Oh wow! Do the Spanish love their food or what?! From the menu del día which is an affordable three course lunch offered by many, especially the more traditional, non-touristy restaurants, to the ubiquitous tapas that comes with every drink, most of the food I have ever been served in Spain has been top quality and very, very tasty. So it’s not surprising that the go-to event for any Madrileño is the monthly food festival MadrEat.
Emerging from the metro in Nuevos Ministerios, the business area, everything seems eerily quiet as it is the weekend, but then, as you walk towards the nearby Plaza Pablo Ruíz Picasso, the lovely shady park where the festival is held, the music and noise gets louder and the aromas get stronger. The park is a riot of colour with vendors serving wonderful food from their wagons/caravans/airstreams which have been amazingly and lovingly restored to full glory with vibrant colours and beautiful fonts. It is one of the coolest place to be in Madrid. The foodies are out. The hipsters are out. The families are out. Groups of people gather to create mini parties and after a few drinks the loud music encourages some energetic extroverts to show off their dance moves. You plan on spending an hour or two there…..you end up staying all day!
But back to the food. So far I have eaten spicy vegetarian couscous, calamari bocadillo, succulent artichoke hearts, hot ‘n’ spicy patatas bravas and the softest, sweetest, pinkest macaron. I have drunk beer, sangria, vermouth and the best coffee I’ve had in Madrid. The queues can be very long especially for the best, worth-waiting-for food. Next time I’m definitely going to try the blackest most chocolatey ice cream I’ve ever seen and some of the delicious looking baked fish from one of the Indian food trucks.
So if you are ever in Madrid one weekend, do yourself a massive favour and check the dates – you may be lucky enough to be able to experience one of Madrid’s best kept secrets!