Chocolateria San Gines, Madrid (2014)

Chocolateria San Gines, another iconic spot in old Madrid. I’ve been here so many times and with good reason. The churros and chocolate are my favorite.

Chocolateria San Gines, Madrid, Spain.

Chocolateria San Gines, Madrid, Spain.

This place is a great stop at the end of the night after a long tapas crawl. You just need a chocolate fix before going home. Be warned, it can be very busy. But service is relatively fast.

Churros and chocolate at Chocolateria San Gines, Madrid, Spain.

Churros and chocolate at Chocolateria San Gines, Madrid, Spain.

Those bites of goodness are delicious. And the chocolate is a miracle in itself. The consistency is thicker than coffee yet it still pours well. Perfect to dip that churro or sip slowly. Never too sweet. Always good. Enjoy the snack!

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Txakolina, Madrid (2104)

That wonderful street with tapas bars shoulder to shoulder! Of course, I’m talking about Calle Cava Baja. There you’ll find Txakolina, a place worth the effort, and there is some effort because it gets crowded.

Txakolina, Madrid.

Txakolina, Madrid.

This is a pintxoteca, meaning the items are a bit larger than tapas. Here’s a look at the delicious offerings on the counter:

Pinxtos at Txakolina, Madrid.

Pintxos at Txakolina, Madrid.

They serve these bits of goodness with small glasses of wine and beer. Here’s a close up of two:

Pintxos at Txakolina, Madrid.

Pintxos at Txakolina, Madrid.

As mentioned, this place gets crowded and noisy, but so do most of the taparias. That’s part of the fun. And the food is fantastic. So make sure this one is on the list for your tapas crawl in Madrid. Enjoy every meal. Go slow.

Hotel Ópera, Madrid (2014)

In terms of location, Hotel Ópera has one of the best spots if you want to explore Madrid’s old town on foot. You will be literally across the street from the Teatro Real and about two blocks from the Royal Palace.

Hotel Ópera, Madrid, Spain.

Hotel Ópera, Madrid, Spain.

Walking up to the Plaza Mayor or Plaza del Sol is also an easy trek, maybe five or ten minutes depending upon your fitness level. Rooms are fairly standard.

Standard room at Hotel Ópera, Madrid, Spain.

Standard room at Hotel Ópera, Madrid, Spain.

Of course, everything you need is there for a comfortable stay. Here’s a look at the bathroom:

Bathroom in standard room at Hotel Ópera, Madrid, Spain.

Bathroom in standard room at Hotel Ópera, Madrid, Spain.

Breakfast was included with my room rate and I thought it was a good value. The buffet was fresh and tasty, just the thing to start the day. There’s also a full cafe on the ground floor if you’re looking for coffee, a snack, or a few tapas to round out the day. Service at the front desk is extremely helpful. They arranged for a taxi to take me to the airport, took care of some laundry, and a few other tasks, all with a smile. Convenient and a good value, Hotel Ópera is a good choice in old Madrid.

Published in: on July 29, 2014 at 11:33 am  Leave a Comment  
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Restaurante Botín, Madrid (2014)

Restaurante Botín has the honor of being the oldest continuously operating restaurant in the world. And for good reason. I’ve eaten here many times and each time it has been fantastic.

Restaurante Botín, Madrid, Spain.

Restaurante Botín, Madrid, Spain.

It’s located just off the Plaza Mayor. A reservation is a good idea, but I’ve often just popped in and got a table. I keep the meals simple here, going with traditional favorites and always starting with a bottle of wine.

A bottle of Rueda at Restaurante Botín, Madrid, Spain.

A bottle of Rueda at Restaurante Botín, Madrid, Spain.

I started this particular lunch with a salad, but forget to snap a photo until I was half way through:

Half way through my salad at Restaurante Botín, Madrid, Spain.

Half way through my salad at Restaurante Botín, Madrid, Spain.

For the main dish, I like traditional local fare, such as this roast chicken with potatoes:

Roast chicken with potatoes at Restaurante Botín, Madrid, Spain.

Roast chicken with potatoes at Restaurante Botín, Madrid, Spain.

It was perfectly cooked and delicious, served by professional staff that know the business. Of course, dessert and coffee is a must. Here you have a chocolate cake and apple torte, two favorites:

Dessert at Restaurante Botín, Madrid, Spain.

Dessert at Restaurante Botín, Madrid, Spain.

I look forward to returning soon to Botín. Enjoy every meal and take your time!

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