Madrid is of the liveliest cities in Europe with a big offer of restaurants, nightclubs and cafés. Madrileños (Madrid citizens) often walk along the avenues in the evenings when the city's many fountains are illuminated. However, this activity has declined as many boulevards are becoming more and more crowded with cars.
Restaurants in Madrid
Where to eat when visiting the Spanish capital? Here are some restaurants, for all preferences, that you need to visit when in Madrid.
- Yakitoro: Probably the Japanese most creative restaurant. It belongs to a famous Spanish chef, who also runs his own TV programme.
- La Dolores: Another Madrid classic, with wonderful tiling outside and rows of dusty beer steins inside. La Dolores has been serving ice-cold frothy beer since the 1920s. There's a short list of tapas, which are good and a bit overpriced. Specialities are smoked fish, anchovies and 'mojama' (wind-dried tuna).
- Cebo: Cebo is a new contemporary gastronomical proposal with Mediterranean influence but strong remains of Madrid's traditional gastronomy. Seasonal fish and vegetables are the highlights of a menu.
- Ôven Mozzarella Bar: Ranked as the best Italian restaurants in Madrid, Ôven restaurants provide a new concept in high quality Italian cuisine, selecting the best Italian and Spanish ingredients.
- Mu! El placer de la carne – Considered to be the best grill in town, all their recipes are cooked with "quebracho tree" wood, typical from Argentina.
- Tacos & Tapas: Traditional Mexican cuisine. Serving enchilladas, guacamole and tacos in a small and exclusive space. Groups are not allowed.
- Sr. Ito: Surrounded by recycled crafts and a vintage environment, Sr. Ito offers a new concept to the Japanese gastronomy and Sushi.
- Marisqueria Ribeira do Mino: Ribeira do Mino offers the biggest variety of shellfish in Madrid, accompanied with Ribeiro o Albariño wine.
For a complete guide of restaurants in Madrid visit Guia del ocio
Vegan and Vegetarian Cuisine in Madrid
Madrid gastronomy has so much to offer to its citizens and its visitors. Moreover, its vegetarian restaurant panorama has increased in the last few years.
Here are the very best options to choose from for vegetarians and vegans.
- Happy Food: HappyFood has an incredible set menu full of vegetarian and vegan options and shifting daily specials. This vegan spaghetti Bolognese with olive tapenade and walnut cheese is one of their recent hits.
- Abonavida: Abonavida is part of an organic and fair trade shop offering 100% organic and vegan seasonal specialities
- Yerbabuena: Probably the most creative veggie dishes in the city. Its modern atmosphere and contemporary cuisine are supplemented with "seitán" stuffed vegetables, tofu with pumpkin purée, or baked eggplant with spinach, etc.
- Artemisa: Served with fresh ingredients and with a large percentage of organic products, the vegetarian lasagne becomes its best dish to order when in the restaurant. Large portions are served in a reasonable price.
- Level Veggi Bistro: This restaurant offers a vegan style nice dining atmosphere and serves vegan cuisine as well raw food and raw dessert. Gets very busy in the evening so reserve ahead to ensure seating.
Spanish gastronomy is as rich and varied as its people and geography. With an abundance of land dedicated to sheep and cows, as well as its ample coastline for fishing and influenced by Mediterranean cuisine, Spain restaurants pride themselves on serving dishes made from locally grown ingredients. Its main traditional specialities are:
- Jamón Serrano: The most famous product from Spain, this cured ham can be found in every part of Spain
- Patatas bravas: It typically consists of potatoes cutted into irregular shapes of about 2 centimeters, then fried in oil and served warm with a sauce such as a spicy tomato sauce or an aioli.
- Paella: Probably the most typical dish in Spain. Born in the Mediterranean city of Valencia, it's loaded with fresh seafood, rice, spices and vegetables.
- Gazpacho: Made out of fresh tomatoes, green peppers, cucumbers, garlic, onions, vinegar and herbs. It's the perfect Spanish food for summer, as well as a low calorie and healthy dish. Salmorejo is a similar Andalucian version combining pureed bread, tomatoes, garlic and vinegar – also served cold – and sometimes varied with a bit of ham or egg slices on top.
- Crema catalana: The Spanish version of Crème brûlée. Equally as delicious and equally as hard to say.
- Tortilla española: The Spanish omelette is another beloved top Spanish food.
- Bocadillo: The Spanish version of a sandwich, it is usually filled by slices of embutido (variety of cured and dry meat)
- Pulpo a la Gallega: This boiled octopus dish is a signature Galician dish and you'll find it on the menu in many Galician restaurants around Spain.
- Pan con tomate: Typical from Catalonia, it is as simple as tomato spread on bread slices
- Turrón: Spaniards devour massive amounts of turrón, or almond nougat, during Christmas time. (Although it is available all year round.)
- Churros con chocolate: Fried dough dipped into a pure melted chocolate mug
Drinking in Spain
Spain has a wide range of typical drinks to accompany its varied gastronomy. Its main drinking traditional specialities are:
- Vermouth: The vermouth is a kind of sweet fortified wine. The term ‘at the hour of vermouth' (around midday) is used to describe the type of aperitif eaten before the main meal of the day (usually on Sundays when families gather together)
- Horchata: Typical from Valencia region, horchata is usually drunk on summer time. It's essentially made with tiger nut milk, squeezed from the tiger nut (not actually a nut at all, but a small root vegetable) or chufa in Spanish. It tastes slightly similar to almond milk and is often mixed with cinnamon
- Sangria: Sangria is probably the most famous Spanish alcoholic beverage. A mix of red wine and chopped fruit, orange juice, sugar and often, brandy. It is usually served on summer time.
- Clara: It is well known Spain produces a big variety of beers; however, Clara is created through mixing beer and lemonade
- Vino: Nowadays, Spain is the 3rd largest wine producer in the world. This reflects the amount of different wines existing in the country
- Cava: The local version of the French Champagne. 95% of it is produce in Catalonia region
Liquor Laws in Madrid
Since 2011, it's forbidden to drink on the streets. The city introduced a law which prohibits drinking in public areas and shops aren't allowed to sell alcohol after 10pm. Before the introduction of this law, botellón (the Spanish version of a "pre-drink" - gathering in streets to drink before the party) it was very popular amongst Madrid's youth.
However, this hasn't stop vendors from selling 1€ beer cans illegally in the streets. If you chose to purchase them, you might be entitled to get a 600€ fine.
Pub Crawls in Madrid
Many European cities organize pub-crawls that act as social gatherings for the local expatriate communities and tourists. These crawls focus on the social aspect of meeting new friends and being introduced to new bars in a strange city.
The PubCrawl includes the entrance to multiple pubs or bars in a single night, normally travelling by foot or public transport to each destination, and ending in a discotheque.
The 3 most popular ones are:
On this page good reviews on madrid restaurants.. and mosy of all fresh ones:
I discovered Café Tabares with them... great place!!
Being a member of www.Riboaway.com
you can get to a number of fine dining restaurants in all over Madrid @ half price. Using the promotion code <Amigos> you pay only € 49.50.- instead € 90.- to become a member for one year.
Last saturday we had diner at www.elchaflan.es
and safed € 125.- !