Hello Hello! It is a pleasure to be here again, I am Isotta, with my wife Andrea we have created Eatsperience Madrid – Creating a culinary experience, brand with which we organize social dinners in our adopted city, Madrid. If this is the first time you read our blog and want to know us a little more, you can do it on the Eatsperience page, on our Facebook or Instagram.
In our previous post we saw what are the 5 steps to become a social dining host. Today we will share with you our 5 favorite gastronomic corners of the center of Madrid, where you can find delicious traditional food, and eat a piece of the city. Because you can’t always eat at home, right?
We have been in Madrid for many years, and a few in La Latina, one of the most traditional neighborhoods in the capital, and it has always been one of our favorites. Before beginning, a fun fact about our neighborhood: it is the only one that bears the name of a woman, La Latina. Well, more than a name, in this case, it is a nickname, the nickname of Beatriz Galindo who was the Latin teacher of Queen Isabel the Catholic, and as Beatriz Galindo was so fluent in Latin, she was nicknamed La Latina. She herself had a hospital built in the neighborhood, leaving her architectural heritage that you can still see while walking along Toledo street.
OUR 5 FAVORITE GASTRONOMIC CORNERS
Curious, right? The secrets of Madrid seem to be endless, I never tire of hearing stories of Madrid and its neighborhoods. But now better let us get to the point! Without further adieu, our 5 favorite gastronomic places to go to eat and drink something delicious, local or foreign, sometimes traditional and sometimes innovative.
- Takos to the Pastor. Yes, we talk about tacos, nothing to do with the Spanish gastronomic tradition .. But without a doubt, delicious. True Mexican tacos, not tex-mex, the best in Madrid. There are two small places, one near Callao and the other in Plaza Mayor, and there is usually a line outside the door already before the opening time, but do not panic: it usually goes very fast and although you have to wait half an hour, it is worth the wait. Each taco costs € 1, the taste will make you fall in love. The site is Spartan but beautiful, and the service is fast and friendly. They cook a few dishes, our favorite formula is, between both of us: 2 tacos al pastor, 2 cochinita pibil, 2 chicken tingas and a cheese quesadilla to share. Soft drink to choose. You leave there with a happy soul and belly, and spending almost nothing. Writing this makes me realize that we have not been back for almost two months, and it is just about time… well, hold on for a second so I can go text Andre that I want us to go this week!
- Gelato Lab. Within the traditional and beautiful Mercado de la Cebada, in the middle of the La Latina neighborhood, in a small stand on the ground floor, you will find the best Italian artisan ice cream in the city. Or at least the best I’ve tried in the seven years I’ve been here. The owner and ice cream maker, Christian, is a very nice Italian man from the Bologna region, and very professional. His passion is so sincere to always offer an absolute quality product that he decided to produce only 10 flavors at a time. We understand his intention very well: working small quantities can ensure that the process of making the ingredients is the most careful and can guarantee that you achieve the best results in terms of taste and quality. In addition, like us, he loves to play with the flavors and create unexpected combinations that you will not forget. Going through Gelato Lab is not just eating ice cream, but living an experience on your palate. We are so aligned with him that we have already organized ice-cream social dinners together, pairing menus between cooked dishes and his freshly made ice cream. The result was spectacular. Pro tip: for lovers of true Italian espresso coffee, you’ll find it there.
- Quesos Ricos La Paloma. Continuing in La Latina neighborhood, a little further down Toledo Street, on number 109, is a small and almost hidden commercial gallery. If you pass by, I suggest you go inside, after Manolo’s meat and Pedro’s fish, there will be Marisa, a Spanish lady who turned her greatest passion into work: Spanish cheeses of family productions. Marisa travels through the peninsula and the Spanish islands to discover, taste and choose new cheeses, wines and other artisanal gastronomic products, and then brings them to the capital. She can advise you according to your tastes, in addition to giving you the possibility to taste a glass of wine and a cheese platter at an exceptional price.
- NAP Neapolitan Authentic Pizza defines me fully in the Italian cliche that cannot live without pizza. And it is true in my case! I am not Neapolitan, not even from southern Italy, so please, I do not want to offend or create controversy among my fellow Italians. I am just writing from my personal taste and experiences so far! We absolutely love their pizza and the atmosphere so whenever we can, we make sure to go. We keep trying new places because there are so many, and with a great level of quality. In our search, we have found another wonderful pizza –Araldo – Arte del gusto, between Puerta del Sol and the Círculo de las Bellas Artes. It is not Neapolitan pizza but it is tremendously delicious, made with fine products and is perhaps less traditional, but superlative condiments.
- Shalakabula. With Shalakabula it is a complete 180 flip of the area and style: we go to the Salamanca neighborhood, where we have found in this restaurant a creative cuisine with dishes prepared as a result of the fusion between Asian and Mediterranean cuisine. It could not not be among our 5 favorite gastronomic corners. A sensational experience. All dishes are available in portions, half portions and one-third portions, so you can try everything you want. They also offer a blind tasting menu, where you can choose between the 4-course menu + 1 dessert, or the 6-course menu + 2 desserts. Although the portions seem small, they are very intense in flavor and are filling, we started with the smaller menu and then we wanted to go to the larger menu because everything was too delicious, but we did end up overdoing it! The service is also unbeatable. One of my best culinary experiences in Madrid.
Well, all of this made my mouth water, and I bet yours too, right? So then, I say goodbye like this, going to look where we can go to eat next time, I’ll tell you if we finally repeat any places or if we discover new ones. If you want to give us or receive recommendations and advice, please contact us from our website, Facebook or Instagram.
See you soon to tell you about my 5 most beloved homemade recipes, have a nice day!