Madrid is a city bursting with tasty tapas treats so it’s pretty hard to go wrong when hunting for something to eat. Practically every bar in the city serves up a delicious mini dish for free (or a couple of euros) alongside your glass of vino. Being so spoilt for choice can make it hard to decide where to dine but there are few places that will always hold a special place in my heart (or should that be in my stomach). Here’s three of my favourite haunts for anyone wanting a unique and delicious dining experience …
La Musa – Calle de Manuela Malasaña, 18, 28004 Madrid
La Musa is a quirky bar and restaurant with mismatched lighting and walls adorned with bicycles and flowers. The staff are extremely friendly and impeccably dressed in stripey tops and braces (right up my fashion street). I had visited a few times for drinks and after hearing rave reviews from friends about the food there I decided I had to give it a go. A friend and I opted for the “Degustacion de tapas” to allow us to try a varied selection of the menu and I’m happy to report that it was true foodie heaven! I won’t talk you through each of the 11 dishes we devoured (from which we struggled to pick a favourite) but one of the highlights included the “bomba”. The nearest thing I can compare this too is a shepherds pie, but shaped in a sphere with the meat in the middle – it was served with a spinach sauce and ali oli and the combination of flavours went down a treat. We were amazed by the variety of food genres La Musa offered and yet still managed to nail every dish perfectly. If you only eat out at one place in Madrid, make it La Musa!
La Perejila – le Cava Baja, 25, 28005 Madrid
After strolling past the quaint La Perejila bursting at the seems with people almost every day, I finally visited with a friend in mid-August before they were due to close for the summer. The place did not disappoint! The interior is awe inspiring, with it’s traditional Spanish feel and a big dollop of eccentricity. We took our place at the bar where we opted for a few glasses of cava and whiled away the afternoon enjoying the Spanish music and comings and goings of this busy little bar. With every glass of cava (3 in total) we ordered another dish from the menu to sample – a tostada of cheese and quinze jelly, followed by another tostada – this time smoked salmon and finally meatballs to finish up. All delicious and the perfect accompaniment to Sunday afternoon drinks.
Mercardo de San Ildefonso – Calle Fuencarral, 57, 28080 Madrid
I have a whole post dedicated to this place (which you can read about here) but I couldn’t write a post about food in Madrid without giving it another mention. The newest (& coolest in my opinion) food market in Madrid boasts a selection of delicious food and drink options over three floors. As a regular visitor I sampled a large percentage of what they had to offer but most of the time I was a sucker for the delicious burgers on the ground floor (not very Spanish I know). As well as this you can expect to find everything from “pulpo” to “queso” and everything in between.
Whichever of these places tickle your fancy I hope you enjoy every mouthful as much as I did and if you get chance to visit all three, even better. Happy eating!