As you might already know, we recently vacationed in Spain, where we got to stay in Madrid and Segovia. As promised, what follows is a recap of the must visit places.
Juana la Loca (Plaza Puerta de los Moros, 4, La Latina): Small yet modern and cozy, the restaurant/bar offers a great wine selection and a varied assortment of pinchos and tapas. Don’t leave without trying the Tortilla with Caramelized Onions. It is to die for! To some it is one of the best tortillas in Madrid and we agree. Be warned, the dishes are a bit on the pricey side, but well worth it.
Taberna de los Huevos de Lucio (Cava Baja, 30): Part Spanish tavern and part restaurant, come in for drinks and tapas or for lunch or dinner. At this place you can have it all. Expect a short wait to be seated, since this hot spot is usually packed. One of the must haves when you visit this restaurant is their signature dish: Broken Eggs with Chistorras (Huevos Rotos con Chistorras). They are scrumptious! I am craving them right now. Other dishes that I would recommend would be the Artichokes with Crispy Onions and Beets (Alcachofas con Remolacha y Cebolla Crujiente) and the Fried Squid (Chipirones). At Taberna de los Huevos de Lucio, you will find excellent food, a good selection of wines, attentive staff, and great prices.
Cervecería Alemana (Plaza de Santa Ana, 6): Established in 1904, this bar/restaurant was a favorite of Ernest Hemingway. He came here so often that he even had his own table. You will find it just to the right of the entrance. Come either for drinks or food. You won’t be disappointed.
El Rincón de Esteban (Calle de Santa Catalina, 3): Top notch food and service. Expect a few extra dishes to be ready at your table when you arrive such as an assortment of olives, sardines with “pan con tomate” and tortilla. Come hungry because the portions are substantial. Some recommended items include: (1) Lamb Shoulder with Potatoes (Paletila de Cordero con Patatas Panaderas), (2) Lamb Chops (Chuletas de Cordero Lechal), (3) Assortment of Desserts (why get just one when you can try them all!). Of course no meal is complete without their complementary after dinner drink, which they leave at your table to have as much as you please. Reservations are highly recommended.
Mercado San Miguel (Plaza San Miguel): One of Madrid’s oldest markets, it is open day and night. There is something for everyone here, from beers to caviar. It is one of my required stops every time I visit Madrid. Before picking what you will eat, I suggest you take a walk around the market and see what they have to offer first. You don’t want to be full and then walk by something that you would have liked to try out. My suggestion, head for the Iberico Ham stand where you can enjoy a plate of this melt in your mouth delight and continue on from there. Some of the items we tried and loved were: (1) Iberico Ham, (2) Pulpo a la Gallega, (3) Tuna Nigiri and Salmon Nigiri, and (4) Truffle Arancini.
Restaurante Cazorla (Castello 99): Ideal for either tapas or a sit down lunch or dinner. Portions are plentiful and all the products are fresh. Typically packed by locals, so be prepared to wait a bit to be seated. While there, we enjoyed the following items: (1) Marinated Tomato (Tomate Macerado), (2) Garlic Shrimp (Camarones al Ajillo), (3) Fried Calamari (Calamares Fritos), (4) Lima Beans with Ham (Habas con Jamón), and (5) Chocolate Cake. Overall, an excellent experience.
Chocolateria San Gines (Pasadizo de San Ginés, 5): Open 24 hours a day. This chocolateria dates back to 1894 and their success is no surprise. The sweet fried dough of the churros and the decadent thick hot chocolate just keep you coming back for more. During my college days in Madrid, I used to visit the Chocolateria on a weekly basis. I was and still am to this day addicted to their hot chocolate and churros.
Taberna Angel Sierra (Gravina Street, 11): It is one of Madrid’s oldest taverns. They are mostly known for their vermouth on tap. It is a great place for drinks and conversation.
Mercado San Antón (Augusto Figueroa Street, 24): Very modern, it has three main areas. On the first floor, you will find the market with a variety of fresh produce. On the second floor, you have the food stalls offering anything from sushi to traditional Spanish fare. At the third floor, you will find the restaurant (reservations highly recommended) and a gorgeous bar area. It is a true gem! During our visit we enjoyed the following dishes: (1) Canarian Style Patatas Bravas, (2) a variety of Canarian cheeses, and (3) White Bean Stew with Chorizo (YUM!).
Diverxo (Pensamiento Street, 28): This three Michelin star rated restaurant offers a fusion of Asian and Spanish cuisine. Since receiving its third Michelin star, reservations must be made six months in advance. It was an experience for the eyes and the palate. For a full recap of our dinner here, stay tuned to Puerto Rico Eats.
Restaurante Mesón de Jose María (Cronista Lecea Street, 11): A traditional tavern/restaurant with spectacular food and an extensive wine list, some coming from Jose María’s winery Pago de Carraovejas. They are mostly known for their decadent roast suckling pig, which is so tender that Jose María cuts it right before your eyes with a plate. During our visit, we enjoyed the following dishes: (1) picadillo, (2) sautéed mushrooms, onions and ham, (3) giant white bean stew with chorizo, (4) forequarter lamb, (5) panna cotta, and (6) the chocolate raviolis.