Madrid Restaurant Guide

Also check our twitter account @MadriduserF for the latest selections on eating out in Madrid!

Our latest addition is "Il Salotto", on Velázquez, 61, in the Barrio Salamanca, check their web (in Spanish)

Recently renovated is the El Cacique restaurant... a family business on Padre Damián 47- 9134503 03

Our recommendation:

Restaurante Coque***** Chef Mario Sandoval and his family have, after 30 years, created one of Spain´s best restaurants. Located in Humanes on the outskirts of Madrid, Coque is worth a taxi ride and back...

Francisco Encinas, 8 Humanes Madrid 34-916040202 Closed on Monday

Where to eat in Madrid!
There are hundreds of thousands of bars and restaurants in Madrid, in fact it was once said, there is a bar or restaurant per 2 Spaniards. However, Madrid has fast become a cosmopolitan city where the typical restaurant and bar has been bulldozed to make way for international fare.  The fun, typical Spanish bars do still exist hidden on the small streets all over the city. The cafés of yesteryear have been taken over by the likes of Starbucks. Who needs to visit Madrid and go to Starbucks, anyway? Some still survive, so keep your eyes open. These places will serve you a coffee with milk (café con leche or a cortado) or expresso (solo) for 1,30€ with a croissant, churros or toasted tomato bread for 1,50 €. A very cheap breakfast! Alternatively or you can also get a glass of wine and a tapa for very little. We don't think this can be beaten anywhere! Again for lunch or dinner, walk in and get ready for a lovely Spanish three course meal with a bottle of wine + coffee for less than 12€- ask for the 'menu del día'.
Remember in Madrid most restaurants won't open for lunch until around 1.30pm and for dinner until 9pm. In more touristic areas around Sol or Plaza Mayor, you should be able to find places serving all day.

Madrid restaurant recommendations

MUF has tried every single one of them and will NOT recommend a restaurant we haven't visited at least once! First stop, are the MUSTS, followed by the more well known restaurants. These are NOT cheap any more. We've also included a list of cafés and cheap eateries for those looking for a snack. 

You should be able to meet the real Madrid through the restaurants Madridisuserfriendly has chosen. We have also tried to include links wherever possible.

Casa Lucio  The restaurant of the stars and the rich madrileños and Spaniards from all over. It is almost impossible to get in without a reservation 2 or 3 days before. Not cheap, but delicious typical Spanish food at it’s best.  The atmosphere is that of a simple tavern, full of people enjoying themselves. In case you walk in out of the blue and there is no room, Lucio owns a couple of other restaurants nearby that are also recommended. You will find these on his website. Lucio himself is a bit of a character and his children are slowly taking over, but his daughter Maria has his magic. Closed in August and on Saturdays for lunch.  Cava Baja, 35  +34 91 3658217/ 913653253. Metro La Latina
Casa Grana Very “madrileño”, old families and top professionals. Medium price, superb house wine and excellent food. Orellana, 6    + 34. 91.308.3277. Metro Alonso Martinez.
La Tasquita de Enfrente This is one of the best restaurants in Madrid and we assure you’ll enjoy your meal. Ten years ago, the owner, Juanjo López, left an office job to set up this fun, truly Spanish restaurant  in a rather dicey area in the centre of Madrid.  Delicious, but not cheap (70€) but it worth a visit. Let lead. It is not a big place so normally it is full; therefore it's always best to make a reservation. Closed Sat/Sun for lunch and Mon. Calle Ballesta, 6, +34 91 532 54 49, metro Callao or Noviciado
La Terraza del Casino is a wonderful place for having dinner in summer time. It's very expensive (110€) however, if your pocket can take it,  don't leave Madrid without trying their  menú de degustación. Closed Sat lunch, Sun and August. Calle Alcalá 15, +34 91 521 87 00. Metro Sevilla or Sol.

Wagaboo- a very fun fusion cuisine restaurant with a few branches around the city (two in Chueca), with lots of Asian influences. It's popular with the young crowd and has a very swish interior. The prices here a very reasonable- you can get a menu del día with three courses for around 10€. Branches at Gravina 18, San Marco 28 (both Metro Chueca), Ayala 14 (Metro Serrano) and Paseo General Martinez Campos (Metro Ruben Darío).

Las Tortillas de Gabino The grandsons of Gabino are still making his famous tortillas (Spanish omelette). Every possible type of tortilla is made with pride. Closed Sat lunch, Sunday and bank holidays. Average price 40€. Calle Rafael Calvo, 20, +34 91 319 75 05. Metro Rúben Darío.

Irocco This restaurant was the fashion food pioneer in Madrid. Conveniently located in the shopping district, the food isn't the best. Comfortable and trendy atmosphere in. Brunch on Sat, Sun and bank holidays. Never closes. Average price 35€. Calle Velázquez, 18, +34 431 73 81. Metro Velásquez.

