No travel to Madrid would be complete without enjoying the best local or regional foods. It’s one of the real delights about travelling. But, a rubbish meal is one of the biggest disappointments, so here are our restaurant recommendations, Madrid. We have tried and tested some of the best restaurants in Madrid and our reviews are in-depth to make picking a restaurant in Madrid a little easier. If you have a favourite restaurant in Madrid, leave a comment in the comment box below.
El Capricho de Opera
This restaurant is perfectly positioned between the Palacio Real (Royal Palace) and the most famous square in Madrid, the Plaza Mayor.
It’s sat in a quiet street and is a peaceful escape from the tourist hubs all around. When we ate there it was mainly locals taking the tables.
There is some English influences here (the chef is half English, half Spanish). Our flag is a bit of a fashion statement, which is cool.
The food was fresh, exciting and moreish.
Octopus salad with mango, mixed greens salad with cherry tomatoes and red onion. I felt good eating this healthy-giving salad, it was full of fresh flavours and I’ve been eating mango in my salads ever since!
Crispy Massala Chicken with red curry and cereal. Think top quality chicken nuggets with a super crunchy coating and a bit of va va voom flavour.
The wine was really good, we took a recommendation and it slipped down a treat.
We’d never come across bun boa’s before and my Mr. was completely bowled over, as us Brits say.
Pancetta Bun Bao, Taiwanese style with cucumber, hoisin sauce and kimchi mayonnaise.
They are like the softest white bread rolls you’ve ever eaten, except the are not fluffy and light. Bun Boa actually means ‘wrapping cake’ but think of them as steamed buns.
500 grams of exquisite meat cooked on the grill with Padron green Peppers with maldon salt. This was divine and my husband ate it nodding. A very good sign.
It’s odd but most restaurants in Madrid seem to have only a few desserts, a cheesecake, a chocolate fondant and an apple crumble. Don’t expect the cheesecake to be like a creamy English or a very sweet baked American one. It does it’s own thing.
Homemade Cheese Cake with berries reduction.
The staff were really helpful, cheerful and friendly.
Calle Amnistía 6, 28013 Madrid
Phone number: 91 143 72 30
Find it here.
This little restaurant is like sitting in Maitia’s own dining room, with book cases and cozy lamp shades everywhere. The table setting is to die for, expect to clutch your hands to your chest and gaze romantically at your husband (ok, that might be just me).
There is no written menu here, it is all depending on what fresh seasonal ingredients Maitia finds that day.
She’ll come to your table and discuss all her creations with you. Trust me, this lady cooks from her heart.
This quote sums up the food beautifully.
‘Cuisine, Is it Art? Culture? For me, everything that enhances beauty is art. In a world that frequently is marked by ugliness and degradation, day-to-day work offers an invitation to return to finding beauty in cuisine; in everyday ordinary life. That said, beauty isn’t an end onto itself. Beauty must be combined with constant effort, with training, with initiative, with imagination.’
I’ve noticed that combining art and cuisine is very Madrid.
Pea risotto with asparagus.
As the restaurant filled up with locals, many who seemed to know the restaurant well.
There is a special atmosphere here. Maybe it’s the lighting and general ambience, maybe it’s the never knowing whats on the menu, or maybe it’s Maitia herself who has the air of someone who is highly trained but also the warmth to welcome you in to her world.
All the food was utterly delicious. Maitia does flavours and many dishes had been cooked ‘low and slow’.
C/ Trueba y Fernández, 16.
Open: sat afternoon, tues, wed, thurs, fri.
Easter: One week.
August: Three weeks.
Find it here.
Stepping north of the Calle Gran Via into the Justicia area of Madrid, the scene changes again.
Crowded shopping streets have a Camden Town vibe, tho’ it’s entirely Madrid from the waist up as the slightly grungy streets are looked down upon by old ladies on pretty balconies.
Mitte throws up it’s graffitied shutters and a bright restaurant is revealed with colourful art all over the walls.
They have menus written in English full of intriguing sounding dishes. Some are difficult to get your head around, such as, ‘Pork ear pressed with ‘puebla’ mole spicy sauce’. But isn’t that why we travel in the first place?
There are a lot of clearly marked wheat free options too.
The wine was cold. Perfect after walking for hours. Madrid is still lovely and warm in Autumn.
We were handed 2 little pots of squid ink something, with a delicious garlicky aioli. Delicious!
The cuisine here is…
‘defined as “fusion” or “creative” where he applies the most vanguard techniques but always maintaining a traditional Spanish base. He normally likes to cook season dishes based in his own inspiration and always tries to carry the happiness of his kitchen to his diners, where they are often surprised by new flavors and textures with which Gonzalo, as he says, likes to “play” and make of every meal and unforgettable experience.’
In England, when we see the word curry, we expect a sauce. Here, you may get something crunchy.
Chicken curry cylinders with oak honey and hazelnut spices.
