Madrid and tapas…. you don’t need us to tell you that they go hand in hand. If you’re a fan of ordering lots of little dishes and sharing them with friends then you are going to love eating out in the Spanish capital. However, there are two big problems you will face…. what to eat and where to eat it. The selection of tapas restaurants in Madrid is a broad as the amount of tapas choices on some menus. So to help you make the most out of your Spanish tapas eating experience we’ve put together 10 Madrid Tapas restaurants and bars that are worth checking out…
1. El Tigre, Calle de las Infantas, 30
This is like the ‘holy grail’ of budget tips for travellers in Madrid on a budget and looking for tapas. Why? Because with every drink you order you get a huge plate of tapas for free. El Tigre is a small bar with very little seating so get there early, find a perch if you want to avoid a balancing act with your plate and glass while standing later, and enjoy.
2. Lateral, Calle de Fuencarral, 43
A firm favourite around Madrid for tapas is Lateral. There are a few of these around the city including Plaza de Santa Ana as well as Calle de Fuencarral. There’s a modern feel to these tapas restaurants along with a great atmosphere. Dishes start at around €3.50 and the food is of top quality along with a large selection of wines.
3. Casa Lucas, Calle de la Cava Baja, 30
A firm favourite among the many bars and restaurants in the La Latina area of Madrid, Casa Lucas is always a popular spot for tapas. There’s a variety of tapas dishes on offer here and some great wines. There are only a handful of tables though so get in early if you don’t want to eat standing at the bar.
4. Txirimiri, Calle del Humilladero, 6
This tapas bar is immensely popular with the locals so if you’re heading along at peak time (after 8pm) then you can expect to eat and drink standing up… but that’s what tapas bars are all about. This modern tapas bar has a fun atmosphere along with some mouth-watering dishes that are on display at the bar. Try the ‘Pincho de tortilla Española con cebolla caramelizada’ – Spanish omelette stuffed with caramalised onion on bread for something small, or the ‘Carilleras’ which is cows cheek in the a very rich sauce and is ridiculously tasty.
5. Cerveceria La Surena, Calle Gran Vía, 68
Situated on one of the city’s busiest streets, Cerveceria La Surena is a great stop off for some tapas and drinks. There are also a few of these bars around the city and come highly recommended for their cheap buckets of beer (€3 for 5 small beers on our last visit.) There’s a good selection of food on offer here too making it a great choice for a group looking to relax over drinks and food.
6. Bocaito, Calle de Libertad 4-6
A great traditional tapas find in the Chueca neighbourhood. It’s a popular spot that’s always busy so expect a wait if you want a table. If you can grab a spot at the bar take it and order some tapas and drinks. There’s a real traditional decor at Bocaito that adds to the whole experience.
7. Mercado de San Miguel, Plaza de San Miguel
Not quite a restaurant, this old market has been given a new lease of life and is now a modern market not too far from Plaza Mayor. Mercado de San Miguel is a lively place to be at either day or night. There are a large selection of vendors here selling everything from fresh fish to flowers early in the morning, to some tapas and fine wines in the evenings. There are tables and seating in the middle of the market so you can go to whatever stall you like to get your dish of choice and eat it in comfort. It’s the perfect option for groups who can’t settle on what to eat.
8. La Casita, Calle de Víctor Hugo, 5
This charming tapas bar is small but very cosy. Pop in for a coffee or a drink and avail of their great tapas menu too. There’s a real traditional feel to La Casita as well as a relaxing vibe. Check it out on your trip to Madrid.
9. Cerveceria El Casco Viejo, Calle de las Infantas, 26
A popular pick for many locals as it possesses an authentic feel in an area that’s becoming more and more modern. El Casco Viejo is a great place for a beer or a wine with some friends along with a selection of tapas as the evening progresses.
10. A’Cañada, Calle de Alonso del Barco, 4
Another gem when it comes to budget eating and drinking in Madrid. With every drink you order here a tapas plate accompanies it. There is also a menu with more tapas dishes to choose from if you’d like more food than drinks. This is a traditional tapas bar in Madrid that’s popular with the locals.