Top 10 Restaurants in Madrid Serving the Best Patatas Bravas Ever
The tapas culture in Madrid is legendary, and no tapas dish is more popular in the Spanish capital these days than the famous patatas bravas.
Madrid is one of the most extraordinary European cities in terms of gastronomic surprises and delights. One of them is patatas bravas, a dish whose secret resides in its simplicity and the legendary ingredients of its sauce.
Keep reading to learn more about the famous tapas culture of Madrid, what patatas bravas are, and which are the best places to enjoy this delicious Spanish dish.
Madrid Famous Tapas’ Culture
Spanish gastronomy is full of delicious dishes and eclectic combinations of ingredients. However, no Spanish dish is as ubiquitous as the popular tapas. Tapas are snacks, small plates of food, which are usually served with drinks in Spanish bars, many times for free.
As the capital city of Spain, Madrid has the reputation of a serious, business-like city, but the reality is quite different. Madrid is a buzzing city full of life, fiesta, and culinary treats.
You can find bars and restaurants serving tapas all across the city at any time of the day and night. It’s just part of the city’s way of life: got a break at work? Go out to have some tapas in Madrid. Going out at night? Meet with friends for tapas.
It’s always like that. There’s always an excuse to get some tapas or look for the best tapas in Madrid.
And few tapas are as famous and delicious as patatas bravas.
What Are Patatas Bravas?
One of the most traditional tapas in Madrid are patatas bravas or potatoes served with spicy tomato sauce. Potatoes are cut in cubes of about 2 centimeters wide, fried in oil and served hot with spicy sauce.
Patatas means potatoes, but the key to this name is in the second word: bravas. Bravas is an adjective that means fierce, brave, courageous, but also mad, upset, or angry. I would choose this last meaning as the more adequate for them. It’s like the potatoes you’re eating are angry, and that’s why they’re so spicy.
Remember that here we’re dealing with the Spanish cuisine, which isn’t famous for its spicy food, as some from other Spanish-speaking countries such as Mexico or Peru. Hence the touch of complaint in the name, as if Spanish eaters were wondering “why do these potatoes have to be so spicy?
Origins and History of Patatas Bravas
The origins of patatas bravas can be traced back to two Madrid restaurants that no longer exist: La Casa Perico and La Casona. At some point during the decade of the 1950s, patatas bravas were regularly served at these two establishments.
Which restaurant served them first and how such a dish so different from the rest of Spanish cuisine came to existence, are mysteries that nobody in Madrid seems to care to solve. The truth is that by the time the sixties were in full mode, patatas bravas had taken over Madrid and become one of its favorite tapas.
Patatas Bravas Recipe
To serve the usual dose of patatas bravas you need to boil 4 large potatoes and let them cook at high heat. Cut the potatoes into medium-sized cubes and roast in the oven for about 40 minutes until crisp and golden.
To make the sauce, dice one onion in fine chunks, and chop one garlic and a few cayenne peppers. How many peppers is up to your taste and resistance to spicy food. Fry them in a pan with oil. Add a can of chopped tomatoes, tomato purée, sweet paprika and chilli powder.
Serve the potatoes onto your plate and add the sauce on top. Enjoy!
Top 10 Restaurants To Enjoy Patatas Bravas in Madrid
Cooking patatas bravas yourself and eating them at home is great, but there’s nothing like enjoying them in an authentic local restaurant while having a fascinating tapas tour in Madrid. That’s an experience on a whole different level and these are the best restaurants to enjoy patatas bravas in Madrid:
Docamar slogan says las mejores patatas bravas de Madrid desde 1963 or “the best patatas bravas in Madrid since 1963.” This is a popular opinion among patatas bravas fans in Madrid who keep trying to steal the secret to their unique sauce recipe.
Slightly away from Madrid’s downtown Docamar is definitely one of the best places to enjoy popular tapas in Madrid.
