Casa Mingo
moderate, 011-34-91-547-7918.
Even though the decor is rather dark (the place is built into a stone wall, after all) and the menu is small (roast chicken, cheese, salad, and sausages), this place is a true find. Once you savor that moist, juicy bird and sip a bottle of sidra (hard cider), you’ll forget about everything else. Even the fact that they don’t take reservations or credit cards.

Champagnería Gala
moderate, 011-34-91-429-2562.
If you’re tired of the same old paella, welcome the fideuás. This Catalan version is made with noodles instead of rice and served with toasted bread with tomato and garlic.

SPORTS
Estadio Santiago Bernabeu

011-34-91-457-1112.
Join the locals as they obsess over fútbol (soccer) with their favorite team, Real Madrid. And in case you’re too embarrassed to ask, golden boy David Beckham (the Tiger Woods of soccer with the ex-Spice Girl wife) wears #23.

Plaza de las Ventas
011-34-91-356-2200.
It may not be Gwyneth’s bag, but many travelers think going to Spain and not seeing a bullfight is like going to Italy and not ordering pasta. Olé!

SHOPPING
Las Rozas Village

011-34-91-640-4900.
One of only a handful of outlet malls in Europe, this village-like enclave 30 minutes outside of Madrid boasts stores from top Spanish designers, including Camper and Musgo, as well as international names like Hugo Boss and TAG Heuer.

Casa de Diego
011-34-91-522-6643.
Don’t leave Spain without a fan. Not the groupie kind, but the decorative device señoritas use to keep cool. Diego also stocks a wide selection of beautiful fringed shawls, parasols, castanets, and other traditional Spanish trinkets.