At the center of Madrid resides a famous cafe formally known as the Chocolatería San Ginés. The chocolateria primarily serves “chocolate con churros” or churros with a cup of melted dark chocolate used for dipping. Both Jorge and his father recommended we stop by to try their churros and chocolate so we added it to our list of destinations.
At the café, we ordered what they are known for: churros and chocolate! They also serve cakes and coffee, though that is not what either of us went for. The chocolateria has been serving churros and chocolate since 1894 giving it historical significance among both tourists and local residents in Madrid. Its name is now recognized by chocolate enthusiasts around the world.
The interior is decorated with mirrors, green wood panels, green velvet seats, and marble tables. Lining the walls of the chocolateria are photographs both old and new of famous celebrities from all around the world who have dropped by to try their famous churros and chocolate.
On our first visit, Jorge and I tried several of the large churros (which later turned out to be both of our favorites – even after ordering the thin kind during our next visit.) The chocolateria staff deep fries the churros until they are the perfect shade of golden-brown. Fresh out of the oil, the warm churros are brought out to your table along with a cup of steaming hot dark chocolate. The cup of chocolate is prepared Spanish style: thick, dark, and strong.
The staff member making the churros cuts them to the perfect length. Jorge explained to me that the workers actually make the churros by pouring one long spiral of batter into the hot frying oil. From our seats, we could peak into the kitchen and see where the worker was spinning a large machine that was pouring the churro batter into the frying area. The churros were then cut to the ideal length for dipping. It was a fascinating process to watch. The kitchen never seemed to catch a break with an endless line of people waiting out the door even past lunch time!
The churros were reasonably priced with our order of 3 thick churros (technically called porras) and 3 regular churros coming out to a total of 8,30 Euros. After trying them once, I immediately fell in love and made sure that we returned at least once more before leaving the city of Madrid.
When we finally left Madrid to travel to Jorge’s hometown, his family explained to me that churros and chocolate is a typical breakfast in Spain. During two of the days that I stayed with his family, they picked up hot chocolate & churros from a totally separate local chocolateria. I didn’t expect to have them again after leaving Madrid so that turned out to be a very welcome surprise.
My days in Spain are now limited so it is my hope that I will get to enjoy this treat once more before leaving to return home.