[translations idioma=”ES” url=”https://archives.rgnn.org/2014/10/02/guia-de-madrid-gastronomia/”]
As the capital city of Spain, Madrid is a beautiful and lively city that has a range of different activities and places to see. MADbudget offers some insider’s guides to the lifestyle of Madrid and essential information for anyone planning a visit to the city.

MADRID, SPAIN. As a city, Madrid places a strong emphasis on its gastronomy. With foods such as ham, fish, manchego cheese, bread, and potatoes making their way into most of Spain’s typical platos. A walk along the streets of Madrid will confront passersby with window displays of hanging pigs, ready to be roasted, and bowling ball sized hunks of cheese, all while the scent of freshly baked baguettes wafts out onto the sidewalks from the neighboring bakeries. Madrid is a true “foodie’s” paradise.

And yet, as Spain’s capital city, Madrid is also home to more diverse food options for those looking to vary their palate. Although rare among madrileños, many Spanish foods are suitable for vegetarians and vegans alike. Gazpacho, a cold soup made with vegetables, usually tomato, is a meat-free option that can be found on just about any traditional Spanish menu. Other options include paella de verduras, or traditional spanish rice with vegetables, setas, or mushrooms, and espinacas con garbanzos, or spinach with chickpeas.

Vegetarians looking for safe options can also head to Spain’s many vegetarian-friendly restaurants. Yerbabuena, located around the corner from Plaza Mayor, offers a wide variety of vegetarian choices, and is happy to cater to those following other special diets, including vegans and celiacs. Other vegetarian restaurants include El Estragon in the city’s Latina area, serving up more traditional style Spanish food, and café-style Abonavida, in Chueca. Many gluten free restaurants, such as El Arrozal, on Calle Segovia, and bakeries such as Celicioso, off of Gran Via, also offer vegetarian options to their customers.

Travelers in Madrid should also be warned of the eating habits followed within the city. While many countries recognize breakfast as “the most important meal of the day,” in Madrid, the morning meal is typically a piece of toast with jam or churros, accompanied by a cup of café con leche, coffee with milk, from the pasteleria.

Lunch, however, typically served around 2:00pm is the largest meal of the day, and is a grander occasion, with typical workday lunch-breaks lasting two hours. After the feast, many people enjoy a siesta, or daytime nap, before heading back to the office. Because of the long lunch break, workdays tend to end later.

Dinner doesn’t usually start until well into the night, around 10:00pm, and is a light meal consisting of tapas, or small plates meant to be shared, and wine or sangria. Compared to other major cities, Madrid is relatively cheap, allowing those on a budget to still enjoy the food culture. Many restaurants even offer a menu of the day for around €20, which includes multiple courses of food and a drink of choice.

For those looking for a quick drink, Madrid’s outdoor restaurants offer cheap and delicious options, from beer to the house wine, to cocktails and more. Traditional Spanish restaurants also tend to serve chips and olives with drinks, making the sit-down all the more cost efficient.

With endless food options, cheap prices, and vibrant atmospheres, Madrid’s gastronomy is something visitors will want to write home about.