Published October 2019
A good Spanish ham deserves to be savored without haste, honoring its manufacturing process – a jamón ibérico piece, for example, can take two to five years to be perfect. As such, take your time at Casa González and try a piece of this delicacy, accompanied by one of the over 200 local wines available at the locale. Located in Barrio de las Letras, a neighborhood that’s famous for the literary culture that was born there in the 16th century, this delicatessen is a true paradise to find charcuterie, cheese, preserves, and pâtés.
Casa González: Calle León, 12
Even though it was born in the Valencia region, this rice-based dish has been integrated into the Madrid menu. Houses that specialize in this recipe are known as arrocerías and can be found all over the city. However, in the city center, La Barraca offers one of the best and most traditional versions, made with rabbit and chicken. Opened in 1935, its menu also features other options, like seafood paella.
La Barraca: Calle Reina, 29, close to Gran Vía
Bocadillos or bocatas are sandwiches that have several filling options. The most classic version is made with calamari: a baguette filled with a generous amount of breaded and fried squid rings. Nearby the Reina Sofía Museum, the bar El Brillante is a great place to try this sandwich.
El Brillante: Plaza del Emperador Carlos V, 8, nearby the Reina Sofía Museum and Atocha Station
Potato, eggs, onion, olive oil, and salt: few ingredients that are transformed into one of the best tortillas in Spain by the hands of chef Lola Cuerda, who runs Casa Dani. The restaurant is almost a mandatory stop for anyone visiting the neighborhood of Salamanca. Get there early to try it with a nice slice of artisan bread for breakfast.
Casa Dani: Calle Ayala, 28, inside Mercado de La Paz
Light and refreshing, cold soups are great to soothe the intense European summer heat, and gazpacho is one of the most famous recipes, made with tomato, cucumber, and olive oil. The original version was created in Andalusia, but in Madrid you can try it at Viridiana, which is next to Parque de El Retiro. Meanwhile, the restaurant Mama Campo offers a contemporary rereading of the dish, with an option made with organic eggplants.
Viridiana: Juan de Mena, 14
Mama Campo: Calle de Trafalgar, 22