Best tapas bars in Madrid’s Rastro flea market (including the best grilled sardines!)

Ahhhh, the Rastro. One of Europe’s largest and oldest
flea markets. And a Sunday morning tradition in Madrid. Where tourists and locals alike
come to buy everything from paella pans to piggy banks, from headgear to underwear. But here’s the
rub… the Rastro isn’t about shopping. Most Madrilenians don’t come here to buy, they
come to eat and drink. And that’s what we’re going to do. Don’t get me wrong, you’ve got
to work up an appetite before you overindulge. And browsing is part of the Rastro experience.
But you want to get off the main drag, which is full of the kind of crap you can get anywhere. So explore the surrounding streets and squares, they’re jammed with a fascinating smorgasbord of over-priced antiques of dubious provenance, junk and a wad of Franco period literature. But I’m getting hungry so the first stop is El Capricho Extremeno. The queue snakes out the door and inside it’s
part sweatshop, part gourmet deli. These guys do a wide array of tostas. Just don’t get
tongue tied at the moment of ordering. There’s nothing like the smell of jamón in the morning.
Smells like Spanish breakfast. I’ve got olive oil running down my chin. Once you start to eat you’ve just gotta keep going. Browsing’s over. Next stop: Santurce. These guys have been serving fresh, grilled sardines since the 1970s. Cheap, rustic and with the kind
of bolshy, bully boy and brutally honest service that I’ve come to love in Madrid. Cheers! And what do you do with the bones? On the floor, like everything else. This is Amadeo.
He’s been patrolling this Rastro bar as if it were a trench since 1942. White-haired
and silver-tongued, the cheeky bastard is famous for his molluscs. Served in a pungent
sauce. In fact, the bar is called either Casa Amadeo or simply Caracoles. Snails. And for slug
junkies these fat babies are the Holy Grail. Another Amadeo specialty. Pigs feet. Just like the sweetest fat you can imagine. Like a fat lolly. Delicious. I’m stuffed. The Rastro
is being dismantled and now you’ve come to a crossroads. Do you head home and sleep it
off on the sofa watching bad afternoon TV. Or do you forge ahead. You forge ahead. And
so the Rastro tapas crawl morphs into a La Latina bender. La Latina is the neighbourhood
alongside where Rastro refugees switch beer for more virgorous concoctions. Like
this mojito. Play your cards right and the afternoon will spiral out of control at a
frightening pace. See you in the Rastro! Salud!

31 Replies to “Best tapas bars in Madrid’s Rastro flea market (including the best grilled sardines!)”

  1. Silver Serfer says:

    I miss Madrid. Good review

  2. randyroo2 says:

    throwing food on the floor, thats so trampy.

  3. AiresDeMilonga says:

    Mas tapas por Madrid.

  4. tonydeltablues says:

    "….like a fat lollie" ha!

  5. Rachel Bardes says:

    do NOT show this to your Spanish 2 class!!!

  6. Jacinta Ugarte says:

    okay. you are based in Madrid, which is great.!!! But the rest of Spain exists too

  7. buttieboy666 says:

    cheeky bastard……aaaaaah!

  8. vmma mes says:

    mY friend James, next time you should come to Granada. We have the best tapas from the world, and they are free. You take 1 or 2 beer, and you get your full lunch, definitely. You are invited here and be welcome. Thanks for your video about my country. Regards

  9. Vichi1981 says:

    Blog para la difusión de eventos culturales.

  10. Squire Muldoon says:

    You should do a video about La Latina , your content is enjoyable mate. cheers from California

  11. Dubs McDubs says:

    What a job! This would be such an amazing experience!

  12. joe651dzd says:

    thanks for the video. im going to be in madrid on a monday and tuesday, are these places going to be open for business do you know?

  13. Alfonso Yañez says:

    I've seen the title and wondered if it was going to show Los Caracoles, and yes, it is in there!
    I've got sad watching your videos. I miss Madrid a lot.

  14. Prop Wash says:

    We just went to Amadeo's place. So far it was the best. We also tried the salt cod fritter place, our 2nd favorite. Amadeo is such a sweet man, brings it to another level. However, the snails were incredible. Thanks for sharing this info.

  15. cristina millonaria says:

    Maravilloso el video!!

  16. Goyo Gonzalez says:

    Vivo en el Rastro, y me ha encantado el vídeo. ¡Un abrazo!

  17. coscorrodrift says:

    que asco tú, todos los huesos ahí al suelo xddd

  18. Gone Zapatero says:

    I always loved the Rastro, watch out for your pockets, many thieves there

  19. Karen Art2017 says:

    I have wanted to visit both Madrid and Barcelona. Could you do a video of what to see in both Madrid and Barcelona?

  20. Juanita Lennox says:

    I really love this video! Very entertaining and just looks loads of fun. Very witty content!

  21. Yve Eriksson says:

    Long time since you posted so perhaps you wont see comments? Nice vid!
    Anyway, I'm going to Madrid end of April. I wonder, is it a bad idea to visit these bars on another day than Sunday? Crowded is nice, but sometimes it is a bit too difficult to order.

  22. Lo Cheung says:

    whats the link to yoly flamenco tour videos?

  23. James says:

    I do love your oldies !

  24. Jose Gonzalez says:

    why the black guy was an out cast are they racist sped fast him

  25. Caleb Lewis says:

    El Rastro de Madrid!! LO MEJOR

  26. Alt Fit says:

    Doesn't look like a holiday, too much hustle and bustle.

  27. Michael Castro says:

    I used to live within walking distance of el Rastro which was in my neighbourhood. I loved going to Los Caracoles for lunch the best tapas. I remember the friendly owner Antonio and his "salsa de la vida de chorizo" I remember him shouting orders to the staff. He was on the ball. I wonder if he is still working there?

  28. Juliawati Sugiono says:

    I was introduced to a a tapas bar near el rastto too, they sold only gambas. And the skin/shell were dropped on the floor too. It was delicious! I forgot its name, anybody knows?

  29. atomic mama says:

    I like your energy in this video better than the hyper persona in a lot of them. I do appreciate all your insights!

  30. spencer giorgio says:

    James – I have watched your videos for a while now, they are all super informative and has truly made my life here in Madrid a bit better, cheers to that. This video, in particular, is absolutely hilarious. You have some classic lines. Keep it up, man. I hope to run into you around town.

  31. Jack 'The Lad' Stevens says:

    Worst travel show i've ever seen

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