Spain has so much to offer, so why not check out our guide to the best Spanish food trips.
1 Top table At pop-up restaurant The Table By the chef, menu, team and decoration change every six weeks. The only thing that stays the same is the venue: the five-star Hotel Urso. With outstanding chefs from across Spain taking their turn in the kitchen, it’s a great way to eat your way around the country without leaving Madrid.
2 Traditional taverna A typical Spanish taverna, La Bodega de la Ardosa is set in the lively Malasaña district and has been open for more than a century. Within its beautifully tiled walls, sit and enjoy salmorejo, croquetas and pincho de tortilla.
3 Modern tapas At Sala de Despiece Javier Bonet has created a cool tapas bar decorated along the lines of a fishmonger’s, with an open kitchen, a bar counter and a smart young team. Choose between beef carpaccio with truffle, octopus or simple marinated tomato topped with crispy basil. academiadeldespiece.com
4 One-stop shop Head to the seventh floor of the El Corte Inglés shopping centre for its Gourmet Experience collection of restaurants. StreetXo, the tapas bar from David Muñoz (of three Michelin-starred DiverXo), stands beside Cascabel, informal sister of Punto MX, and there’s an ice-cream cart by Jordi Roca, of El Celler de Can Roca. On your way out, stock up at the sixth-floor food hall.
5 Tortilla temple One of the best places in Madrid to try a proper Spanish tortilla (which should be creamy and still a little liquid) is Sylkar. The recipe hasn’t changed at this family-run cafeteria in over 45 years, and with good reason. Calle de Espronceda 17, 00 34 915 545 703
6 Organic café An antiques and homewares shop as well as an organic café, stylish Il Tavolo Verde, near the Retiro Park, is the perfect place for a relaxing lunch or afternoon tea. The menu changes daily, but there’s always a good selection of homemade cakes, cheeses, soups, salads and quiches.
7 Gourmet store Opened just last Christmas, Cristina Oria stocks a wide range of foods from around Spain. It’s
the ideal place to pick up gourmet gifts, from delicious ibérico hams to wines, flavoured oils and lemon cakes, all stylishly packaged.
8 Foodie Trinity At beautifully designed Triciclo three young Spanish chefs have created an affordable but polished restaurant serving clever twists on traditional dishes using fresh-from-market produce. Try the Nikkei ceviche made with corvina fish, lime and yuzu juices, soy and coriander, or the roast pigeon with mushrooms, truffle and liver pâté.
9 Best brunch For a quick sandwich or salad, Magasand’s three coffee bars are a cut above the competition (try a Hot Vegas sandwich – rye bread, hummus, chipotle, avocado, tofu, dried tomatoes, spinach and red onion). They also serve great weekend brunches.
10 All about ham The main attraction at this upmarket sandwich bar is its five-star produce. Though it also sells cheese plates and gazpacho, the focus is on the ultimate Spanish ham sandwich, made with freshly baked bread and fabulous Ibérico ham. All to be enjoyed with a glass of cava if you like. bocadillodejamon.com
HOW TO DO IT
Return flights from Birmingham, Manchester and Stansted to Madrid start at around £50 (ryanair.com). Double rooms at the Hotel Hospes cost from €176, room only.
Trust olive Marcela de la Peña writes the My Little Madrid blog and guidebook with her sister Almudena.
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