Madrid was the first city that I had ever visited in Spain. I am saying that because there will be other return trips to Spain. I knew that I would be back after the first couple of days that I was exploring, Madrid and I just ‘clicked’. I found this majestic city to be filled with a plethora of art, culture, friendly people and of course, incredible food!
I spent almost a week in Madrid and it was my last city during a two month European escapade. It is a debate but I may have saved the best country for last. Before stepping into Spain, I had already researched several restaurants that I wanted to dine at. This included a list of historical and legendary dining establishments such as Restaurante Zalacain and Café Gijon. Gastronomic travel is just how I roll!
From polishing off a giant Chocolate Palm in the oldest café in Madrid to drinking Spanish Rosada from my namesake “Navarre” region, my list of “What I ate in MADRID – Part 1 – A Food Journal”.
Sobrino de Botin
👩🏻💻 For my complete review and blog ➡ Sobrino de Botín en Madrid, Spain
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Botin in Madrid is the oldest restaurant in the world. What’s funny is that I thought that I ate at the oldest restaurant in the world back in 2015; Historische Wurstkuchl in Regensburg, Germany (photos below). The old sausage house was founded in 1146, while Sobrino de Botín was established in 1725. That is a pretty wide gap!
If you follow my blog or know me personally, you know that one of my interests is dining in historic establishments. Despite the debate on which restaurant in the oldest, Sobrino de Botín can boast several remarkable facts. For one, Botin’s oven fire has been continuously burning for over 240 years. That means their oven fire never went out during wars, changes of power and political restructure. Now that is remarkable! Also one of my favorite artists, Francisco de Goya, worked in Café Botin as a server prior to his acceptance into the Royal Academy of Fine Arts.
Sobrino de Botín’s specialty is their suckling pig but I did not try that. Actually, I do not eat anythig baby so I wined and dined on smaller plates. On the table was a personal bottle of Spanish Rosada from the Navarre region. Additionally, I ordered a delectable plate of jamon with melon and garlic prawns. Everything was flavorful and incredible.
For a more descriptive review of my food experience at Botin ➡ Sobrino de Botín en Madrid, Spain
After dining at Botin (above), I was on my way to Casa Lucio which is another favorite of Madrid’s locals and Hollywood’s elite. Several celebrities have dined here such as Will Smith, Andie McDowell, Pierce Brosnan and Eva Longoria. Casa Lucio has a long history of hospitality, starting from the original one hundred year old restaurant Mesón El Segoviano that Casa Lucio transitioned from. Lucio Blázquez started working at the original restaurant when he was 12 and purchased it in 1974, then renamed it Casa Lucio. The rest is gastronome history!
Although, I was still full from Botin, I wanted to experience Casa Lucio. Since I did not make a reservation and it was only me, I was seated at the bar. This is where I casually watched the servers carve the jamon and the bartenders mix cocktails. The jamon looked delicious but I had already eaten a good amount of it at Botin!
I decided on something small, a couple of croquettes and their flan. I had not eaten any dessert prior at Botin. Casa Lucio would be the perfect place for my favorite Spanish dessert, a sweet and smooth dish of flan. If you are in Spain, you will be eating croquettas all day! Although I have eaten croquettas many times before, these were my first two while in Spain. Both were crisp with a delicious creaminess on the inside that melted in your mouth. The rich flan was superb and a perfect way to end all of my eating for the evening!
For restaurant information, Casa Lucio
Breakfast at Café Gijon
The oldest café in Madrid and a very lovely one at that! Café Gijon was on my list of places to try in Madrid because it was the oldest. I started off one of my Madrid mornings here and was pleased that I did. My breakfast was simple which I was good with- a morning espresso and a Chocolate Palm.
I truly enjoyed my Chocolate Palm for breakfast. It was simple, freshly baked and with the right amount of sweet chocolate on top. My espresso was strong and bitter which is how I like it- black and no sugar. Now this is the way to start of a morning in Madrid!
For restaurant information, Cafe Gijon Madrid
Tapas at Tabanera Malaspina
Sit down in a Tabanera, order a drink and you will receive a free plate of tapas! That is what I was told and it happened. I was with my walking tour group and we all stopped into Tabanera Malaspina for a break. It was a warm day and I was quite parched, so I ordered a bottle of sparkling water. With my water came out a simple bread and meat dish. I freaking love Madrid!
