The gastronomic offers you can explore in Spain are endless. Many regions of the country are famous for its delicious cuisine as well as for its fine wines and other typical drinks. A lot of tourists are struggling with the question: “Where to go to have an interesting experience of the culinary art of Spain?” Almost all regions provide a great range of different traditions. One of the best places to discover a typical culinary custom is going to Madrid to visit some of the historic and legendary taverns.
The capital of Spain comprises of a huge amount of restaurants, bars, cafes and taverns. Several of the traditional taverns have a long history what makes them famous, not only among the inhabitants of Madrid. The trend of these taverns dates back to the 19th century, when people began to go out to theatres, listen to music on the streets or visit the Museo el Prado. It started to become a tradition to have drinks and some food after these activities, therefore lots of taverns opened close to the main hotspots like Plaza Mayor or Plaza Santa Ana. Some of them were so popular and were able to build up a successful business which is still operating.
SOBRINO DE BOTÍN
The 1987 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records stated that in 1765, the adolescent Goya was employed at Botín as a dishwasher. The same edition also names Botín as the oldest restaurant in the world. Since back then, several generations were leading the company which is located close to Plaza Mayor in Calle Chuchilleros. Sticking to a traditional philosophy the restaurant serves typical Madrid dishes, prepared from regional ingredients.
Continuing with another ancient one, also called the mother of all taverns in Madrid, La Cruzada. Located in Madrid de los Austrias, in Plaza de Oriente, it was founded in 1827. It used to be one of the most favourite bars of the former Spanish king Alfonso XII and always has been a meeting point for intellectuals. The interior and exterior of the building is coloured in red, which in the 19th century used to mark taverns offering quality wine. And until today, La Cruzada still sells great wines and of course not to forget the traditional food, which includes tapas like croquettes, but also Spanish meals as Madrid stew.
Heading to the next red painted historic bar of Madrid leads us to the street Calle de las Huertas, located close to Plaza Santa Ana. Running through a number of generations and opened in the same year as La Cruzada, in 1827, Casa Alberto belongs to the most ancient bars of the city. Due to its consistence and the long-time existence the local government granted them a plaque in the streets. The former simple traditional style of the cuisine changed to avant-garde dishes with a typical regional touch.
Dating back to the end of the 19th century, the tavern was founded in 1894 under the name “Cevecería Rojo”. Starting with only a small bar, offering tapas and aperitifs, Los Galayos adapted to the needs of habitants and tourists. Therefore, you will find there today two bars, two terraces and five dining rooms. Perfectly located at Plaza Mayor, you can enjoy the typical Spanish cuisine on the terrace, while having an impressive view of the historical square and the colourful building Casa de la Panadería.
Source: Source: Redmago
Located close to Plaza de Sol in Calle Tetuán, the restaurant and bar was established in 1860. Operating in a historic building with an ancient façade and an old-style interior it is divided in a bar and a restaurant. The kitchen focuses of traditional dishes with a lot of tapas. The most famous and popular food there are probably the croquettes, produced with a recipe dating back far to the history.
Known as one the most historic restaurants in Madrid, Lhardy was opened in 1839 by the French man Emilio Huguenin Lhardy. Originally meant to be a bakery providing French pastries, it is now divided in a shop on the ground floor, selling pastries, cold cuts and food to go, and a fine restaurant with a lot of different salons on the second floor. The cuisine nowadays specializes in Madrid dishes, but mixes it creatively with the French kitchen.
The taverns above are only a tiny number of traditional restaurants and bars, Madrid offers much more of them serving you with the best delicacies. If it is just for having some drinks and tapas or for eating lunch and dinner, it pays always off to spend some time in the typical atmosphere of these places.