Where are the best Croquetas in Madrid?

One of the most appreciated aspects of Spain by foreigners, is Spanish cuisine, and with reason. If we just begin to think about the food in the country, it is impossible not to come up with a huge list of incredible dishes: Spanish tortilla with potatoes, serrano ham, paella, gazpacho, croquettes….However the problem faced by many before being able to delve into one of these delicacies, is finding the perfect place in which to try them.  For this reason, I will write about my personal favourite places to try the best croquettes in Madrid!

Santerra (C/General Pardiñas, 56)

Best croquetas in Madrid

This restaurant is critically aclaimed to to boast the best croquettes in the world. Smooth and full of flavor, they simply melt in your mouth. Some advice from a local: ask for them in the bar, given that the average price in the restaurant is 60 euros! However, if you get the chance, treat yourself to these taste sensations, you won’t regret it.

 Bodega La Ardosa (C/Colón, 13)

Best croquetas in Madrid

With over 100 years of experience, the croquettes in Bodega La Ardosa are simply unequalled. Hence their popularity, the biggest challenge is finding a place to sit down, but believe me; it will be worth your while to wait. Accompany the croquettes with a piece of tortilla and it will be impossible not to return.

Casa Labra (C/Tetuán, 12)

Best croquetas in Madrid

Tied with Bodega La Ardosa, Casa Labra is one of the most emblematic places of the capital and for this reason, one the busiest. Their large sized cod croquettes are a popular specialty. Despite its location (it is situated right in the centre of the city), this place is suitable for all budgets with prices between one and two euros per serving.

Txirimiri (C/Ferraz, 38)

Best croquetas in Madrid

This Basque restaurant has croquettes de boletus, truffle and ham. Perhaps you thought that these were three different types of croquette? Not at all, in fact, it is a mixture of flavours which explode in your mouth which really deserves a try.  They have various premises in Madrid, my personal favouite being the one which is located next to Retiro Park (Calle de Ibiza, 25) because it is the perfect destination to relax and refuel after a long walk.

La Gastro (C/del barco, 7)

Last but not least, I recommend this restaurant for its originality. If you still want to experiment with something new after trying croquettes in the previously mentioned places, then this is the perfect place for you. Here you can find croquettes of all forms: pisto (similar to ratatouille) with egg and ham, or with mushrooms and caramelized tomato, of cuttle fish and alioli…in other words, the tapas is to die for!!

Top 5: Adam

¡Hola! After living in Madrid for a few months I have quite a lot of favourite places, but below you can find my top 5. I hope it’s helpful and you try some of them out whilst you’re in Madrid.

1. Parque del Retiro

Sorry to be basic but this is by far my favourite place in Madrid. You can go rowing, visit the book fair (in June), sunbathe and get a glass of sangria at the cafeteria. Rowing there is great value for money and costs around 7€ for 45 minutes. I cannot recommend it enough and it is particularly amazing to watch the sun set there. It’s really easy to get there from the centre too and you can even walk if you’re feeling brave enough.

Retiro Park
2. Palacio Real

This is another classic. The architecture and interior design of this palace is really something else. I went 3 times whilst staying in Madrid and have got to say it is one of my favourite places. You can access most of the palace, its gardens and take pictures in front of amazing views. Each room has its own theme and it really is a must-see if you want to try out being a Royal for the day. There is a discount for students too if you book it online in advance too at www.patrimonionacional.es/ and this will make sure that you avoid the extremely long queues for visitors who haven’t booked tickets in advance.

Royal Palace
3. LLBar, Chueca

I would highly recommend this little drag bar. Coming from Manchester which has the biggest gay night scene in Europe, I really didn’t expect to find much to compare it with here in Madrid. However, I was wrong. Chueca is a part of the city which really embraces LGBT culture. This bar has drag queen shows most nights and really is so fun and a great way to practice your Spanish talking in the queue or listening to the extremely talented Drag Queens singing and dancing. The entry is free and the copas (doubles) are good value for money.

Chueca
4. Purmina Indian Restaurant

This is by far my favourite place to eat in Madrid. Although not particularly Spanish, it serves authentic Indian food and is run by local Bangladeshi people who are extremely friendly. You can personalize each dish to have it as spicy as you want and the interior design really is to die for. It is a bit further out from the city centre but it is worth the effort, trust me! It is a bit pricey but the mains are extremely big so you could always share a main with a friend or just have a whole dish to yourself! We are all kind of holiday after all ;).

