Calamari sandwich

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Any time is a good time to stop along your way and enjoy one of the most traditional sandwiches in Madrid’s culinary repertoire. Although it’s almost impossible to pinpoint when the tradition began, the truth is that few things today are as typical in the city as enjoying a calamari sandwich, or bocata de calamares, made with three staples of the world famous Mediterranean diet: a crunchy baguette, calamari and olive oil. The bars and taverns in Plaza Mayor offer the most traditional versions, but you can also find some more daring creations by top chefs. You can’t say you’ve been to Madrid until you’ve tried one… And it always tastes better when shared with friends.



Liam Aldous, Monocle magazine’s correspondent in Madrid, recommends four restaurants whose bocata de calamares are culinary masterpieces:

This Plaza Mayor institution, which opened in 1894, has two outdoor terraces and a 17th century hand-carved wooden bar inside. Its traditional cuisine has been adapted to suit modern tastes. Its calamari sandwich is made with jig-caught squid from Galicia and rustic ciabatta bread.

This traditional bar serves almost two thousand calamari sandwiches every day, offering various options: on a baguette, sliced in half, on ciabatta bread or as a mini-sandwich. The squid is moist and tender, fried in virgin olive oil as tradition dictates.

The menu at this establishment, which remains at heart a traditional tavern, offers time-honoured cuisine. Tuna salad, pepito beef steak sandwich, pasties… and, of course, calamari sandwiches made with Santander squid battered in organic flour. Pay close attention to flavour: the lime mayonnaise gives the sandwich a modern flair.

This establishment offers fresh and simple cuisine which diners can enjoy at any time: from morning, for special breakfasts, to night, for casual dinners and one last drink. Don’t miss the Madrid-style sandwich (bocata madrileño) made of calamari, onion and alioli garlic mayonnaise.



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