Five great places to take tapas in Madrid

Learning Spanish in Madrid also means living like the madrileños do, and madrileños love tapas! Is Madrid a tapas paradise? It would´t be right to miss the opportunity to check out some of the different areas which offer ‘tapas’ in the city' There are many places brimming with healthy food, Mediterranean and international cuisine, and many others varieties. These little dishes are prepared and served in many different ways. But we have to start from the beginning: What is a ‘tapa’?

The history behind the ‘tapa’

The name comes from the old taverns in Spain´s Mediterranean area. Many years ago bars and taverns were dirtier than they are nowadays. There were flies and mosquitos. People didn’t want to find any insects in their drinks and that's why they used to ask the waiter for a ‘tapa’ – a piece of food to cover the glass of wine. In this way, they avoided getting ‘strange’ things in their drinks. It could simply be a legend though… ;) 

Whatever its origin, we don’t use any food to cover our drinks anymore. Fortunately, we don’t have flies or any other insects in Madrid´s bars ;) However, one can find tapas in every bar and restaurant in the city. Moreover, there are areas that exclusively offer tapas. They compliment Spanish bebidas very well indeed and they are often free or very cheap!

For these reason we are going to show you different places with a large variety of tapas. You are going to taste tapas with fish, rice, meat, pate, bread, seafood, eggs, duck, chicken… the combinations are endless!

La Latina

There are hundreds of bars and restaurants in this part of the city. Prices vary depending on the place you visit. Our recommendation is to avoid bars in Cava Alta Street (and Plaza Mayor as well), as these areas are designed for tourism and the prices are higher. If you walk a little bit further to other streets close to Cava Alta, you´ll discover great bars with delicious tapas. There are always Spanish people having tapas there, so you´ll eat cheaper tapas and you´ll even be able to practice Spanish!

[caption id="attachment_19688" align="alignright" width="396"]san anton market Image by Market´s Official Web Page[/caption]

Mercado de San Antón (Chueca)

On the first floor of Mercado de San Antón there is a special little market where you can find healthy food and the freshest meat and fish. If you want to try great Spanish ham, you should buy it here, and savor it at home. If you go to the upper floor you will find some little stores which offer their specialities to their customers and a terrace where you can enjoy a drink with a tapa. It is more expensive than La Latina but here they try to offer the best quality, in addition to with service of tapas and food.

Espoz y Mina street

Close to the most famous square in Madrid Puerta del Sol, you can walk through Espoz y Mina Street. In this area you can find typical Spanish food for a reasonable price despite its creeping popularity in the city.


It is an area full of residential old buildings and hundreds of bars and restaurants with an international flavor and food scene, such as African, Indian, Asiatic and of course traditional Spanish cuisine. It is cheaper here than in La Latina due to its up-and -coming status.


Very close to our Spanish school you find this famous street with all kinds of bars and restaurants. It couldn’t be more convenient for you. You can try all of them after your Spanish classes! Even better; the area isn't overcome by sight-seeing tourists, so you’ll also be able to practice your Spanish skills!

[caption id="attachment_19687" align="aligncenter" width="330"]Ponzano st sign Asqueladd [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], undefined[/caption]