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The environment was fantastic. People were flowing onto the streets and all of Lavapiés was alive. One of the beauties of Tapapiés was that the cost to partake was only one euro
By Kristen Schlotman
Photos: K. Schlotman & Tapapies website and social media
Last October, the Lavapiés neighborhood in Madrid joined together to celebrate the fourth annual Tapapiés. Many already know what this wonderful festival is. However, if you are asking yourself, “What is Tapapiés?” I’ll answer that question right now. Tapapiés is a gastronomical celebration with a variety of tapas as the main event. This year, there were 90 different tapas from 72 bars and cafes as well as Mercado San Fernando. The tapas were all priced at one euro with one extra euro for a caña or small bottle of Estrella Damm beer, which was this year’s sponsor.
The tapas ranged from unique twists of traditional favorites to completely new creations. Each bar had a flag with a number that corresponded to a page in a booklet that was available at almost any participating location. The booklet consisted of a map and photos of every tapa available. Tapapiés also has a multicultural focus which was highlighted in the booklet. This year the tapas were from 21 different countries and 13 Spanish provinces. I happily tasted tapas with origins from Thailand, Senegal, the United States, Belgium, and parts of Spain including Castilla-La Mancha and Basque Country.
Sadly I only had two opportunities to go to Tapapiés. The first of which was a Friday afternoon. The bars that my friend and I went to were busy but not overly crowded. It was pretty perfect. The ambiance was fun but we still were able to order our tapas without waiting for more than a few minutes. By the end of our afternoon of bar hopping, we had tried four different and truly remarkable tapas.
My second trip down to Tapapiés was completely different. I was with a relatively large group and this time it was Saturday night. Every bar was packed. I was able to try three new tapas but the wait at each location was significant. However, the environment was fantastic. People were flowing onto the streets and all of Lavapiés was alive and thriving.
One of the beauties of Tapapiés was that the cost to partake was only one euro. I tried new foods that I normally would not have risked ordering, but at only one euro, I was always asking myself, “Why not?”
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