Breakfast in Madrid.  Breakfast is not a big meal in Spain.   Pan tostado/toast, mermelada, marmalade and café con leche are traditional features.  It’s tradition, and one can make do with that, but if you want a breakfast with a little more zest and still observe a Spanish tradition, go to Bar Majaderitos on Calle de Cádiz.  It is south of Puerta del Sol off of Espoz y Mina.  Their specialty are the churros con chocolate, these deep-fried donut-like sticks that are great for dunking in hot chocolate.  Maybe this doesn’t suit your fancy on a summer day, but on a crisp, clear fall or winter day, there is nothing better. The self-service system at this bar allows the customer to order at the bar and sit at his own table, which is rather unusual in Spain.

While Bar Majaderitos caters to the breakfast crowd (Hours 7 am – midnight) the more well-known and much bigger Chocolatería San Ginés courts the party crowd (Hours, 6 pm – 7 am).   San Ginés has been in serving its churros con chocolate to madrileños for over 100 years. 

 Although generally breakfast is not a big meal for most Spaniards, it is often taken much earlier than the average tourist is up and about.  By 9 or 10am, many Spanish people, especially those with labour-intensive jobs, are on their merienda, or elevenses.  For this meal people will often have a toasted ham and cheese sandwich (sandwich mixto), a roll (bocadillo) or some other bread/filling combination, all of which make a good breakfast option for hungry tourists.    By 11am, you will be able to get a "plato combinado" in many bars, a plate containing some meat/fries/vegetable combination (often rashers of bacon, fries and an egg) - one of those should fill you up until lunchtime at 15.00! Tortilla, a substantial potato omelette, is always available and is a very satisfactory alternative for those who prefer savoury breakfasts.

Breakfast spots in central Madrid: