Tapas are such a big deal in Madrid that they invented the verb "tapear" (to go eat tapas). There are numerous places to go and have a drink and tapas (small snacks that accompany the drink). The areas around Plaza Mayor and Plaza Santa Cruz are particularly popular, but you'll find tapas all over town. Here is a picture of a very common tapas dish (this is a large portion called a "racion"), jamon iberica and queso, which is top-quality iberian ham and aged Spanish Manchego cheese. It was delicious.
After a long night of tapas hopping, Madrilenos often will stop for some churros (like a long doughnut) dipped in a thick chocolate milk type concoction. There's a great place off of San Gines that's worth a stop. Here's a shot of my friend Andrew tasting his first churro.
Madrid is finally emegring out from the dark shadow of Francisco Franco and shedding its staid, traditionalist and parochial image. Modern cuisine based on regional themes is starting to catch-on in the city. Locals credit Spain's entry to the European Union and the opening of the borders for free movement in Europe, as the driving force behind Madrid's updated look. But old habits die hard, especially if they are as delicious as tapas, the wonderful little appetizer dishes that feed Spain between lunch and midnight. Around the Plaza Mayor, the Puerto del Sol, the Plaza de Santa Ana or the Opera are clusters of friendly bars known by the Madrileños as tascas, where a glass of fino can be accompanied by tapas. Each bar has a number of specialties.
Some terms to remember:
Tasca, a bar serving tapas
Tapeo, tapas bar hopping. A pub crawl.
Tapa, a single piece of food in a saucer-sized plate.
Ración, A larger portion of a tapa, enough to share with a friend.
Media Ración, half a ración but larger than just a tapa.
Banderilla, a few pieces of grilled or cold and/or pickled tidbits impaled on a toothpick shaped like the instrument used to stick the bull in a bullfight.
Montadito, a canape-like tapa.
Fino, pale dry sherry from Jerez, always served chilled. The most popular sherry overall.
In most bars along with the sherry and beer you will also find cava (champagne) as an inexpensive item. You might wonder about the minimal cost till you realize that what is being served is cheap white wine passed through a CO2 gizmo, like a beer pump.
Presto! Bubbly on tap!!!
One of the joys of Madrid is the food, often best enjoyed in the many bars and cafes that serve ready made food (tapas) to its standing customers. Cheap and quick, it makes for a great, authentic, meal. What we really like about many of these eating establishments in Madrid is the old-school style of clothing that the wait staff wears. Pure class!!
They say we have the highest rate of bars per habitants in all Europe!! (I think it's in all the world). In the city center you will find 3 or 4 bars in every block. Always full for breakfasts, tapas, a quick beer, bocadillos, another coffee...
Don't feel ashamed of throwing used tissues or olive bones to the floor, as it is a normal way of acting (and I don't feel very comfortable about that!). Anyway, they usually clean the floor quite often.
Churros are fried strips of dough served hot with powdered sugar, or dipped in chocolate.
We couldn`t miss tasting them at Chocolateria St Gines
On our last night in Spain, we ended with Paella and Sangria. Go, search, eat and enjoy!!!!
It was wonderful Paella...this is just Hol doing Jermaine.
In autumn you will find many baked chestnuts street stalls in Madrid. Most of them sell only chestnuts by dozens, but some also provide corn and "batatas" (a kind of sweet potatoes).
in madrid, in summer, if you walk more than one hour you will feel so hot that you have to drink a lot
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