The traditional Spanish treat of ‘churros y chocolate’ is the perfect way to warm up during the cold winter months. Churros are similar to a fried doughnut, but long and thin and dusted in sugar – with an addictively crunchy and chewy texture. They are very popular and abundantly available, sold on the street in cones of paper, as well as in Spanish cafés known as chocolaterías. These cafés are often alcohol free and specialize in desserts and cakes. They serve their churros with a hot chocolate that is so thick and creamy it is generally enjoyed with a spoon, or even better, for dipping churros.
The custom of eating churros y chocolate dates back to the beginning of the 19th century in Madrid, and it is very possible that the churro became known in the traveling fairs that often roamed the capital. It’s hard to go wrong with this scrumptious delicacy, but here are a few tips to enjoying churros y chocolate in some key cities around Spain.
In Madrid, churros y chocolate are most loved as a late night (or early morning) pick-me-up, enjoying during a long winter night of clubbing and bar-hopping. There are plenty of places that have been around for a century or more, serving the same delights. The most famous chocolatería is Chocolatería San Ginés, open since 1894. Popular with locals and tourists alike, expect to wait for a table. Or, just ask a local for another option – they’ll be delighted to recommend their own personal favorite.
As in Latin America, churros y chocolate in Sevilla are most commonly enjoyed as a breakfast – second only to toast and coffee. In Sevilla, two types of churros can be enjoyed; a fat round spiral known as porra is the most typical, but there is also a thinner version called papas that are made from potatoes. As in Madrid and the rest of Andalusia, late night revelers appreciate the high fat and carbs content that makes churros an excellent energizer. It’s not uncommon to see homeward bound partiers and early risers enjoying this treat side by side.
Barcelona is not quite as well known for churros y chocolate as Madrid and Sevilla, but there are some chocolaterías that offer top-grade treats in a cozy and traditional atmosphere. Visitors only have to stroll through the Old City – especially the Barrio Gotico – and wait for the sweet smell to beckon. Some cafes that have stood the test of time are La Pallaresa and La Granja, noticeable in the beautiful century-old décor.
Your winter tour
Churros y chocolate are just the icing on the cake for a winter tour in Spain. Wherever you are headed, we can help you to organize winter outings and activities your group will love. And of course, we can recommend the best chocolaterías! Get in touch today to start planning.