The summary so far: pretty meh. Julie and I don’t think this is a great place for non meat-eaters.
Yummy migas appetizer
However… we are starting to find some better spots. No surprise that you need to go beyond Google Maps and TripAdvisor to find good options. My take is that the median restaurant (taberna, cafetería, and so on) is below our normal standards of good enough quality. It very well could be true that we are missing out on the best stuff by staying away from meat, but I have doubts. I’ve tasted the Iberian ham and it is fine, but no better than the average fare I see on a charcuterie board. We shared some Migas with our new friend Eddy and it was tasty, but had chorizo and I think we’d be hard-pressed to find it served without meat. Grapes, eggs, bread crumbs, chorizo - crazy combo!
Enjoying gildas and a vermouth cocktail
I think the seafood and fish are were the good action is at here, and suspect we’ll find it even better as we move south towards the Mediterranean and Atlantic. I’ve had some good tapas with anchovies (anchoa) and herring, but that’s my thing and not Julie’s. We have a bar just a few blocks away called La Gildería that specializes in gildas, a classic tapa with olives, salty fish, and pickled peppers.
We have four reservations coming up during our final 8 days in Madrid, all recommendations from local friends, that we hope will start to turn our opinion around a bit.