My trip to Madrid was backwards simply because I ended it with what should’ve been my first activity. A food tour! Secret Food Tours gives food tours all over Europe and I was so lucky that they just began giving tours in Madrid! I awoke with one thing on my mind and that was food.
I met up with my wonderful tour guide, Jorge, at the Sol Metro station, just a few minutes away from my hostel, before heading to our first stop on the tour. We started the day with a super super super sweet cake that’s hard to find elsewhere (you’ll have to take the tour to find out what it is) and I washed it down with a pot of tea since I don’t drink coffee. While there, Jorge gave me some history lessons which, as you know, are my favorite part of the food tour. Yes, it’s even better than the food.
We then walked around the area and came across plenty of historic buildings that have been around since the 1800s. Had Jorge not pointed out the plaques placed in the sidewalk in front, I never would’ve noticed. A lot of families kept their businesses in the family and are still going strong to this day.
Our next stop was to try a variety of hams, which happens to be my favorite meat when it comes to meat platters. As the woman who works in the deli sliced the pork freshly, Jorge described to me how the meat is cured and the difference between the pigs used. Here I was thinking ham was just ham, but I could definitely taste the difference between the two.
My favorite stop of the day was a place that I probably walked past at least twice and never would have checked out if it weren’t for Jorge. Although I’d ordered calamari the night before, I had it again in the authentic way that you should when visiting Madrid: freshly deep fried, stuffed between two pieces of bread, and waiting to be washed down with a cold beer or some wine. I think I ate every crumb.
Jorge and I checked out a couple other locations that as usual, I would have walked right past without popping in. That’s why I think food tours are the best idea, especially at the beginning of your trip. They not only give you a history of where you’re visiting, but they show you where the locals eat and hang all while supporting local businesses. Keep it authentic during your stay in Madrid and go with SECRET FOOD TOURS to get a true taste of España.