Take part in an authentic Spanish cooking class
The best way to really experience Spanish cuisine is by learning to cook traditional dishes, like paella. Enroll in a Madrid cooking class and, together with your own personal chef, you’ll go shopping in a local market for the freshest ingredients. Then roll up your sleeves – it’s time to get cooking! Not only will it be the highlight of your trip, but you’ll also be able to replicate the dishes back home and wow your friends and family for the rest of your life.
Visit Hemingway’s favorite restaurant and order the roast suckling pig
Restaurant Botín is said to be the oldest restaurant in the world, so if you want to try traditional cuisine in a “historic” place, this is a must! Don’t miss the underground wine cellars which used to be connected with other parts of the city by ancient tunnels. This emblematic restaurant opened in 1725 and is said to be one of Hemingway’s favorite restaurants when he lived in the city. My recommendation: the roast suckling pig is the star dish.
Taste the famous calamari sandwich
Madrid is nowhere near the sea, so it may come as a surprise that the calamari sandwich is one of the typical bites in the city! Not only that, but Madrid boasts the second largest fish market in the world. The calamari sandwich follows a very simple recipe: just calamari and plain bread. No sauce, nothing else… just the fresh flavor of calamari. Trust me, it’s DELICIOUS! Head to Bar La Campana at any time of the day – the calamari sandwich is their specialty. It’s the only thing on the menu!
Try Madrid’s traditional chickpea stew
Madrid’s traditional chickpea stew is the perfect fit for a chilly winter touring day in Madrid. You’ll find it at many restaurants on their daily menu. Don’t be surprised when the waiter brings out three different pots – the stew is normally served separately. There’s the noodle soup, a plate with chickpeas and other vegetables to be cooked in the stew, and last but not least, the meat served separately after it has been cooked. My favorite places in Madrid for this local dish are La Bola, Malacatín and Casa Carola.
Indulge in a world-famous hot chocolate with porras and churros
Hot chocolate with churros and porras is probably one of the best preserved traditions in Spain. Locals normally eat this as a special snack on Sundays! San Gines is the oldest and most iconic “chocolateria” in Madrid.
Visit San Miguel or the San Anton market
Markets are the foodie soul of the cities. In Madrid, you will find a market in each neighborhood. If you really want to see seasonal produce and experience local daily life, you can’t miss a visit to a market. San Miguel and San Anton are some of the best markets to taste local produce and elaborate meals.