Spain’s major department store, El Corte Inglés, first opened in the 1940’s. Today, many of us Spaniards love El Corte Inglés as it sells virtually anything under the sun, from your laptop and underwear to your mattress and plane ticket. A little outdated indeed, one of the stores decided it was time for a facelift — a few months ago, the Corte Inglés in Callao converted the top floor into Gourmet Experience, a tantalizing food hall with stunning views of Madrid’s Gran Vía and the emblematic Shweppes sign.
But why is it so special it? First off, we have a variety of food stalls serving anything you can think of — sushi, pizza, quesadillas, pinchos and hamburgers, etc. — all in the same space. You can also have your meal at each individual stall, or in the main dining area where the views will take your breath away. On the same floor, there’s also a supermarket specializing in international gourmet products, like sauces, jams and olive oil, just to name a few.
Here’s a look at all the food stalls you can find at this gourmet heaven:
1. HAMBURGUESA NOSTRA
Hamburguesa Nostra is one of the most popular stalls. Trying to ask for a burger during the weekend can be a complicated task. And we’re not surprised. HN offers us a variety of more than 30 types of meat, as well as sauces and unique breads. Yet, surprisingly enough, it’s easy to order! You just have to choose the burger meat you want and customise it with your choice of bread sauce and other garnishes. Then wait for the call so you can pick it. You won’t regret it … we always end up returning.
Prices range from 9€ for a basic burger to 13€ for a gourmet burger. For 0.50€ and 1€ euro you can customize it.
Street XSO serves modern and contemporary food. Chicken marinated in sweet chilli, smoked razor clams in olive oil and grilled tataki butter fish are just some of the wonderful dishes that you can enjoy in this great stand.
If you’re in the mood for traditional Spanish cuisine, then go to La Maquina, where you can find delicious tapas and pinchos. Tortilla de patatas, pincho de jamón, cheese, and delicious bocadillos. We love the food but we love the prices even more. What truly stands out about La Maquina is its simplicity and good quality food.
One of our favourites is always crowded and don’t get me wrong, I understand why. On the menu, we can find all types of delicious Mexican dishes, from traditional enchiladas to wonderful tacos. And let’s not forget about the generous salads and nachos topped with cheese and guacamole. My favorite dishes are the chicken taco Coyoacan and the nachos with guacamole. The prices are very reasonable. You can get two tacos for 6€.
TSE YANG DIMSUM CLUB
If you love sushi and Japanese cuisine cuisine in general, then TYDC is for you!
If you’ve got a sweet tooth, Amorino will be your parries. Here you can enjoy ice cream, sorbets, waffles and pancakes with an infinite variety of topppings. They also serve great drinks, like milk shakes and frappes. Now they also sell macaroons that are out of this world!
There can be no Gourmet space without a place for pizzas and the ones here are simply delicious. These are served “al corte” and “al taglio” as the Italians say, and the price depends on the weight. What we like the most about this pizza place is that they try to innovate, although always with a very Mediterranean touch.
Perfect for breakfast, lunch, dinner or an afternoon tea. Many Madrileños already know this space because it’s not the only Harina. We love how they mix the minimalist touch of their decoration with the more traditional cuisine. The breads and cakes are simply delicious. Our suggestion: “empanada de bonito” (tuna empanada) and a cup of coffee.
A 1950’s-style cocktail bar located in the heart of Madrid! Here you can enjoy traditional cocktails as the caipirinha, mojitos, bloody marries, cosmopolitans, etc., to the most avant-garde cocktails. In addition, you can accompany them with some delicious oysters. What else can you ask for?
Here we can find a piece of San Sebastian and its traditional “pintxos”. We’ve fallen in love with their simple and unpretentious menu. Our suggestions: For cold pintxos, go with the Iberian ham and boqueron en vinagres (anchovies in vinegar). For hot pintxos, go with the croquettes and solomillo (pork tenderloin). When it comes to tapas: We are passionate about the tortilla española (Spanish potato omelet) and huevos rotos con jamón (french fries topped with two fried eggs and ham).
Plus, the prices are more than reasonable: 2.35€ and 2.50€ for any of the pintxos. 4.90€ for desserts. The price on tapas ranges from 8 to 11 euros.
So, what do you think? Are you going to leave Madrid without having had a gourmet experience atop El Corte Inglés?
Where: Corte Inglés Callao. 9th floor.
Metros: Callao, Sol and Gran Vía.