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Madrid has an endless selection of restaurants and great food ranging in all styles and origins. It’s a great city for bar and tapas hopping, or if you’re tired of Spanish food you can find numerous alternatives.
After a year of exploration and stuffing my face, I’ve compiled a list of my favorites (so far). In no particular order, here are some great places to eat if you are in Spain’s capital:
My friend, Martine, found one of the best places to eat in Madrid with a fantastic menú del día or menu of the day called Badila. It continues to get rave reviews from visitors as it serves plates such as huevos rotos, hamburguesas del buey, ensalada mixta con frambuesas, croquetas, albondigas, and much more. With your menú del día you have a choice of a drink including delicious vino tinto or red wine, a starter, a main dish, and a dessert + bread, all for 15,50 €. Many of the dishes remind me of the food my host mom made me back in Sevilla.
Badila is worth every penny and I can assure you that you will want to come back to try new combinations! I’ve been at least…5 times? No shame. A word of advice, get there right before they open at 2 so you can be sure you get a place to sit as the restaurant is quite small!
Location: Calle San Pedro Mártir, 6, 28012 Madrid
Metro: Tirso de Molina
Oven quickly became a favorite after we stumbled upon it looking for Italian food. Every other Italian place in the neighborhood was closed, but as we defeatedly wandered back to the metro, the words OVEN caught our eye and sure enough, the menu was full of delicious sounding pastas and pizzas. SOLD.
Oven or Oven Mozzerella Bar has three locations in Madrid: Gran Vía and Fuencarral in the city center, and one in Las Tablas. I’ve only visited the first two, but the great service and high quality of the food is igual. They have discount lunch menus or you can stop by for dinner. Their food includes burratas and mozzerellas, salads, pizzas, and desserts. I’ve tried something new on almost every visit, and I’ve never been disappointed!
Location: C/Fuencarral, 74 (CENTRO)
C/Gran Vía, 6 (CENTRO)
C/San Juan de Ortega, 36 (LAS TABLAS)
Metro: Tribunal, Gran Vía
Alhambra is one of the restaurants Rick Steves recommends in his Spain guide book. Every time I’ve gone there the waiters are so animated and friendly; probably because they know they are serving you some of the best food in Madrid. My favorite dish there is a tapa of pork on toasted bread with caramelized onions topped with honey mustard (2 for 5€). Mouth. Watering. They also have a great dish of roasted vegetables that’s perfect to share between two or in a small group. I highly recommend!
Location: C/de la Victoria, 9
If you love bocadillos de calamares, El Brillante is the place for you! They claim to have the best bocadillos de calamares, or calamari sandwiches, and with good reason. I suggest eating at the bar inside (it’s cheaper), ordering mayonaise or ali oli with your sandwich, and striking up a conversation with one of the waiters behind the counter. El Brillante is one of the first places I ate at in Madrid and has turned out to be one of my favorites!
Location: Plaza del Emperador Carlos V, 8
I adore Greek cuisine and although I’ve never visited Greece, I bet the food can’t be much better than that of Dionisos. I’m probably wrong, but it’s seriously delicious food! Like many restaurants, Dionisos offers dinner as well as a smaller lunch menu. Some of my favorite plates include Mousaka and Gemistá (peppers stuffed with rice and vegetables). Don’t forget pita bread and hummus! 🙂
Location: C/San Gregorio, 11
Website: https://dionisosrestaurants.com/ (includes other locations)
San Gines is the best place for CHURROS! Even the King and Queen of Spain have enjoyed their delightful churros con chocolate. I’ve only gone there once, but the experience was a most memorable one, complete with a cup of café con leche.
Location: Pasadizo San Ginés, 5
Metro: Sol or Opera
TABERNA DE LA DANIELA
This tavern is a great place for tapas and I probably ate the best croquetas of my life there. The restaurant is covered in beautiful blue tiles and the food is classic Madrilian. One of the pictures below is tostada (toast) with potatoes, grilled peppers, and topped with quail eggs. ¡Qué delicioso!
Location: Plaza de Jesús, 7
Metro: Antón Martín
Website: http://www.tabernadeladaniela.com/ (includes other locations)
El Pezcador or Bar Restaurante El Pezcador claims to have the best Galician food! Visiting Galicia is on my to-do list, but meanwhile I can enjoy delicious fish and Galician style tapas in this restaurant. One of my favorites is pimientos de Padrón with french fries. My mouth is watering as I even think about them! To finish your meal, the waiter will bring you a shot of yellow Hierbas liquor on the house to “help with digestion.”
Location: C/Infantas 9
Metro: Gran Vía
If you’re on the hunt for delicious ice cream, head on over to Mistura. I’ve been twice and both times I’ve gotten green tea ice cream mixed with honey. They will mix any flavor of ice cream you like with various toppings like they do at Cold Stone in the States. It’s a little pricey, but the ice cream very satisfying and it’s a great place to have a treat.
Location: Calle de Augusto Figueroa, 5 (among others)
Carmencita seems to be a watering hole for Americans. On the weekends they serve a delicious brunch which includes a mimosa, large coffee, eggs benedict, a side, and a dessert of the day (call ahead or arrive right as they open for a spot!). In addition, they also serve tostas, tapas, burgers, cocktails, and more!
Location: Calle de San Vicente Ferrer, 51
Other great places to check out:
Maiia Thai – Thai
Bombay – Indian
Tierra Burrito – Mexican (“the Chipotle of Madrid”)
La Tosta – Spanish
Gourmet Experience – mix of places on top of Corte Inglés (check out their gelato!)
Ojalá – Spanish, International