Fiestas of San Isidro are the most important feast in Madrid along with those of the Virgen de la Paloma, and there is no better way to know what’s “castizo” than immerse yourself in one of the many activities during these days of May. And of course eat the most typical gastronomy!
But it does not mean that there are only plans for people over 60 years. If you know how to rummage a little in the official program of the Fiestas de San Isidro there’re always little jewels, and I’ll tell you.
EATING LIKE A “CHULAPO”
“Pincho de tortilla” at Sylkar
For me, the best Spanish omelette in Madrid. And that’s a lot to say, because the level is soaring and there’re recipes for all tastes. In Madrid the Spanish omelette is not very curdled, and in the Sylkar they nail it. Of course, try to avoid the schedules with greater influx of public because the bar on the ground floor is small and there’re many hungry customers.
“Huevos rotos con jamón” at Almendro 13
I know that it’s not the most alternative and many of those who visit Madrid have marked it as a must-see, but their “huevos rotos con jamón” (broken eggs with ham) and their “roscas” (the blood sausage especially) are still very good. I went many times and I really enjoy it.
“Cocido madrileño” at La Bola
Warning: better going hungry because they work the authentic “cocido madrileño”. I recognize that I went unknowingly and learned firsthand what the “tres vuelcos” (three dumps) were. The stew is cooked all together and then divided to eat in three dishes or “vuelcos”: soup, chickpeas with vegetables and meat. An authentic classic Madrid restaurant opened since 1870.
“Entresijos y gallinejas” at Freiduría de Gallinejas
First of all, clarify that the “entresijos” and “gallinejas” are different parts of the stomach of the lamb, and they have a quite penetrating smell. It’s NOT cool and yet, after all the years that I have lived in Madrid, I have not tried them. But if I ever do, it will undoubtedly be in this bar of Lavapiés that has been serving these dishes for more than 50 years.
“Bocatas de calamares” at El Brillante (o not)
Long before the expression “street food” began to be used in Madrid, the “bocata de calamares” (squid sandwich) has been the street food (almost) official of Madrid. Either the version of El Brillante or reinterpretations like Nakeima with bao, noodles of sepia, black garlic alioli and panko; you must eat a squid sandwich!
“Rosquillas de San Isidro” en Casa Mira
The dessert more “castizo” of Madrid, with four types: “tontas”, “listas”, “francesas” and “rosquillas de Santa Clara”. The base is basically the same for all: flour, sugar, egg, oil and a little bit of anise that is what gives them the touch castizo. My recommendation: eat them with a hot coffee because they can be a little dry.
PLANS FOR “MILLENNIALS”
Concerts at Jardines de las Vistillas
One of the minority scenarios but the most interesting in my opinion. This small garden area next to the bridge of Segovia brings the most modern (and fun) types of music. If you like to dance, you’ll have a great time on Friday May 12th with Guacamayo Tropical, a couple of guys for with a lot of anthems.
Party at Pradera de San Isidro
The most “castizo” place to see chotis and pasodobles (typical folk dances of Madrid), picnics and a lot of people from the real Madrid. Also, during the 14th and 15th of May the Universimad – 39 Premios Rock Villa de Madrid is celebrated, which I recommend you to meet the next famous rock band before anyone else.
Concerts at Templo de Debod
“Templo de Debod” has one of the most beautiful sunsets in Madrid, with the Palacio Real in the background. If you add classical music concerts, the moment becomes magical. It’s one of my favorite rides and I recommend it to anyone who asks me what to see in Madrid. Although there’re times when everyone is taking photos (and the place deserves it) is still spectacular. A must see of the city with its Egyptian temple of more than 1,200 years.
Many people take advantage of San Isidro vacations to make some getaway. You know that in my travel section you have a lot of recommendations. But if you are in the city during these days, I assure you that “Fiestas de San Isidro” are very worthwhile and you can know the most authentic Madrid.