Hidden away mere steps from the Puerta del Sol is the famous Chocolateria San Ginés. It's been serving up churros and chocolate 24 hours a day since 1894.
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When traveling abroad, exploring local drinking habits usually ranks third on my list of priorities. The first two are stamping my passport and finding a clean bed. And while the architecture, the museums, and even shopping are all important aspects of exploring a new culture, I feel that the true spirit of any great city begins at the bar and ends at the dinner table.
"The only place for churros in Madrid is here," e-mailed a friend of mine who's lived in Spain for a while and gave me a rundown of must-visits before my trip. She was referring to Chocolatería San Ginés, which has been around since 1894, tucked in a quiet alley behind a secondhand book stall next to the San Ginés church. The menu is straightforward, pretty much limited to churros, chocolate, coffee, and beer, or some combination of the above (why bother with anything else?).
Photograph from Enzo's Flickr Fulfill your dream (or nightmare) of standing before a towering wall of ham legs by visiting Museo del Jamón in Madrid....