Cafe Marly at the Louvre in Paris

Cafe Marly at the Louvre in Paris
Relax with a glass of wine at Cafe Marly overlooking the pyramid entrance to the Louvre.

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Thursday, March 25, 2010

A Madrid Tapas Walk

Our tapas walk begins at the Plaza Santa Ana. This pleasant square is located in one of Madrid’s oldest neighborhoods. This is where many Madrileños congregate on weekend evenings. In addition to the Teatro Español, the square is also home to the stately Hotel Reina Victoria, which has been recently renovated.

On the south side of the square are three places you can visit.

At number 6 is Cervecería Alemana, the best of the many tapas bars on the square, which was built in 1904 and modeled after a German beer hall (Alemana means “German” in Spanish). Have a beer. It’ll be served in a white stein. Ernest Hemingway drank here, but that’s really no big deal since he drank all over Madrid. Why don’t you order aceitunas (olives), a popular snack? You’ll be eating more later.

Another beer hall here is Cervecería Santa Ana at number 10. Here you can have a plate of jamón y queso (cured ham and cheese).

Another tapas spot here is La Moderna at number 12. Try a glass of delicious Spanish wine and a cheese plate, for which this place is known.

From the south side of the square, head across the square to the north side and turn right onto Calle de Manuel Fernández y González.

At number 7 is the popular bar Viva Madrid. It has fantastic tiled walls and an incredible carved ceiling. You come here to drink and, if you do stop, it’s likely that the crowd will be young and lively.

Keep moving, eating and drinking! With Viva Madrid to your back, head left down Calle de Manuel Fernández y González. You’ll pass Calle de Echegaray. The next street is Calle Ventura de la Vega. On the corner at 10-17 Calle de Manuel Fernández y González is our final stop.

At the tile bar Taberna Toscana, you’ll sit on stools and taste a wide selection of tapas under sausages hanging from the ceiling. Try the fantastic ternera (veal) dish swimming in a delicious sauce (with french fries). A specialty here (if you’re up to it) is morcilla (blood sausage). Try it. It’s an interesting choice. When in Spain…

For a map and more about tapas in Madrid, check out Open Road's Best of Spain by Andy Herbach.

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