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Tips on how to eat like a local in Madrid

The capital of Spain and one of the main spots for tourism, Madrid has a lot to offer: from expensive and exclusive restaurants to cheap and greasy bars packed with people. Some might argue that the growing number of people living in or visiting Madrid outweighs the  loss of its own traditions in favor of hipster restaurants and fast-food franchises. Luckily, there are still a good number of bars and restaurants that keep making traditional cuisine with high quality foods, but you might have to get away from the main touristic spots, because it is true that they are getting harder to find. Keep reading if you want to know more tips on how to eat like a local in Madrid.

Puerta de Alcala in Madrid
Puerta de Alcala in Madrid, one of the main spots.

Although Madrid’s agriculture and livestock don’t play an important role in its economy, we can still find some local foods like Melón de Villaconejos and some beef that comes from the mountains in the north. However, you can find a great variety of foods that come directly to the capital from all parts of Spain to be sold in the local markets and served at restaurants. 

Madrid’s cuisine uses offal very often as one of its main components. That’s the case of the famous Callos a la Madrileña, or the Gallineja. If we need to pick the most classic dish, we’d probably pick Cocido Madrileño, which includes a warm soup, chickpeas, potatoes and carrots served with some meat as well. We strongly recommend it, especially in the winter, although you’d better be very hungry before having one of them.

If you want to get some fish, keep in mind there is an urban legend that says that the best fish you can find in Spain is in Madrid. Even though the coast is far away, you can find fresh good quality fish brought straight from the coast. A good example of a fish dish would be the Besugo a la Madrileña (red sea bream). 

And last but not the least, it is a very typical thing in this city to go from bar to bar having some cañas (a small glass of beer) together with tapas, like Tortilla de patata, bravas, calamares and so on. Make sure you set aside some time while you are visiting this city to enjoy one of our best traditions!

Tips and Tapas recommends:

Main dishes:
Cocido Madrileño, Besugo a la Madrileña . The Bocadillo de Calamares, a sandwich with breaded squid rings inside is quite typical as well.
Something you should definitely try:
Callos a la Madrileña and some pinchos around the city. .
Something to drink:
You will find a great variety of wine from all around Spain. Caña (draft beer) is quite common and usually well served.
Something sweet:
Chocolate con Churros

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