Olive Magazine

Meet the food blogger: Marcela de la Pena, Madrid

Published: February 25, 2016 at 10:48 am

We interview Madrid expert and food blogger, Marcela de la Pena for her best foodie tips in Madrid. Find out where to eat, drink and explore in Madrid as the locals do

Here at olive we value local knowledge when it comes to our travel features, using the best food writers in the best food destinations to collate our guides. Many of these writers have great stories to share so, in this occasional series of posts, we’re doing just that. Next up is Madrid expert, Marcela de la Peña.


Marcela set up her blog (with the help of her co-blogger, and sister, Almudeña) to introduce tourists and expats to new places to eat, drink, shop and visit in Madrid, and to some of its age-old highlights. Both sisters had spent time living abroad and, now they were both back in their home city, they wanted to help visitors avoid the usual tourist spots and enjoy a truly Madrilian experience.

My three favourite restaurants in Madrid are… Actually I don’t have three favourites but I like Sala de Despiece for its original tapas, such as chuleton cenital (beef sliced very thinly with truffled sauce, olive oil, salt and tomato), Streetxo for its club sandwich and El Paraguas for a more formal dinner (my favourite dish is “verdinas” a kind of bean with pheasant).

A place I love that not many people know about are the Molar Caves, 30 minutes’ drive from Madrid. There are several restaurants here and you can eat dinner in caves where people used to hide during the Civil War. Despite the candlelit surroundings it’s greasy spoon kind of cooking but very authentic!

When I’m not blogging I’m... organising PR events as part of my role as Director of the Art and Culture department at Globally, a Spanish communications agency.

In my fridge there’s always… milk, tomatoes, cheese , Iberico ham and butter.

I know I shouldn’t admit it but my guilty pleasure food is… chocolate doughnuts and sweets.

My most-used cookbook is… I am not a good cook but the one cookbook I have at home is “1080 recipes by Simone and Inés Ortega”. It is quite common in Spanish kitchens.

A food trend I see sticking around is… Asian street food. It is becoming the hot trend in Madrid; three years ago no-one had heard about it but nowadays it’s becoming quite common.

If you gave me a tenner I‘d spend it on.... a bottle of wine. I like to ask my local wine shop for their recommendations but wineries I like include Marques de Riscal, Bodegas Amaren and Villacreces.

Other Spanish food blogs I follow are… El Comidista and La Gastronoma.

Marcela’s blog: my-little-madrid.com

Marcela’s twitter account: @mylittlemadrid

First published: February 2016

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