Few bites are more sublime than a

well-done croquette

.

Simple recipe, but not easy -with bechamel sauce and various fillings, although ham is the king;

battered in egg and breadcrumbs and fried in abundant oil-, it is a star tapa in bars and restaurants and, for having it, it even has its

own International Day

(January 16).

Here are 12 addresses (in alphabetical order) with some of the most desired croquettes in Madrid, which -although they are not our mother's- taste like home.

Iberian ham, in Arzábal Retiro.

ARZABAL RETREAT

A hit of

Arzabal

cuisine

, in this contemporary restaurant run by Iván Morales and Álvaro Castellanos, they opt for the classic

Iberian ham

-made with latxa sheep's milk, which provides an intense flavour- and

boletus

.

Creamy and with a crunchy wrapper, they are a good size (a half portion, 4 pieces, 8.50 euros).

The ham ones can also be eaten at El Jardín de Arzábal, at the Reina Sofía Museum.

Address:

Avenida de Menéndez Pelayo, 13. Tel.: 91 409 56 61.

Ham and boiled egg croquette, at La Bien Aparecida.

THE WELL APPEARED

Very creamy and made with boiled egg and lacón, they are served in this dining room of Grupo Cañadío (Jorge Juan, 8).

Essential on any self-respecting

croquette

route , its fluid bechamel sauce and a light batter delicately wrap the filling (the portion, 8 units, 19 euros).

They have pork shoulder and egg in two other group locations:

La Primera

(Gran Vía, 1.13.50 euros/8 pieces) and

Gran Café Santander

(Plaza de Santa Bárbara, 4.14 euros/8 pieces).

They make cooked meat in

La Maruca

(Velázquez, 54.10.50 euros/8 pieces) and chorizo ​​(since 1981) in

Cañadío

(Conde de Peñalver, 86.14 euros/8 pieces).

Address:

Jorge Juan, 8. Tel. 91 159 39 39.

Varied croquettes, at Casa Julio.

JULY HOUSE

Since its inception, this hundred-year-old Malasaña tavern has served ham, although the offer has grown to offer

six more varieties

: Rioja ground beef, blue cheese, spinach with raisins and gorgonzola cheese, mushrooms with leek, tuna with egg, black pudding with Quince.

Totally homemade and traditional dough,

on any given pre-Covid Saturday

they would sell "

some 1,500 croquettes

. Now, with the capacity, not even half, but I'm not complaining, because I always have people," says

Luis Torres

, owner of this house founded in 1921 that back in 2000

dazzled Bono and his group U2

.

Price: 14 euros the portion (12 pieces) and 8 euros the average (six).

Direction:

Wood, 37. Tel.: 91 522 72 74.

Stewed croquettes, in Colósimo.

COLOSSIMO

Brothers Ricardo and Mané Romero do not lose sight of their

Andalusian origins

and draw on the cuisine of their land to make delicious stew croquettes with the

meat and vegetables of the classic Cadiz stew

.

After passing them through bread, they put them in the refrigerator for about eight hours so that, when frying them, they do not break.

Price: 12 euros (6 units) and 2.20 euros per piece.

Address:

José Ortega y Gasset, 67. Tel.: 91 453 14 25.

Cod, in Dantxari.

DANTXARI

In the Basque dining room of the brothers

Jesús and Manuel Medina

, whose kitchen has just been joined by the experienced

Luis Martín

(Goizeko Kabi and Gaztelupe), the star is a fine morsel of

cod.

With sheep's milk they prepare a

very worked and delicate

bechamel to which they incorporate the fish, which "is present in a very balanced way. The result is

like a mousse"

, adds Jesús Medina.

Price: 12 euros per serving (six units), 8 euros for the average (four pieces) and 2 per unit.

Address:

Ventura Rodríguez, 8. Tel.: 91 542 35 24.

In Florida Park they serve Iberian ham.

