With the best full meals to be had at lunch time, what are you going to eat in the evening in Madrid? Tapas! If you'd prefer the menu reading to be done by a fluent Spanish speaker, you could check out a Madrid Tapas Tour. Otherwise, try your luck with the places mentioned on this page, all of which are taken from my list of 100 Things to Do in Madrid. The Spanish eat dinner late, so to carry you over until then, I've included a stop for 'merienda' (a 5pm snack) first, followed by the best Madrid tapas bars, rounded off with a stop at Madrid's most famous chocolateria for dessert.
See also: Free Tapas in Madrid
1. Casa de Torrijas
Torrijas is a dish made from bread, honey, egg, milk and sugar and is served as breakfast, an Easter-time (Semana Santa) treat or, in the case of Casa de Torrijas, a late-afternoon snack (merienda) . Wash it down with a glass of sweet red wine.
More on Casa de Torrijas
2. Calamare Sandwich at El Brillante
If you can't make it until tapas time, succumb to the hunger pangs with a calamare (squid ring) sandwich at El Brillante. This no-frills eatery is low on flamboyant style but high on quality. Just be sure to try the tapas on this page tomorrow (there's no way you'll be able to do both)
Read more about Calamare Sandwich at El Brillante
3. Casa Labra Tapas Bar, Madrid
One of the oldest bars in Madrid, right behind Puerta del Sol. Tuck in to their cod dishes while drinking a small beer or glass of vermut (vermouth).
More on this Madrid tapas bar: Casa Labra, Madrid
4. Tapas Crawl on Cava Baja, Madrid
Madrid's most famous street for tapas is Cava Baja. Tourists are wising up to its existence, which has seen the bars also get smart about putting out English menus. Hopefully this won't mean that the street will become a tourist trap.
Read more about Cava Baja in Madrid
5. Casa Granada Tapas Bar in Madrid
A rooftop bar with good tapas + drink deals.
Read more about this Madrid tapas bar: Casa Granada in Madrid
6. El Tigre
Take a deep breath, things are about to get messy! El Tigre is famous (or maybe infamous) in Madrid for its colossal plates of free tapas.
More on this Madrid tapas bar: El Tigre, Madrid
7. Stop Madrid
Stop Madrid is the classic Madrid tapas bar - wine, cheese and ham are the order of the day here.
More on this Madrid tapas bar: Stop Madrid
8. San Gines Chocolateria
If you've still got room, finish off with chocolate and churros at Madrid's most famous chocolateria.
More on the San Gines Chocolateria