One of the best parts about travelling to new places is experiencing the local food. Sure, the sights and sounds are great, but you can’t truly get the full cultural experience without the right taste. If you’re looking for things to do in Madrid – or any other beautiful Spanish city, for that matter – make sure you taste these five local foods.
You can’t visit Madrid without trying paella. The rich, flavourful rice alone is enough to satisfy your taste buds, but there are several unique flavours of paella to choose from, like chicken, chorizo, seafood or mixed.
We recommend the seafood paella which includes a combination of clams, prawns and fish, on top of the rice and vegetables.
Don’t worry about having to choose just one, however, because you’ll probably end up ordering it more than once. If the weather is on your side, make sure to enjoy a plate of paella in the sun at one of the restaurants in Plaza Mayor.
2. Churros and Chocolate
Churros and chocolate is a must-have food in Madrid to satisfy your sweet tooth. It’s acceptable to order this delicious dessert at any time of the day, so don’t be shy to sit down for a plate of churros in the afternoon.
Before you dig in, sprinkle your plate with powdered sugar for even more flavour. There are little shops everywhere around the city where you can order this delicious treat.
But if you want to head to a more well-known location, visit San Ginés near Plaza Mayor and Puerto de Sol. There will probably be a line out the door, but if you’re willing to wait, it’s worth every bite.
Technically this isn’t food, but there’s nothing like sipping a cold glass of sangria on a sunny day. It’s the perfect addition to a plate of tapas or paella.
This traditional drink typically consists of red wine mixed with fruit, sweetener and brandy – what’s not to like?
If you have a group, order a pitcher to share for the table. And if you want to true taste of sangria in Madrid, visit Mercado de San Miguel, an indoor food market buzzing with various food and drink vendors. You can enjoy your glass with a variety of Spanish bites to get the full experience.
4. Spanish Omelette
Who says that omelettes have to be a breakfast food? Try ordering a Spanish omelette for dinner one night to taste something new. It’s an egg dish fried in vegetable oil, mixed with potatoes and sometimes onions.
Some varieties might have vegetables and meat inside, but most Spanish omelettes will be plain – but still delicious – with just the egg and potato.
You can find a Spanish omelette on most menus in Madrid, so explore the plazas and try this tasty local dish.
Want a little taste of anything and everything Madrid? You can’t go wrong with tapas, or small plates, which can be anything from a plate of olives to a hot plate of sliced bread topped with meat.
While some people prefer to eat tapas as an appetizer, others see it as a meal.
If you’re on a budget, visit El Tigre for tapas and drinks before a night out. €6 will get you a large drink – we recommend the mojitos – and all the tapas you can eat. You won’t leave disappointed.
One thing is certain about visiting Madrid – you won’t leave hungry. Make every meal an opportunity to experience the local food and drinks to ensure you have the best time in this amazing city.