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madrid/san sebastian with 1 year old

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My husband and I are traveling to these two cities this september with our daughter who will be 14 months old at the time. we love to travel and eat and drink and are attempting this with a baby for the first time. I don't think the baby will make it out for late dinners so I'm thinking we will bring her along to tapas crawls in the early evenings in both these cities. I'm wondering if it is acceptable to bring a baby to these places ? I have a portable high chair I can snap on any table/bar...

I know food trips and family trips might not go hand in hand but we're hoping to figure it out.

Thanks for opinions/suggestions!

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  1. Keep in mind that, in Madrid, most of the good tapas bars don't open until 8:30 or 9:00pm at the earliest... (I'm not sure where the notion that there's an earlier tapas crawl hour comes from, but that's not the case in Madrid.) If you go right when places open, you could get a table (in those that have them), but by the time you move on, you might not at the next one. Going on a weeknight would help your chances. It shouldn't be a problem to clip the high chair on a table. I've never seen anyone do that on a bar before (and probably is not a good idea if the place is crowded). If you want to eat earlier there are cervecerías, terrazas, and bars where you can order raciones. These don't tend to be the primo places, but you can still eat well and some have terrazas where you can sit outside.

    Where are you staying?

    2 Replies
    1. re: butterfly

      we are staying in an apartment in austrian madrid - on almendro street, near la latina metro. we will be in madrid tuesday thru friday nights so all weeknights. then we move on to san sebastian. i was in madrid before and cannot remember what time we went out but it was probably later - 8:30 or 9 onward like you said. maybe we will have to do lunches as our main meal and figure it out in the evening depending on how packed places are and when the baby sleeps. thanks for your response - as long as there are places to go, sit outside have a drink and eat we should be fine. we'll probably have to stick to one place a night rather than an actual "crawl".

      1. re: yummytrip

        Hi, I live just a few blocks away from c/Almendro. On that street, there's a little place called Almendro 13 that is good for lunch (closes between lunch and dinner). In the basement there are tables that you might be able to clip a high chair on to (upstairs, I think the tables are all barrels). Their specialty is huevos rotos, roscas (sandwiches with jamon iberico or queso de la serena)....

        If you find yourself wanting to eat close to your place during the off-hours, there's a terraza on Plaza del Cascorro that has good bar food--squid, cuttlefish, morcilla, pimiento de padron, patatas bravas, oreja... There are lots of other touristy--but not necessarily bad--terrazas around the church on Plaza de los Carros that stay open all day--the one closest to the Museo de San Isidro is the best of the lot (though I prefer the more neighborhood spot in Plaza de Cascorro). There's also a good Argentine/Uruguayan pizza place across from the market called Croccos where you can get take out after 9:00 or so.

        Almost all of the tapas bars on the Cava Baja and surrounding streets close between lunch and dinner (except on Sundays). I think Toma Jamon is an exception (there ar four branches in La Latina). They have jamon and molletes/sandwiches (again, I think the tables might be barrels, which might make clipping on difficult). There are lots of other places to choose from for lunch--Matritum, Nunc est bibendum, la Camarilla, Txirimiri, Orixe, Lucio... and many more--all have a menu del dia. There are also some more old-school/traditional spots on c/Toledo (nothing fancy--at all) that serve Madrid comfort food, like Cafeteria Onis, Cantalejo, Malacatin... And the ice cream place--Giangrossi--is open all day long and has coffee and other snacks.

        It's worth walking over to the terraza at Las Vistillas (near the viaduct that goes over calle Segovia) for a drink and a view of the mountains in the evening if the weather is nice. There are some other bars over there like Rayuela and one under the viaduct whose name escapes me. It doesn't get dark here until 9:30 or so, so you might be able to trick your baby into falling into a later Madrid schedule...

        Have fun!

    2. Not a tapas bar but in Madrid you might consider going to Botin, as it opens quite early. Yes, it gets a huge quotient of tourists, but the food is good. And, given your constraints, it might work well.

      We went several years ago, arriving at 8:00 pm, with our 11 yr. old son, and were amazed to see that the place was packed, with a wait for tables. It had not even dawned on us that we needed a reservation at that hour. We were fortunate that the maitre d' apparently decided that we were in some way an appealing looking group -- probably because all of us were dressed fairly nicely, including the 11 year old, who had on a blazer and loafers -- so he seated us immediately, ahead of a lot of people who had been waiting much longer.