A 20-minute stroll or 10-minute bus ride from the very central Plaza de España, (newly extended and pedestrianised), is Casa Mingo, where locals have been flocking for Asturian specialities such as cider, chicken in cider, chorizo in cider, cabrales cheese and gammon since 1888.
Cider, or sidra as it is called in Spain, is less alcoholic than its British cousin – a flattish drink that has some fizz added by a very unique pouring method, where the fun part is trying to get cider in the glass without spilling it everywhere! There are special floors in cider houses, with wooden grates to allow for the large quantities that miss the mark!
The short menu has little for vegetarians (roast chicken is the star dish) but I don’t eat meat and happily make do with cheese, potato omelette and salad (with lashings of cider) and some of their delicious desserts. It’s such a beautiful place inside; the walls are flanked with barrels and bottles and high ceilings and then there’s the gorgeous outdoor eating space. You are protected from the sun by tall trees and huge canopies – it’s lovely.
And once you are there, you should explore the area. You are by the Manzanares River and the huge park “Casa del Campo”, as well as the Ermita de San Antonio de la Florida, which is right next door; it’s a real hidden gem which houses Goya’s tomb and has the most incredible painted ceiling.