Over the years sharing tapas has become a coveted gastronomic experience for tourists and food enthusiasts alike throughout Spain. Among the most common tapas items are the small but savory croquettes (croquetas), which typically have a crunchy, deep-fried coating and a creamy filling of chicken, codfish, or the famous Spanish “jamón.” Though they can be found with various forms and ingredients across the world, croquettes play an important role in Spanish cuisine. They can be eaten as a snack, appetizer or as a main meal with a side. Many bars and restaurants pride themselves in creating memorable croquettes, and while most stick with the basic ingredients, a few break away and make less traditional mixtures with amazing results. Here are a few of the best places for croquettes in central Madrid:
Located just off the San Bernardo metro, La Tape is a quaint eatery with an intimate atmosphere. Despite an extensive menu consisting of both meat and vegetarian options, artisanal beers and sweet desserts, what really stand out are the restaurant’s simple mushroom croquettes (croquetas de boletus). Though mushroom is another common type of croquette, La Tape perfectly blends the filling, creating a great balance between the crisp exterior and the smooth filling. The mushroom croquettes pair well with a light green salad.
Address: Calle San Bernardo, 88
Metro: San Bernardo
Must try: Croquetas de Boletus
Hours: Monday to Sunday, 9:00 to 2:00
La Gastro Croquetería de Chema
Situated just north of Gran Vía, Gastro Croquetería de Chema specializes in unique tapa and croquette offerings as well as a few traditional favorites. Croquette fillings include cured sausage with chocolate and caramelized tomato with Parmesan cheese. A personal favorite is the Tex Mex croquette filled with chicken and jalapeños, garnished with a dollop of guacamole and a tortilla chip. The tangy dish adds the perfect jolt of spice to any afternoon meal.
Address: Calle del Barco, 7
Metro: Gran Vía
Must try: Tex Mex Croquettes
Hours: Tuesday to Saturday, 14:00 to 16:00 and 21:00 to 23:00; Sunday, 14:00 to 16:00
This gem located in the heart of the Malasaña neighborhood has come to be well known throughout central Madrid. It’s reputation took off after the famous Irish band U2 stumbled into the restaurant while looking for a place to hold a photo shoot, it quickly became a favorite spot for lead singer Bono. The restaurant’s seven croquette flavors include the bold combination of spinach, sweet raisins and pungent gorgonzola cheese (croquetas de espinacas con pasas y gorgonzola).
Address: Calle de la Madera, 37
Metro: Noviciado or Tribunal
Must try: Croquetas de espinacas con pasas y gorgonzola
Hours: Monday to Saturday, 13:00 to 15:30 and 18:00 to 23:30