Madrid food and drink
Madrid began to establish its own culinary style after King Philip II made the city the capital of his kingdom in the late 16th century. The city’s new-found status attracted as the heart of the Spanish Empire attracted people from far and wide, and they brought with them new ingredients and different ways of preparing them.
Madrid is credited as one of the first cities in Europe to have established restaurants, and today, the capital boasts more bars per person than any other city on the continent. The vast majority of these bars serve tapas – dishes which are served with drinks – and it’s in these bars where you’ll find Madrid’s speciality food.
Spanish cuisine is renowned for its regional variation. Despite being a relatively small country in terms of land area, most towns have at least one local speciality. In the north, meat such as chicken and pork features heavily, whereas in the south, seafood is used in a lot of dishes. Like other countries on the Mediterranean, olive oil is frequently used giving the food a distinctive flavour.