Indian restaurant
5. Ojalá, Malasaña

My favourite café to have brunch at on a Sunday morning is definitely Ojala. It is really quirky inside (as you can see in the photo) and the food is delicious, particularly the breakfast menu. All the brews come in tiny little cute tea cups and the avocado on toast is gorgeous. Go whilst you can! It is in the very trendy area of Malasaña, which is full of cool restaurants and cafes so you can go and do a bit of retail therapy in nearby vintage clothes shops after a delicious breakfast.

Ojalá, Malasaña

Traditional festivals in Madrid

If you´re looking for an authentic experience in Madrid, the August fiestas (6th-18th August 2019), could be the perfect opportunity to celebrate the city´s traditions alongside the locals. Each summer, the streets come alive with three of the city´s most famous festivals – read on to find out how to get involved.

The celebrations begin with the Fiestas de San Cayetano (from 6th August, Embajadores). Events will include open-air concerts, dances, parades and games. In the evening you can enjoy a DJ session with a drink from one of the local bars which will be setting up in the street for the occasion.

The party continues with the Fiestas de San Lorenzo (10th-13th August, Lavapiés). Once you´ve worked up an appetite from dancing, why not go on a tapas tour of the local bars and try something new!

Fiesta Virgen de la Paloma

The Fiestas de la Virgen de la Paloma (12th-18th August, La Latina), are undoubtedly the highlight of the celebrations; if you only go to one of the three fiestas, this one is not to be missed. The festival reaches its climax on 15th August, which happens to be a public holiday in Madrid, so you won´t have to skip work to join in! On this day, alongside more events such as workshops and food tastings, the firefighters of Madrid take part in a procession and make an offering to their patron saint.

You can find more information and the official programme here:

https://www.esmadrid.com/fiestas-agosto-madrid-san-cayetano-san-lorenzo-virgen-la-paloma

Feria del Libro, Madrid (Book Fair)

Want to learn a language quickly? Get reading! Take advantage of Madrid´s 78th Feria del Libro (Book Fair) in El Retiro. With over 300 book stalls around the city, the guest country this year is the Dominican Republic, with the event´s slogan ´´A story at every step´´ (Una historia a cado paso). From the 31st May- 16th June, wander around the city´s many stalls and immerse yourself in the literary culture.

Here´s a summary of our top 4 best hidden gems around the city for literature and free activities:

  • La Casquería Antigua

Feria del libro Madrid

Love a good bargain? Here, you pay for the weight of your books, meaning that a whole kilo only comes to only 10 euros. (Nearest metro stop: Embajadores, 41)

2) Tuuulibreria

Books and culture Madrid

The only place where you can actually choose the price of your book. The idea is that everyone has access to literature. The company also sends books to developing countries. (Covarrubias 38, Bilbao)

  • La Casa Encendida or Casa del Libro

More well-known than the two previous places, you can take part in book signings, readings, and free exhibitions.

  • Ever heard of a Poetry Slam?

Poetry Slam Madrid

Try something a bit different and join this Facebook group´s poetry/ rap-style competition to challenge your poetry skills on the spot.

Keep a look out for: The lady with the typewriter outside Opera. Give her a subject and she can type up a poem for you on the spot!

Finally, don’t forget that Inhispania runs a book exchange on the second floor with plenty of novels, tourist magazines and autobiographies!

Fiestas de San Isidro

Key places: Plaza Mayor, Las Vistillas and Pradera de San Isidro

Dates: 10th – 15th May 2019

This week, Madrileños celebrate their patron saint, San Isidro Labrador, so it will be a week filled with concerts, shows and other cultural activities. With locals dressed in ´chulapos´, dancing ´el Chotis´. 

Here are our top three things to take part in during the Day of San Isidro Labrador:

Pasacalles de Gigantes y Cabezudos

Labelled the quirkiest and ´most instagrammable´ event of this week, this parade consists of locals sporting giant heads characterizing the four ruling couples of Asia, Africa, Europe and America.

The parade takes place along:
Plaza de Santo Domingo, Plaza de Callao, Calle Preciados, Puerta del Sol, Calle Mayor and Plaza de la Villa on Sunday 12th (18:00pm) and Monday 13th (12:00pm)

Fireworks and Music

Parque de Retiro is the go-to place for sunbathing and offers beautiful views all year round, but on the 14th and 15th, the gardens will host a spectacular fireworks show (22:00pm) with music events from around 20:30.

Top Tip! Try out the many variations of rosquillas; tiny sugared doughnuts found in stalls down every street.

Click here to download the 2019 programme.