The city of Madrid is a hub for Spanish food and other cuisines from around the globe with a plethora of different tastes catering for all cravings! People of the capital live by the attitude of “Walk, Stop, Eat, Repeat” which can be observed in all neighborhoods of the city, meaning that whether it is locals or tourists, comida is on their mind!
Although this may be the case, be wary that Spanish meal times vary from what we may be used to and thus understanding when and how they are set is an important feature to your stay in Madrid.
Meals are set up slightly differently, instead of 3 main meals people tend to have (around) 5 smaller ones. The main meals are also held later than one may be accustomed to and they tend to last longer, some restaurants open till the early hours of the morning.
Starting with the first meal of the day: el desayuno
This consists on coffee and pastry, toasts, or so (at around wake up time).
Second comes Almuerzo/Tapas
The Spanish brunch or snack consisting of more bread or pincho de tortilla eaten briefly before or at noon.
La comida, otherwise known as lunch, comes next
It starts around 2pm till 4ish or so, at which it is not unusual to have a drink to ease off.
It is the equivalent to English tea time and that is had anytime between 5/6ish.
Finally, la cena
Dinner is the last meal of the day around 9pm or later!
If you are a food enthusiast and would like to research available Spanish cuisine or certain special cuisines around the city, a recommendation would be checking out a few food Instagram accounts to combine culinary passion and travel adventures. Accounts such as @madridcoolblog and @munching_girl could give you an insight of certain restaurants and dishes.
Wandering the city’s streets can lead you down to tapas restaurants or food markets.
Tapas is not only a type of cuisine, it is the Spanish art of eating together and sharing food. The styles and quality of tapas varies across the city, there are many ways to cook similar dishes. As a rule of thumb, the less the restaurants cater for tourists, the more likely they provide quality portion tapas, although that is not always the case! Also, remember that some bars and restaurants offer free smaller sized bites and tapas for accompanying drinks of beer or wine ordered.
There are a few iconic restaurant names that buzz around the city as they are considered local landmarks. One of which is The Chocolateria of San Gines, a café that mainly serves ‘chocolate con churros’ and has been doing so for over a century! The snack consists of an enormous portion of cylindrically shaped deep fried batter, partnered with a cup of dark, thick and strong hot chocolate. The Chocolateria is open 24 hours a day meaning that you can pop in at any time, even late after dinner and drinks!