16 traditional foods to try on your next trip to Madrid

Madrid’s culinary history dates back to the 16th Century and today the capital city is littered with traditional tavernas and eating houses, so is stands to reason that finding traditional food is rarely a problem.  Next time you’re there, look out for these items and you should hopefully be in for an authentic experience.

Bacalao rebozado

Chunks of cod in a lovely crisp batter.

Besugo a la madrileña

A traditional dish consisting of baked sea bream.

‘Bocata’ de calamares

A sandwich of deep friend squid, served throughout Spain and Latin-American countries, but a speciality in Madrid.


A word meaning ‘broth’ or ‘soup’ – what we might refer to as a consommé.

Callos a la madrileña

This local variation of an Asturian dish typically consists of the tripe of a calf or lamb, cooked with chorizo, blood sausage, the hoof and snout of a cow, sweet paprika, onion and garlic.

Caracoles a la madrileña

A traditional tapa consisting of snails cooked in a rich, spicy sauce.

Churros con chocolate

Sometimes referred to as Spanish doughnuts, churros are a fried dough pastry snack. Try them for breakfast, dipped in hot chocolate.


Cocido madrileño

This chickpea-based stew from Madrid is a substantial meal served with meat and vegetables. It is popular with the locals during the Winter months but can be found in restaurants throughout the year.


Croquettes, often made up with the leftover meat from the cocido (see above).


A mild vinegar and spice pickle, served as an accompaniment to tuna, rabbit and partridge.

Gallina en pepitoria

This is a delicious casserole made with chicken, saffron, eggs and ground almonds.


A pig’s blood sausage, stuffed with rice, onions and spices.

Patatas bravas

Often to be found in tapas bars, patatas bravas is a dish consisting of chunks of white potato fried in olive oil, served warm with a spicy sauce or mayonnaise.


A common tapa in Spain: crisp, grilled pancetta.


A classic Madrid dessert: bread slices soaked in egg and milk, fried in olive oil and served with honey and cinnamon.

Tortilla de patatas

Known in English as a Spanish omelette, this is a classic dish – a thick egg omelette containing chunks of potato, fried in olive oil.

Spanish omelette

For more on Madrid, see the inspirational Bloggin’ Madrid website.

Comments (5)

  1. Steve says:

    This is one of the main reasons why I love to travel, simply to eat new foods. I’m a fiend when it comes to food, so it’s good to know which things I should keep an eye out in order to gorge on, ha. I’m eyeing up a Gallina en pepitoria.

  2. Cyra says:

    Interesting post. I love eating in Madrid. A true melting pot of all Spain’s flavours. Too much to choose from!

  3. Louise says:

    Great post! Can’t to try them all on my Spain trip in 2015. Tortilla de patatas will definatly be first!

  4. You guys have to try the “Morcilla” – they do it in France as well. The Spanish one though is DELICIOUS

    My husband is Spanish : )


  5. John says:

    Amazing selection of dishes! The paella is also a must, even though it’s more common in Valencia. Thanks for the great post!

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