In 1921, Casa Julio opened in Madrid’s Malasaña becoming home to a small and circular delicacy known as the croquette. Between the other restaurants of similar style in the neighborhood it may go unnoticed, but behind its red wooden doors the sinful aroma of “fritanga” (Spanish word for fried food) draws you in. Local residents and tourists alike tend to flock to Casa Julio, and since U2 visited in 2002, it has become Madrid’s most famous place for “fritanga.” Run by Luis Torres the grandson of Julio himself, the recipes remain original, although when the tavern first opened there were only ham, cheese and spinach with raisins and gorgonzola croquettes. Luis has worked to expand the menu, so now you can find more varieties: Picadillo, Bonito with egg and caramelized onions, blue cheese and black pudding with quince. According to Julio the secret to a good croquette is to “do it by hand and with love” and they’re better if accompanied by “any beverage other than coffee, I’ve seen people do it.” It is often impossible to get a table or a seat at the bar, so it is best to go at noon or in the early evening. Potatoes with spicy sauce and Picadillo Rioja sauce and meatballs are other specialties of the house, but what really takes the cake are the croquettes. Get your fritanga on!
Price: 10-20 euros
915 22 72 74
Monday to Saturday from 9:00 to 23:30
Text and photos: Paula Movil
Translation: Brett Piron