It’s late. You’ve been partying all night, and “last call” has come and gone.
But you’re still wide awake, and you’re hungry. Where to go?
In most parts of the United States (except, perhaps, in the big cities), the choices are few and far between. As a result, places such as Denny’s and The Waffle House do a brisk wee-hours business.
But in Madrid, revelers wind down in a much more sophisticated manner. They head for the Plaza Mayor, and seek out Spain’s most famous chocolateria: San Ginés.
There, waiters in white jackets serve cups of thick, almost pudding-like hot chocolate, accompanied by deep-fried churros. On a diet? Not at San Ginés.
There is a long-established if slightly under-the-radar chocolate culture in Spain. The natives live it, but visitors must seek it out. Fortunately, chocolate shops and chocolaterias are not hard to find.
Also in Madrid, the simply-named Chocolat is a Sunday morning staple, where the hot liquid treat is accompanied by porras—similar to churros, only chewier.
Many visitors to Spain flock to Valencia to see that city’s massive Gothic cathedral. Just steps away is another bastion of Spanish chocolate wonderfulness: Horchateria Chocolateria de Santa Catalina.
This chocolateria is a bit more daring with its menu—in a good way. Rather than churros, the preferred snack is a pumpkin bunuelo, or fritter. And the hot chocolate is bolstered by an infusion of cinnamon, then topped with whipped cream.