Marinated sardines with “piparras” (Basque chili peppers) and tomato “Spanish toast”.
My favourite – Marine coal hake with red miso sauce and crunchy ash.
Finally a restaurant that ventured away from the same few dessert choices.
Chocolate with mint and pistachio
Really really yummy. That minty sauce was heaven with the chocolate. My spoon moved at the speed of sound.
I would love to eat this dessert again. Sigh.
I’m not sure desserts are a Madrid speciality, but here both were very good.
Mango mousse with passion fruit and coconut ice cream.
No. 6 Calle Infantas, 28004 Madrid
(+34) 91 523 37 93
Find it here.
Time for a cocktail? Me Too. This place is brilliant. So although this is strictly our restaurant recommendations, Madrid – there is always time for a great bar.
It’s cram packed with colour and character. Your eyes take on a crazy look as they dart around taking different things in.
It was peaceful when we popped in (ideal for us weary travellers) but it gets popular and lively later on.
More importantly the cocktails taste fantastic. They’re fairly strong but still refreshing. I wish we’d discovered this on day one, I would walk out my way for a cocktail this good.
Calle Coloreros 5, 28013 Madrid
Tel: +34 913 66 72 11
Find it here.
This is near the Real Jardin Botánico (you can find the Must See Parks And Gardens Of Madrid here)
The streets are bustling with folk still doing the day, but we are heading for an early table for dinner. The folk of Madrid tend to eat later than us Brit’s.
This is another eatery that firmly deserves to be on our list of Restaurant Recommendations, Madrid.
This restaurant is a winner. We really loved it. Book ahead tho’, we noticed a steady trickle of disappointed couples hoping for a last minute table.
Soft potatoes coated in sweet smoky paprika came to the table with the bread.
The service was impeccable. Trust them to help you with your wine choice. After a brief discussion about my likes and dislikes I was given a glass of wine that changed my world. I wasn’t anything me or my husband (who is adept in the world of wine) has ever tried before. Following that Andy felt confident enough to try something new, again going for a recommendation. He too was absolutely delighted.
The most perfect tomato soup I’ve ever eaten. This was a special. The tomatoes were in season. But I really hope you get to try this – you’ll have to book in Autumn tho’!
Homemade marinated salmon with pickled vegetables. Quality food done simply and brilliantly.
With the food and wine flowing beautifully we are having fun. There’s nothing stuffy about this elegant restaurant and my husband has me in giggles in no time.
Another suburb special is this meaty slow cooked ragu with a cheesy topping. It had a knock out flavour.
Mine was this delicately flavoured cod dish. Perfectly cooked and perfectly healthy.
Low temperature Cod with vegetable escalidada.
And yes, another cheesecake. But this one is more what we are used to. A soft creamy top on a crunchy biscuit base.
It was this chocolate fondant tho’ that got our hearts fluttering. It was a little beauty.
And it had a perfect melting middle. It tasted deeply chocolatey too. LUSH.
Moratín, 36 · 28014 Madrid
Tel. 0034 911 276 085Tuesday to Saturday
13:30-16:00 / 19:30-00:00
Closed on sundays and mondays
Another restaurant right in the heart of old Madrid. This is sat right by the Plaza Mayor so it’s great for a lunch.
We were welcomed with a delicious little cold smoothie. It was very welcome after hours of sightseeing.
The food here is very exciting. It’s stuff we haven’t really tasted before, which we loved.
FARM EGG COOKED AT 65º, served on mushrooms and crispy black trumpet.
So so good!
“HUMUS” (TRADITIONAL EASTERN PASTE) made with Fuentesaúco chickpeas, together with crunchy pita bread and red peppers.
Fun and yum.
HAMBURGERS MADE OF VEAL AND BACON; sweet little onions, camembert cheese and yucca.
Andy went without the cheese (crazy!)
THE BLACK PEARL; Patagonian scallops on risotto venere with Ras el Hanout (blend of spices). I really enjoyed this. I’ve been eating black rice ever since.
It was the dessert we went nuts for. Especially the pot of liquid ganache that was sensational. They suggest you eat it from the mildest to the richest. You want to dive in, don’t you!
TRIBUTE TO CHOCOLATE; Truffles “Bombón”, half cold with Sansho-Ko pepper, ganache Peta Z and cocoa mousse.
Generally desserts in Madrid taste less sweet than traditional English desserts. So, in my mind that makes it practically a health food.
APPLE “TAT-CRUMBLE”, vanilla ice cream and tonka caramel honey.
Finished off as usual (for me) with a creamy cappuccino.
Calle Imperial, 3, 28012 Madrid
Tel: +34 91 366 33 19
Find it here.
Restaurants in Madrid are very good value. Especially compared to London prices! It’s a good reason to go.
I hope you’ve enjoyed our restaurant recommendations, Madrid. If you want to learn more about Madrid here are some more of our guides: