It began a decade ago, when Argentine gelaterias started popping up to serve cones, coffees and cocktails along some of Madrid’s trendiest sidewalks. Now all Argentine desserts, including baked goods and more savory delicacies, are a year-round pursuit in the Spanish capital.
Among the top contenders is Dos Porteñas, which opened earlier this year. Sweets are the story here—from traditional Argentine sandwich pastries known as alfajores to more interpretive products, like a decadently dense brownie topped with dulce de leche and a cloud of fresh whipped cream. On the savory side, they have a wider than normal array of empanadas stuffed with flavor-packed combinations like seasoned beef and olives, cheese and onion, or fresh corn and béchamel.
At Martina Cocina they blend rich, dark chocolate and dulce de leche in ways that could make you swear allegiance to the Argentine flag. Martina’s quiches are like superfoods—they combine most of the food groups into one meaty, nutty, cheesy dish with even salad greens baked right in. Set on the main drag of the city’s sprawling Sunday flea market, it has a mellow neighborhood buzz on weekdays and Saturday brunch.
Also worth checking out is Maria’s Bakery, which may lure you in with scrumptious pastries and cakes, but you’ll stay for the savory menu, too: it boasts daily specials and more than 40 types of artisanal breads.
Craving a fix? Dos Porteñas was kind enough to share these images from their bricks-and-mortar location. Consider it inspiration for your next trip to Spain.
Andrew Ferren is on the Spain beat for Travel + Leisure. He lives in Madrid.