Madrid is a city that loves its bread. On nearly every block you’re likely to encounter the mouth-watering aroma of freshly baked barras, baguettes, and pastries wafting out of one of the city’s many panaderías. But if you’re looking for something beyond the standard selection, you’ll be happy to know that there’s a new trend sweeping the streets of the capital: artisanal bakeries.
At the forefront of this fad is MOEGA, an authentic Galician bakery opened just over a year ago by Manoel Cabana and Jon Padrón. Its storefront in Barrio de Las Letras is minimalist and unassuming, perhaps reflecting the simplicity of its concept: to bring traditional Galician baking methods to Madrid. According to one customer, MOEGA’s bread tastes just like something her grandmother might make—a hearty, flavorful, handmade staple made from nothing more than flour, salt, water, and a lot of love.
During a rare respite from the constant flow of customers, I was lucky enough to have the chance to talk with Manoel. He explained that in Galicia bread is often still made in the traditional way, without the artificial leavening agents found in mass-produced products. Instead, the loaves are made with masa madre and left to ferment naturally due to the lactic acid bacteria present in the dough. The result is moist, flavorful, and slightly sour—perfect for toast, sandwiches, or just devouring straight from the bag.
MOEGA offers several different varieties of bread, from simple bollos to centeno (rye) to maíz con pasas (cornbread with raisins) and even the occasional preñao (a mini loaf stuffed with chorizo).
But what truly makes this place stand out from the rest is their other specialty: Galician empanadas, double-crusted delicacies that bear more resemblance to large savory pies than the bite-size empanadas you might be used to.
Here you can stick to classic flavors or sample something more creative; filling options include beef, tuna, veggies, octopus, scallops, sardines, and cod with raisins. If you’ve never tried empanadas gallegas, this is definitely the place to do it.
Prices range from €0.60 for a bollito to €3.60 for a massive loaf, and the empanadas are priced by the whole unit from €16 to €23. It’s a small price to pay for a truly authentic taste of Galicia. And if you don’t have your own Galician granny to bake for you, MOEGA is certainly the second best thing.