Eating our way around the world is obviously a favourite team hobby here at House of Coco, but Madrid is one city where there are never enough mealtimes. From mouthwatering tapas to sugary sweet confections, there’s a delicious mouthful round every corner.
For an unrivalled seafood feast Glass Mar is the only place you need on your radar. The brainchild of ‘chef of the seas’ Ángel León, we feasted on ten courses with every recipe featuring a gasp of the Atlantic Ocean, bringing the flavours of the sea to the city. With a menu encapsulating the essence of the sea with every bite, dishes range from sweet and smoky grilled mussels, cuttlefish croquettes and creamy plankton risotto. www.glassmar.es
Madrid is full of pastry shops but none come more iconic than a visit to La Mallorquina (www.pasteleriamallorquina.es). A Madrid mainstay since 1894, order a little something to enjoy standing at the end of the bar with a coffee while you watch the locals pour in for their sweets, or order to take out and you’ll be presented with your pastries in the most adorable pink parcels, like something straight out of the Grand Budapest Hotel.
Technically not a ‘meal’ in the strictest sense of the word, but when you inevitably visit Mercado de San Miguel (www.mercadodesanmiguel.es) ensure you do so on a VERY empty stomach. Since it opened its doors as a wholesale food market more than 100 years ago, today this historical building is home to flavours from every corner of Spain. From the finest Iberian ham to Galician shellfish, exquisite cheeses from Castile and Asturias to dishes from the Mediterranean coast, with over 20 stands serving tapas and drinks you’ll be spoilt for choice. Our favourites were the mini crab burgers with shoestring fries, the fresh fish tapas on crisp melba toasts and the utterly divine oysters.
Churros and hot chocolate are something of a Madrileño institution and there’s really only one place to go to tick them off your list. Chocolatería san Ginés is a cosy café a stone’s throw from the Plaza Mayor, reminiscent of a nineteenth century bar with its white marble tables and tile-covered counter. The might serve pastries and sodas, but a cup of molten chocolate accompanied by a stack of hot, fresh churros is the only thing you ought to be tasting in this establishment, it’s sacrilege not to. www.chocolateriasangines.com
Nibbles, nibbles, everywhere, but when we stumbled across the classic tavern that is Celso u Manolo we knew we were in for a treat. It’s small but perfectly formed, with influences of Nuevo Latino in its traditionally Spanish menu. From a dish of four varieties of plump, ripe tomatoes with a flight of oils, to the degustación of hams and cheeses, the potato salad and their homemade slow-cooked casseroles; settle down order in some of the rather too affordable wine and take your time to savour every mouthful. www.celsoymanolo.es.