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Gourmet Madrid on a Budget

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I will be visiting Madrid at the beginning of October and would like some recommendations of gourmet eats in Madrid on a Budget.

I have added Museo del Jamon for the iberico ham and Chocolateria San Gines for the churros and Hot Chocolate into my itinerary. I also signed up for the Madrid Tapas tour with Walks of Spain.

Any great wine bars, tapas places or brunch places recommended?

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  1. Can I diddo this request please? I just moved to Spain, and am having a tough time finding good places to get traditional Spanish cuisine. I've been to both of the above-mentioned places, and they were pretty good, particularly the chocolate con churros, though I suggest splitting an order between two people as the servings are enormous.

    1. Ribeira Do Miño *****
      C/Santa Brígida 1 (91 521 98 54). Metro Tribunal
      Open 1-4pm, 8pm-midnight Tue-Sun; closed Mon.
      No credit cards.

      This neighborhood is a little out of the way, but worth the trip. It specializes in Galician seafood and was a really fun place to go on a Sunday afternoon. Many locals cram the place and the bartender was completely manic which provided a great floor show while waiting for your table.

      Another place I really liked for the Fabada (Asturian Bean Stew) is:

      Casa Lastra Sidrería *****
      C/Olivar 3 Tel: 91 369 08 37. Metro Antón Martín/bus 6, 26, 32.
      Open 8pm-midnight Mon; 1-5pm, 8pm-midnight Tue, Thur-Sat; 1-5pm Sun; closed Wed.

      Both of these were fairly inexpensive and as good as anything you can get anywhere.

      1. Madrid "de las Austrias" (the old section) is wonderful for tapas crawling and sampling everything, and you can just get one or two things at each place so there isn't much financial committment. A good way to save money in any place is to eat standing by the bar, not outside at a table.

        Museo de Jamon and San Gines are must-visits.
        Museo de Jamon: get a plate of jamon iberico (not a sandwich) and eat it with a glass of jerez fino. One of the finest culinary experiences on the planet. Yes the plate will cost 12 euros but worth every penny. Warning: if you let US customs know that you have any ham with you when you return they will take it away from you and put it in the trash, and you will cry.

        Some other spots that we loved and were inexpensive:
        Los Gatos, a hole-in-the wall tapas place down the street from the fancy Westin near the Prado (Calle de Jesus). Huge plates of boquerones (marinated sardines), very good smoked salmon on toast.

        Tavern of 100 wines, calle Nuncio 17, in the very food-intensive zone southwest of Plaza Mayor. Wonderful selection of Spanish wines by the glass (and you will LOVE how glasses of wine in Spain run 1.5-3.5 euros), with very delicious French-style tapas that complement wine really well.

        Another classic not to miss is Las Bravas for patatas bravas with their patented sauce, several locations near Plaza mayor.

        Casa del Abuelo has great gambas al ajillo (tiny shrimp sizzling in garlic and oil), also near Plaza Mayor.

        1 Reply
        1. re: kenito799

          I second the Casa de Abuelo. I know some people think it is touristy, but I didn't think so. And no, it is not too APC (Anti-Politically Correct) to throw your shrimp shells and heads on the floor. In fact, it seems to be encouraged. I'm going there myself in two weeks and I can't wait.