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Croquettes ...

I have been on a quest, to find the best, and I did today ...

If you are in Madrid, RUN to Mercado La Paz in the Salamanca neighborhood, and find the lovely little stall selling the most delicious, authentic, creamy/crunchy, flavorful croquetas in Madrid! The stall is called Le Croquette. You can buy them fried to go, fresh to fry at home, or have the owner fry them while you sit at a small table with a glass of wine. I tried every flavor - some twice. The shrimp croquetas (gambas) are amazing! He had crab, jamon, chorizo, bacalao, a variety of cheese croquettes as well - all made from scratch with simple, delicious ingredients, perfectly fried crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside, happy little pockets of Spain.

Around the corner from his stall, you will find the best tortilla espanola in Madrid. They also sell whole roasted chickens that are very well seasoned and cooked. Ask the Le Croquette owner where it is and he will point it out. You can make a full meal at Mercado La Paz and pack a picnic too.

I found my happy eating place in Mercado La Paz (SO, SO much better and more authentic than Mercado San Miguel)!

Happy eating.

Posted by
245 posts

Sounds wonderful. Where did you end up staying in Madrid and would you recommend it?
There is also a good place for calamari bocadillas at the base of the the Reina Sofia at El Brillante.

Posted by
179 posts

I rented a little apartment through HomeAway.com near the Palacio Real. I am really glad I did. The owner couldn't be nicer and the apartment, though compact, is comfortable and an easy walk to some sites, easy metro to others (and I am doing it with four children in tow).

We have walked all of Madrid and feel very oriented in the city. We have also been to every major site (more than once) and several less known. Some of our new favorites are the ones not on the "must-do" lists:

Convento de las Descalzas Reales
Sorolla Museum
Real Botanical Gardens
the "secret" garden off of Plaza La Paz
La Central bookstore
biking with the locals along Madrid Rio (fantastic playgrounds border the bike/walk path)

For food, our favorite is the Mercado La Paz experience I described before, but some other favorites:

Sicilian pizza and deserts at Nara (take away)
fried green tomatoes at La Musa (Plaza La Paja)
quick snack sandwiches at 100 Montaditos (a chain but quick, easy, and inexpensive for tiny sandwiches and a beer)
gelato in unusual flavors at Amorino (Calle Mayor - ask for it in a cone and they turn it into a flower)
the cafe at La Central bookstore (Callao neighborhood - to die for white chocolate mousse with passion fruit)
the cafe Fabrica near near Atocha station (everything was delicious)
Miss Sushi (Salamanca - if you are traveling with girls who like fur-fry with your maki rolls - fun!)
Chifa for fusion food (Nuevos Ministerios)

I posted previously asking for "sure-bets" for eats and someone said there was no such thing ... but I have tried each of these several times and have been happy with the experience so I feel that I can recommend them to others.

Happy travels!

Posted by
179 posts

I meant to type "froo-froo" in the sushi sentence.