Dining for 1 in Madrid

Sep 21st, 2006, 08:46 AM
Original Poster
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Dining for 1 in Madrid

I am a 40something woman and will be in Madrid at the end of November on my own and would like to go to some restaurants when I'm there. The last time I was there I ate at McDonalds. I have looked at a great site that offers a walking tour of restaurants, but it is primarily wine drinking with some food thrown in and I don't drink wine.

Can anyone suggest some places that are single-woman friendly and have great Spanish food.
GBbabe is offline  
Sep 21st, 2006, 09:30 AM
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Some good spanish restaurants in Madrid that i have had dinner recently:

El Paraguas. C/Jorge Juan. 40-45€
L'aventura. C/ Tutor.25-30€
Sidreria "Donosti" C/Luisa Fernanda.25-30€
Ordago.45-55€(very difficult to book)
I think is in Marques de Zafra.
Naveria do Mar( good marisco) at a fantastic price. only 4 tables in an ugly street near Estrecho.40-50€
Note: I cannot remember the numbers in the street but you can find them easily in any guide.
Another note: This are not at all touristic places.
Regarding going single woman I cannot see any problem with this but I am a man, so probably not the right one to answer.
If you have any idea of what kind of spanish food I could be more precise.

car is offline  
Sep 21st, 2006, 10:20 AM
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You'll find most all nice Madrid restaurants very "single female friendly", actually.

I've dined as a single female alone and happily at the following:
(Note, I've eliminated wine bars since you don't drink wine)

In Old Madrid-
"La Posada de la Villa" on Cava Baja 9, which is an historic coaching inn with oodles of atmosphere.

"El Landó" on Plaza Gabriel Miró 8, in a pretty area of Old Madrid, Las Vistillas, is very single diner friendly and serves classic Madrid fare. I once dined early here, alone with the staff! and they couldn't have been more pampering to me.

"Zerain" on pedestrian Quevedo 3 near the Prado for a typical Basque cider house atmosphere. It has a Bib Gourmand designation from the red Michelin guide for fine price to value ratio.

In the fashionable Salamanca shopping and residential district-

Ditto to "El Paraguas" on tony Jorge Juan 16

"Alkalde", also on Jorge Juan 10 -can dine informally at one of the half dozen bare wood tables upstairs. They serve a great tortilla de patatas (potato omelet)

"Combarro" on Ortega y Gasset 40 has impeccable Galician seafood that you can sample as a single diner at the elegant bar.

"Lago de Sanabria" on Ayala 23, across from the lively indoor market. It gets a lot of single diners, business folks, at lunch and is a good value.

"Montana" on Lagasca 5-very nice welcome from the husband and wife team. Erika runs the dining room. No need to order 3 courses. Most ingredients come from their organic Toledo farm.

"José Luis" at the top of Serrano 89 attracts a loyal local clientele and American Embassy staff for lunch at the bar or in the small dining room on "raciones" (plate larger than a tapa)-they also serve a great potato omelet.

Or for a simple "plato combinado" (a platter-one dish meal) or a grilled sandwich or a salad, I head to the top floor of the Serrano street branch of El Corte Inglés department store, where you can dine at the counter at any time of day.

And for snacking on gourmet mini sandwiches, canapes, croquettes amidst a fashionable crowd, head to the bar at one of the branches of "Mallorca", the elegant delicatessen (kind of Madrid's version of Peck of Milan) on Serrano, near the Puerta de Alcalá or Velázquez 59 or downstairs in the El Jardín de Serrano shopping mall on Goya and Serrano.

And the new Café Real in the Estadio Bernabéu soccer stadium in the northern business district is casual, always open and something different.

Hope this helps.
Maribel is online now  
Sep 21st, 2006, 10:27 AM
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I'm a single woman and was in Madrid alone about two years ago, and ate dinner wherever I wanted. What's the deal with that, you want to eat in a restaurant, you go in and order. I can't remember specific names, but I just got some recommendations from Fodors Spain guide (which I liked), and others just from walking around and looking around my hotel. I stayed at the Intur Palacio San Martin, which I loved, and that is near the opera.
Christina is offline  
Sep 21st, 2006, 10:38 AM
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Speaking of the Opera Theater (Teatro Real), if you find yourself sightseeing at the Royal Palace and need a snack, quick lunch, salad, whatever, head to the Café del Oriente terrace or inside, upstairs. The terrace on the beautiful square has great views of the Royal Palace illuminated at night.

Also the Taberna del Alabardero (of the same owners as the one in D,C.) on the pedestrian street on the right side of the Opera House serves nice croquettes and other tapas at the marble topped tables in the front or back of the bar. Very popular with tourists.
Maribel is online now  
Sep 21st, 2006, 01:28 PM
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not far from the american embassy, is séptimo, a cute restaurant that even serves mid-morning strudel and coffee! it is on diego de leon street about a block up from the embassy at serrrano.

good shopping area, too.
lincasanova is offline  
Sep 21st, 2006, 02:22 PM
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Speaking of the embassy area and places that are open continuously, throughout the day, and every day, there's the El Bulli chef's "fast food" concept called FAST GOOD.
It's handy because you can order as little or as much as you want (a cold plate, hot plate or just a dessert). The purpose is to provide gourmet fast food that's healthy and at low prices, from 9-18 euros tops. While I'm not a big fan of the pop art pink and apple green color scheme, it serves its purpose for quick in-and-out dining from noon to midnight. Can sit at bar or table. It's on Juan Bravo 3, corner of Lagasca, two blocks south of El Séptimo in the high-end shopping district.

Same concept by another famous chef, Sandoval, is the IBOO chain, with a branch on Génova 4 up to the west from Plaza de Colón. There was another very handy branch on Alcalá across from the main post office at Plaza Cibeles, but it's not listed on their web page anymore.

lin, both are supposed to open in Valencia soon on Gran Vía, M. de Turia at #25 and 26.
Maribel is online now  
Sep 21st, 2006, 02:30 PM
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You have some great tips here, so I just want to add that I was more or less alone in Madrid last year also -- I was on my own in the day and met with a local friend at night. I had no problem during the day finding places to eat a nice, relaxing lunch and never felt the least bit uncomfortable. I ususally had my main meal at this time (2-3 ish) and then later had tapas or bar snacks out with my friend.
annabelle2 is offline  
Sep 21st, 2006, 03:35 PM
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no way! can't wait. and will you share how on earth you find all this out?
i have not yet figured out exactly what your profession is, but i love all your tips.
lincasanova is offline  
Sep 21st, 2006, 04:01 PM
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hi lin,
Just check our their web pages:

Also coming to Valencia, the high concept Argentinian born Giangrossi artisanal ice cream emporium-bar and café. Don't know where yet, probably in the Cánovas area.
Check it out at www.giangrossi.es

Profession-I retired from teaching Spanish language and literature and now work full time in Spain travel.
Maribel is online now  
Sep 22nd, 2006, 01:19 AM
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Some more ideas,

Someone mentioned The restaurant in the Football stadium. As far as I know there are two of them, one is called "Puerta 54", owned by the same owners of "La maquina". So very good northen spanish food, marisco and Fabada, expensive but very good.
It also has a large Bar at the entrance, where you can have a drink and a tapa and get the flavour of the place without spending too much.
car is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2006, 01:50 AM
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Sorry wrong touch,

There is another restaurant in the Bernanbeu stadium called "Puerta 54"
owned by the same people as "La maquina" so good marisco and northen spanish food, expensive but good.
You can just take a drink and a tapa at the large bar and have a cheaper visit to the place.

Taking about tapas, a great place is "Estay" in Calle Hermosilla 47,

Of course any of the Jose Luis restaurants , as mentioned.

In the Plaza Mayor and surroundings I think " Casa Paco" serves a delicious meat. With a lot of local flavour.

I have had good feedback from "Fast food"in Juan Bravo but my own expirience in IBOO was bad. I think both work on the same idea of making fancy dishes at reasonable prices.
IBOO have opened several in Madrid but they only have one central kitchen and the food is somehow precooked and send to the restaurants, for the moment the result is not good.

"El lateral" in Velazquez or castellana for beautiful people and nice tapas.

So here you have some choices to Mc Donalds. Though I like it for a midday salad.

car is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2006, 04:29 AM
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I was a single male visitor in Madrid last April. I joined a tapas tour similar to the one that you mentioned. The tour started at 8 PM and we didn't get back to the main part of town until past midnight.
It was great for a single traveler because I met up with other English speaking tourists and a chance to try many treats at bars and restaurants. Our host was an expat from Britain who made his living teaching English to executives. He loves Madrid and was anxious to show it off. Wine drinking was not the main feature of the evening. Trying diffferent types of tapas and learning about Spainish culture was the main theme. Past 11 PM, we stopped at a restaurant for "something more substantial." The people on the tour split all the costs for the spirits, tapas, and food. The whole evening's food cost per person was about 20 Euros. Not bad considering we were carrying on for hours. The only problem: it took me over a day and a half to recover. It's not my life style, but I learned to appreciate how the natives do it. If this is the tour you were looking at, it might be worth trying.
stuart2611 is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2006, 05:36 AM
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Stuart, was that the tapas tour given by the Wellington Society guy?
ekscrunchy is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2006, 11:59 AM
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That probably explains why the IBOO branch at Correos closed!

I didn't mention Estay on Hermosilla in the Salamanca district because it's a wine bar, but the tapas are nice and you can eat solo at the counter, which I've done several times.

And add "Casa Paco", as car mentions, in Old Madrid for great red meat, impeccable fish and for celebrity sightings. But it requires prior reservations, and it can be pricey.
Maribel is online now  
Sep 23rd, 2006, 05:40 AM
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Heres the address of the Tapas Tour. It was listed on Madrid Man not Wellington Society.
stuart2611 is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2006, 06:38 AM
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Thank you, Stuart. That tour is something I am interested in.

And Thank You to all the others who responded. I am feeling better now about going into restaurants by myself.

I will report back in December where I went.

GBbabe is offline  

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