Traditional, international, avant-garde, fusion, haute cuisine, Michelin stars… there’s food for all tastes and budgets in the region of Madrid. The region is especially representative of the gastronomic boom that Spain has experienced, with Michelin-starred restaurants, old establishments and classic bars coming together to put quality, tradition and innovation on the table. In addition to the excellent range of restaurants on offer, there’s a series of culinary events and
contests throughout the year. Madrid is all about trying a delicious dish in a trendy restaurant, having lunch or tea in a museum garden, enjoying tapas on one of the many squares and streets, trying new cocktails in an after-work bar or a rooftop terrace with sunset views, or nourishing the body and soul with some amazing molecular gastronomy while attending a live show. On top of this, Madrid has a wide range of local products that contribute to the success of Madrid’s cuisine. This includes its own wines (there are activities organised by wineries belonging the Protected Designation of Origin of Wines of Madrid), olives from Campo Real, aniseed from Chinchón, meat from the Guadarrama mountains (with Protected Geographical Indication), strawberries and asparagus from Aranjuez, melons from Villaconejos, vegetables from Villa del Prado, honey from the mountains, beans from Sierra Norte, sheep’s milk cheese…
If there’s one dish that is synonymous with Madrid, it’s cocido Madrileño, a kind of stew served up in three stages. It can be ordered in some of the city’s classic restaurants, although when winter arrives many more join up to serve it on the so-called Ruta del Cocido (Cocido Route), a culinary event that will delight fans of this dish.
Just as in other Spanish cities, going for tapas in Madrid is a custom that blends tradition and innovation, as new dishes have been added to local and traditional tapas, all while remaining committed to the promise of offering food prepared with the very best ingredients. Whether it’s after work or just meeting with friends, mid-week or at the weekend, it’s always a good time to go out for tapas. In the region of Madrid, Alcalá de Henares and Chinchón are excellent for tapas. Chinchón’s Plaza Mayor (main square) is surrounded by balconies, bars and restaurants. Tapas have become so popular that almost every weekend there are tapas-themed events held in the local towns.
The traditional markets that have been turned into temples of gastronomy are an excellent option where gourmet products can be bought and tried: the Mercado de San Miguel next to Plaza Mayor, the Mercados de San Antón and San Ildefonso in the neighbourhood of Chueca, the Mercado de Moncloa and the multicultural market, el Mercado de San Fernando in Lavapiés. In addition to these markets, the Mercado de la Paz and the culinary locale Platea Madrid can be found in the neighbourhood of Salamanca. A visit to Madrid wouldn’t be complete without visiting some of these markets to try the cuisine that’s created on-site, accompanied by a good glass of wine, a beer or a cocktail. It’s a great atmosphere where you can enjoy the moment, just like the locals do!
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