FLORIDA PARK

Those who serve in this macro space of the Retiro -in El Pabellón, La Galería and Los Kioskos- bear the

stamp of Iván Cerdeño

, gastronomic director of Florida Park, brand new two Michelin stars with his homonymous dining room in Toledo and winner of the best ham croquette Ibérico from the world at Madrid Fusión 2020. The key is that they

infuse the ham bones in milk

, add a little flour and curdle the mixture with gelatin (14.50 euros for a six-piece ration).

In addition, there are

chocolate ones

with a spicy touch.

Address:

Paseo de Panama, s/n.

In Quinqué they opt for the ham croquettes.

QUINQUE RESTAURANT

In this dining room in the Chamartín neighbourhood, which is now three years old, they opt for Iberian ham.

In its elaboration, the Nacho Manzano school is perceived, since its experienced chefs,

Carlos Griffo (

Quique Dacosta, StreetXO, La Bien Aparecida, Bibo Madrid)

and Miguel García

(La Bien Aparecida and BiBo Madrid), have passed through some of the establishments of the Asturian chef, such as Casa Marcial, where they met.

And how are your croquettes?

"Although they are made of ham, we give

prominence to the bechamel"

, points out Emiliano Barbero, head of the dining room.

They are served by portion (12 euros, 8 pieces), half (6 euros, four) and unit (1.50 euros).

Address

: Apolonio Morales, 3. Tel.: 91 073 28 92.

With ham, at El Quinto Vino.

THE FIFTH WINE

Before Luis Roldán founded this tavern, together with Jesús Vila, he already knew what croquettes he would serve: the same ones with which his

friend Esperanza

entertained him one day.

More than a quarter of a century later and faithful to that recipe, they have them with ham;

homemade and "

made with a large spoon, of a good size

, as the mothers prepare them", explains Juan Roldán, today the soul of the place.

Fried in extra virgin olive oil, they are tasty, crunchy on the outside and

honeyed on

the inside and with a rich touch of nutmeg (1.70 euros each).

Address:

Hernani, 48. Tel.: 91 553 66 00.

Grilled beef entrails with cecina alioli, at Sagrario Tradición.

TRADITION SACRED

Don't miss out on the tasty morsel with a

subtle spicy touch

that they serve at this updated traditional cuisine establishment, located in Chamartín.

Of "beautiful dimensions", its interior hides a rich bechamel with

grilled beef entrails

, which is wrapped in a crispy batter and topped with a

cecina aioli quenelle

(3.50 euros each).

Address:

Plaza Valparaíso, 3. Tel.: 91 457 91 39.

Iberian ham, in Santerra.

SANTERRA

Chef

Miguel Carretero from La Mancha

has no problem revealing the intricacies of his famous Iberian ham croquette, the best in the world at Madrid Fusión 2018. And that is none other than a bechamel prepared with double cream milk; a

knife-cut ham

and a batter with panko (2 euros per piece). Sometimes he makes them with

piparra or La Peral cheese

. They can be taken in the three spaces of Santerra:

Neotaberna

(Ponzano, 62),

Barra

and the

gastronomic one

, both in General Pardiñas, 56.

Croquettes, at Pedraza Tavern.

PEDRAZA TAVERN

Along

with the stew and the tortilla

, the croquette is an iconic preparation in the career of

Santiago Pedraza and Carmen Carro

, the two souls of this dining room in the Salamanca district that has its pillars in the traditional kitchen and in the first class genre.

Good-sized, with a delicate interior and a fine, crunchy batter, they are made with

100% Iberian acorn-fed ham

(2.20 euros per unit) and

Galician hake

(2.30 euros).

And, alternatively and for weeks, they also have chicken and egg (2.20 euros).

And one more croquette: the one that accompanies Carmen's famous stew.

Address:

Recoletos, 4. Tel.: 91 342 82 40.

In Viavélez they have them with ham and also with prawns.

VIAVELEZ

The Asturian

Paco Ron

's house is a must for fans of Iberian ham and prawn croquettes.

Crispy and golden on the outside

, their interior is creamy and fluid, "so much so that to give them shape we add a bit of gelatin to the dough, which

disappears with the heat of frying"

, they comment from this restaurant-tavern.

Price;

15.75 euros the portion (eight units).

Address:

Avenida del General Perón, 10. Tel.: 91 579 95 39.

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