Madrid, Spain

The start of my excursion Madrid was a rocky one. Wendy and I arrived to Spain's capital sleep-deprived, hungry and kind of grimy from not showering in a while due to a small, undisclosed travel mishap. In short- I was in a bad mood. However, every negative feeling I had coming into the city disappeared as we walked around getting a feel for the different energy of Madrid from Barcelona. To me, Madrid felt a bit like San Francisco with its hilly terrain and quirky shops and art scene around each corner. Madrid has a plethora of museums boasting some of the world's most famous works of art (hi, Guernica!) and many of these museums are free on certain days! The city didn't feel overrun by tourists, which can often be the case in Barcelona, but felt balanced out by the numerous Spanish families and friends sitting at cafes or sunbathing in the park. I was especially inspired by the confident, stylish women on the street which may or may not have been the inspiration to buy new sandals. As usual, Madrid stole my heart with its food scene and I probably could have eaten my weight in churros. Below are my favorite eateries from my first and definitely not last trip in Madrid. 

Chocolateria San Gines

This snack time hotspot is a hit for both tourists and locals in search of beautifully crispy churros with thick chocolate sauce. Open 24 hours a day, simply order at the counter, hand your receipt to a server and take a seat at one of the sleek marble tables inside. You won't wait long for your hot churros to appear before you and it won't take you long to gobble them down. Extra chocolate sauce at the end? Slurp it down, chocolate lovers. 

La Mallorquina

Located on the busy Placa Puerto del Sol, this windows of this bakery are neatly lined with pastries galore. Step inside and find the same pastries lined in glass cases with prices clearly marked. To the left were a variety of confectionary sweets and to the right were the pastries and other baked goods. I felt like such a local perched next to a pack of Spanish grandmas clucking away over slices of cake and businessmen slurping down their coffees as we all stood at the counter. 

Rosi La Loca

How could I possibly turn down a three-course meal and drink for 13 euros?? This adorably quirky restaurant hit the spot after a long day of shopping and wandering. First course was a bed of lush springy leaves dressed in a sweet raspberry vinaigrette. Atop this salad was a savory helping of  warm goat cheese. This delicious salad was followed by hearty slices of veal. For dessert, I chose a strong americano while Wendy ate the sweet flan.