When you live in Madrid for quite a while, you slowly and steadily fall in love with the local favourites and soon notice yourself, thinking “It would be nice to have a pincho de tortilla…A warm filling cocido would be so good on this cold Sunday…”. These typical madrileño dishes are such a big part of the local culture and daily life that you will not be able to avoid them.
Madrid in general has become famous for its gastronomy in the last few years. Some Spanish chefs experiment with different cuisines, but the traditional Spanish food remains untouched, in the hundreds of taverns and restaurants across Madrid. I believe and hope that these old traditional restaurants that you can find in any area in Madrid, will never disappear. Because one can never get tired of hot fresh tortillas and a plate of good Jamón iberico.
*I am not including paella to the list, because for this you have to go to Valencia. And I had to exclude my favourite chuleton (big piece of meat), as my friend and my Spanish teacher told me that for Chuleton you have to go to Avila (as I actually did one day).
So here is a list of four specialties that we identified together in the end:
Callejón de Puigcerdà, s/n Jorge Juan
+34 91 575 41 25
Cinco Jotas is originally one of the top jamon brands in Spain (stat tuned for a post about best jamons on the blog). Its hams are marked with 5J mark for its equivalent to the 3 Michelin stars in the restaurant world. The company under Osborne group
opened up several restaurants in Spain to showcase their products and other dishes from Spanish cuisine. The one on Jorge Juan takes three floors and is my preferred option due to its prime location and lots of light.
Calle del General Pardiñas, 21
+34 91 575 23 29
One of the most typical Madrid dishes, cocido is a thick stew made out of chickpeas, vegetables, meat, bacon and sausages. It was always considered as food of common people, as it is cheap and easy to cook. Taberna de la Daniela specializes in this dish and by the popularity of this place among locals at any day of the week, you can see that they do it very well. It is a very cozy and welcoming restaurant that does everything with respect to Spanish traditions, may it be the decorations, service or food.
Calle Rafael Calvo, 20
+34 913 19 75 05
This place knows how to cook the most popular Spanish tapa to perfection. Not hard, but juicy, and with creamy texture, served hot. Besides 7 varieties of tortillas, they serve great traditional spanish food with a modern touch: croquetas, Carrillera de ternera glaseada (glazed veal cheeks), hot balls made of foie gras, marinated anchovies…
Calle de la Cava Alta, 4
+34 913 65 12 49
Callos a la Madrileña, another rival of Cocido, is a traditional winter stew made out of tripe. Its invention dates back to 1599 and was also considered a cheap dish of tavernas that made its way to high end restaurants by 19th century. It is typically served in a clay pot and contains different parts of the cow’s insides , served with chorizo and blood sausage, morcilla. The restaurant, La Botillería de Maxi, was recommended by my Spanish teacher, Ángeles, a Madrid local 🙂