28 Mar I'm (Always) Kinda Hungry
Every group of friends has one. You know, the one friend that’s ALWAYS hungry.
I’m not even ashamed to say it, if we’re friends, that hungry friend in the group will always be me.
So how’d I feed the bottomless pit during my Immersion program? With a whole lotta tapas, my friend. Tapas and chocolate.
Say you’re in Puerta del Sol and you’re feeling a little “Midnight in Paris” vibe, you gotta go to Botín.
El Sobrino de Botín
Botín is said to be the world’s oldest running restaurant, dating back to 1725, according to the Guiness Book of World Records. This classic spot is literally older than social security and the United States of America...it’s old… AF. You may have heard of this one guy..what’s his face... Hemingway? Let’s just say that he was kind of a regular there, Botín’s name just ever so casually comes up in The Sun Also Rises. The most famous dish on the menu is their roasted suckling pig, paired with their rioja alta, it's a match made in food heaven. You can, however, find anything from savory jamón ibérico to vegetarian dishes to well seasoned fish (OMG someone fly me to Madrid right now!) to grilled meats on their menu.
Every big guy starts as a little guy. So, aside from the fact that Hemingway used to dine here (and apparently made the worst paella ever), a teenage Francisco de Goya also used to work there as a dishwasher while on his way to art school.
Hey now, hey now, Botín is what dreeeeeeams are made of!
Chocolatería San Ginés
So after all of that delicious savory action, you’re gonna want...correction* you’re gonna NEED some dessert. Now, you could just stay at Botín or you could make the most of every single course and go to the Chocolatería de San Ginés afterwards for some sweetness (both literally and figuratively).
Not only is San Ginés the greatest chocolate con churros experience you will have have in your entire existence, it’s also open 24 hours a day. Do what you will with that information...
This cafe is old..like, opened-the-same-year-Coca-Cola-started-using-bottles old (1894, FYI). But it only adds to its chill atmosphere and endearing presence. The Chocolatería serves the most delicious, not drowned in sugar, perfect churros you’ve ever had, and their hot chocolate is so perfect and so thick that you could dip your churros in it and no one will think you’re weird (my fix is french fries dipped in ice cream and everyone loses their damn mind). Seriously, go and go often...well, moderately often.
Mercado de San Miguel
So, you’re hungry. But not like, sit-down-and-eat hungry, but also not like, dessert hungry. You just want to pick something simple but your stomach is giving you some “I dunno, what do you wanna eat?” vibes. Never fear! The Mercado de San Miguel is here!
Sushi? Got it.
Fruits and veggies? You’re gonna need it after churros and chocolate.
Pasta? Of course.
Wine? Girl, you better believe it.
Smoothies? You know it.
Not only does it have everything, but it's a charming market place where you can sit and enjoy your food and not feel bum rushed or on top of others. Of course it gets busy, but in a buzzing way, not in a OMG-get-me-out-of-here-I-can't-breathe way. Personally, the atmosphere and space of dining places is really important to me, which is yet another (as if you needed more) reason why I love this market.
Do you really need any more convincing? This place is about 102 years old, definitely the hipster of the family compared to the older farts that are Chocolatería and Botín’s, so I’m sure you’ll find some kale in there somewhere too.
Ok, hear me out on this one. The McDonald’s menu actually changes depending on what country you’re in. SO if you’re craving some McD’s fries (seriously, their fries dipped in vanilla ice cream is THE BEST) but you also want some authentic Spanish food, you can order the classic pan tostado con tomate y aceite (toasted bread with tomato and oil) and even a jamon iberico sandwich with a beer (yes, a beer) off of the McCafe menu.
Weird, right?! All you get on the states side is a poorly filled box of fries and a broken ice cream machine.
I had the grand pleasure of going to this place as per the persistence of the other PINC girls who raved about it. First off, if you can get passed the door, praised be the good Lord because this place gets busy very quickly.
TAPAS ARE SERVED, FOR FREE, WITH YOUR DRINK ORDER
*Ahem* Let me just say that again for the people in the back...
FREE FREE FREE FREE!
And if it's free, it's for me, ya know?
To be honest, most bars in Spain offer small bites to accompany your drink at no extra cost, but El Tigre is special because their tapas are HUGE. You can basically have dinner here by just paying for drinks and getting the tapas that come with them.
They've got patatas bravas, meatballs, pinchos, jamón ibérico, fries, paella and croquetas! I'm telling y'all, this little hole in the wall is heaven on earth.
So, you're in Madrid, and let's say you're feeling a little bougie so you head over to Salamanca to peruse their glamorous fine-dining restaurants and designer stores, but let's be honest, you're also hella broke. Well do I have the one-dollar-sign tapas bar for YOU!
Jurucha is a very popular tapas bar with a huge variety of tapas to choose from. Many of it's tapas are traditional pinchos, which mean that they're pierced with a toothpick to make sure that the food doesn't fall off the bread on the bottom. It's lasted over 50 years and it's pretty understandable as to why, the locals love it and tourists (such as yourself) visit all the time.
You'll find anything here from tapas to meatballs to tortillas to fried foods and seafood, go go go!
OK my little hungry caterpillars, I’ve given you the tools and expect nothing less than beautiful and robust butterflies when you leave Madrid. Even at the end of the trip, you’ll still be craving one more slice of jamón ibérico. So, FEAST! Eat well! Eat A LOT because you’ll most likely be hungry again in like an hour!
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