tapas in madrid centro

Mouth-watering Tapas in Madrid Centro

Looking for where are the favorite tapas in Madrid centro for locals and foreigners?. It is a matter of fact that Spain is a sunny country. The weather is pretty hot most of the year and so it is in Madrid. That is why LITERALLY everyone is hanging out in the outside tables all the time with a cerveza and some tapas. Madrid is the capital city of Spain, so there’s no doubt that all the people are masters at this art.

But what is a tapa? It’s a small dish that is served with beer or wine or whatever you’re having as a drink. In some places they bring it for free when asking for your drink. The problem is that it’s just like Forrest Gump’s box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get. This can be cool but maybe it is better to know what are the tasty tapas in Madrid centro. This way you can choose what you are going to eat. So let’s get straight to the point. What are the best tapas in Madrid? And where should you go?

List of the main restaurant tapas Madrid centro that you definitely can’t miss!

1. Fried squid sandwich at "El Brillante" in Atocha

You may think that Spain is all about sangria and paella. WRONG. They eat a lot of fish and sea fruits, and you know what’s the most typical tapa in Madrid? Calamari sandwich. Yes, that’s right. We all know Madrid doesn’t have a harbor, it is not even near to the sea nor the ocean, however it has one of the most important fish markets in the world, the second best one after Japan’s Tsukiji market technically.

How so? Well, they pay a higher price for the best quality and most fresh pescado. This is why you should definitely go for some seafood tapas, just like the bocadillo de calamares, and everyone in the city knows that the best one is El Brillante which is situated just in front of the Atocha train station but also in the lovely Emperador Carlo V square, next to the Reina Sofia museum (the bar has a double entrance).

That crispy consistency of the squid circles with the warm and soft homemade bread.. is just delicious. And remember to ask for some mayonnaise and lemon if you really want a Madrilenian experience! One of the best tapas in Madrid for sure.

fried squids sandwich el brillante


Please, don’t call this dish an omelette. Omelettes are French and made in a totally different way. It is made by frying the potatoes, mashing and stirring them up with the eggs, then you fry everything in a pan. The tortilla de patatas is the dish that unites all the different regions in Spain, is that thing that you eat at home on a Sunday family lunch, and it’s also that food that young generations grew up with and cook when they wake up after a night out.

The potato tortilla it’s in the heart and soul of Spanish people and it is absolutely a “must try”. Definitely one of the best tapas in Madrid centro. There is this place in the cute Latina district called “Pez Tortilla” where you can ask for a super tasty and juicy pincho de tortilla, which is a slice of tortilla with a piece of bread. If you want you can have an entire tortilla, and if you ask it to go they’ll put it in a square box just like a pizza, so pizza is not the only food in the world that is round, comes in a square box and you eat it in triangle shapes.

potatio tortilla el pez tortilla


There’s another thing besides the tortilla, and it’s the croquetas. Those two dishes form together the Spanish DNA, Spanish people couldn’t live without hose two. Did you know that there’s a national day for the croquetas?

I can assure you it one of the most mouth-watering things you will ever try, you’ll never get enough croquetas. They are super crunchy on the outside and soft and worm on the inside. They are made with Spanish jamón and bechamel, breaded and deep-fried. You can find this tapas in Madrid centro almost in ever corner but the best are in Lavapies. In the multicultural barrio of Lavapiés you can find hidden typical places too, just like “Melo’s bar” where the Spanish people of the neighborhood hang out after work for a beer and maybe yes, some appetizing croquetas. Just be careful to not burn your tongue!

ham croquette melo bar


Bravas are one of the most consumed tapas by the Spaniards. If you reached this point of the article, you might have the idea that in Spain one of the main ingredients is potatoes, well you are totally right. Potatoes and eggs are the basis of the Spanish diet and culture and the patatas bravas are definitely one of the most traditional tapa dishes.

They are simply fried potatoes cut in an irregular/squared shape served with a spicy sauce and it’s the strength comes from its very simplicity. If you happen to be in Madrid you have to put on you to-do list the  “Maitetxe”, a basque tavern in calle del ave María. Try this tapas places in Madrid so You can thank thank us later!!

spanish spicy potatoes


Last but not least, the worldwide famous Jamon from Spain. How about some red wine and a cheese table with some magic jamon hand cut?. During your stay in Madrid remember to go to calle Carretas 21 at Enrique Tomás and try the aged ham. Is something that you can only find in Spain and Italy.  If you are in a hurry, you can always ask for a jamon sandwich, or better said a bocadillo de jamón. 

Don’t get fooled and don’t stop in places like Rodilla o el Museo del Jamón, those are just tourist chain restaurants. But is Iberian ham different from Serrano ham? Yes, it is. First of all because different pig breeds are used. The first is produced mainly with Iberian pig, a breed widespread in other Mediterranean countries. When it comes to the classic Jamón Ibérico it means that the pigs were fed with both feed and natural products in the stable. Finally, the Jamón Ibérico de bellota, is  notoriously higher in quality because pigs eat only natural food and acorns and live in the wild.

iberic ham enrique tomas

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