Spain’s capital is awash with tapas bars but how do you find the good ones amid the sea of tourist-traps? Madrid-based food writer James Blick tracks down 10 of the best, from classic bodegas to slick new dining spaces run by young chefs
Were Woody Allen to set one of his romantic European whimsies in Madrid, Casa Gonzalez – with its picture-perfect yesteryear facade, smartly tiled interior and moreish hoard of conserves, cheese and charcuterie – would be a shoo-in for the romantic Spanish bar scene. What’s more, the good-humoured and well-moustached owner Paco (whose grandfather founded the place in 1931) keeps a knockout cellar at this wine bar-slash-deli. Nab a table near the big bay window, load it with jamón ibérico de bellota (acorn-fed Iberian ham, €10.10), cured manchego cheese (€6), and a spicy bottle of red and watch the light fade over the cobblestones outside – a most cinematic start to any tapas crawl.
• Calle León 12, +34 914 295 618, casagonzalez.es. Open everyday, Mon-Thur 9.30am-midnight, Fri and Sat 9.30am-1am, Sun 11am-6pm