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Tapas

8 bars with free tapas in Madrid

Discover some of the most generous bars in Madrid that serve up a free tapa with your drink!

By Time Out Madrid editors
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Ask for a beer and they give you a free tapa thats good-sized and flavourful. Think this happens only in Andalusia? Think again. Among the great things to do in Madrid is to explore the world of tapas, and youre in luck if youve not got a big budget with gems like these bars that are happy to share the love. We’re not talking just a bag of crisps or a couple of olives either ­– your cold brew might come with a ‘­pintxo de tortilla’ (a bit of omelette atop bread), some charcuterie or a mini hamburger. From a Madrid classic like El Tigre to the little corner of Andalusia that is La Pequeña Graná, we show you the best bars to go for a drink when you’re also feeling a bit peckish.

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8 Generous Bars Giving a Free Tapa with Your Drink Order

Petisqueira

Bars and pubs Malasaña

Croquettes, Russian salad or sausages... good-sized tapas that come with pretty cheap beer. In this bar, if you order a couple of glasses, you’ll effectively also get your dinner. It’s a young, fun crowd, but sometimes gets a bit overcrowded. A great place to eat if you’ve got less than a tenner on you.

La Blanca Paloma

Bars and pubs Malasaña

The best thing about this place is the plentiful tapas that they serve up with each drink. The beer isn’t that cheap (and it’s served in a tall glass – ‘tubo in Spanish), but with three beers, you’ll get enough free food to sort out your evening meal. They also have offers on other drink options – such as gin and tonic for just a couple of euros, although don’t expect a high-quality drink at that price. This is a great place to go with friends when your pay cheque isnt taking you quite to the end of the month.

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Indalo Tapas
©Deramaenrama

Índalo Tapas

Bars and pubs Tapas bars Malasaña

Launched as a small enterprise in Alcalá de Henares in 1989, today Índalo Tapas has about ten bars around Madrid. The secret to their success? Offering cold beers, friendly service and, in particular, the free tapas that go with each drink. Chicken escalope, hamburger, fried eggs with ham and chips, croquettes, spicy ‘chistorra sausage omelette... there’s something for everyone, and the dishes are always served freshly cooked. If you’re up for more, they also do good-value breakfasts, à la carte items and combo plates.

© Roberto de Baltasar

El Tigre

Bars and pubs Tapas bars Chueca

If you can actually make it through the door, order a beer on tap or a cider and marvel at the hefty tapas that come with it – patatas bravas, ‘jamón serrano’, Spanish omelette... it’s all free, and each plate varies (and gets bigger) with each round. The bar itself is incredibly noisy and can get absolutely rammed. But it does disprove the theory that there’s no such thing as a free lunch.

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Entre Cáceres y Badajoz

Bars and pubs Tapas bars Goya

This tavern dedicated to bullfighting is a local favourite, which means it’s a hard place to get into at the weekends. But if you manage to get yourself a space at one of its decorative barrels or at the long bar, you’ll discover why it’s so famous. Each round of drinks comes with one or more plates of food – generous and delicious. Paella, calamari, potatoes with chorizo... you’ll leave stuffed to the gills. Lots of groups of young friends wind up here.

El Rincón Abulense

Bars and pubs Tapas bars Sol

Close to Puerta del Sol, youll find this bar with a small restaurant at the back, famous for its generous tapas that come with every round of drinks. Since the word spread, every Friday evening it’s full of groups of friends downing beers and scoffing tapas before heading off for a big night out. The tapas are abundant and delicious, although don’t expect anything too fancy – Russian salad, home-made meatballs, muscles, sausages, ham, chicken wings... perfect for filling up.

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El Respiro

Bars and pubs Tapas bars Chueca

Being so close to El Tigre meant that for years this bar was generally regarded as the second-best option if ‘The Tiger’ was full. However, with time El Respiro has won a coveted spot on the list of best places to have a beer in Madrid. The beer is well-pulled, the service attentive and the tapas (potatoes with sausages and pepper, chicken with garlic sauce, savoury pastries, paella, etc.) are plentiful, tasty and, best of all, free. With a couple of rounds, you will have satisfied any hunger pangs. Get there early at the weekend because now the word is out, it fills up fast.

La Pequeña Graná

Bars and pubs Tapas bars Embajadores

With all due respect to the Alhambra, there’s no Granada souvenir or landmark that symbolises the city as much as its tapas. The owners of La Pequeña Graná have imported the tradition of beer with a lid’ (tapón), as a way to keep their customers happy without them having to reach into their wallets. Goat’s cheese and crispy bacon toasts, wraps with spicy meat, and mushroom croquettes are some of the delicacies that you can get when you order a beer.

And then you’re ready for a night on the town...

Kapital
Photograph: Roberto Castano

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