14 Best Restaurants in Chueca, Madrid

Casa Hortensia Restaurante y Sidrería

$$ Fodor's choice

Approximate a vacation to northern Spain by dining at this true-blue Asturian restaurant (or at the more casual sidrería in the bar area), where that region's unsung comfort-food dishes—such as fabada (pork-and-bean stew), Cabrales cheese, and cachopo (cheese-stuffed beef cutlets)—take center stage. The obligatory tipple is sidra, bone-dry Asturian cider that's aerated using a battery-powered gadget designed for this task.

Casa Salvador

$$ Fodor's choice

Whether you approve of bullfighting or not, the culinary excellence of Casa Salvador—a checkered-tablecloth, taurine-themed restaurant that opened in 1941—isn't up for debate. Sit down to generous servings of featherlight fried hake, hearty oxtail stew, and other stodgy (in the best way) Spanish classics, all served by hale old-school waiters clad in white jackets.

Golda

$ Fodor's choice

This cheery yellow-tiled café serving Middle Eastern-inflected sandwiches and pastries is packed from breakfast to lunch, when neighborhood-dwellers show up for falafel, shakshuka, and spinach pie. At 8:30 pm, Golda morphs into "Golfa," its boozier late-night alter ego serving tapas and natural wine. 

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Roostiq

$$$ Fodor's choice

Fire is the secret ingredient at Roostiq, where pizzas sizzle and puff in a wood-burning oven and meat, fish, and vegetables char until tender over white-hot embers. Even the cheesecake is of the Basque "burnt" variety, brown and caramel-y on the outside and gooey within. The open-hearth technology may be older than the hills, but the buffed concrete walls, zany ceramic plates, and sturdy wooden and marble tables are unmistakably cutting-edge.

Celso y Manolo

$$

This hip neighborhood favorite has around a dozen tables and an extensive eclectic menu geared toward sharing that features game meats, seafood, and cheeses from the mountainous northern region of Cantabria. Organic wines sourced from around the country make for spot-on pairings.

Cisne Azul

$$ | Chueca

You may wonder why bland-looking Cisne Azul is crowded with locals in this style-obsessed neighborhood. The reason is simple: wild mushrooms. In Spain there are more than 2,000 different species, and here you can sample the best from the province of León, grilled with a bit of olive oil, and served perhaps with a fried egg yolk, scallops, or foie gras. Elbow up to the bar and order the popular mezcla de setas (mushroom sampler).

DSpeak

$$$

Diego Guerrero, the punk-rock chef of two-Michelin-star Dstage, also runs this more casual outpost. The menu turns classic Spanish dishes—for example, monkfish in salsa verde, Canarian wrinkly potatoes, stewed verdinas (baby favas)—on their heads by adding unorthodox ingredients like seaweed, kimchi, whey, and liquid-nitrogen-frozen fruit, and the result is thrilling. A quirky wine list heavy on natural and low-yield producers complements the cuisine nicely. Take the stairs one flight down to the cocktail bar for a preprandial personality drink or nightcap.

Calle de Fernando VI 6, 28004, Spain
91-319–5435
Known For
  • Experimental Spanish dining
  • Big-name chef
  • Buzzy subterranean cocktail bar
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: Closed Mon. No dinner Sun.

El Señor Martín

$$$$

Pristine fish, salt, roaring open flame—these are the main ingredients at El Señor Martín, a white-table seafood restaurant beloved by local food critics that makes a great venue for romantic dinners and special occasions. Consider springing for a gloriously obscure fish you've never heard of, like Mediterranean sand eel, wreckfish, plaice, or alfonsino—all meticulously filleted and grilled to juicy perfection. 

Calle del General Castaños 13, 28004, Spain
91-795–7170
Known For
  • Basque chef who grills with panache
  • Fantastic fish and seafood
  • Secret gourmet hangout
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: Closed Sun. and Mon.

Faraday

$

Faraday is a chic little café known for its meticulously roasted beans, mathematically precise baristas, and gorgeous midcentury modern furniture. Laptops are allowed.

La Tita Rivera

$

This budget-friendly bar—specializing in hot stuffed bread rolls (called casis) and flavored hard cider—has an industrial vibe, thanks to exposed pipes, high ceilings, and a semi-open kitchen. The best part, however, is the under-the-radar courtyard with room for spreading out.

Lettera Trattoria Moderna

$$

Sicilian chef Francesco Ingargiola recreates the bold flavors of his childhood—with plenty of fine-dining flourishes—at this inviting ultramodern trattoria one block from the Gran Vía thoroughfare. Start with an order of crispy artichokes, flavored with lardo and topped with Italian foie gras, before moving on to homemade pastas like linguini with shrimp or Madrid's best carbonara. 

Calle de la Reina 20, 28004, Spain
91-805–3342
Known For
  • Regional Italian cooking
  • Unusual homemade pastas
  • Romantic dining room
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: Closed Tues.

Mercado de la Reina

$$

Perhaps the only worthwhile tapas restaurant on Gran Vía, Madrid's main commercial artery, Mercado de la Reina serves everything from croquetas to grilled vegetables to tossed salads. Enjoy them in the casual bar area, in the slightly more formal dining room, or on the outdoor patio. A downstairs lounge bar with an extensive gin menu accommodates those who want to keep the night rolling.

Mercado de San Antón

$$ | Chueca

Following the successful transformation of the Mercado de San Miguel, near the Plaza Mayor, the city completely refurbished this old neighborhood market into a more cosmopolitan enclave. Above the traditional market, join madrileños for booze and international food—think sushi, Greek, Italian—and tapas (seafood options are particularly noteworthy). On the third level is a casual restaurant, La Cocina de San Antón, and a large terrace, perfect for indulging in a cold daiquiri or a caipirinha on a hot summer night.

Trattoria Pulcinella

$$

When Enrico Bosco arrived in Madrid from Italy in the early '90s, he couldn't find a decent Italian restaurant, so he decided to open one. Always bustling and frequented by families and young couples, this trattoria seems like a direct transplant from Naples with its superb fresh pastas, pizzas, and focaccias.