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The best avocado toast in Madrid to me are those six:

  • Pum Pum Cafè
  • HanSo Cafè
  • Federal Cafè
  • Lap Cafè
  • Plantate Cafè
  • Propaganda
  • Avohaus.

The best avocado toast in Madrid is mine, the one on the cover page. When I can find the perfect avocado I go to my favorite bakery (Panifiesto) and then I can make the best avocado toast in Madrid right in my kitchen.

But of course I cannot produce the best avocado toast in Madrid for all the avocado toast lovers, so here my short list with pictures and comments for the best bar serving the yummiest avocado toasts in Madrid.

1.Pum Pum Cafè

I love this place and their toast is the best, I mean I can’t reproduce Eggs Benedict, and I don’t know where this bread comes from but it’s great!

And the matcha latte .. look how perfect it looks like!

PUM PUM Cafè – Calle Tribulete, 6, 28012 Madrid

More info here: PUM PUM cafè.

2.Hanso Cafè

Hanso cafè madrid

These japanese guys are latte artists, I love all the videos they have on Instagram. The avocado toast here is great, but to me their very best is the matcha waffle, because it’s unique here in Madrid.

I am so glad to share this picture because it was the first one I uploaded on Madridiana Instagram, and I totally remember that day, with my favourite flower skirt.

HanSo Cafè – Calle del Pez, 20, 28004 Madrid

More Info here: HanSo Cafè.

3.Federal Cafè

federal cafè madrid

This is the coolest place in town because it’s a bar after all, but the design is such fine with all that marble that I really can’t imagine a brighter and modern space. The real example of less is more with a classy hint.

My favorite food here is the bowls, especially when chia seeds are included. Like in this first picture. The well, we were talking about the best avocado toast in Madrid, so I am showing you the second picture, from my personal account (shhhhhh) where I could not resist to the toast and I had to do the “food blogger” picture with half of the food.

But they were great, the nuts dust they put on the top it’s something special.

Federal Cafè Madrid – Plaza de las Comendadoras, 9, 28015 Madrid.

More info here: Federal Cafè.

4. Lap Cafè

I had to update this article and add my actual avocado toast, because I am still in love with Pum Pum but honestly cannot stand the queue and the infinite wait. Now you can eat avocado toast basically everywhere, even in the toda la vida bar, the hype is incredible.

This hype brought me to try new places, especially in my barrio, Lavapies, and discover a couple of hidden gems that I really suggest you to try.

Lap Cafè is the definition of a hidden gem, you won’t find it in Tapas Magazine or in the most well-known blogs, it doesn’t stand out, for its position and you definitely have to enter see the menu and meet the owners. What surprised me the most were the ingredients, real food, great qualities, nice decorations, it’s my fave. 

LAP cafè Calle Embajadores 19, local 1, 28012 Madrid

More info here: Lap Cafè

5. Plantate Cafè

Desáyuno o merienda? 🥑 #madridiana

Una publicación compartida de MadriDiana (@madridiana___) el

Our second favourite place in Lavapies right now (July 2018) is Plantate cafè, finally a good bar en Calle Meson de Paredes! We have seen so many bars open and close in few months in the same streets, but Plantate has its own identity that attracts avocado lovers from different parts of Madrid.

The mood is super international, the bar it’s really tiny but specialty coffee lovers are going crazy with their selection, and again the guys working there are super cool. You can actually buy plants, books, and design while sipping your coffee or biting your toast. Genial!

Plantate Cafè Calle del Mesón de Paredes, 28, 28012 Madrid

More info here: Plantate Cafè 

6.Propaganda

Avocado toast during weekends is synonymous with brunch. If you are a brunch lover and want to try a special tostada with Italian cheese and hams, chilling in one of the coolest wineries in Chueca, well, Propaganda is your place.

The champagne brunch is the best treat you can have on a Sunday morning. The avocado is the protagonist too and can be mixed with salmon, burrata or eggs, and the result is quintessential of deliciousness.

7) Avohaus

We could not mention the first avocado bar in Madrid for the best avocado toast challenge, so here we are, talking about Avohaus.

