Tag Archive: chocolateria de san gines



SLOW. Like Snails. 

Why not? It’s my 6th visit to Madrid and this time taking my oldest sister for a month-long holiday. The first day was hard for her, hardly sleeping on our long flight from Manila. We managed to go out on Day 2 but careful not to tire her out. The bus in front of our Madrid crib took us to Almudena Cathedral, right beside Palacio Real. The mandatory shots in front of the Royal Palace turned out alright. There was a long snaking line outside for those seeking admission into the Palace. We trooped to the nearby Cathedral instead where a mass was going on. Coming out, we turned right down the street to get inside La Crypta. For a €1 donativo, one finds solace in this Crypt underneath the Cathedral. An altar inside tells you that mass services must be held here too though I never heard one since I started frequenting the place. Why, you ask? I like how tranquil the place is. More so than in the Cathedral where the religious and the tourists comprise the crowd. One time, I sat beside a friendly priest visiting from Zimbabwe. We prayed quietly then. 




From La Crypta, we crossed the street to view portions of the ancient muralla (walls) before walking up along Calle Mayor. It’s a 1 kilometer walk from this corner to Puerta Del Sol. Many iconic landmarks and short detours along this main road. First off is my favorite tiny square called Plaza de la Villa. The old Town Hall can be found here. The oldest building, fully restored, in Madrid. Across it is the Tower where the French monarch Francois I was imprisoned for a year following their defeat in the Battle of Pavia. In the center of the square is a statue of a naval commander who led the Spanish Armada. Truly, a very interesting square.




Not very far, and still walking along Calle Mayor, you’d find Mercado de San Miguel. You can pick up a Sangria or a Tinto de Verano here, to go with a cone of fried calamares or octopus or boquerones. Great appetizers! The giant paelleras of greatlooking Paella Negra or Marinara may appeal to firsttimers like my sister. But I won’t be fooled a 2nd time 😜. From here, we walked just a few more steps, under one of 9 or so arched entrance ways, towards Plaza Mayor. Being a Saturday, it was way too crowded. 




Museo de Jamon. It’s a chain. Their tapas bar on the littered ground floor is packed with tourists. On the second floor, we found a table and this old waiter who fondly calls my niece La Niña. We took our seats, and ordered enough for our lunch here, and leftover dinner later! No problem having a meal replay of callos, pecaditos and boquerones. We didn’t bring home the pulpo, and we drank our sangria to the last drop. It won’t be our best meal and we’re really being touristy here, but hey, it’s my sister’s first time in Madrid. 




For dessert, we walked FASTER towards Chocolateria de San Gines. Churros con Chocolate for my sister and niece. Cafe for me. Refueled, we managed to do some shopping. Then some snapshots with the Bear and the Strawberry Tree statue, an iconic landmark to be found in the Puerta Del Sol. Before taking the metro here going home, I wanted to get inside La Mallorquina for some napoleones and marron glacé but the place looked like it’s been invaded by tourists! 




Home is in Bravo Murillo. We heard anticipated mass in the Parroquia right next to our building. Estamos Felices! 




Back when I was a first time visitor in Madrid, I took my breakfasts in the hotel. Easily, that sets you back 7-10€ daily. I scrimped the second time i visited. Did my groceries and made my own breakfasts. Then the 3rd and 4th time around, I knew better.

 

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Desayuno means breakfast in Spain. Not their most important meal of the day, but just as interesting as it is simple.

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Tomá Cafe. Best coffee in town. 5 stars!

 

While I’m not about to dismiss the Churros y Chocolate in Chocolateria de San Gines, which honestly appeals to me more as midnight or late afternoon snack, I’d like to share some happy breakfast discoveries here. Feel free to click on the link for more photos, details and directions.

 

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Typically, my breakfast here is only 2.50€ for a cup of cafe cortado y bocadillo. This photo shows my breakfast of coffee and roscon de reyes, a typical 3 Kings Day pastry. Costs 3.50€ for this special fare.

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A typical desayuno from audrey’s: cafe y empanada.

 

For best coffee, it’s Tomá Cafe ☕️. Their alfajores is also good on the lips, but feel your hips grow while munching one. Audrey’s Panaderia is just round the corner so it easily became a go-to for bocadillo, croissant and empanada fixes.

 

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Brie con tomate breakfast in Toast Cafe where I was the sole diner. I must be too early?

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Cafeteria HD ain’t much to look at from outside, but you’d like the vibe here. I’m told they serve good burgers here.

 

Spaniards don’t really take breakfasts “seriously”. That works well with me as I do enjoy hearty luncheons. I care about my coffee and would settle for a good molleta con tomaté in Cafeteria HD or brié in Toast Café. Those are typical Spanish fare for desayunos. Other times, I settle for brunch in some mercado where I can stay longer people-watching while downing cups of my favorite black liquid, or while deciding whether to order more tapás. Mercado de San Anton, Mercado de San Miguel, Mercado de la Paz and Mervado de Maravillas come to mind.

 

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Mercado de San Anton. My new favorito.

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Mercado de San Miguel, still one of my favorites.

 

Of course it’s tempting to see those 1€ bocadillos or sandwiches and maybe take a couple “para llevar” to eat in some park or square. But I’d advise you against it only because desayunos can be a happy leisurely affair that hardly costs you. I even found one coffee shop offering 1-1.50€ complete breakfast (Mercado de Provenzal) and another with an extra glass of freshly-squeezed naranja (2.50€) at Cerveceria de Padron. Great deals.

 

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Mercado de la Paz. People-watching or jamon-watching while enjoying your desayuno.

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Tempting, yes. Not the best, but really cheap, huh?

 

Much depends on how you feel first hour in the morning. You either save your appetite for lunch and thus settle for a simple breakfast, or take a full breakfast to energize you for long city walks. Take your pick. Mine varies from very simple, simple, hearty to delightful. The last is when I take the sweet Spanish pastries for breakfast. In Christmas, there were loads of them!

 

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Want to show you a 1€ breakfast of good coffee and a tostada media con tomate.

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And here’s a 2.50€ desayuno with a glass of freshly-squeezed naranja. Coffee in a glass.

 

Dulces de Navidad is how they’re called.  Snack food. But don’t take my word for it. I dropped in on a few pastelerias for breakfast to indulge myself 🍰🍪🍮

 

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Ensaimadas here are not like what we have locally. Tasted more like creme puffs to me. But I love their turrones and their polvorenes con almendras (almonds)!

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Drool……

 

Or you may simply choose to have your Spanish chocolate con or sin churros after all. There’s Chocolateria de San Gines as I mentioned, or Valor. But I’m also happy with my chocolate from the lovely Estado Puro or Pabellon de Espejos. Your choice, really.

 

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See that smile? Churros con chocolate does that to any child. Valor.

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Just 2.50€ for a cup of chocolate here in Estado Puro. You’d love their very spanish interiors here.

 

I know. Too many choices for a “simple desayuno”. The idea is you’d never find it a problem looking for a breakfast place around Madrid. Cheap too! Most offered below 3€. If you need more “complications” deciding how to spend your waking hours, here’s more. 😉

 

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It’s an ice cream place but I ‘ve tried their coffee here. Another choice for you when you want to jump from desayuno to sinful dessert.

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