Sorry that I haven't replied... Summer has set in here in Madrid and my posting metabolism has slowed along with everything else.
Here are some old threads, though I think I posted another big one with tapas recommendations that's not here:
There are just so many places... Near Plaza de España there is an outlet of Toma Jamón, which is a good place to get a plate of jamón ibérico and a glass of fino sherry. There's another on Cava Baja, and yet another on Calle Mediodía Grande, deeper in La Latina:
Plaza de Ramales (near Plaza del Oriente
)Mediodía Grande, 6
Cava Baja, 10
There are some other interesting wine bars and tapas places near Plaza de España around the Conde Duque/Noviciado area. And a really upscale wine bar (with an adjoining store and restaurant):
Cuenllas, Calle de Ferraz, 5 (near the Templo de Deblod; confirm te address, there are two different places--the wine bar is less formal than the other--though still decidedly upscale)
Tabernillas is another good upscale wine-by-the glass place near Plaza de España where you can order small plates:
Taberneros, Calle de Santiago 9
But the easiest area to tapear from place to place is La Latina around Cava Baja, Cava Alta, Calle Almendro, Plaza de la Cebada, and Plaza de la Paja (in that order). Some of my favorites in this area:
Tempranillo (good wine by the glass, cheese plate), Lamiak, Matritum, Casa Lucas, La Camarilla, Orixe, Almendro 13 (roscas), Taberna Bilbao, Juana la Loca (for their pinchos), aye, really too many list... (and for a sit-down meal, Julian de Tolosa).
For dessert and coffee: either Giangrossi (argentine ice cream) or Delic (cakes and tarts).
If you want to extend into a more working-class area (and get free every day tapas), work your way over to Plaza de Cascorro and Calle de Toledo and the streets that go off of it between the La Latina and Puerta de Toledo metro stops.
Another must is to go to a marisquería (seafood joint). Here are a frew that I like (from more upscale to downscale):
El Pescador, c/José Ortega y Gasset, 75 (Salamanca)
La Máquina, c/Sor Angela de la Cruz, 22 (Tetuan)
Pulpería Miudiño, c/Príncipe de Vergara, 202 (Chamartín--for octopus)
El Barril. c/Goya, 86.(Salamanca--best boquerones en vinagre)
El Cantábrico, c/Padilla, 399 (Salamanca--few tables)
Marisquería la Toledana, c/Comandante Zorita, 31 (Tetuan--no seats)
Some places will be closed for summer vacation. But the good news is that the city is emptying out, so it will be easier to get a table, stool or floorspace.
Just a reminder: the 3 line of the Metro (one of the lines that stops in Plaza de España) is closed for the summer. But it's easy to walk to any of these places
If there is anything else in particular that you are looking for, let me know.... It's hard to narrow it down with so many options.