OK! Tapas are a cultural thing in Spain and stews are a religion in Madrid. But wait a minute—if we Spaniards love to eat (very well) and our way of life leads us to living in the street… CORRECT! It’s time for street food.
The phenomenon was born under the influence of the centuries-old urban cuisine of Asia. Big capitals like Bangkok, Hong Kong, and Beijing understand it as a way of life. However, in recent years the trend has migrated and now sweeps the asphalt of European cities.
Its philosophy is based on two principles: commitment to quality and freedom of movement. Minimal infrastructure, tasty experience.
Madrid has welcomed street food with open arms. There are no longer music festivals, flea markets, or simply meeting friends for a beer without lots of culinary options.
WARNING: high levels of foodporn!
And in this context, we’ll get to what really interests us. Which street food establishments are making it big in Madrid? The options are infinite and the cuisines are endless. That’s why the opinions of diners like you rule: Thanks, TripAdvisor!
Paperboy Perrito Bar
– Paperboy Perrito Bar: XXL Hotdogs with lots of different flavours. As an original touch, each specialty is named after a newspaper somewhere in the world. Among the side dishes are the famous Venezuelan tequeños (fried cheese sticks) to give an exotic and delicious touch.
Credit: @Paperboy Perrito Bar
– 154 Ruiz: The most misfit establishment in Malasaña. The power of the flavor and the love for spice are the main themes of this restaurant. Its influences are extremely varied—from tacos to Korean kimchi. For only the bravest, they’ve got the spicy challenge: if you can handle three dishes…you get the prize!
Credit: @Kitchen 154
–Peko Peko: There’s a new kid in town. The roots of the best street food in Asia have come to the neighbourhood of Chueca with tasty gyoza and ramen. Its bao, made with artisan bread, assure that it will become an icon.
Credit: @PekoPeko • Bao Street Kitchen
MUNCHIES HOT DOG
– Munchies Hot Dog: The central Literary Quarter is home to this space that gives tasty options for lovers of American classics. Let yourself be carried away by guilty pleasures and simply…enjoy it!
TASTY POKE BAR
–Tasty Poke Bar: Modern food fashion has made its way into Madrid (as if it could be otherwise). This dish, which comes from Hawaiian culture, offers as many variations as our minds (and stomachs) are capable of creating. Healthy, original, and rich, it has all the makings of a winning option.
Credit: @T A S T Y P O K E 🥙 MADRID
–San Wich: A small corner of Chile in the centre of the city. Original sandwiches and burgers on homemade bread with nuances that transport you to the other side of the pond. The ceviche and pisco sours complete the experience.
Credit: @Herman Arifin
–Il Siciliano: A whole franchise with five establishments spread across Madrid. Its objective: to dignify the urban pizza business while being faithful to the traditional style of southern Italy. The prices—more than reasonable.
Credit: @Il Siciliano
MEDRI MUNDO TIRAMISÚ
–Medri Mundo tiramisú: Pastries have also entered the streets with force. If your passion is this old Italian friend, you can’t afford to miss this stop.
Credit: @Medri el Mundo del Tiramisú
LOLO POLOS ARTESANOS
–Lolo Polos artesanos: The most charming desserts in the capital since 2015. Lolo ice creams are handmade, natural, and gluten-free. The fun style of this place and its recipes (100% ripe fruit) are a direct link to your childhood.
Credit: @LOLO Polos Artesanos
New market life
But LOOK OUT! Talking about street food in Madrid cannot be limited to its immense range of street vendors. It is also necessary to talk about the city’s not-so-classic markets.
The old neighbourhood food markets have become the heart of on-the-go cuisine. They’ve got specialized food stands and direct access to the best products—the recipe for success.
THE MERCADO DE SAN MIGUEL
- The Mercado de San Miguel is the most famous and pioneer of the capital. It is next to the emblematic Plaza Mayor and has become one of the must-sees for travellers who want to taste the classics.
Credit: @David Álvarez
THE MERCADO DE SAN ILDEFONSO
- The most hipster version of Madrid’s markets is located in one of the fashionable areas of the centre—welcome to Malasaña territory. It is the Mercado de San Ildefonso, on Fuencarral Street.
Credit: @Mercado de San Ildefonso
Asian influences, like the delicious Dak from Akma, are mixed with the power of Latin food (La Arepera or Paco’s Tacos) or the flavours of the house: La del Pulpo or Jaleo. And when you finish, you can complete the day with a little shopping in Fuencarral Street. The best brands await you!
Credit: @La Arepera
THE MERCADO DE SAN ANTÓN
- The Mercado de San Antón is located in the heart of the vibrant neighbourhood of Chueca. The Greek market stall, Delítaca, brings the freshness of the Mediterranean and Puturrú de Foie brings the exquisiteness of its foie recipes. The selection of more than one hundred wines from around the world that this market offers is another subject…today we’re talking about food.
Credit: @Mercado San Anton
But perhaps the most authentic market, the one that preserves its neighbourhood essence intact, is the Mercado de Antón Martín. Fishmongers, butchers, and charcuterie shops with generations of history can be found along with small bars from many corners of the world.
Buns &Bones, with their delicious bao, and the revisited Japanese Yokaloka have won the love of their visitors. Cereal Lovers Bar is the perfect complement for those who prefer to feel at home, but without pyjamas, with more than 150 types of cereals (domestic and imported).
Credit: @Cereal Lovers
As you can see, Madrid can base its philosophy on the elements of both street and leisure. If we’ve learned anything here, it is that experiences make places great, and this city is just that.
So, whether in a market, at a stand, in a bar, or at a mini restaurant, we invite you to savour and enjoy the unique atmosphere of the streets of Madrid.