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Top 3 Tapas Bars in Madrid

Top 3 tapas bars in Madrid!

In Madrid and other parts of Spain, we call tapa a “small bite” or snack, that is served free with the drink you order.

One theory suggests that this custom was introduced in the 13th century when King Alfonso X ‘the Wise’ ordered taverns and inns establishments to accompany any alcoholic drink with a small portion of food to avoid drunkenness. 

Other sources indicate that to prevent insects or dust from the streets from falling into the drink, some taverns tapaban (covered) the jugs of wine with a slice of bread, thus giving the lid its Spanish name: Tapa.

There are various ways of serving tapas, in many bars a small amount of olives, fried potatoes -type chips-, dried fruits, or a simple slice of bread with cold meats are normally served. In other establishments the tapa increases in size, quality, and sophistication to become an interesting gastronomic experience.

Besides the tapa that accompanies our drink, in many bars we can also ask for portions (raciones) or half-portions (medias raciones). These dishes, which you will be charged for, are perfect for sharing. 

What are some classic tapas in Madrid? 

  • The patatas bravas (fried potato wedges with spicy sauce), 
  • Tortilla de patatas (typical Spanish potato omelette), 
  • Croquettes, 
  • Mature cheeses 
  • Iberian cold cuts

Fun Fact: There’s also a Spanish tradition called La Ruta De La Tapa, where judges go around different bars trying these Tapas. The best one receives a prize.

Casa Labra Tapas Bar

This old tavern was founded in 1860 and is located at 12 Tetuan Street, near Puerta del Sol. Its main attraction is tapas, mainly of cod, in slices and freshly fried croquettes. In its salon you can also enjoy cod prepared in different ways. In addition to typical Madrid dishes such as, bull tail or tripe, various tapas, appetizers and a fine selection of wines.

The premises have retained their original decoration, with a curved façade adapted to the structure of the building and a curious glass sign with the establishment’s sign. Inside, in addition to the zinc counter and traditional marble tables, visitors can recreate the view in the graffiti and numerous sayings that allude to the history of the establishment. It has two rooms, one of which is used as a restaurant, where one can eat a la carte, and the other where meals can be taken.

Bodega de la Ardosa

In 1892, Rafael Fernández opened several taverns called La Ardosa, in memory of the village in the province of Toledo that has the same name. The tavern in Malasaña still retains elements of the original decoration, including the engraved glass sign, the azulejos skirting board and the fan.

The house offers a wide variety of reasonably priced Irish beers, vermouths on tap, ales and fine wines from Ribera and Rioja. Snacks include canapés of various kinds, salmorejo, salted meat and fish, cecina de León, duck ham and potato omelette. Over the years, La Ardosa has become a special place where enthusiasts learn how to enjoy beer in a different way, and waiters how important the way it is served!

Juana La Loca

Located in La Latina since 2001 with their special and unique authentic tabern, you should definitely try their typical Spanish tortilla de patatas. They have a great selection of tapas and small bites, if you want to enjoy some good food you should definitely give it a try.

Over 20 years offering different types of flavours, creativity and tradition with basque influence. They respect the flavours and are the pioneers of the pintxos in the capital city.

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