It’s been a long time coming, but finally I’ve had a chance to make a video about some of what I consider the some of the best tapas in Madrid. And happily, they’re all in the same barrio! You see, just on the far side of the Retiro park, there is a clutch of tapas joints that are some of the most exciting in the city. And I don’t mean exciting in a super avant guard sense… I mean exciting in that they walk a cracking balance between tradition and modernity, both in terms of food and also atmosphere. And they’re all within a few blocks of each other!
The barrio? Ibiza (not the island!). It’s a slightly wealthier part of Madrid, and is officially located in the Salamanca neighbourhood. It’s only a very short metro ride from the centre. And it’s an area where many of the traditional taverns have evolved with the times, updating their menus and their wine lists to keep up with modern trends, but not losing their link to tradition. So you have places like KultO that are doing Spanish fusion cuisine (mixing a lot of Andalusian recipes with influences from Asia), but only a block away you have La Castela, that does a knockout bull tail stew and fabulous more traditional fish dishes. And all these places have a restaurant section where you can sit down, but unless you’re with a big group, I always prefer to battle it out at the bar (I’m a sucker for a busy tapas bar). Elbows out!
And what’s so refreshing is that these bars truly do justice to the variety and richness of wine made in Spain. Sure, there’s a lot of Rioja and Ribera del Duero. But you can also dig into sherry, wines from Madrid and reds from the north-west (which are totally trending right now – and rightly so!).
And last – BUT DEFINITELY NOT LEAST – my wife! This is the first video I’ve co-hosted with my wife Yoly. She’s from Madrid, has taught my a lot of what I know about Spain, and is also Madrid’s leading flamenco tour guide. Check out her private flamenco tours at www.theflamencoguide.com – she’s a genius, and a wonderful woman. And I’m not just saying that because we’re married!
OK, enough chat. Onto the video! Enjoy! And give it a like if you enjoyed it. And subscribe to my YouTube channel for similar videos about how to explore and experience Spain like a local!