Last updated: 11:00 PM ET, Sun October 16 2016

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  • Worldwide Scott | October 16, 2016 11:00 PM ET

    4 Places for Top Tapas in Madrid

    4 Places for Top Tapas in Madrid

    Photo courtesy of Worldwide Scott

    Once firmly on the backburner, interest in food and drink-based tourism has spiked, becoming an emerging trend-line in travel over the last decade or so. Yes, with folks like Anthony Bourdain out there stoking the flames, many of us now arrive in a new place with sampling local food and drink foremost on our to-do list.

    Even if you aren’t a fanatical foodie, you are still probably going to want to “dine as the Romans do” when visiting a place, and when you are in Spain, tapas are the name of the game. Madrid is absolutely jammed with places offering tasty small plates and sangria, and the following are some of the best.  

    El Tigre

    El Tigre is routinely talked about in hushed tones by locals and tourists alike, and all it takes is one trip to see why. Fitted out to feel like a rustic Basque mountain lodge (complete with stone walls and mounted wild boar), El Tigre has become a favorite among students and the thrifty for its massive portions plated up for tiny prices.

    The atmosphere is fun and jovial, and if you order a budget-friendly beer or sangria — served in a jumbo plastic cup with a touch of mint — you’ll be dished up an overflowing portion of tapas like patatas bravas (fried potatoes chunks served with spicy tomato aioli), mini-burgers and crispy croquettes. Bottom line: a trip to El Tigre is no-frills, all fun, and always delicious. 

    Address: Calle de las Infantas 30

    La Venencia

    A legendary local’s haunt, La Venencia only pours Spanish sherry, and the tapas menu is short and sweet, consisting of only thin-sliced local ham and fresh seafood.

    So how did it make the list? Well, it’s all about the atmosphere here, which is as down-to-earth as you are ever going to find in the center of Madrid. It doesn’t get any better than tipping a glass of sherry with a side of salt-cured tuna here, just make sure to resist the temptation for a selfie, as photography is strictly forbidden. 

    Address: Calle Echegaray 7

    READ MORE: Parador Paradise: Unique Lodging in Valencia, Madrid and Granada

    Mercado De San Miguel

    Built in 1916 but elegantly refreshed in 2009, the Mercado De San Miguel is a sleek and spacious indoor market in the center of town that specializes in gourmet tapas. You won’t find haggling stall-holders or row-after-row of produce at this market, but what you will find is one of the most stylish places to be seen tasting tapas in all of Madrid.

    In addition to all the classics (including some of the creamiest olives this writer has ever had in his life), you will find sushi and even caviar on offer alongside fine wine and cocktails.

    Address: Plaza de San Miguel


    La Casa del Abuelo

    Family-run for over a century, a vintage red-awning and rough-and-ready wooden barrels greet you on the outside of La Casa del Abuelo, and friendly faces and colorful tiles do the same on the inside. As great as tradition and history are, people wouldn’t still be coming here if the tapas weren’t top of the line, and the garlicky shrimp scampi and fresh-grilled mushrooms are just two examples of popular plates.

    Address: Calle de la Victoria 12


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Worldwide Scott The Adventures of Worldwide Scott

Worldwide Scott Born in the U.S.A like Springsteen but trying to see the world like Pitbull, Worldwide Scott is the voice behind the hard-hitting travel site of the same name. Employing a groundbreaking strategy of visiting destinations, coming home, and then writing things about them on the internet, Worldwide Scott only tackles the tough questions that other writers wouldn't dare touch: Is travelling fun? Are there pretty places in the world? Do people in other countries wear clothes? Does Europe really exist? And if so, what's the beer like there? Stick around, he's going places.
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