We have tried it the first week of opening, the place is so well decorated, the staff is extremely lovely and the attention to the details in the food and in the space is really high level. This is definitely the place to be for the Avoaddicted.

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On my ATTD (avocado toast to do) list before selecting the best avocado toast in Madrid I still have to visit:

  • The Toast Cafè
  • Monkey Coffe
  • Toma Caffè (I’ve been but didn’t eat avocado)
  • Hola Cafè (I’ve been but tried other types of tostada)
  • Cripeka
  • Angelica (in Calle Segovia) they also do the Avocado Burger!!!

Normally you wouldn’t visit Madrid for the main purpose of eating and trying the Madrilenian cuisine; most of the time the main purpose is to visit one of the greatest cities in the world in order to have fun, to visit the tremendous amount of monuments, churches, and of course, to learn more of its general history.

While writing the first guide, there were so many things and places I wanted to share as the top bars and restaurants in Madrid, or the best food to try, that I decided to dedicate and entire guide just to the best food within Madrid.

What to eat in Madrid

No experience is complete without trying local foods in an ambient environment. Here you will find three remarkable dishes that you must consider and the best places to enjoy them. For every dish, you also have the ideal drink, only from Spain.

Bocata de calamares

bocata calamares madrid
This is a very typical street food style dish from Madrid. You can find it in almost all the Spanish bars and restaurants. It is very simple, consisting of a sandwich filled with fried squids. Usually, the size of the sandwich (bocata comes from bocadillo which is a sandwich in Spanish) is quite big, definitely not like a tapa. A bocadillo is a kind of huge portion of bread, very different than the montadito which is a tiny little bread. The most traditional are also the simplest, nothing added other than a squeeze of lemon. Different types of the bocata have sauce on it like classic mayonnaise or the Spanish garlic based sauce called aioli.
If you have the opportunity to experience a festival or a special celebration, the bocata de calamares should be your street food choice. If not available on the street, there are plenty of restaurants at Plaza Mayor where you can try them, such as La Campana in Calle de Botoneras 6.
Never pay more than 4 euros for a bocata. Furthermore, do not forget to order a fresh Cerveza (beer) to accompany your sandwich. Prices usually vary depending on where you eat; at the barra or at the table (la mesa); it is common in the bars. Talking about cervezas, if you want to taste the very authentic Madrilenian beer, Mahou should be your first choice, it’s everywhere in Madrid, not difficult at all to find around the city. It’s an institution more than a beer, part of the history of the city.

Tortilla

tortilla madrid
The tortilla is the most famous Spanish tapa. You can start eating a racion (portion) for breakfast, as a pinchos with bread or just a plain tortilla, and finish eating tortilla at night with a glass of vermouth. The main ingredients are potatoes, eggs, and onion, the ideal vegetarian alternative to jamon. In Spain, there are many brands of local vermouth. In Madrid, vermouth or vermut, as they call it, is not only a well-known beverage used as an ingredient for cocktails such as Negroni or Manhattan, but is popular on its own poured over ice or mixed with a little bit of carbonated water, with the sifon. You can find it everywhere in Madrid; in all the tapas bars. When you choose your tortilla, make sure the kitchen of the bar is casera, meaning that it is cooked when you order, not buying it already cooked. It’s very difficult to recommend where to get the best tortilla, but some places we might advise are the Taberna Pedraza that has a tortilla counter and the most liquid Betanozs version of this famous plate and Pez Tortilla either in Calle del Pez or Cava Baja, where you can try some many different tastes, truffle-brie-jamon in the following pic.

My favorite tapas bar is called the Cerveceria Restaurante Padron in Noviciado.  They serve raciones and for every cerveza or vermut you order, a tasty side dish is included for your enjoyment.

