Where to eat in Madrid


As a capital city Madrid has a great variety of eateries, offering national as well international cuisine. However, one can’t visit the great city without dropping by Restaurante Botin, the oldest restaurant in the world (1725). This restaurant offers the best of Mediterranean and Spanish cuisine.

Just outside Plaza Mayor you will find the restaurant Las Cuevas de Luis Candelas. You will be welcomed by an actor dressed as the famous bandit Luis Candelas, patrons get the chance of a picture with Mr Candelas. Inside the restaurant is very cosy and offers a varied menu as well as tapas menu.

La Barraca, founded in 1935, is possibly the best paella restaurant in Madrid. Paella is a traditional rice dish from Valencia, it can be made with seafood, meat or vegetables.

In this city you will also find very good Moroccan style eateries like Al-Hoceima in Calle Farmacia, this 20 years old establishment offers some of the best cous-cous dishes in town.

Indian food, although relatively new to Spain, it’s an up and coming sector. A good example is Guru in Calle Echegaray, it offers good food at reasonable prices, Delhi in Calle Duque de Osuna is also a good example of modern Indian cuisine in Madrid.

Last but not least, eating out in Madrid is made easy with La Bola, a restaurant that serves the Madrilian dish par excellence, cocido madrileño. However, this dish is not for the faint hearted as the popular Spanish dish consists of a broth with noodles followed by chickpeas with meat and chunks of fat.


The area around Sol and the centre is probably where most of them concentrate. In the area of Huertas, a well-known night life area just minutes walk from Sol we can find Artemisa, a vegetarian restaurant with a varied menu. Artemisa is in Calle Ventura de la Vega, 4. The meals timetables are very Spanish, between 10.30 and 16.00 for lunch and 21.00 and 24.00 for dinners. They also have a tasting menu to share between two people at 25 Euros and take-away dishes.

Another vegetarian restaurant in Huertas is ¡Viva la Vida! in Calle Huertas, 57. This restaurant offers a new concept of vegetarian food, they have a buffet counter where you pay depending on what you consume. The restaurants doubles up as tea-room and you can enjoy a selection of organic herbal teas.

La Biotika is probably one of the oldest vegetarian restaurants in Madrid, situated not far from the other two in Calle Amor de Díos, 3, it is open between 10.00 and 23.00 except Sunday evenings. Their menu is around 10 Euros and they also have a tasting platter with little samples of all the plates at around 14 Euros during the week and 15 at weekends. The space is small but cosy and at the entrance you will find a little shop where you can find some delicious vegetarian products.


One of the most typical sweet things in Spain, and especially Madrid, is hot chocolate with churros. Churros are long dough sticks deep fried. They are really delicious, especially when accompanied by a steaming cup of thick hot chocolate.

They say that the most authentic hot chocolate you can have in Spain is so think that a tea spoon could stand in it without having to be held.

It is also the first breakfast of the year. After New Year’s dinner, Spaniards go out all night, and after all night partying and dancing, the last thing to do before returning home on 1st of January is having a chocolate con churros. So, if you are around in Madrid for new year, or even if you are around at any other time, don’t fail to stop at any cafe and order a chocolate con churros before returning to our hotel.


Fast-food does not have to be bad, it just have to be “fast”. Actually, in Madrid, you will find that a lot of traditional dishes and small bites are actually quite fast and convenient to prepare and to eat!

One of the favourite past times of students to celebrate the end of exams or to forget about the bad results, is gathering around Plaza Mayor and consuming endless amounts of “bocadillos de calamares”. Now, what is exactly a “bocadillo de calamares”, it is just really a roll filled with fried calamari and a bit of lemon juice. Simple but delicious.

On the way to Plaza Mayor you will pass many other establishments that will tempt you with extensive tapas and bocadillos menus. One of these places is Museo del Jamón, the Museum of Ham, a chain of bars whose trademark are the cured pig legs hanging from the walls. If you love cured ham or “jamón serrano”, this is the place to get a quick bocadillo filled with ham and cheese. The Museo del Jamón in Carrera de San Jerónimo, 1 is the closest to our hotel.


Those who love fabada (broad bean stew), cider and quality cheese from the north of Spain can find in Madrid many different bars and restaurants where they can treat their craving for food from Asturias.

Among the best known Asturian restaurants in Madrid is La Quintana, in Calle Bordadores, 7, that serves fantastic platters to share for those with a big appetite.

Another quite interesting one is El Ñeru, also in Calle Bordadores. It has been decorated with photographs of famous personalities always accompanied by the owner. This “sidrería” or cider bar carries out for you the difficult art of “escanciar”, that is to say pour the contents of the bottle while holding it over your head into a glass held as far low as you can, normally under your hip. The bar smells of Asturias and tastes like Asturias.

In Calle Argumosa, 4, is the centre for the people from Asturias in Madrid: Casa de Asturias. In this place they have still kept alive the tradition of giving a good tapa with each drink. They serve broad beans with cockles and the best of all that their prices are very competitive.

In Calle Trujillos, 4, you will find Casa Parrondo. Here you have to have stuffed peppers from Piquillo, Cabrales cheese, chorizo prepared with cider, pies or their vegetable omelettes.


In the centre of Madrid there are many places there you can stop to fill up your batteries. For instance, we could start at El Abuelo, in Calle Victoria 12, a real paradise for prawns, where we can try this fantastic food prepared either with garlic or just grilled.

In number 5 in the same street we will find a tavern that will make us travel back in time, a place that has stayed unchanged for years and keeps holding on to the past. It is El Buscón, a holly place for those lovers of chacina, dried meat, and all those different types of wonderful tapas, because their menu is long, very long.

We can stay in the same street, and if we are still hungry, then we should try La Oreja de Oro, where muscles and ear are a specialty.


If you are looking for something with more of a traditional and Spanish taste, maybe visiting some of the many taverns in Madrid will open a new horizon for you.

Let’s start in Principe Pio, to the west of the city. Not far from the station we will find Casa Mingo, an Asturian styled tavern that offers sit down food as well as a tapas bar. The decoration is simple but effective, just a few wooden tables with no fancy tablecloths or any frills that announce that the selling point for this establishment is its food, not its looks. They have a varied Mediterranean menu, but what stands out is the chorizo sausage cooked in cider and their roasted chicken. Of course, cider is the other item that must not be missing from your table in Casa Mingo, it’s the Asturian drink par-excellence and they have them specially brewed by them.

Another interesting tavern is Cuevas de Sésamo, this time in a central location, Calle Príncipe 7. When you pass the entrance, you may think it’s an abandoned bar, as the upstairs door leads into a smallish bar area with no bottles, glasses or waiter in view. The reason is that the real fun is downstairs, hence the name “Cuevas”, caves. Downstairs, the sound of a piano livens the atmosphere while people chat happily sitting in front of a jar of sangria, their specialty accompanied by different tapas dishes.