The tapas were not fancy but it was welcoming and tasty just the same. Slices of ham, over fresh bread and topped with olive oil and paprika- Perfecto! No complaints here, just a big warm “Muchas Gracias”!
For information and location- Tabanera Malaspina
After our Madrid walking tour, my new friend, who was also a solo traveler, and I stopped into a little café. We were on our way to check out the Museo Del Prado and thought we could use a little snack before the art museum. There was an attractive looking coffee shop, named Antiguedades which was down a random street on our way to Del Prado. That is where we had coffee, cake and a little conversation.
I am mad about carrot cake and I like to order it when I see it on a menu. I have eaten it across America as well as in many places within the United Kingdom. This was my first carrot cake in Spain and it was very simple. It was almost like a diet version of a carrot cake. It was not an eye popping multi-layer cake with loads of cream cheese frosting. It was a simple slice of a very dense carrot flavored cake. It was still good but I do like cream cheese frosting!
Break Time at Museo Del Prado
There are always little break times when I travel, especially when I find myself roving through a museum. My new traveling friend and I had just meandered through one section of Del Prado. We were about to explore another section, when we called for a break time!
Caffeine and carbs have always been a break time ritual for me. If you are familiar with my other food journaling blogs, you will know this is a constant for me. This time around, I decided on a creamy cappuccino and a fresh croissant. I decided on keeping it simple because I was sure that I would have a heavy dinner that evening!
For museum information, please visit their official website – Museo Del Prado
Eh, it’s alright! I know, why did I choose Japanese food while in Madrid? I needed an Asian fix, I was hungry and Udon was close to my hotel. I should of held out for Spanish food but I was quite exhausted and famished.
Being as hungry as I was, I decided on a couple of dishes, one being the Mixed Noodle Rolls. The order came with three different rolls made with noodles and not rice. The plating was very attractive and they tasted nice. The rolls were light and interesting, I have never tried them before so this was something new for me!
I also ordered the Yakisoba because having soup would have been too filling on a hot day. The whole dish was alright and nothing spectacular. The noodles were quite good but the sauce and toppings were mediocre. It was not what I was expecting when it came to Yakisoba. This was definitely tourist food and coming from Vegas, I know what that is!
Fish at Madrid’s Royal Palace
During my trip to Madrid, I seemed to have been always eating! Whether it was in one of the museums or the Royal Palace, my appetite was on full alert while exploring this exciting city. On one of my days in Madrid, I decided to check out the Royal Palace in the heart of Madrid. Again I found myself with an appetite, especially when I saw the word “Café”!
Since I was eating a lot of carbs in Madrid, I decided to eat a healthy small meal. There were many choices but the seasoned fish with vegetables was a delicious choice!
Considering it is Europe, the restaurants inside a tourist attraction are very palatable. This is something that several cities in the Unites States have caught up on, like New York. Sadly, many cafe’s inside tourist attractions in the United States are mediocre serving packaged foods.
The best way to enjoy the majestic Royal Palace is to purchase your tickets online. I am big proponent for purchasing any tickets online. When I arrived at the Royal Palace, there was a very long line that looked uncomfortable considering it was a hot day. Since I had purchased my ticket prior, I walked right into Royal Palace. There is more to life than standing in a que, buy your tickets before you go!
For ticket information, please visit: Royal Palace of Madrid
Since this Starbucks was right next to my hotel, it became my go to coffee/ breakfast place every morning. The location of this familiar coffee chain is off one of the little streets jetting off Plaza Del Sol. More than likely you will find yourself in Plaza Del Sol since it is considered the middle of Madrid.
Breakfast Egg Sandwich – Orange Chocolate Cake – Turkey on Blueberry Bread
The food is good for a Starbucks and has a variety of sandwiches that you will not find in other countries. One of my favorites for breakfast was the turkey and cheese sandwich on blueberry bread, heated of course. I also tried the breakfast sandwich with local ham, it was very similar to the ones in the states but a bit different. I typically do not go to a Starbucks when I travel but this one became a morning Godsend!
There was so much to fall in love with in this city. Madrid had countless dining establishments that I wanted to try. I only scratched the surface of the gastronomic activity in Madrid. I am counting the days until I can step back into Spain and visit this enchanting city! Nos Vemos 💋
🌍 Thank you for visiting my website and NEVER STOP EXPLORING!
📸 All photos are taken by me and are my intellectual property – Trixie Navarre