There are some things in life that stir anxious excitement. Santa Claus, birthdays, weddings and the opening of a restaurant in Oak Cliff that isn’t Mexican, to name a few. Looks like ol’ St. Nick will pay foodies in the hood a summer visit this year with the opening of Café Madrid in the Bishop Arts District. Look for the new location, 408 N. Bishop — next door to Vera Cruz Café — to open in September.

A mainstay in Uptown for over 10 years, Café Madrid is famous for Spanish tapas and, of course, sangria. If you’ve never been to Spain — go.   If you have been, think back to relaxing evenings in Andalusia — the sound of a Spanish guitar, the aroma of food so good you can taste it, and the welcome feel of engaging conversation with friends. There you have the essence of Café Madrid. The atmosphere and food are authentic and completely unlike anything else in Oak Cliff. 

If you’re not familiar with tapas, here are the cliff notes. Tapas are small, appetizer-sized plates of food that are typically served in Spanish bars called cervecerias. This all started when bar owners placed small plates over wine glasses to keep fruit flies out of their patrons’ drinks. Realizing that no one likes an empty plate, they would place a slice of serrano ham, or other morsel, on the dish, and tapas were born.

On a recent visit to Café Madrid, we did not notice any fruit flies, but we did appreciate their culinary contribution. 

Here are a few of our favorite dishes  to get you started.

Calamare Frita (Opt for the aioli sauce)
Imported Serrano Ham
Sweetbreads With Lemon and Capers
Anchovy-Stuffed Olives
Manchego Cheese
Idiazabal Cheese
Soria-Style Cured Chorizo
A Tasty Pitcher of Sangria

These are just a few of our favorites (and we haven’t even tried the paella yet). The menu features over 30 delectable treats, and the best thing about tapas is you can try a little of everything in one visit. But we think you’ll be going back for more.

Visit them on the web at And visit them in Bishop Arts late this summer. Salud.