Daily Archives: July 3, 2013

[Madrid, Spain] Chocolateria San Gines

Pasadizo de San Gines 5

Madrid, 28013  Spain




This place is literally a block away from Canas y Tapas and minutes from Puerta del Sol and Plaza Mayor


This chocolate and churros institution has been around for more than 100 years!  I’m always amazed at how some restaurants can preserve and survive for generations.  This one has the right recipe:  great churros, rich but not too sweet chocolate, fast service and reasonable prices!


The storefront.  I wonder if it has changed at all since 1894?


Open all day and all night!!!  We noticed that the later it gets, the more crowded it became.


The kitchen area on the main floor.  After you place your order, give your receipt to one of the uniformed wait staff and wait for your order to arrive.


Seating is a little limited on the main floor.  But not to worry, there’s more seating downstairs!


The churro is being made.  It’s an interesting stove!


An order comes with 6 pieces of churros and the cup of dipping chocolate.  Yummy!  Unlike the US version, the churros are not coated with cinnamon sugar.  Since they’re freshly made,  the churros are piping hot and crispy.  The chocolate is rich and creamy, without it being overly sweet.  EUR 3.60 (approx USD $4.70)


Chocolateria San Gines also serves assorted coffees and teas.  The cafe Americano was pretty decent.  EUR 2 (approx USD $2.60)

[Madrid, Spain] Cañas y Tapas

Plaza Celenque, 1,

28013 Madrid, Spain ‎


It’s very close to Plaza Mayor and Puerta del Sol, about a 5 minute walk to each




We stumbled upon this tapas restaurant, on our way to Plaza Mayor.  Apparently, it’s a tapas chain that is popular in Spain (with a few outposts in Portugal and France).  Prices were really reasonable and service very friendly.   The restaurant is split into 2 floors:  the main level serves tapas and has a special tapas menu; the downstairs dining room caters to full entrees with a few tapas items (the special pricing from the main level does not apply).  So it depends on whether you’re in for a quick snack or a full meal.  We dined twice in the downstairs dining room.  The wait staff actually speaks quite a lot of English!  And there are English menus available, so ask for one if you can’t understand the Spanish descriptions.  🙂


One of the main level menus.  Yes, a lot of the specials include beer!


One of the English menus from the downstairs dining room.  “Ration” refers to the tapas items, which you can choose between half or full portion sizes.  There are more menu items on the other side of the menu!


Here are some of the notable dishes:

On-the-house starter:  cold potato salad.  It was a bit vinegary but refreshing.


Grilled wild mushrooms with garlic-oil sauce.  The mushrooms are perfectly grilled and seasoned so that they’re juicy and succulent.  You can choose either the half ration or the full ration size.  This is the half ration EUR 5.10 (approx USD $7).


Spanish tortilla – unlike the Mexican/South American version, the Spanish tortilla is more like an omelette which contains layers of potato and onions.  This was huge and I think it was only the half ration! EUR 4.70 (approx USD $6)


Grilled cuttlefish – this was sooo good!  Cuttlefish is squid… you just don’t see the tentacles.  Grilled just right, so that the squid is very tender.  Full ration EUR 10.95 (USD $14)


“Padron” green peppers – loved the simply grilled peppers!  Not spicy at all, these are the perfect snack.  Half portion EUR 5.10  (approx USD $6.60)