Exploring the Best Tapas in Madrid, Spain

by | Mar 7, 2024 | Bar Crawl Madrid

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Madrid, the vibrant capital city of Spain, is renowned for its culinary delights, and one of the highlights of Spanish cuisine is tapas. Tapas, small savory dishes typically served with drinks, offer a fantastic way to experience the diverse flavors and social culture of Madrid. In this guide, we will take you on a journey to discover the best tapas in Madrid, ensuring you experience the city’s gastronomic delights to the fullest.

Traditional Tapas

Traditional tapas in Madrid are often simple yet bursting with flavors. Some classic tapas you must try include:

  • Patatas Bravas – crispy fried potatoes served with a spicy tomato sauce
  • Jamon Iberico – thinly sliced cured ham from acorn-fed pigs
  • Tortilla Espanola – a Spanish omelet made with eggs, potatoes, and onions
  • Gambas al Ajillo – sizzling garlic shrimp
  • Calamares a la Romana – deep-fried squid rings

Top Tapas Bars in Madrid

Madrid is filled with tapas bars serving delicious bites. Here are some of the best tapas bars you should visit:

1. Mercado de San Miguel

Located in the heart of Madrid, Mercado de San Miguel is a food lover’s paradise. This historic market hosts numerous tapas stalls offering an array of gourmet options. From traditional Spanish tapas to modern fusion creations, you’ll find a diverse range of flavors to satisfy your taste buds.

2. La Latina Neighborhood

The La Latina neighborhood is known for its lively ambiance and authentic tapas bars. El Almendro and Cava Baja are two popular streets where you can explore various traditional tapas bars. Don’t miss out on trying La Casa del Abuelo, famous for its grilled prawns.

3. Taberna Malaspina

A true hidden gem, Taberna Malaspina is a small tavern loved by locals. This bustling spot is known for its excellent tapas selection, including their mouthwatering Spanish omelet and croquetas. Be prepared to visit during off-peak hours as it can get crowded.

The Art of Tapas Hopping

Tapas hopping is a popular and enjoyable activity in Madrid. Here are a few pro tips to enhance your tapas-hopping experience:

  1. Pay attention to the locals. If a tapas bar is full of locals, it’s a good sign that the food is authentic and delicious.
  2. Try different places. Each tapas bar has its specialties, so explore various bars to savor a wide range of flavors.
  3. Enjoy the drink pairing. Madrid is well-known for its refreshing sangria, vermouth, and local wines. Don’t forget to enjoy them alongside your tapas.
  4. Embrace the social aspect. Tapas are meant to be shared and enjoyed in a social setting. Engage with locals and fellow travelers to make the experience even more memorable.

Vegetarian and Vegan Tapas

Madrid also caters to those with dietary preferences. If you are vegetarian or vegan, you can still enjoy tapas with these options:

  • Pimientos de Padrón – blistered green peppers seasoned with salt
  • Patatas Bravas (Vegan Version) – crispy fried potatoes served with a vegan aioli
  • Ensaladilla Rusa – a potato and vegetable salad
  • Champiñones al Ajillo – garlic mushrooms
  • Alcachofas a la Plancha – grilled artichokes


Madrid is a culinary hotspot with a vibrant tapas scene. By exploring traditional tapas dishes, visiting the best tapas bars, mastering the art of tapas hopping, and indulging in vegetarian or vegan options, you can fully immerse yourself in the gastronomic wonders of Madrid. Whether you’re a foodie or a traveler looking for an authentic cultural experience, the tapas in Madrid are sure to leave a lasting impression.

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Exploring the Best Tapas in Madrid, Spain