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. Casa Alberto

    $$ | Barrio de las Letras | Spanish

    Enter through the firetruck-red facade of this 193-year-old bar and restaurant and be blown away by impeccably executed fried bacalao (cod...Read More

  • 2. Casa Gerardo

    $$ | La Latina | Spanish

    Huge tinajas , clay vessels once filled to the brim with bulk wine (yet now defunct), sit behind the bar at this raucous, no-frills bodega...Read More

  • 3. Casa Salvador

    $$ | Chueca | Spanish

    Whether you approve of bullfighting or not, the culinary excellence of Casa Salvador—a checkered-tablecloth, taurine-themed restaurant that...Read More

  • 4. La Castela

    $$ | Retiro | Spanish

    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...Read More

  • 5. 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

  • 6. Estay

    $$ | Salamanca | Spanish

    A spacious, tranquil place presided over by white-jacketed waitstaff that makes fine breakfasts (choose from pan con tomate, toast with jam...Read More

  • 7. La Bola

    $$ | Palacio | Spanish

    La Bola is renowned for its cocido madrileño, a soul-satisfying chickpea and meat stew, and for its decor, which has hardly changed a lick since...Read More

  • 8. 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

  • 9. La Gastroteca de Santiago

    $$ | Palacio | Mediterranean

    This modern dining spot has a short and creative menu (barely a dozen dishes) that changes monthly. Despite the chef's newfangled presentations...Read More

  • 10. La Horizontal

    $$ | Spanish

    Away from town and surrounded by trees in what used to be a mountain cabin, this family-oriented restaurant is coveted by madrileños, who come...Read More

  • 11. La Huerta de Tudela

    $$ | Barrio de las Letras | Spanish

    It can be hard to find a vegetable in Madrid, but in Navarra, the region this restaurant looks to for inspiration, there's never a shortage...Read More

  • 12. 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

  • 13. 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

  • 14. Las Tortillas de Gabino

    $$ | Chamberí | Spanish

    At this lively restaurant you'll find crowds of Spaniards gobbling up one of the city's finest, most upmarket renditions of the tortilla española...Read More

  • 15. Mercado de la Reina

    $$ | Chueca | Spanish

    Perhaps the only worthwhile tapas restaurant on Gran Vía, Madrid's main commercial artery, Mercado de la Reina serves everything from croquetas...Read More

  • 16. Mercado de San Antón

    $$ | Chueca | International

    Following the successful transformation of the Mercado de San Miguel, near the Plaza Mayor, the city completely refurbished this old neighborhood...Read More

  • 17. Mercado de San Miguel

    $$ | Sol | International

    Adjacent to the Plaza Mayor, this "gastronomic market" is a feast for the senses. Its bustling interior—a mixture of tapas spots and immaculately...Read More

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  • 18. TriCiclo

    $$ | Barrio de las Letras | Spanish

    A Spanish-style bistro, TriCiclo serves inventive tapas—think surf-and-turf livers and ibérico (Iberian) pork tartare—in an environment where...Read More

  • 19. Txirimiri

    $$ | La Latina | Spanish

    One of four branches in a beloved local chain, this perennially packed Basque tapas spot is famous for its Unai slider, fried in tempura and...Read More

  • 20. Casa Lastra

    $$ | Lavapiés | Spanish

    Established in 1926, this Asturian tavern is popular with Lavapiés locals. The rustic, half-tile walls are strung with relics from the Asturian...Read More

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