This Castilian tavern wouldn't have looked out of place two or three centuries ago, and today you can still squeeze past the old, zinc-top bar, crowded with madrileños downing Valdepeñas red wine, and into the tiled dining rooms. Feast on thick slabs of red meat, sizzling on plates so hot the meat continues to cook at your table. The Spanish consider overcooking meat a sin, so expect looks of dismay if you ask for your meat bien hecho (well done); opt for al
punto (medium) or poco hecha (medium rare), instead. You order by weight, so remember that a medio kilo is more than a pound. To start, try the pisto manchego (La Mancha version of ratatouille) or the Castilian sopa de ajo (garlic soup).
Puerta Cerrada 11, Madrid, 28005, Spain