Cocido

cocido madrid la bola
It is called Cocido Madrileno because it is one of the most traditional dishes of the city. In the very beginning, it was enjoyed by nearly 100% of the population. It is a very popular dish, cooked by families for special days or events; it is very economical and is not considered to be a gourmet meal. When Madrid restaurants started adding it to the menu as a typical Spanish delicatessen, it became famous and even mainstream. The fact that it is a soup with chickpeas and meat definitely makes it a winter dish. Just so there is no doubt, there are also versions of Cocido Madrileno that can be eaten during the summer. When you ask a native madrileno which restaurant has the tastiest cocido, there will always be one answer: my mother. And it’s not the name of the restaurant. But when asked “What is the best public restaurant in Madrid to try cocido?” the answers will change to  “La Bola” situated in central Madrid.
To end such a typical and enjoyable madrilenian meal, you should order the Madroño. It is liquor made from berries of the madrono tree, which is also one of the symbols of Madrid along with the Oso, the Bear. (the sculpture of El Oso y el Madroño is situated in Puerta del Sol). The Madroño is also the name of a famous restaurant in Madrid, which serves shots of the liquor in wafer cups coated with chocolate; situated very close to Plaza Mayor.

Two additional tips

We cannot finish this Madrid food guide without these two additional tips.

(1) Follow the new wave of food districts (barrios in Spanish) by going to Calle Ponzano. Although it is not situated in the very center of Madrid, it has many of the great gourmet stops of the city. You can find very typical Spanish menu restaurants or very contemporary cuisine. Meals for shortly after work or for a late dinner, Calle Ponzano offers plenty of various alternatives. This street has become so famous that they have even coined a verb for it – “ponzaning” because of the completely different atmosphere than in the usual tourist attractions of Madrid.
restaurant botin madrid
(2) Seek your dining pleasure at the oldest restaurant in Madrid, located at Plaza Mayor. You have to see it, not because of its particular shape, but because the Guinness Book of World Records once named this restaurant as the oldest in the world, which attracts many tourists taking pictures of the old restaurant and the original slab at the entrance which has the date of a refurbishment completed in 1725. It is called Restaurant Botin, founded in 1725, serving traditional dishes and probably one of the best meals of the city with affordable prices.

There is no better place than a food market if you want to experience and taste the food culture of a city, and there is no better city than Madrid for doing it.

By food market we consider all the gourmet shops where can be found a large variety of products to eat at a stand, or to take-away. We also consider all those classical markets that produce raw foodstuffs like vegetables, milk or meat.

In recent years a great enthusiasm has been registered for specialists, one-product producers, as well as stands that sell ready-cooked meals.  This has quickly changed the structure of city markets from 100% producer oriented markets to agglomerates of small, mini restaurants that can mobilize at a minutes notice.

1) San Miguel

Madrid has developed this “new market era” in a very special way, and the best example in the city is definitely San Miguel. Here can be found dozens of little stands that are hyper specialized, offering a single product offer.  (80% of them specializing in tapas.) You have the crab stand, the burrito stand, the jamon stand and so on.

A special mention to all the new entries in the market from Michelin starred restaurants like the Rodrigo de la Calle paella, the Javi Estevez mini sandwiches and last but not least the crazy icecreams from the genius Jordi Roca.

The space is great, just behind the famous Plaza Major.  The glass architecture is striking and considered a cultural heritage within the city.

2) San Antòn

The second most important and public market is San Antòn, in the Chueca area. Similar to Saint Miguel with its tapas stands, but with a large terrace where you can better enjoy your pinchos. The delicatessen market is the heart of San Antòn. Here can be found fresh, high quality food that you won’t find anywhere else. There is also a restaurant called, La Cocina de San Antòn, which is a classical restaurant where you can share the huge table with other guests. We are mentioning this market especially for the nice terrace at the last floor of the building.

3) Platea

The third one, which is a completely different experience, is Platea. In this market you probably won’t just go for a quick tapa, but for a night out. This venue is very similar to gourmet stores such as, Eataly, where you have the best of both worlds, a market and various restaurants, in a multi-floor setup, and available at the same location.   You can also pick-up an entertainment calendar featuring the selecting of theatre and music shows available, at the Information Centre on the ground level.

