The counter at Chocolateria de San Gines

Apparently just as popular as the afternoon siestas in Madrid is the treat of hot chocolate and churros. You don’t have to go very far to spot a hot chocolate shop, almost like how you’d spot a Dunkin’ Donut.

One chocolateria steep in tradition is right in the shadows of the Church of San Gines just off Calle Mayor, north of the Plaza Mayor. The forest green trimmings of Chocolateria de San Gines gives a nostalgic feel to the place, which serves cups after cups of hot chocolate and freshly fried churros – and apparently to a lot of Spain’s celebrities as indicated by the black-and-white photos on the wall.

With the warm summer days, doesn’t seem like hot chocolate would make a lot of sense. But luckily one of the days we were sightseeing it was cool enough in the afternoon to warrant a trip to the Chocolateria.

I shared a plate of churros and a cup of hot chocolate with my niece, who dusted her churros with powdered sugar before dipping it into the hot chocolate. The chocolate was thinner than I expected, and even after dipping all the churros there was still a lot of hot chocolate remaining.

I saw some other diners just drinking the hot chocolate with a spoon, almost like a dessert soup. That seemed like a lot of chocolate to me. But you can’t deny that the Spanish knows how to enjoy life, taking a break from the hectic pace for some simple treats of chocolate con churros.

Chocolateria de San Gines, Pasadizo de San Gines, 11, Madrid. PH: (34) 91.365.65.46. Cash only. Metro: Sol

Tourists and locals make their way to Chocolateria de San Gines for an afternoon snack

Celebrity photos hang on the wall

Traditional snack of hot chocolate and churros

Cups ready to be filled with chocolate

14 Responses to Tradition of Chocolate con Churros

  1. Mai says:

    Is the chocolate dark or sweet like a chocolate syrup? I like churros because it’s more dunk-able than donuts, the latter never fits into a cup.

    • Ben Ben says:

      It was dark chocolate, and actually wasn’t very sweet. They thinned down the chocolate, I think, so people could drink it. I wanted it to be smoother, for some reason. But still other people seemed to enjoy it.

  2. Carolyn Jung says:

    The only time I’ve visited Spain was in the winter, so you can be sure I had many a cup of that rich, thick chocolate. It’s so decadent and warming.

  3. Spencer says:

    I love Churros! I spent a month travelling around Spain in 2004 and had the best ones in Salamanca.

  4. David says:

    But churros are fried! 😉

    • Ben Ben says:

      Haha, I knew someone would mention that! Actually, I only ate half a churro just to try the chocolate. My niece ate most of it, but even she couldn’t eat all the churros that came with one order. When on vacation, I did break some of my rules, but they were just mini-breaks. I didn’t go full hog on most things.

  5. anna says:

    great post!

  6. Sandy says:

    This is the kind of thing I definitely need mid-day. Wish we had those here!

  7. hungry dog says:

    We didn’t try this combo while we were in Spain and now that seems idiotic. However, I noticed that they serve it at Contigo, a Spanish place in Noe Valley that we love. That will have to do!

    • Ben Ben says:

      Chocolate and churros definitely seem prevalent in Madrid, but didn’t notice them as much in Barcelona, so maybe that’s why you didn’t think of it. But nice to know about Contigo. Now I know where to go if I get sentimental about my trip. 🙂

  8. Foodhoe says:

    Ooh I’d definitely love a few sipping of that hot chocolate! I recently had that at Contigo, it was delicious… It’s too hot out here in coco county today to think about hot chocolate