by Marina Diez
A tapa is a little bit of food to have with your drink. There are several stories about the origin of tapas, but in my opinion, the main objective was clearly to avoid people getting too drunk while drinking wine or beer. This little bit of food can be anything from a small, hot plate of garlic mushrooms or mussels, to a couple of slices of cheese or ham with bread, or some olives.
Where is the best place to eat Tapas in Madrid?
Right, there are two types of bars: the ones that serve a free tapa each time you order a drink, like El Tigre, and the ones that don’t.
So, lets say it’s the first time that my friends and I drop by a certain bar. We’ll only order drinks first, and wait to see if a free tapa comes along. If it doesn’t, then we’ll order one or two tapas from the menu, or a couple of raciones (a larger plateful of the same food), to share between all of us. Then, when we have all finished our food and drinks, we’ll make a move on to the next bar and repeat the operation all over again.
This process usually goes on until we are all full up of good food and delicious wine. This idea of tapas-hunting from bar to bar is what is known in Spanish as Ir de Tapas. A great area for this is La Latina, with La Taberna del Almendro, Toma Jamón, and one of our favourites, La Taberna Miranda, being great places to start. But of course you can ir de tapas in other areas of Madrid, like around Plaza de Santa Ana, Chueca, or even in your local neighbourhood.