- C. de Alcalá, 337, 28027 Madrid, Spain
2. Taberna Malaspina
If you want to experience the true feeling of a traditional Spanish tavern, you need to visit Taberna Malaspina.
Located just a couple of blocks from Madrid famous Puerta del Sol, some say that this tavern serves the best tapas in Madrid centro or “downtown.” I’m not ready to go that far, but I can assure you that the patatas bravas are up there right with the best in town.
- C. de Cádiz, 9, 28012 Madrid, Spain
3. Las Bravas
At Las Bravas they’re specialists in patatas bravas and as such one of the best places to enjoy them in Madrid.
They claim to have the original recipe for the patatas bravas sauce recipe and, although some other establishments claim the same thing, Las Bravas is definitely one of the most storied ones.
- Pje. de Mathéu, 5, 28012 Madrid, Spain
4. Casa Toni
Casa Toni is one of those legendary tapas bars from Madrid downtown. Traditional, old fashioned, and unpretentious.
However, the deep Madrid can be found only in these kinds of places. Casa Toni is located in the best area for tapas in Madrid and it’s definitely one of the tapas bars you can’t miss while walking around Madrid centro.
- C. de la Cruz, 14, 28012 Madrid, Spain
AskuaBarra is a different kind of animal. This is a modern restaurant inspired by the very best of Spanish cuisine but with a gourmet approach.
If you enjoyed the authenticity of the previous restaurants on this list, AskuaBarra will impress you by its sophistication and attention to details. The patatas bravas are still spicy, but their presentation is more original and stylish. Some people even consider the AskuaBravas the best in town.
- C. de Arlabán, 7, 28014 Madrid, Spain
6. Bodega La Ardosa
Located in the famous calle Colón in downtown Madrid, Bodega La Ardosa is another of those classic restaurants from Madrid’s golden age.
With over one hundred years of existence Bodega La Ardosa is revered by madrileños who love its tortilla de patata, its delicious jamones, and yes, its traditional patatas bravas.
- C. de Colón, 13, 28004 Madrid, Spain
7. La Maruca
With four locations, La Maruca offers different settings to its visitors, but always the same top quality in tapas and patatas bravas.
A modern gourmet restaurant, La Maruca strives to serve some of the best dishes from the rich Spanish cuisine and its patatas bravas have nothing to envy to more traditional establishments.
- C. de Velázquez, 54, 28001 Madrid, Spain
8. La Chula Taberna
La Chula Taberna can be described as one of the best new taverns in Madrid. A stylish place that brings a gourmet touch to the tapas scene in Madrid without forgetting its roots in the most traditional dishes of Spanish gastronomy.
- C. de Fernando el Santo, 11, 28010 Madrid, Spain
9. Los Chicos
The full name of this restaurant is Los Chicos Fábrica de Patatas Bravas or “Los Chicos Patatas Bravas Factory,” which may give you an idea of what’s the specialty at this colorful place. In Madrid since 1945, Los Chicos are an institution in the city and widely popular among patatas bravas enthusiasts.
- C. de Guzmán el Bueno, 33, 28015 Madrid, Spain
This trendy sky bar located on the NH Collection Gran Vía Hotel gets the last spot on our Top 10 of best restaurants to enjoy patatas bravas in Madrid. The views of the city are magnificent and the atmosphere chic and sophisticated. However, the bravas are as traditional and old fashioned as madrileños like them.
- C/ Gran Vía, 21, 28013 Madrid, Spain
Explore Madrid Like a Local and Practice Your Spanish
Madrid is a city that has it all. Amazing cultural life, extraordinary parks, fantastic classical architecture, and a delicious gastronomy. Explore Madrid like a local to discover its many surprises and enjoy the best patatas bravas in town.
When traveling to Madrid, speaking Spanish allows you to mingle with the locals and make the most of your trip. Everything gets easier when you’re able to communicate fluently with your hosts.
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