Madrid Tapas Tour in the Huertas Neighborhood

Learn about tapas culture with a local foodie in the geographic and gastronomic heart of Spain
From US$488 privately
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Tour Details
3 hours
Product Type
Various tavernas in central Madrid
Photos & Highlights
  • Madrid tapas tour
  • Led by a culinary expert or chef
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Tour Description
Tapas are synonymous with Spanish gastronomy, but looking beyond the well-known dishes—patatas bravas and croquetas—what do tapas really entail? Decoding a typical tapas menu can be a challenge. Our 3-hour Madrid tapas and food tour, led by a local food writer or chef, defines the concept of tapas through ample tastings at various tavernas in central Madrid. We’ll focus on madrileño customs, traditions, and specialties on this tapas tour, realizing there is no better city than Madrid, one of Spain's true cultural centers, in which to launch an exploration of the Spanish culinary phenomenon. 

Madrid Food and Tapas Tour

You will begin your discovery of tapas culture at a historic taverna where you will delve into the history of tapas and the folklore surrounding its origins. Over a caña (glass) of beer—a madrileño's favorite for accompanying tapas—and boquerones (anchovies marinated in vinegar, a very typical tapa for which this taverna is known), you'll learn about the basics of tapas and other typical madrileño dishes, how they are prepared, and why they’ve become local specialties. Following your introduction to this exciting culinary form, you will move on to another of Madrid’s oldest tavernas which dates to the early 19th century. Weathering the decades, this taverna still retains a distinctly castizo (genuine) atmosphere, making it an exceptional location to sample another type of tapa. Here, you'll taste this taverna's house specialty, another local favorite, along with a few other typical tapas (and their accompanying libations) from Madrid. Additionally, you will examine the menu together, learning how to decipher and order some of Spain's most exciting delicacies.
"Our guide was knowledgeable and energetic. We came with questions, she answered them all without hesitation. She was clearly a subject-matter expert. The tour was at the beginning of our two-week trip and we went through the rest of the trip feeling like we were about as up-to-speed as you could get."

Taste Tapas with an Expert in Madrid

With a solid understanding of the foundations of tapas under your belt, you will branch out beyond Madrid to examine country-wide customs. Looking at other Spanish tapas varieties, you will discuss how they differ from those of capital, which is, after all, a cultural center that through modernization has become representative of Spain’s many cultures. Perhaps you’ll visit a taverna specializing in pintxos (tapas from the Basque region), or you may sample one of southwestern Spain’s best-known exports, jamón ibérico. Your last stops will also introduce you to new trends in tapas, such as the current fashion of “miniature cuisine,” and showcase how tapas are evolving in the 21st century.

Take Aways

As you move from taverna to taverna, you will become acquainted with Madrid's distinct atmosphere. Through tasting a variety of Spanish tapas, you will learn about the evolution of this cuisine, and the regional influences which contributed to differences throughout Spain. Asy our time on the tapas and food tour comes to a close, you will leave with an understanding of both traditional tapas and modern takes on this typically Spanish fare, the ability to navigate a menu independently, and a taste of Madrid's authentic Spanish tavernas. 
For a look at Spanish culture through a different lens, consider our Prado tour.

FAQ About the Madrid Tapas and Food Tour

I have dietary restrictions. Can I take this tour?
We will do our best to accommodate you. Please note that if you have severe allergies we cannot guarantee that the foods prepared in restaurant kitchens will not be subject to cross-contamination. Please note any food allergies or intolerances when booking.

This walk takes place around dinner time. Will the tastings be enough for dinner? 
The various tastings on the tour are significant and can be considered a replacement for a meal.
Where You'll Start
(4.91) 158 Reviews

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Tessy was excellent. It was clear that she was highly knowledgeable and passionate about food. Very enjoyable experience.
Nicole was wonderful. smart, engaging, informative, lovely
Tessy was great. Friendly and welcoming. Great introduction to Spanish food culture.

Taste Madrid with Context

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Meet Tessy