Tapas at Restaurante Jose Luis (Madrid, Spain)

House Rioja wine

We had one of those nights where we wanted to stay in close to our hotel, Barceló Emperatriz since it was a long day of sightseeing Madrid. Our concierge has suggested Restaurante Jose Luis for tapas and it’s about a ten-minute walk.

An institution for over 50 years, Jose Luis has locations throughout Madrid, as well as in Sevilla and Barcelona. But the original is in the prestigious Calle Serrano in Madrid. A fashionable establishment of the 60’s, artists, writers, and professionals were drawn by the ambient and the large variety of tapas. Today’s crowd is a mix of decades of regulars, enjoying drinks at the bar or the daily menu. Try to get a seat at one of the two tables in the bar area to enjoy a casual meal among friends with all the pomp that Jose Luis has retained over the years. The counter offers a broad range of traditional tapas to choose from, be sure to savor a variety to see what makes the Madrileños come back day after day, year for year.

Iberico ham
Two types of open-faced sandwiches

We started with glasses of fruity (lots of cherry notes) Rioja that went well with their various tapas dishes. We started with the delicious Iberico ham that wasn’t salty and has a rich nutty flavor. We then had two types of open-faced sandwiches were incredibly good. The pork-centric sandwich of thinly sliced, tender seared pork topped with ham was delectable. The foie gras topped with caramelized onions and glazed with Pedro Ximénez XO sherry sauce was divine. The creamy foie gras and the intense savory-sweetness of the onions and sherry glaze were intense flavors that satisfies the craving of something fatty, rich and savory.

Callos Madrilenos (Tripe stew, Madrid style)

We finished off with a large bowl of Callos Madrilenos (we were obsessed with this Madrid-style tripe stew for the entire leg of the Madrid trip). This particular tripe stew was simply amazing. It was cooked so well because of the rich, collagen stickiness of the tomato-based sauce and the tripe was meltingly tender. We polished that bowl off and asked for extra bread to mop the remaining sauce.

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Restaurante Jose Luis

Calle de Serrano 89
Madrid, Spain

CategoriesMadrid Spain

I shoot, eat, and drink. My full time job is a hospital administrator. Moonlighting as a freelance photographer and food and travel writer.