It was only a matter of time before (good) street food arrived in Madrid. MadrEat has made the dreams of fans of authentic street food come true. Held every third weekend (the 6th edition will be from 17 to 19 April), MadrEat features nomadic cooking by the best chefs and restaurants in Madrid, who set up their vintage foodtrucks at the AZCA Business Area for a food fest which already has a faithful following.
The setting, amidst the gardens of the AZCA complex surrounded by skyscrapers, is just perfect. The number of participants is constantly growing. It’s up to 50 now… and there’s a waiting list. What’s more, to participate in MadrEat candidates must meet the criteria and requirements set by an advisory panel of famous chefs such as Estanis Carenzo, Iván Domínguez, Álvaro Castellano and Alejandro Montes, amongst others.
There is a broad range of food available, with gourmet dishes at prices that are more than reasonable. The atmosphere is fantastic, with people strolling around or enjoying a bite to eat at the tables and chairs set up in true al fresco dining style. Each stall offers three or four easy-to-eat treats that live up to the traditional concept of street food: tasty, affordable and high-quality.
The hotdogs available are a clear example. In this photo, Lupe from It Dogs peddles her poodles, greyhounds and bulldogs, which are accompanied by cava and champagne. The American company Feltman’s, which invented the hotdog, cooks German beech-smoked sausages, and the Frankfurts truck is another sound option for this 100% street food fare. MadrEat also offers veggie dogs, which can be found at El Perro Verde. As for pizza, the ones made by Picsa are a huge hit: Argentine pizza with a light and airy dough, made with Picsa’s own special cheese recipe and cooked in a wood oven.
El recorrido por los sabores callejeros pasa por las recetas de fusión de Chifa, como el choripán y la torta de aguja asada a la vietnamita con aguacate y encurtidos asiáticos. El bocadillo de albóndigas de TriCiclo es todo un éxito y la hamburguesa por la que merece la pena hacer cola es por la que preparan en la furgoneta de La Finca, la de la “carne de la felicidad”. Verás que al clásico bocata de calamares le han salido versiones callejeras muy buenas, como el que propone Panenka, con pan de tinta de calamar, y el irreconocible de Klamardo, ¡tienes que probarlo!
Lovers of spicy food can put themselves to the test with the spicy tacos at Tepic, with the heat challenge at Kitchen154, which offers a prize for those emerge victorious, and with the tacos and burritos at Corazón de Agave, which are served with a sauce that comes with the warning: “only for the most macho: chipotle and chile de árbol.” You’ll also find delicious Colombian arepas (Las delicias de Nil), Venezuelan arepas (La Cuchara) and authentic Chilean sandwiches at San Wich.
Those wishing to try the best ham croquettes in Madrid should visit Taberna Arzábal. They say the secret is the filling, and theirs contains latxa sheep’s milk and exquisite Iberian ham. If, however, you’re in the mood for soup, for a nice cocido (meat and chick pea) broth, for some bean stew or migas de pastor (a bread-based dish), you’ll also find it all at MadrEat. The smell of grandma’s stews and casseroles wafts up to the top of the surrounding skyscrapers. Lucía’s has given the Spanish omelette a new twist (or should we say “flip”?) In addition to the traditional potato omelette, they also make them with octopus and with vegetables. Their truck, decorated in pastel colours, is one of the most admired at MadrEat.
Even acclaimed Michelin-starred restaurants have joined in the fun at MadrEat. Chirón (1 star) by chef Iván Muñoz offers a blood sausage and potato yoghourt trompe l’oeil, which at first glance looks like a vanilla and chocolate dessert. Brilliant sushiman Ricardo Sanz from Kabuki (1 star) has also brought his knives to the streets. The most recent chef to come on board is Óscar Velasco (Santceloni, 2 stars). He advises on the dishes prepared at La Cesta, such as the pork rib baguette and the smoked sardine and tomato toast.
And to drink? Local Madrid beer La Virgen has its own truck, Pichi’s eye-catching truck serves sangría, Flying Cow serves wine, Taberna Rufina offers champagne, and the most traditional vermouths by Zarro can be found at La Vermuneta.
For something sweet, there are the crêpes at Triskan, the ensaimadas brought in fresh from Mallorca at Formentor, the amusing cakepops at De Cake and the gourmet pastries at Mama Framboise, which offers delicate tarts and a collection of macaroons that sells out fast. Nothing is missing, not even the coffee, which Toma Café brings over from its Malasaña location.
When evening falls and closing time approaches, the music gets going and impromptu parties spring up in some trucks, like that of Taberna Arzábal, which usually makes for a memorable experience.