4) Mercado de la Cebada

The fourth one is the Madrilenos, people from Madrid, choice, an authentic market that you don’t usually find in the “Top 10 markets in Madrid” charts, but look at the picture, this structure is amazing, and it’s in one of the most beautiful block of Madrid: Latina. This is a very residential area, great for a lovely walk when you want to enjoy the real Spanish architecture, because it is the oldest part of the city. It’s the Mercadode la Cebada, a real producers market where you find the best meat and fish of Madrid. This venue was built in the XVIII century in order to have the highest hygiene level for food conservation. Now it’s also a cultural stage for music and performing arts due to the huge stage in the backyards.

Additional tips

 

Few other markets that worth a visit are the San Fernando, Anton Martin and Tirso de Molina markets, all of them are extremely authentic places, where people from the neighborhood usually hang out for a beer after work or just doing the groceries shopping.

Also for the most famous tortilla queue (Casa Dani) worth the mention of Mercado de la Paz in the Salamanca district, definitely the chicest and most expensive food market (after Platea which is super close). It also has an Amazon Now area dedicated to the shipment of the groceries shop.

Madrid is definitely a market city, but the best markets are the food markets, no clothes, no antiques or furniture, the only market product is food, either if you want to cook something home, or to consume it inside the market. The Spanish capital is a great foodporn destination, with probably the lowest prices of Europe where you can so many different cultures, tapas after tapas.

Here we are again writing about the main attractions close to the Spanish сapital. We have already written about Toledo, the city of three cultures and astounding architectural diversity. We began that article by mentioning Escorial and Segovia, that are also a day-trip from Madrid. Incorporating them in the first piece seemed unwise, but we could not just let those places go and leave uncovered. So fasten your seatbelt and be ready for our special tips for these two gateways from Madrid.

Let’s start with El Escorial

 

Monastery El Elscorial (Photo Credit: DEZALB)

El Escorial is a monastery built by King Philip II as a residence for the Spanish Royal Family to commemorate the 1557 Spanish victory at the Battle of St. Quentin in Picardy against Henry II, king of France. The work began in 1563 and was completed 21 years later. Sadly, the architect Juan Bautista Toledo did not live to see the completion of his project. The monastery is located in San Lorenzo de El Escorial, and it’s more than a monastery, it’s a complex made by a monastery, a pantheon, a library, a basilica and a royal palace of course. It takes half a day to see everything.
You can get here from Madrid in several ways:
  • By bus from Moncloa, travel time is about one hour, bus fare is 4,20€
  • By train from Atocha Station, the same time, train ticket is 3,30€
  • By car it is also a one-hour drive.
There are many offers in Madrid for a day-trip in Escorial for more than 50€ without lunch, or with an incredibly sad boxed lunch. You can find plenty of nice and super affordable places in the historic center of the town. From 1984, the Monastery has been declared a part of the UNESCO Heritage because the austerity of the style of Escorial broke the architectonic trends of the 15th century, and influenced the Spanish architecture of the following centuries.
From the end of the 16th century, it used to be considered the 8th wonder of the world, both for the huge dimensions and for the symbolism. It is dedicated to the sacrifice of San Lorenzo, that’s why there are several corners dedicated to him. First and foremost is the basilica of San Lorenzo el Real, the central building in the El Escorial complex. It was originally designed, like most of the late Gothic cathedrals of western Europe, to take the form of a Latin Cross. And later it was modified by Juan de Herrera to that of a Greek Cross a form with all four arms of equal length. The altar screen (reredos) of the Basilica is 28-meter high, it is three-tiered, highly decorated, made of red granite and jasper and adorned with gilded bronze statuary and three sets of religious paintings commissioned by Philip II.
Now El Escorial is also a museum because of the great collection of sculpture, ancient books and works of art that have been stored in this place for all these centuries. One of the most famous paintings that can be admired inside the monastery is the Tiziano Vecellio crucifixion from 1555. Among all the works of art, the Escorial gardens are a must-see of this venue. They are designed in an Italian way, and are as beautiful as the most charming gardens in other European royal residences. Even if the winter is quite cold, the whole complex doesn’t lose its allure during this season, you will still enjoy it even when visiting on a cloudy or foggy day. There are special celebrations in August during San Lorenzo and San Bernabé, when the Feria Industrial y Artesana de la Sierra de Guadarrama takes place with incredible food and artisan stalls.
El Escorial half-day trip is very often proposed in a combination with Avila. Avila is very close to El Escorial, and is another UNESCO patrimony. It is sometimes called the Town of Stones and Saints, and it claims that it is one of the towns with the highest number of Romanesque and Gothic churches per capita in Spain. It’s a maze of religious buildings, from the most important ones like the cathedral to all the surrounding churches and a monastery. Yet, Avila is not just about the religion, it’s very famous for gastronomy with several signature recipes such as the Avila steak, and for vegetarian the renewed yemas of Santa Teresa, there are sweets made with eggs and sugar.
If you don’t want to waste time of your Escorial visit you should reserve a El Escorial & Valley of the Fallen Half-Day Trip before heading there.

