Tasty Eats in Madrid
Specific, more importantly delicious, types of food in Madrid and where you can find them.
Spanish, La Nieta – Located in Chueca (Calle Libertad, 25), La Nieta, has the most authentic Spanish food I have tasted while living in Madrid. Sometimes if you go to a bar and order food, it tastes like it has been sitting out for a while (because it was). But this isn't the case at La Nieta. The food is made fresh to order and the service is very quick. My co-workers and I split a bottle of wine as well as five or so raciones, costing us about €11 each. A ración is a portion typically shared among a group of people. We ordered traditional Spanish dishes such as tortilla, croquetas, patatas bravas, huevos rotos (Serrano ham, eggs and French fries), and albondigas (meatballs). This restaurant is the best place to take visitors to have them experience typical Spanish food that tastes like it's homemade by your Spanish boyfriend's abuela.
Mexican, Takos Al Pastor – It isn’t just the €1 price per taco that drives customers to this restaurant. It’s the party in your mouth, best moment on earth, mouth watering sensation you get when you shovel these tacos, one after another, into your mouth. In addition to tacos (all types: al pastor [pork], chicken, mushrooms, beef, etc.), they have quesadillas for a whopping price of €2.50 and other more filling options. A meal that will leave you full, but wanting more can cost just €6.00, or €7.00 if you add a beer. Usually if you get there past 8:30pm there’s a line to order food, but it’s 100% worth the wait. You order at the counter and then the waitstaff brings you your food. It helps if one person stakes out a table while you wait in line. I’ve had similar tacos at a few other restaurants and none compare to this place. Takos Al Pastor is a gift sent from Heaven above. It’s located right in the center of Madrid on Calle de la Abada, 2, 28013 Madrid and is a "must-try" for all Mexican food lovers out there.
Cocido Madrileño - Taberna Oliveros is a Spanish restaurant located in the barrio of La Latina on Calle de San Millán, 4. One of their most famous dishes is Cocido madrileño, which is a stew-like dish. It’s most popular in the winter due to its hearty and wholesome substance, but is so delicious that I would eat it at any time of the year. First, you get the stock of the cocido, accompanied by noodles, which seems strange at first because…where’s the stew? But then out comes a huge plate of garbanzo beans, potatoes, carrots, pork, beef shank, chicken, and morcilla and you're wondering how this is all going to fit in your stomach. Don't worry, it will. Just be patient.
However, one thing you must know is that eating this dish is a physical, mental, and emotional commitment. You must prepare physically by not having eaten for hours. You must mentally understand the amount of food you are going to consume and not shed tears when you realize how good it tastes. You must emotionally prepare for the aftermath of the dish (being so full that you need to push the table out, one, two, maybe twelve inches in order to get up).
The restaurant owner and waitress (the owner’s daughter) were extremely friendly and truly wanted to make this a wonderful experience for us. We splurged and ordered a bottle of the house wine, then the house dessert, and were surprised with two homemade dessert shots that the owner himself brought out. A three-hour siesta is definitely needed after indulging in a meal like this, so be prepared to hibernate for the remainder of the afternoon. A dish of cocido at Taberna Oliveros costs €18. Other places I have researched charge €35. So for a very great price, you get delicious food, wonderful service and a very happy stomach.
Columbian, Patacón Pisao – I’ve never been to a Columbian restaurant before, but after my experience at Patacón Pisao, I certainly became a fan. My co-workers and I headed toward the Delicias neighborhood during Sunday lunchtime (3:30 p.m.); good thing we had a reservation at this restaurant because it was packed. Just as we sat down, the live musicians were setting up for their afternoon performance. We started off with empanadas and fried yuka and then split bandeja paisa (a Columbian platter filled with beans, rice, ground beef, fried egg, plantain, avocado, chorizo, arepa, and aijaco). It's a platter of WOW! topped off with some OMG! Aijaco is a broth with chicken, corn, potatoes, avacado and rice which apparently takes hours to make, but only seconds to eat :/. Patacón Pisao is a great restaurant to try if you're looking for something different from typical Spanish food or if you're looking for an enjoyable way to spend a Sunday with friends. A glass of wine, the food, and coconut ice cream totaled to €17.00 which is a bit pricier than some other places, but certainly worth every penny. Patacón Pisao is located on Calle de Las Delicias, 10.
Ice Cream - Kalúa is an ice cream shop known for its 40 unique handcrafted flavors. Ranging from cheesecake, Kinder Bueno, trufa (chocolate with whiskey), to mint chocolate chip, this ice cream parlor has just about every flavor you’ll want. Not an ice cream lover? Not to worry, Kalúa has plenty of cakes and cupcakes to satisfy everybody’s sweet tooth. It’s located at Calle Fuencarral, 131 so after an afternoon of heavy shopping on Madrid's most famous shopping street, you can end it on a sweet note at Kalúa.
*Note* After purchasing your ice cream it is important to walk away from the store to reduce the risk of buying a second one.