Where to eat Tapas

Tapas are a quintessential part of Spanish cuisine, and Madrid is no exception. These small plates of food are typically served in bars and restaurants throughout the city, and are perfect for sharing with friends over a glass of wine or beer. Madrid’s tapas scene is diverse and vibrant, with everything from classic dishes like tortilla española (potato omelette) and croquetas (deep-fried balls of creamy goodness) to more modern and creative options. Whether you’re a seasoned foodie or just looking to sample some delicious local fare, Madrid’s tapas bars offer an incredible range of flavors and experiences that are sure to leave you feeling satisfied and inspired.

Welcome to Madrid, the heart of Spain’s culinary scene! As a gourmet foodie, I am thrilled to share with you the best places to eat tapas in Madrid. Here are my top six recommendations:

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When we say “they don’t make them like this any more,” we’re serious. Casa Toni is just about the last authentic, no-frills tapas bar left in the Puerta del Sol area. It may not look like much, but trust us when we say that this unfussy local favorite is as authentic as they come.

Casa Toni was originally simply called Toni, after the mysterious original owner, Antonio. A group of local friends working at a nearby restaurant took it over in the 1970s, and the rest is history. Since then, it’s been serving up tried-and-true Madrid classics that locals can’t get enough of.

This place’s claim to fame: offal. We’re talking intestines, sweetbreads, ear, you name it, all tossed on the grill with little more than garlic and parsley. But if you’re not feeling quite so adventurous, no worries—they also do excellent mushrooms, patatas bravas, chorizo, and more.

Telephone: +34 915 32 25 80

Casa del ABUELO

Owned and operated by the same family since opening in 1906, La Casa del Abuelo is the birthplace of one of Spain’s most legendary tapas: gambas al ajillo.

This now-legendary garlic shrimp tapa was born out of necessity in the years following the Spanish Civil War, when Madrid was facing a massive bread shortage. (Not ideal for this spot, which originally opened as a sandwich bar.) The owner headed down to the market to buy whatever was fresh and plentiful, which happened to be shrimp—and the resulting dish is now a staple of bar menus throughout Spain.

The great part about La Casa del Abuelo (besides the shrimp) is the fact that they do everything themselves. From shelling the shrimp each morning to making their own olive oil and wine, they’re one of the most self-sufficient tapas bars in Madrid. Order a round of gambas with their house wine, and be sure to soak up all that delicious garlic sauce with your bread.


Telephone: +34 910 00 01 33


Come to Casa Labra (Calle de Tetuán, 12) for the history; stay for the incredible salt cod dishes. This place opened its doors in 1860 and, less than 20 years later, witnessed the founding of Spain’s largest left-wing political party (the PSOE) within its walls.


Not much has changed at Casa Labra in the 160 years since its founding, and that’s just the way we like it. Most notably, it’s the only bar in Madrid that still features separate ordering areas for food and drink. This used to be quite common back when food suppliers at bars were a separate business entity from the bar itself, but Labra has kept the unique old-school setup for a vintage touch.

Order up some of their famous salt cod and wash it down with an ice-cold beer—or better yet, vermouth on tap. This slightly bitter, slightly sweet aperitif is the most delicious way to open your appetite for a day of exploring tapas bars in Madrid!


Telephone: +34 915 31 06 16

Other recommendations

Taberna REAL

Another great aperitif spot and one of the best tapas bars in Madrid is this spot just around the corner from the Royal Palace. In fact, Taberna Real means “royal tavern.” The space originally served as the living quarters for palace servants, who later turned it into a bar.

Go for vermouth here as well, and pair it with local Campo Real olives and a hearty slice of empanada. And don’t forget to indulge in your royal surroundings while you eat—the large chandelier is an exact replica of one that still hangs in the palace to this day!

Telephone: +34 915 59 69 22


Few places can claim to have elevated a simple ingredient like the humble mushroom to new heights.

Tucked down a side street just around the corner from Plaza Mayor, this spot serves mushrooms like you’ve never had them before. They’re stuffed with garlic, parsley, and chorizo, then grilled to perfection. To really get the full local experience, try the traditional way of eating them with two toothpicks (it’s harder than it sounds!).

Like all of the best tapas bars in Madrid, this spot has been in the same family for decades—since it opened in 1960, to be precise. The space that the bar occupies used to be a storage area for the old market in Plaza Mayor, which explains its unique cave-like layout. Current owner Francisco’s uncle got ahold of this space when the market closed, turned it into a bar, and they’ve been churning out the best mushrooms in Madrid ever since!

Telephone: +34 915 59 67 90


Craving the finest Spanish gourmet products Madrid has to offer? You won’t want to miss a stop at Casa González.

This gorgeous little gourmet shop in the Huertas neighborhood has gained a well-deserved reputation for stocking the best charcuterie, cheese, and canned goods in the city, along with a spectacular wine collection. The best part: it doubles as a tapas jointOrder up a plate or two of cured meats and cheeses along with a glass of wine to wash it down. Grab a seat in the back dining area—which, back in the 1940s, was actually a clandestine meeting place for Madrid’s anti-fascist rebels!

Telephone: +34 914 29 56 18

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