The Best Places to Eat in Madrid on a Backpacker’s Budget
Madrid is a culinary delight to for travelers to discover, from its traditional Spanish cuisine and tapas to its international and modern fare. There’s so much to eat, smell, and sample in the city’s tapas bars, restaurants, and food markets. However, travelers on a budget needn’t fear that they can’t get a taste of the Spanish capital’s most tasty dishes. Here are 5 of the best places to eat in Madrid on a backpacker’s budget where you won’t have to sacrifice taste for value!
Sidrería El Tigre
Sidrería El Tigre is a legend in the Spanish capital. It’s a sidrería, meaning the specialty of the house is cider, a drink that originates from the north of Spain. If you buy one beer, cider, or other drink for 5 euros, you then get a plate loaded with tapas and pinchos delivered to your table. The atmosphere is fun and lively, and the servers are friendly and inviting. Once you order another drink, you’ll get another huge portion of food to go along with it. This is always among the best places to eat in Madrid among students, backpackers, or those simply looking for a fun tapas experience. The prices are simply unbeatable for the enormous portion of tasty tapas that come with each drink.
Address: Calle de las Infantas, 23
El Capricho Extremeño
El Capricho Extremeño is always buzzing with locals who love and can’t get enough of their famous tostas. A favorite plan is to make a pit stop here to refuel after a morning at El Rastro, the famous Sunday morning flea market in the Embajadores neighborhood. For between 2-5 euro, you can get a giant slab of toast piled with ingredients like Spanish ham, pulpo (octopus), shrimp, olives, and more. The place is always packed, so grab a couple tostas to take away and enjoy outside. Pro tip: if you’re with a group, get a variety of tostas to share so that you can try as many as possible!
Address: Calle de Carlos Arniches, 30
Right next to El Tigre, you’ll notice another restaurant that’s quite similar, El Respiro. It actually has the exact same concept as El Tigre: buy a drink, get a huge plate of tapas to go with it. You’ll find anything from croquetas to patatas bravas to paella on your plate, some of Spain’s most essential dishes. Since it has incredibly low prices, this is one of the best places to eat in Madrid if you’re looking to fill up without unloading your wallet.
Address: Calle de las Infantas, 34
La Petisqueira is a Spanish tavern in the traditional style that prides itself on generous portions of tapas for very reasonable prices. You get one tapa with each drink that you order, which is not only mouth-wateringly delicious, but very decent in size, too. It’s lively, loud, and stays open late, so it’s a great place to fill up before a night out exploring Madrid.
Address: Calle Churruca, 6
Cervecería La Blanca Paloma
La Blanca Paloma is famous among the locals for being one of the best places to eat in Madrid on the cheap. When you order two beers, you get a free tapa. Some typical dishes include meatballs, fried eggs, patatas bravas, and sausages. No frills here, just simple, tasty food at unbelievable prices. There are a few locations scattered across the city, so you’ll have no problem finding one wherever you are!
Address: Calle del Espíritu Santo, 21
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