Travel Tips: Madrid

Chocolatería San Ginés, Madrid © 2018


This treasured institution serves other deserts and coffee, but is best known for its chocolate con churros. Though especially popular for breakfast or after a night on the town, the delicacy is indulged in at all times of day and night, and the café is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to meet the demand. For more information, their charming website includes their history, current and old photographs, and a blog with interesting information about the neighborhood, chocolate, and more:

Getting there

Pasadizo de San Gines, 5. From the Puerta del Sol, stroll west on Calle del Arenal to the corner of Pasadizo de San Ginés, where you will find a charming antiquarian book stall, Librería San Ginés, attached to Iglesia San Ginés. Turn left and walk up the pedestrian passage noting the beautiful 19th century theater on the left, now a famous nightclub and concert venue. At the top of the incline on the left sits Chocolatería San Ginés, with tables lining either side of the passage. 

How to order

Upon arrival, order at the register just inside the door. They will ask if you wish to sit inside or outside. Decorated in the belle epoque style, the inside is white with dark green accents and marble tables. However, I’ve always preferred to sit outside, either enjoying the cool shaded passageway or staying toasty under a heat lamp, and people watching. After selecting a table, keep your ticket out as proof of payment for the waiter. I don’t understand their system; the waiter keeps emerging from the doorway with trays of oversized tea cups stacked three or four high on top of one another, and plates heaped with churros. He seems to know to whom they belong by instinct. 


The proper way to eat this combination is to pull off a bit of the long, ropy churro and dunk it into the chocolate, much like a doughnut in coffee. Inevitably, there will be chocolate left in the bottom of the cup, impossible to drink due to its thickness, it can be eaten with a spoon. However you eat your chocolate and churros, I’m sure you will enjoy this heavenly duo.

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