November 25, 2010 | | Comments 14

Madrid: Chocolaterier St Gines — The Best Hot Chocolate and Churros

After the suckling pig lunch at the world’s oldest restaurant, we went for dessert. High on our list of stuff to eat in Madrid is churros and hot chocolate. Yeah, we had eaten that several times already for the past two weeks but visiting this one restaurant is gonna be different. This time we are going to the restaurant that is regarded as the best.

Central Madrid is not very big. We could walk to most of the places. So we walked to look for the restaurant. I knew it was along Calle Arenal which is just minutes from our hotel. This is one of the many busy pedestrian malls radiating from Puerta del Sol which is the center of Madrid.

We walked up and down this street three times and could not locate a place called Chocolaterier St Gines.

It was only the third time on this street that we finally spotted a lighted sign with that name. All the while we thought it was going to be on Calle Arenal but it was not. It was on a side street and if we did not look hard enough we would not have noticed at all.

I love that place. It is hard to believe that this restaurant had been around for the past 120 years. The place looked like the same as it was back when it opened. The place does look upscale and definitely very clean and bright which is accentuated by the mirrors and waiters in white shirts and gelled hair.

See the big shiny copper pot in the picture above? That is where the hot chocolate is dispensed from.

Gosh, this place reeks of sugar and sweetness that I can virtually fell it.

They do have other things but every table we saw had churros and hot chocolate.

We are here for that only. So we said to the waiter that we wanted churros and hot chocolate but he asked us …

… if we wanted the thin or thick churros. It was the first time we heard that there are different type of churros.

So obviously we got both not knowing what the differences are. We did not bother to ask more question because the waiter was just struggling to converse with us in English.

The thinner churros is the regular ones that one would normally have. It is chrunchier. The big churros is more doughy and frankly, it reminds us a lot of the Chinese yutiao.

The churros made were in long spirals and they cut it up before it is served.

For someone with a sweet tooth, Suanne was totally delighted here. They have icing sugar on the side in case you want more sweetness.

Delicious!

We were saying to ourselves that if there is just ONE place to recommend people coming to Madrid, it is this place. It is cheap too. I think we spent only about $10 Canadian or so for the churros and two cups of hot chocolate.

The hot chocolate is simply one of the best we had ever tried. It has that right consistency and it is rich, dark and thick. People will find it too thick to drink but I did not.

Back in Vancouver we used to have churros and hot chocolate in Dulcinea on Denman. The churros were pitifully short and the hot chocolate was just a small cup. In St Gines, it was a lot more satisfying for sure.

Since Dulcinea had closed, does any of you know where is a good place to have churros and hot chocolate?

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  1. Chubbypanda says:

    The last shot is practically pornographic. Willy Wonka, eat your heart out.

  2. Ariella says:

    I love churros! Those look amazing; I’ve wanted to try tejeringo / churros con chocolate ever since I saw ‘On the Road Again’. This trip is the one I’ve always wanted to go on but never planned.

    Must find one in Vancouver!

    • Ben says:

      Hi Ariella: First time I heard of tejeringo. I googled it and found that it is some kind of stuffed churros. What do they stuff it with? Ben

      • Ariella says:

        I’m not sure if the one I’m talking about is stuffed. From what I’ve seen and heard, it’s similar to a churro but thinner and crisper and usually made in a tight coil rather than cut in pieces.

      • We stuff the churros with a sort of cream, similar to a thick custard. This stuffed churros are big, thick and not usually intended to be eaten with hot chocolate. There is a version covered with dark chocolate. Churro, cream & chocolate, all in one.
        Saludos desde España.
        :)

  3. joyluckclub says:

    mmmmm yummy looking churros con chocolate.
    Reminds me of my younger days travelling in Spain. The churros con chocolate carts are all over the streets when the clubs are closing.

    Thanks Ben you stirred up some fond memories. I agree, we need a good source for churros con chocolate in Vancouver.

    • Ben says:

      Hi joyluckclub: I was thinking that perhaps churros con chocolate would be a great addition to the food cart scene in Vancouver. Done right, I bet people are gonna go crazy over it. Ben

  4. fmed says:

    When did Dulcinea close? I was there a just a few weeks ago.

    • Ben says:

      Hi fmed: Yeah, as PinoyGourmet mentioned, they closed at the end of October. We were quite shocked about it when Dulcinea sent emails out to the customers with just a couple of days notice. They had a big sale on the last day. They were quite upbeat about re-opening. I was wondering what caused them to close that place. Maybe it’s because of rent or something like that? Ben

      • fmed says:

        Many small restaurants are closing everywhere it seems. It could just be the economy. Too bad. Perhaps a food cart with churros? That might just work.

        They shouldn’t bother opening in Yaletown as one hot chocolate shop closed there last year (Chocolatl) after making a go of it. Commercial Dr isn’t the right area for such a venture either (as much as I would like it – since I live right in that neighbourhood.)

  5. PinoyGourmet says:

    The last day was end of October. I talked to Mari and they are looking to re-open possibly in Commercial or Yaletown if they can find a place

  6. HM says:

    Ah…..Chocolaterier St. Gines…..looking back, I still prefer the thin churros and after finishing our churros, we would drink the left over thick chocolate by diluting with hot leche. We had this twice at the Chocolaterier St. Gines, but some of those found around Madrid were just as good. I was definitely hooked on this that on our last day in Barcelona, I had to dash out to buy some to eat on the way to the airport! Please keep us posted if any opens in Vancouver.

    • Ben says:

      Hi HM: You know, I would love to hear more of your Spain vacation and photos. It’s great to know of people who went to the same places we were and can relate to what I was posting about on this series. :-) Ben

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