Madrid is not naturally famous for its regional food, compared to other cities in Spain. Local food in Madrid does not have much in common with international palates; and so it is also not much talked about. But it is unique nevertheless.
We found some insights, and we think you will find these useful to know before you get to Madrid yourself.
Madrid cuisine is characterized by heavy cooking with traditional local ingredients, many of them unusual.
Local dishes include Rabo de toro, stuffed cow or bull's tail; Cochinillo asado, roasted sucking pig; and Lengua de Vaca Estofado, stewed cow’s tonque.
As in other cities of Spain, Madrid is full of tapas bars.
Some Tapas you should try in Madrid are Tortilla de patatas with a wide variety of fillings from sliced or cubed potatoes to delicious Spanish peppers, tuna and eggplants; and Beer et boquerones en vinagre, anchovies marinated in white vinegar, though they can also be dressed in olive oil, garlic and parsley.
A good place to get Gourmet Tapas, Mercado de San Miguel is a short walk from Plaza Mayor. A welcome stop for lunch during a day of sightseeing.
The purists may say it panders to tourists, but fact is you can always get a good meal.
While in Madrid, do not miss dining at Botin, officially the world's oldest restaurant. It opened its doors in 1725 and whilst it was used for other purposes during the civil war, it has always remained open.
Hemingway ate here and Goya worked here as a waiter!
Churros dipped in hot chocolate is something you cannot resist. San Gines does them since 1894 and they don't disappoint. A must do in Madrid!
Locals have no fixed time for churros, you pick them up when you feel like, sometimes even as breakfast after a night out!
Gin and tonics, shorthanded as "gin-tonic", is normally served in a tumbler or large red-wine glass, and enhanced with fruit or spices like cinnamon or nutmeg.
There is also a culture change in the way gin in consumed, as fancy gin based cocktails at coctelerías.
Locals step in for a glass of vermut on tap as an aperitivo before lunch or dinner. Vermouth is a fortified wine to which sugar and spices are added.
Authentic bars sport a sign saying “hay vermut de grifo”, or vermouth on tap.
Madrid has played a leading role in bringing authentic Flamenco to the masses. Apart from Andalucia, you can catch a top notch flamenco performance in Madrid with established artists and rising talent.
If you are not heading to Andalucia, you must try and catch a show in Madrid.