Emma Cocina

Emma is one of the few places near the tourist-heavy Plaza Mayor and Mercado de San Miguel that you’ll find locals having a leisurely lunch or some quick tapas and vino with friends, along with the occasional bewildered out-of-towner who just realized how lucky they are to have wandered into this particular joint with modest prices and legit home cooking. 

Order a glass of wine from whatever’s offered on the daily chalkboard and pair it with some meatballs, stewed beef cheek, heaping plates of cured lomo and chorizo, and platters of Spanish cheeses. Locals take jamón and queso as seriously as the French take Champagne—Spain’s Manchego cheese has an official certification, as it comes straight from the La Mancha region—and owner Emma plates hers on a bed of delicious olive oil alongside picos (crunchy, bite-sized breadsticks).

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