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. Aynaelda

    $$ | Latina

    Textbook-perfect paella in ... Latina? Madrid is a notoriously disappointing city when it comes to the rice dishes popular on the Mediterranean coast, but Aynaelda...Read More

  • 2. Casa de los Minutejos

    $ | Carabanchel

    Stop into this no-frills bar for distressingly inhalable griddled sandwiches ("minutejos") of crispy pig ear doused in fiery brava sauce. Tamer fillings are available for...Read More

  • 3. El Chacón

    $ | Latina

    All the Galician greatest hits are on the menu at this Latina stalwart with an old tile floor and wooden benches. Paprika-dusted octopus, smoky lacón...Read More

  • 4. Lambuzo

    $$ | Sol

    This laid-back Andalusian bar room, one of two locations (the other is in Retiro neighborhood), embodies the soul and joyful spirit of that sunny region....Read More

  • 5. Sylkar

    $$ | Chamberí

    Budget time for a siesta after dining at this phenomenal down-home restaurant that hasn't changed a lick since opening a half-century ago. Whether you're in...Read More

  • 6. Bar La Gloria

    $ | Malasaña

    Your reward for overlooking the soulless Ikea furnishings of this family-run dinette is honest home-cooked food served at exceptionally reasonable prices for the neighborhood. Try...Read More

  • 7. Casa Hortensia Restaurante y Sidrería

    $$ | Chueca

    Approximate a vacation to the north of Spain by dining at this true-blue Asturian restaurant (or at the more casual sidrería, located in the bar...Read More

  • 8. Casa Lafu

    $$ | Palacio

    Casa Lafu stands out for its expertly prepared repertoire of regional Chinese dishes, from Sichuan-style má là (spicy) plates to Shanghainese wine-cooked meats and Cantonese...Read More

  • 9. Casa Mingo

    $ | Moncloa

    Madrid's oldest sidrería (cider house) is a grand, cathedral-like hall with barrel-lined walls, double-height ceilings, and creaky wooden chairs. The star menu item is roast...Read More

  • 10. Chocolatería San Ginés

    $ | Sol

    San Ginés is to Madrid what Café du Monde is to New Orleans. A national sensation, for generations this 19th-century café has been frying spirals...Read More

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  • 11. Chocolatería Valor

    $ | Palacio

    Walk along the western side of the Monasterio de las Descalzas Reales until you reach Chocolatería Valor, an ideal spot to indulge in piping-hot churros...Read More

  • 12. El Rincón de Jaén

    $$ | Salamanca

    An Andalusian-style taberna, El Rincón de Jaén evokes the raucous energy and down-home cuisine of that sunny region. Start with the pescaíto frito, a mix...Read More

  • 13. El Rincón de Marco

    $ | Lavapiés

    Step straight into Havana at this hidden Cuban bar and restaurant where rumbas and sones flow from the speakers and regulars burst into impromptu dance...Read More

  • 14. Jin Yun Shao Bing

    $ | Usera

    Hot griddled flatbreads (shao bing) filled with soy-scented beef will set you back just €1.80 a pop at this hole-in-the-wall specializing in the northern Chinese...Read More

  • 15. La Castela

    $$ | Retiro

    Traditional taverns with tin-top bars, vermouth on tap, and no-nonsense waiters are a dying breed in Madrid, but this one, just a couple of blocks...Read More

  • 16. La Montaña

    $$ | Moncloa

    The average customer age in this time-warpy tavern is pushing 70, which is always a good sign—Madrid's abuelos and abuelas never settle for subpar Spanish...Read More

  • 17. La Pulpería de Victoria

    $$ | Sol

    A modern, urban interpretation of a traditional Galician pulpería (octopus restaurant), this casual restaurant specializes in polbo á feira, boiled octupus cut into coins, drizzled...Read More

  • 18. Lao Tou

    $ | Usera

    Find primal pleasure here picking the meat off a hake head served in a cauldron of gingery broth or slurping your weight of wok-charred noodles...Read More

  • 19. Trattoria Pulcinella

    $ | Chueca

    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....Read More

  • 20. Al-Aga

    $ | Tetuán

    Madrileños love kebabs, and the smoky, juicy ones served at Al-Aga may be the city’s best. Opened by a family of refugees fleeing Syria’s civil...Read More

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