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Madrid Tapas Bars

Madrid enjoys the reputation of being the city with the longest nights in Europe. You will find bars, pubs and discos throughout the city, it is impossible for us to list all of them here, but we can guarantee that there is something interesting for everyone. The same applies for restaurants: you will find everything from simple pubs to true gourmet temples and of course the popular tapas bars. Here a small selection of the most popular localities.

El Txoko (Taberna Vasca)

This outstanding little bar/restaurant is an excellent choice for those who wish to sample the Basque food, considered by many to be Spain's equivalent of the French haute cuisine. We liked everything we tried here, and we tried a lot. To give a few examples: baked onions stuffed with fresh goat's cheese and jamón, blood pudding served with baked apple, perhaps the best anchovies we have ever tried, coated in virgin olive oil and Txacolí (a basque white wine), cod souffle... to mention a few possibilities.

The atmosphere is friendly if a bit cramped, and don't be misled by the entrance; the bar is in the basement of a Basque cultural building.

For those who want more than tapas the restaurant serves the same food, for an excellent price. Oh and incidently the desserts were also superb, sherbert in vodka, melt-in-your-mouth chocolate figs... (dinner from 18-25 euro, inc. wine and dessert).

El Txoko
(Taberna Vasca)
Jovellanos, 3
Tel.+34  91 532 34 43

Museo del Jamón

A chain that has also stores in Madrid. The name “museo” might come from the fact that dried ham hangs from the ceiling. Here you can find tapas – surprise, surprise - made of ham! Interesting!


  • Gran Vía 72
  • Alcalá 55
  • Atocha 54
  • Marcelo Usera 14

La Castela

Just east of the Retiro park, this area probably won't be in a tourist itinerary, but if you make it to the 'far side' of the park (meaning the side opposite the Prado Museum) we recommend going that little bit further to get to this bar.

Fairly modern, but with plenty of traditional dishes we tried and liked: the croquetas, (excellent) usually with seafood, but occasionally with chicken. Scrambled eggs with white beans and blood pudding (among others).

La Castela
(antes La Tercia).
Doctor Castelo, 22.
Tel: + 34 91 573 55 90

La Llama

If you find yourself in the Cuatro Caminos area (we can't think of too many reasons why a tourist would go there, except if you are leaving from or arriving at the Continental Auto bus station, or if you want to browse around some of the cheaper shops in this zone) you might want to drop into this locale.

Let me begin by saying this is one place which upholds what seems to be the diminishing custom of providing real (i.e. free) tapas with a drink. What's more they come in quite generous portions. I managed to try a delicious stewed meat with chips (french fries), grilled cuttlefish, a dish of wild mushrooms and ham and a sort of roasted pepper salad. I will also mention, if only because of their enormous size (I didn't actually try them), the bocadillo de calamares.

La Llama
General Ibáñez Ibero, semiesq.
Reina Victoria, 37
Tel: 91 553 53 23

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