We ate and drank quite well while we were visiting Madrid. Everywhere we went, one of the food specialities regularly on hand was Iberian ham, some of which is featured in the butcher shop above. If you look closely at the brightly-lit charcuterie shop below, you can see its name – Museo del Jamón – Museum of Ham! (I think this might be a chain.) Full-size hams like those in the second photo below can be seen hanging in butcher shops and ready to slice in restaurants and bistros everywhere.
Spain, of course, is also known for its tapas. Our favorite had to be the fried Padrón peppers. They have a bit of heat (but not too much) in some of the peppers. The crunchiness of the sea salt on top was satisfying, and coincidentally helped encourage more drinking!
It seems like everyone wants to get in on the tapas scene. We got a kick out of the sign for this interloper:
Even though it was nearly mid-December, it was still warm enough for us to sit outside (especially with heaters turned on!) for our drinks and tapas at more than one location:
At one of our dinners, a bit of a canine theme emerged. First, we were tickled by the label on our delicious bottle of Spanish wine. A Bodeguero is a Spanish terrier that’s used to hunt rats and mice in the wineries of Andalusia:
The other canine treat of the evening was meeting this little fellow diner named “Pancho” who was out to dinner with his parents:
Like many visitors to Madrid, we found a great way to start a day was with a breakfast of hot chocolate and churros at the famous Chocolatería San Ginés. They are open around the clock, year-round. It was like drinking hot chocolate pudding — so, so good!
We didn’t sample any of their product, but right next to our hotel, towering over the Puerta del Sol, there was a huge sign for Tio Pepe, a brand of sherry. They sure look like they can help you have a good time:
If you want to find a wide range of tapas and Spanish specialty food and drink, the Mercado de San Miguel is an excellent spot to explore and sample the wares from multiple stalls:
After a busy day of touring Madrid, one last drink was an excellent way to wrap up the day:
Next up: Madrid palaces and museums.