Madrid, as the capital of Spain, boasts a diverse and rich gastronomy. You can find the best dishes simply by strolling through the city center and discovering bars and restaurants with a menu filled with traditional Madrid dishes. Embark on an unparalleled culinary journey as you explore the finest dishes and flavors that this metropolis has to offer. Keep reading!
Many of you may wonder: have Madrileños claimed ownership of cocido?
We know that cocido is a typical dish throughout Spain, and it is true that its origins lie in the La Mancha region. However, by the late 17th century, it gained the designation ‘madrileño.’
It’s a unique dish during the coldest months, but it can be enjoyed throughout the year.
The traditional way to serve it is by separating the main ingredients into three different plates: the broth, the chickpeas with vegetables and potatoes, and another plate for the meats.
Some prefer to mix everything together on one plate (combining the broth with the chickpeas, potatoes, and meat). The beauty of this meal is that it can be enjoyed according to individual preference; there are no set rules.
Now, let’s get to the important part—where to eat it in Madrid? Here are several options that might interest you and are conveniently located near Woohoo’s rooms:
· Llhardy, Carrera de San Jerónimo, 8 (Sol)
· La Bola, Calle de la Bola, 5 (Sol)
It’s normal to have heard at least one Madrileño talking about their famous calamari sandwiches. Many might find this somewhat unusual combination puzzling. What is its origin, and why is it so popular in the capital?
There are several hypotheses regarding the origin of this dish. The most widely accepted one attributes its origin to the influx of people from outside the capital into its center. Many of these newcomers came from regions like Galicia, Asturias, or coastal areas.
Many of the cooks with these backgrounds started preparing more affordable seafood dishes, as squid was an easy ingredient to cook with. It was battered and put into bread, and over time, it became a star in Madrid’s gastronomy.
Why is it still so popular in Madrid today? One of the main reasons is its price. In the 1960s, it became popular to travel from the city’s neighbourhoods to Plaza Mayor in search of this sandwich. This simple dish was affordable, making it a common choice for students and workers.
So, it became a tradition to migrate to Plaza Mayor in search of that calamari sandwich. This tradition continues today, and if you ask anyone living in the capital, they will likely tell you that they’ve done it at least once in their life.
This tradition has become ingrained in the Madrileño culture, and every Christmas, thousands of people gather after seeing the holiday lights to enjoy that famous calamari sandwich.
What makes it special? There’s nothing specific; it’s just bread with fried calamari, but it’s delicious!
If you want to try it, visit these recommended establishments:
· Bar Postas, Calle de Postas, 13 (Madrid)
· El Brillante, Plaza del Emperador Carlos V, 8 (Madrid
Callos a la Madrileña
Callos are one of the most renowned elements of Madrid. Thousands of tourists come to the capital to savor this dish from Madrid’s gastronomy.
The earliest records of this dish date back to the late 16th and early 17th centuries. It started in taverns and then made its way into prestigious restaurants, typically served hot in a clay pot and accompanied by ham, chorizo, and even blood sausage. The price is usually affordable due to its low-cost ingredients.
This traditional dish from the capital is primarily composed of offal.
Are you curious to know if they’re really as good as they say? Here are several places where you can indulge in this dish very close to our Woohoo accommodations:
· La Tasquita de Enfrente, Calle de la Ballesta, 6 (Madrid)
· Casa Alberto, Calle de las Huertas, 18 (Madrid)
Grilled Pork Ear
As its name suggests, pork ear is the main ingredient in this dish and can be found in every bar in Madrid.
Since it’s available in any bar or restaurant in the capital, it’s the typical snack or dish to enjoy while having your drink, whether it’s wine, beer, or a soft drink. It’s an inexpensive and easy-to-cook dish.
What really makes it stand out is its crispy texture and flavour, as it’s prepared on the grill with garlic or seasoned with paprika, oil, and garlic. It can even be served with brava´s sauce, which allows it to be called a ‘tapa.’
So, the ultimate tapa to recharge while exploring the city is grilled pork ear.
San Isidro Donuts
We’ve been introducing various savory dishes, but there are also traditional sweet treats. San Isidro Donuts are one of them, and there are four types: ‘tontas’ (silly), ‘listas’ (smart), ‘francesas’ (French), and ‘de Santa Clara.’ They are not an insult; they are really named that way.
San Isidro Donuts are a sweet treat enjoyed as a tradition between May 1st and the end of the San Isidro Festival.
Why are they called San Isidro Donuts? This is because during these festivities, there was a vendor who made the best donuts, and over time, they became a tradition during this celebration.
Now, let’s talk about ‘listas’ and ‘tontas’… we’re talking about donuts, after all!
‘Tontas’ donuts have no toppings, just the baked dough, the simplest ones. On the other hand, ‘listas’ donuts are covered with a mixture of sugar, egg, and lemon; hence they are ‘listas’ (smart), because they taste much better.
Then, we have the ‘francesas’ donuts, which are not as traditional. They are topped with chopped almonds and sugar. And also, the ‘Santa Clara’ donuts, which are covered with a dry white meringue that forms a crust.
Each one adapted to different tastes. Which one would you choose?
To make an informed choice, you have to try them first. From Woohoo, we recommend a couple of places for you to judge for yourself if they are as delicious as they say:
· La Mallorquina, Calle Mayor, 2 (Sol)
· Casa Mira, Carrera de San Jerónimo, 30 (Sol)
But the best part of all these dishes is not just seeing them in photos and discovering their origin; it’s coming to Madrid to enjoy them. And what better way than to stay in a centrally located room that allows you to explore them among the corners of the city.
Come and discover the heart of the capital with Woohoo. Madrid is ours, and we are the perfect travel companion on your next visit to Madrid. Experience the Woohoo experience!