Summary: I did a wine and tapas tour in Madrid and it was one of the best experiences I had during my visit. Keep reading to see where we stopped and what we ate and drank!
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When I was recently traveling through Spain, I spent some time alone in Madrid. Lately, I’m finding that I love to book a trip with people and then arrive a few days early to get some solo travel in before meeting up with them. This time, I did this in Madrid!
After a few days of working and touring alone, I decided I needed some human interaction, so I booked a wine and tapas tour through Get Your Guide. In general, I LOVE Get Your Guide and the tours and activities they offer. It’s so convenient to use as a solo traveler to meet people or just spend a day exploring with other people.
This specific tour came recommended from a friend who had recently done it and I’m so glad I went! I’m going to talk through the details below, so technically, you can do this as a self-guided tour, but I still recommend doing it through Get Your Guide because the guide that leads you and the people you meet make the experience so much better.
Wine and Tapas Tour Madrid Logistics
If you’re new to Spanish cuisine, I’ll start by explaining what “tapas” are. You can think of them as small plates of food meant to be shared. There are several theories as to why they started, but it’s common in Spanish culture to order several tapas for the table and share them amongst everyone.
I love this tradition because it means you can try a little bit of a lot of different Spanish dishes in one meal! On this tour, you’ll try at least 12 tapas at four different restaurants along with a glass of wine at each stop. You can opt for a glass of water instead of wine if you’d like (but who would do that?).
Pro tip: You’ll get the choice of water OR wine at each stop. If you want both, you’ll have to pay a little extra. I’d recommend bringing a small water bottle with you to keep in your purse or backpack, that way you can try all the local wines offered!
The guides for this tour typically speak both Spanish and English, and they have a wealth of knowledge when it comes to Madrid. You’ll get small history lessons as you walk from stop to stop.
I think most of us know what wine is, so I’ll spare you the explanation there, but it’s good to note that cava is the “champagne of Spain.” It’s their sparkling wine usually made in the Catalonia wine region. I find it to be very dry, but I love sparkling wine in general, so I’ll never turn down a glass.
Looking for more activities in Madrid? Here are the top 10 things you should do on your first visit!
Stop 1: Los Galayos
After meeting the group, our first stop was Los Galayos, a restaurant with history dating back to the late 1800’s. The gorgeous interior made of a maze of different rooms was an excellent atmosphere for even better food!
- Los Galayos House Red (red wine from Madrid)
- Monroy Malvar (white wine from Madrid)
- Agusti Torrello Mata (Cava)
Tapas we tried:
- Tortilla espanola (Spanish omelette)
- Puntillitas con huevo y pimentos (baby squid with fried egg and grilled peppers)
- Torrenznos ibericos (fried Iberian pork belly)
Read More: Working Remotely in Spain as an American
Stop 2: Casa Del Abuelo
The next stop was a quaint little restaurant that you could tell had been serving the same mouth-watering dish for ages, and people kept coming back for it. Casa Del Abuelo specializes in garlic shrimp and their very limited menu tells us that they don’t need much more to be successful!
- Vino del Abuelo (house sweet red wine)
- Vermut Casa Alberto (sweet vermouth)
- House Verdejo (white wine from Rueda)
- House Tinta de Toro (red wine from Toro)
Tapas we tried:
- Gambas al ajillo (garlic shrimps)
- Queso manchego (cured cheese from La Mancha)
Stop 3: Casa Gonzales
Casa Gonzales might look like a typical deli in front, but if you walk further back, you’ll find a small restaurant that is typically hard to get into without a reservation. We had some of the best meat and cheese tapas here!
- Alceno 150 Aniversario 2019 Monastrell (red wine from Jumilla)
- Jaspi Blanc (white wine from Terra Alta)
Tapas we tried:
- Tosta de almogrote (cheese spread with olive oil, garlic, and pepper on toast)
- Tosta de arzua con membrillo (Arzua cheese and quince on toast)
- Tosta de cecina (cured beef on toast)
Stop 4: El Lacon
The last stop of the night was at El Lacon, a very traditional-looking restaurant that was packed with people enjoying their drinks and tapas. We quickly understood why it was so busy – the food was delicious!
- Coto de Hayas Garnacha (red wine from Campo de Borja)
- Juan Gil Moscatel (red wine from Jumilla)
Tapas we tried:
- Lacon (Galician-style port shoulder)
- Cazon en adobo (marinated school shark)
- Pimientos de padron (little green peppers)
- Berenjenas con miel (eggplant in tempura with honey)
- Morcilla de Sotopalacios (blood sausage from Sotopalacios)
My Favorite Part of the Tour
Aside from the fact that we got to try so many amazing Spanish foods in one night, I loved this tour because it showed us four delicious restaurants that I would have never thought to go in to. As I was chatting with a few of the other people on the tour, we all kind of agreed that we had had good food while in Madrid, but not this good!
If you don’t have time for the full wine and tapas tour, or if you’re simply looking for a great restaurant to eat at in Madrid, I recommend trying at least one on the list from above. I promise you won’t be disappointed!
I also have to mention our guide, Marina. She was so fun. Since I was solo in the group, I got to chat with her a bit as we were walking between restaurants and she was just such a sweet person to spend the evening with. All of the restaurant staff seemed to know and love her and she ordered everything for us as soon as we arrived. I couldn’t have asked for a better guide!
Other Tours in Madrid, Spain
Aside from the yummy wine and tapas tour in Madrid, there are so many others you can also take to get a sense of Madrid history, try even more food, or have a unique experience. I always use Get Your Guide to find them.
The other tour I took while I was here was a full-day El Prado Museum and Royal Palace walking tour. We started at the Royal Palace in the morning, then walked over to El Prado Museum in the afternoon. It was a tiring day, but an excellent way to see two must-see places in Madrid.
In general, tours are my favorite way to get to know a city and also interact with other people when I’m traveling alone. If you’ve done either of these tours, let me know what you thought in the comments!