Food in Madrid has a variety of influences and many consider it a melting pot of Spanish flavors. Here are some of many gastronomic delights you can sample while you are in the city.
Churros and Hot chocolate
This is a delightful combination on a cold day. Churros are sugary dough sticks and they go perfectly with thick and spicy Spanish hot chocolate. The most famous and arguably the best place to get them is the Chocolatería San Ginés in Puerta del Sol. Waitresses cut the churros (fried in a large spiral) with scissors before serving.
Spanish people love eating ham and in Madrid that is no exception. Try some jamón, cured ham, jamón serrano, sierra or mountain ham, or the more expensive jamón ibérico, black iberian ham. Have a delicious bocadillo de jamón, ham sandwich on a baguette. Try it at one of the Museo del Jamon locations in the city.
Chickpea based foods
Many of Madrid’s traditional foods involve chickpeas and most likely evolved from medieval Jewish cuisine and modified with the addition of pork and other meats. Cocido madrileño is a stew often served on special occasions with the vegetables including chickpeas preceding the meats. Another chickpea-based dish, Potaje de Garbanzos, is a hearty garbonzo and spinach soup, often served as a tapas dish with a light vegetable dish to complement it.
Horchata de Chufa
Horchata milk is a popular nonalcoholic beverage made of tuber roots. It’s sweet, nutty and delicious flavor and can be bought in any grocery store or supermarket.
Sopa de ajo
This soup consists of a poach egg in chicken broth, flavored with Sherry and garlic and makes a nice, simple pick-me-up dish. It, along with cochinillo asado (roast sucking pig), is a signature dish of the famous Sobrino de Botin, established in 1725 and known as the oldest restaurant in the world.
Photo of some bread, Spanish Cured Ham and queso manchego by Carlos Fenollosa.