While in Madrid last month, I spent a day walking around Puerta del Sol, one of the busiest and best-known parts of the city. You can see more photos on my blog here: http://stevecookphotography.com/puerta-del-sol/.
In Madrid I decided to start my day like a local—with an espresso and jamón croissant from Mallorca. What a perfect breakfast. It was light, fast and energizing! Even better still, their espresso came with a sweet bonus—a mini pastry topped with two tiny local strawberries and a pistachio!
Even now I'm craving their guilt-free collection of tapas-style breakfast miniatures and fresh squeezed orange juice.
If you visit Madrid don't miss the famous Don Quixote and Sancho statues, located close to the Metro stop in Plaza de Espana. They are situated right in front of a fountain and early in the morning the water mirrors the statue—making it feel almost like they are about to cross over. Sometimes there are even food and craft markets in the plaza, another great reason to visit!
Aroubd te Writer´s Quarter in Madrid my favorite place for TAPAS in traditional taverns or Fine Food at the trendy Gastrobars. I like mix the food with a bit of history on this charming pedestrian quarter
Just steps away from Plaza Mayor, visit the Mercado de San Miguel for a dazzling array of local goods; organic produce, fresh seafood, bakery items and so on. If you are hungry, try out the prepared foods and sample your way around the place to experience various traditional delights.
Spain in August is hot, ya'll. Steamy sweaty hot. Fortunately, these scenic sun shades help keep the sidewalks cool for travelers during their sangria drinking and people watching activities.
I once heard that eating tapas while standing builds character. Going into a tiny dark tapas bar in Madrid and ordering parts of a pig that aren't normally consumed does too. Toni, owner and cook at Casa Toni in Madrid, sautées this chewy-yet-crunchy delicacy to order and tops it with a delicious bravas sauce. Greatness.
When in Madrid, I highly recommend to visit Circulo de Bellas Artes. The views from the rooftop of the Fine Arts Circle is breath taking. Buy a ticket at the reception, speed up to the roof and stand by the feet of Goddess Minerva. Highly recommended during sunset with a glass of wine in hand.
One of the best place to go for a little of everything local, or tapas-style shopping, is the Mercado de San Miguel in Madrid, Spain. They are always busy. Whether you are looking for ham or oysters, fresh fruits or desserts, coffee or wine, they have it all in a beautiful setting.
The staff of Madrid's Chocolatería San Ginés might be a bit brisk, but they more than make up for it in taste and atmosphere. Over a century old, take a few turns off the main "calle" and follow the pink neon sign to the small elegant interior. You'll be rewarded with a steaming cup of drinking/dipping chocolate and perfectly crisp-yet-delicate churros.