Restaurants in Madrid
Unsurprisingly, Madrid is one of the tapas capitals of the world, and dozens of Madrid restaurants serve the dishes. If you want some of the best the city has to offer, visit eateries like El Tempranillo, located near the Plaza de los Carros on the lively Calle Cava Baja, or the super romantic Celso y Manolo, which specializes in Madrilenian street food as tapas. If you’d like a side of history with your meal, be sure to make a reservation at Restaurante Sobrino de Botín, a nearly 300-years-old Madrid restaurant and one of the world’s oldest eatery. Try delicious dishes like roasted lamb and suckling pig while marveling at the restaurant’s retro surroundings. And being the international city it is, there are also plenty of restaurants in Madrid that specialize in non-Spanish cuisine. Grab a table at Bangkok Thai for a taste of the Far East or dip into the Paella de la Reina for rich Mediterranean cuisine. And whatever you choose, be sure to eat to your heart’s content in this hotbed of top notch cuisine.
This Philippe Starck-designed madrileño favorite serves a delicious Wagyu-beef carpaccio.
Located on a quiet side street just north of the Teatro Real (Royal Theatre), this family-owned tavern is renowned for its signature cocido madrileño (Madrilenian stew), a house specialty since the restaurant opened in 1870.
Rub elbows with art-world insiders in an interior designed by Pascua Ortega. Try the tuna tartare with chive-flecked guacamole.
The establishment’s sole victual—a two-inch-high stack of mushrooms precariously united by a toothpick and topped with a tiny shrimp ($1.50)—pairs perfectly with Bodegas Lan Crianza 2004. It’s a classic Rioja that impresses with elegance, not fruit ($1.90).
Savor the decadent canapé of whipped blue cheese and cured-duck ham at La Castela, which still generously honors the ritual of serving a free nibble with each new drink order.
Owned by former TV chef Darío Barrio, this trendy Salamanca restaurant is set in a 19th-century coalbunker renovated by Barrio’s architect brothers. Inside the unmarked building, a staircase leads down to a cellar of whitewashed brick walls, tall archways, and cool-tone lighting.
A large selection of Iberian wines by the glass—along with tapas, charcuterie plates, pâtés, and canapés—soothe flight-frazzled nerves at this sleek wine bar.
Black walls and artful lighting provide a stylish setting for gourmet sandwiches conceived by rock-star chef Sergi Arola.
El Bulli's Ferran Adrià, the chef who helped put Spain on the culinary map, has set his sights on the burger joint. His Fast Good serves quick bites—hamburgers with olive tapenade, fries cooked in Spanish olive oil—in a futuristic green and purple storefront in Madrid.
Lhardy is a grand 19th-century museum piece famous for its burnished interiors and cocido (boiled dinner).
A tiny corridor of a place where embuchados, plates of grilled goat tripe, sizzling and crunchy, with spicy romesco sauce ($6.40) are served with Bodegas Solana de Ramírez Ruíz Valsarte Crianza 2002. The wine is full of sweetness and round in the mouth ($1.80).
Gambas al ajillo (garlic shrimp) has been a specialty at the tiled taberna for some 100 years.
Asiana is one of Madrid's most exciting discoveries. Ring the bell and you'll be whisked down to one of seven candlelit tables in a subterranean space crammed with Ming vases and gilded Buddhas.
Grabbing a quick bite between flights doesn’t have to mean eating unhealthily. These cafés offer fresh-made salads, sandwiches, and juices, which you can either enjoy in the glassed-in modern dining areas, or pack to take on board.