Madrid Restaurants

Spain is an essential foodie pilgrimage, and no city holds a candle to Madrid when it comes to variety of national and international cuisines. Its cutting-edge restaurants helmed by celebrated chefs make the city one of Europe's most renowned dining capitals.

When it comes to dining, younger madrileños gravitate toward trendy neighborhoods like bearded-and-bunned Malasaña, gay-friendly Chueca, rootsy La Latina, and multicultural Lavapiés for their boisterous and affordable restaurants and bars. Dressier travelers, and those visiting with kids, will feel more at home in the quieter, more buttoned-up restaurants of Salamanca, Chamartín, and Retiro. Of course, these are broad-brush generalizations, and there are plenty of exceptions.

The house wine in old-timey Madrid restaurants is often a sturdy, uncomplicated Valdepeñas from La Mancha. A plummy Rioja or a gutsy Ribera del Duero—the latter from northern Castile—are the usual choices for reds by the glass in chicer establishments, while popular whites include fruity Verdejo varietals from Rueda and slatey albariños from Galicia After dinner, try the anise-flavored liqueur (anís), produced outside the nearby village of Chinchón, or a fruitier patxaran, a digestif made with sloe berries.

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  • 1. AskuaBarra

    $$$ | Barrio de las Letras | Spanish

    This austere yet polished restaurant, with about 10 tables, has a meat-focused menu with highlights like roasted bone marrow with cilantro salad...Read More

  • 2. Celso y Manolo

    $ | Chueca | Spanish

    Named after the brothers who founded the restaurant (though under new ownership), this place has around a dozen tables and an extensive, eclectic...Read More

  • 3. Chocolatería Valor

    $ | Palacio | Café

    Despite what the ads say, Madrid is not always sunny. If you hit a rainy or chilly day, walk along the western side of the Monasterio de las...Read More

  • 4. Cisne Azul

    $$ | Chueca | Spanish

    You may wonder why bland-looking Cisne Azul is crowded with locals in this style-obsessed neighborhood. The reason is simple: wild mushrooms...Read More

  • 5. La Casa del Abuelo

    $$ | Sol | Spanish

    This rustically decorated place is the oldest of three branches in a local chain. This one has barely changed since it was founded at the beginning...Read More

  • 6. La Pulpería de Victoria

    $$ | Sol | Spanish

    A modern, urban interpretation of a traditional Galician pulpería (octopus restaurant), this casual restaurant specializes in polbo à feira...Read More

  • 7. La Tita Rivera

    $ | Chueca | Spanish

    This budget-friendly place—specializing in hot stuffed bread rolls (called casis ) and flavored hard cider—has an industrial vibe, thanks to...Read More

  • 8. Lambuzo

    $$ | Sol | Spanish

    This laid-back Andalusian tavern, one of three locations in the city, embodies the soul and joyful spirit of that sunny region. Let cheerful...Read More

  • 9. Trattoria Pulcinella

    $ | Chueca | Italian

    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...Read More

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