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. Bar Santurce

    $ | Lavapiés | Spanish

    This abuelo bar near the top of the Rastro is famous for grilled sardines, blistered Padrón peppers, and fried calamari. ...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. 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

  • 4. Álbora

    $$$ | Salamanca | Spanish

    The owners of this sleek award-winning restaurant also produce cured hams and top-notch canned foods, and these quality ingredients are included...Read More

  • 5. 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

  • 6. Cervecería Cervantes

    $ | Barrio de las Letras | Spanish

    Cervecería Cervantes is an improbably down-to-earth neighborhood bar—the type where you throw your olive pits and napkins right onto the floor...Read More

  • 7. 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

  • 8. 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

  • 9. 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

  • 10. Taberna Almendro 13

    $ | La Latina | Spanish

    Getting a weekend seat in this rustic old favorite is a feat, but drop by any other time and you'll be served ample, stick-to-your-ribs raciones...Read More

  • 11. Taberna de la Dolores

    $ | Barrio de las Letras | Spanish

    A lively corner bar with a colorful tiled facade, this is a solid spot for a cold beer and a quick bite after visiting the nearby museums. Try...Read More

  • 12. 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

  • 13. 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

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