage). The hearty meal, which is usually served in a clay dish dates back to the 16th century.

Another kind of Madrid food that some other Europeans may discount as offal is oreja al la plancha, which literally means ‘pan-seared pig’s ear’. While it may not sound appetising, the adventurous will be rewarded with a delicious experience, especially if the meat is doused in salt, paprika and freshly squeezed lemon.

Tortilla, or Spanish omelette, is a staple dish throughout the country that is largely enjoyed in Madrid as a small pincho (tapas) dish that can be scooped up with bread or eaten with toothpicks while you enjoy a glass of wine.

For those with a sweet tooth, churros con chocolate is popular among late night revellers and early morning breakfasters alike. The churros come accompanied with a cup of steaming hot chocolate for a snack that ranks highly in the guilty pleasures that Madrid food tempt visitors with.

For more information visit our Spain destination page before planning a Madrid food and wine tour that will leave your mouth watering for weeks.


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