And now it’s time to write about the second protagonist of this article: Segovia

Segovia Madrid (Photo Credit: Schnauzer)

Why is Segovia so famous? As all most famous sights in the world, in order to be recognized and remembered a venue needs to be as much unique as it can. So does Segovia with its landmarks. Located on the plains of Old Castile, Segovia is renowned for a very ancient aqueduct dating from the late 1st or early 2nd century AD.  It is still used to deliver drinking water. “The aqueduct of Segovia is – because of its long span, architectural beauty, uncharacteristic slenderness, and dramatic presence in the center of a dense urban fabric – the most impressive Roman structure in Spain, and one of the most famous among the numerous aqueducts built by the Romans throughout their vast Empire,” Lapunzina wrote. Obviously this is another great patrimony of UNESCO heritage, how could it not be part of it? The position of this city is everything and it’s also crucial for the aqueduct because it is build on a little hill crossed by two important rivers, the Eresma and the Clamores. It’s a Roman city because it has been a very important military center during the Roman Empire.
The Medieval era marks its architectural development, Segovia then became an important industrial center for the textile production. It’s in this period that all the Roman buildings were constructed, they are still preserved to nowadays. Of course the aqueduct is one of those buildings, positioned right at the entrance of the city. A real jewel for its engine, the aqueduct used to carry water from 15 kilometres away. The Cathedral and the Alcazar are the second must-see of this route, and it’s impossible not to visit them because they are the first things you see after the aqueduct.
How to get to Segovia from Madrid?
  • By bus in less than one hour, there are a lot of stations where to start the trip
  • By train with the AVE, 30 minutes to the station and then by bus 15 minutes to the town center
  • By car it will take approximately one hour.
Official tour-guided trips usually start at the aqueduct, plaza Azoguejo. You should wear the most comfortable shoes, like the ones for hiking, it will take at least two hours to visit this huge place, and the city of full of uphills and uneven pavements. From the entrance of the city the Alcazar is within a walking distance. But get ready to spend lots of energy there because there is a tall tower, climb 152 steps and enjoy a great bird-view from high above. What might be impressive about the Alcazar is again the position and the surroundings. It is a crucial contact point for the Camino di Santiago, with the homonym door from where a special walk starts. After a two-hour discovery of the aqueduct and some arduous exploits at the Alcazar it is time to explore Segovia’s traditional gastronomy. Plaza Azoguejo and Plaza Mayor are probably the perfect places for restaurant hunt. You can sit outside when the sun is rising or setting and eat while watching the architectural beauty of this city. Typical food is the cochinillo which is roasted pork or milk-fed lamb, called lechazo, but there is also a good choice of fish for sea lovers. Trout usually rules the menu. Segovia is a full day trip and it takes time to visit everything. Segovia is a full day trip not also because it takes time to visit everything, but also because waiting for the sunset in the warm Spanish darkness is a great idea, since the illuminated aqueduct is the perfect end of this great route. Even more so that you ponder over it in a good company of Spanish wine and astounding Roman architecture.
If you don’t want to waste time of your Segovia visit you should reserve a Segovia Day Trip before heading to the city and walk around with the best guides.