Madrid is one of the largest cities in Spain, located in the center of the country. Apart from its variety of art museums, historical landmarks and shops, this city is known for its ample gastronomical variety.
Hearty meal: callos and cocido
The most famous Castillian dish, the cocido is a thick stew consisting of meat and chickpeas. Callos is a hearty casserole with meat tripe and veal. Some of the most authentic callos can be found in the Casa de Lucio restaurant, located in the trendy La Latina district, south of the city center, just a short walk away from the Royal Palace.
A taste of tradition: garlic soup and suckling pig
Those two dishes can be found in more restaurants in Madrid and the nearby regions, including Castilla y León and Castilla La Mancha. Head to the Botín Restaurant, one of the oldest restaurant in the world, for some delicious roasted suckling pig. If suckling lamb sounds more delectable, take a train to Chinchón and Segovia, to traditional towns filled with historical buildings. In Chinchón, south of the city, you will find roasted lamb and pig at a very affordable price. In Segovia, a town known for its Ancient Roman Aqueduct, you will find plenty of roasted dishes that are usually served with a plate of habas beans and chorizo ham.
Tapas after exploring the city: tortilla de patata and croquetas
These two dishes are one of the local staple foods. The first one is a simple omelet with potatoes, and every local will claim that their grandmother's tortilla is the most delicious one. Try the normal version and the one with caramelized onion. Croquetas are fried croquettes filled with bechamel sauce and ham, and are often served at tapas bars to accompany any drink ordered.
Snack: sandwich mixto
A typical student snack, the sandwich mixto is a sandwich consisting of ham and cheese. This cheap and simple dish can be found in most of the city's bars and campuses. Several versions of the sandwich exist, including one with a fried egg on top. A similar option ideal for breakfast is pan con tomate, a slice of bread drizzled with olive oil and covered with fresh ground tomato.
Raciones: patatas bravas
Raciones are larger versions of tapas, an ideal dinner for those who want to spend the night partying in one of the many bars near the centric Huertas district. This dish consists of thick slices of potatoes, sometimes fried potatoes, served with a sauce. The brava sauce, a spicy sauce is one of the most popular sauces, and the runner-up is the mayonnaise-based ali-oli sauce. Head to any bar located near the famous Plaza Mayor square in order to taste this dish accompanied by a caña beer.
Torrijas is dessert that can be found in any bar and bakery during Easter. The recipe is simple, the result delicious: a piece of break soaked in milk, cinnamon and yolk and then fried on a pan. If you choose to travel off-season, then grab some churros at any bar, café and restaurant in the city. Churros are fried dough sticks usually dunked in sugar and cocoa.
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