Tuesday, November 5, 2013

{travel} tapas in barrio conde duque, madrid

You know it is going to be a GREAT weekend when the only plans you have involve eating lots and lots of tapas and drinking lots and lots of wine. Amen.

We followed una Ruta de Tapas called Exquisitapas in the barrio Conde Duque. Conde Duque is right next to our neighborhood, but my roommate and I had never really explored the area at all. I'm so sad that we explored it so late into the year. We found some really awesome places that I definitely have to tell yall about, for your... you know... eventual trip out to visit me?! :)

Oh. Did I mention that each tapa cost 2 euros and each glass of wine or glass of beer cost 1 euro on the route? Um. Yes. Magical.

We got stamps at all of the restaurants we went to so that we could be entered into a drawing for a "gastronomical trip for two." That sounds like the perfect trip. I hope we win! Also - that beer is one of the craft beers brewed here in Madrid. Craft beer for a euro.... Conde Duque does it right!

The dish above is from a super awesome place called Gabriel  on Calle del Conde Duque, 10 that we absolutely loved. I mean... look at that presentation. It's not too common in Madrid for a dish to come out that pretty, unless you're spending some big bucks on lunch or dinner. Gabriel does a 14 euro menu del dia for lunch Monday - Friday, which includes a starter, a main dish, dessert, and wine or beer. Rooms and I will definitely be back for that some day soon.

The above photo was taken at De Vinos on Calle La Palma, 76. We weren't necessarily that crazy about the tapa, whipped Parmesan cheese with a red wine jam, but mainly because it didn't come with any bread. As much as I love cheese, this was a bit too rich to eat on its own. But no matter, because we loved the little wine bar nonetheless. A typical glass of wine costs around 3 euros usually, but on the route it only cost a euro! And it was goooooood. They also have a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc on the menu that I want to get my hands on. As much as I love Spanish wine, it is pretty difficult to find wine from anywhere else, so I definitely want to take advantage of being able to drink one of my favorite whites from New Zealand at this bar!

How cute is this place? It is called La Mantequeria  and it is on Calle de San Bernadino, 7. I dream of having exposed brick and open cabinets in my someday home, so I was obviously in love with the decorations in this restaurant. We weren't feeling the tapa they had to offer, so we decided to just order a glass of wine and enjoy the atmosphere. I would like to come back here someday to lesson plan over a cup of coffee, or for some more vino.

Me and my hot date for the tapas crawl, my roommate Breanne.

We were excited to see that there was an Indian restaurant on the crawl, because Bre & I have become quite obsessed with Indian food while living in Madrid. This Indian restaurant is called Mughul, and it is on Calle San Bernadino, 10. We got this huge plate of tapas for a total of 4 euros (2 each), plus two refreshing canas. We've been to a few Indian restaurants in town and always order pakora. The pakora at Mughul are the best we've had in Madrid! We want to go back for a full meal someday.

The picture above was taken in the downstairs seating area of Mur Cafe at Plaza Cristino Martos, 2. I'm obsessed with this place. I have walked past it a bunch of times on my way to Calle de la Princesa, but never noticed it before. Thank goodness for Exquisitapas! This tapa wasn't my favorite, but the rest of the food on their menu looked really good! They offer full brunches for about 14-20 euros, and some delicious looking cakes. This is another cafe Bre & I decided we would like to check out for coffee and lesson planning.

Other places we loved but didn't get pictures of:
  • Carmencita Bar @ Calle San Vincente Ferrer, 51: This is a restaurant that we have been to quite a few times for Saturday brunch. It is owned by an American, so they feature yummy American classics like hamburgers, eggs benedict, scrambled eggs, and more. They also have 1 euro mimosas and cheap mimosa pitchers during brunch. One of our favorite restaurants in Madrid for sure!
  • La Gringa @ Calle San Vincente Ferrer, 57: Just down the road from Carmencita Bar is a new restaurant owned by the same girl. Our tapa during the tapas crawl was a chicken taco. It was delicious!! We loved the look of the restaurant, but especially loved the offerings on the menu. It was filled with more American classics like chicken wings, chicken cesar salad, mac & cheese, tacos, and more. They are only open for dinner during the week, and for brunch on weekends. Bre & I will be back soon for sure.
  • Cafe Sin Nombre @ Calle Conde Duque, 10: I don't know why, but I always like when restaurants and bars have silly names like this. "No Name Cafe." K. Convinced. Once again, this restaurant had a really cool atmosphere! It was just dark enough to be cozy. I can imagine curling up in one of the chairs here on a cold day for a cup of coffee and a read. I can't vouch for any other food item besides the tapa we got, curried lentils, which was pretty good.  
  • Crumb @ Calle Conde Duque, 8: We didn't actually end up eating here because it was packed when we tried to go, but the tapas looked really good. I'm actually extremely excited about finding this restaurant because they offer gourmet sandwiches. Must. Go. Back.
  • La Caracola @ Calle La Palma, 70: The tapa that La Caracola offered was a yummy zucchini bread. I was pleasantly surprised by how good it was!  And aaaagain, atmosphere was everything here! Can't wait to go back for a copa or two.
We liked a bunch of other restaurants on our crawl, but the ones above were the ones that we loved!

Let me know if you live in or visit Madrid and try any of them!

xx, Jen


  1. I think that everyone that comes to Spain fall in love with our food, even more if the try tapas.
    I like when they do tapas routes in my town too

    1. It's so true Marta! I love taking my friends on tapas crawls when they come visit me from America. :)

  2. I went to Exquisitapas this weekend too, and thankfully I live in the neighborhood so I could just roll myself home afterwards! Garcia, De Vinos and Gabriel were probably my favorites because I loved their quaint, charming atmospheres :) (Plus, I was all about that cheese tapa at De Vinos.) I didn't get a chance to see all of the restaurants on the tapas route, so I'll have to check out some of the other places you recommend soon!

    1. Yes! I live in Malasana, so it was super easy to get home after the millions of glasses of wine consumed... haha We didn't make it to Garcia, so I'll definitely have to check that out as well! :)

  3. I am seriously soooooooo (plus about fifty more o's) jealous of your travels! I want to spend my weekends eating tapas and drinking wine!! Can I come visit you?!?!

  4. Friends + Wine + Tapas = Best Night Ever!
    Everything about this post made me jealous... I love tapas, I love wine and I love Spain! It's so cool that you live there :)

  5. What an awesome day! Sounds like a dream. Every time I go to Conde Duque for the wine tastings I promise myself I'm going to spend more time there, it just seems so effortlessly cool, but it's pretty far from where I live and I just forget about it! I'm definitely going to make it my mission to check out these places after reading your post. Thanks so much for all the info!


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