Casa Benigna This is a wonderful old restaurant in one of the last of the original houses that peppered Madrid and have slowly been torn down over the years by the different over the years by careless municipal governments.  A warm atmosphere, once expensive although recently the prices have come down. A meal is approximately 30€. The quality and service are great. Its rice dishes are well known in Madrid and for their menú de degustación. Closed Sun night. Calle Benigno Soto, 9, +34 91 413 33 56. Metro Concha Espina.

El Paraguas It is a pleasure eat at this Asturian restaurant. The style is a mix between rustic and elegant. Generally it's not easy to make a reservation but you might be lucky. Politicians and journalists go often. It is expensive but recommended. Closed Sun night. Average price 70€. Calle Jorge Juan, 16, +34 91 431 58 40. Metro Serrano

La Castela Dating to 1989 originally a tavern. Today,  it keeps the original environment and you can be sure that everything you eat will delicious. Madrileños go for the aperitf. Closed Sun, August and Easter. Average price 35€. Calle Doctor Castelo, 22, +34 91 573 55 90. Metro Principe de Vegara.

Flash Flash Tortilleria This place is the same version than the Barcelona´s one. It is a place where you can eat comfortably but without great expectations. Nice and trendy, the decoration evokes the celebrity world and has a capacity for 170 people. Open from 11,00 to 01,30 so you can go at any time. Average price 25€. Calle Nuñez de Balboa, 75, +34 91 575 10 10. Metro Nuñez de Balboa.

Toto e Peppino Italian, as its name suggests. Good little Trattoria Napolitana with great pizzas. The restaurant the Real Madrid football player visit often. Nice price (25€), fun, Fernando VI, 29.  +34 91 308 73 70. Metro Alonso Martinez.

Or-Dago **** Excellent Spanish restaurant walking distance from the Las Ventas Bull ring. Ten tables and is full during the San Isidro fair (May). Tourists are non existent and is a favourite among the Spaniards for its meals made from the best of Spain’s products and wines. Expensive; you will need to reserve for lunch with a few days notice. Dinner not so, unless its Feria time. Sancho Dávila, 15, 913567185. Metro Ventas Fantastic for typical Spanish food.

El Espejo Quality restaurant on the Paseo de la Castellana. As soon as the good weather appears, their terrace gets into action where they offer excellent service and music in the evenings. During the winter months soothing piano music in the evenings on Fri and Sat. Easy to reach if you are walking from the Prado, Thyssen or going shopping. Warm atomosphere and no need to reserve. Paseo de la Castellana, 31, +34 91 308 2347. Metro Colón-

El Rábano A special restaurant for typical Spanish food. Around the corner from the Palace Hotel at Calle Jesus 2, in front of the Jesus de Medinaceli church. Very simple original Spanish décor from the old days, not cheap anymore, but the quality is excellent and is a well kept secret from the visitors of the expensive hotels in the area. Metro Atocha or Sevilla/Banco de España.

Navacerrada Jardin this small building house has a very nice terrace in summer so you will can a quiet lunch/dinner. Average price 30€. Calle General López Pozas, 6-8, +34 91345 53 76. Metro Plaza de Castilla.

Sonia A typical Bar restaurant for workers with a three course meal takeaway (!!!), pure Spanish food, simple on one side of the restaurant and crowded and noisy on the other side. Good bar and tapas.  Quality house wine to the best the wine merchants can offer, excellent Spanish products cooked traditionally.  Price ranges from 9€ for the menu of the day to 100€, if you start asking for their special wines it was always in Spain.  Service is excellent and very friendly. English spoken. Bocángel 35, +34 91 7251457. Metro Manuel Beccera.

Maceiras- a Galician restaurant located in the Las Letras neighbourhood. This place has excellent cuisine and is very reasonably priced. This is a must for lovers of seafood (although there are plenty of non seafood items on the menu) as Galicia is famous for this type of cuisine. Try the pulpo a la gallega (an octopus dish). It is very popular with the locals.  There are two of these restaurants very close to each other Jesus 7 and Huertas 56. Metro Atocha.

These are the restaurants that the madrileños have been frequenting for decades and are great for dinner or a long expensive lunch. Not cheap by any standards!

Zalacain   Calle Álvarez de Baena, 4  +34 91 561 4840. Metro Gregorio Marañón
Fortuny Calle Fortuny, 34   +34 91 319 0588. Metro Rúben Darío
Horchers Calle Alfonso XII, 6   +34 91 522 0731. Metro Atocha Renfe
Casa Ciriaco   Calle Mayor, 84   +34 91 548 0620. Metro Ópera.
El Amparo    Callejón Puigcerdá, 8  + 34 91 431 6456. Metro Serrano
La Trainera Calle Lagasca, 60  +34 91 576 8035 / +34 91 576 0575 Metro Serrano
Hotel Ritz   Hotel Ritz, Plaza de la Lealtad 5, 28014 Madrid +34 91 701 6767   +34 91 701 6776. Metro Banco de España.
Hotel Palace  Plaza de las Cortes, 7  +34 91 360 80 00. Metro Sevilla
Casa Botin (presumed to be the oldest reaturant in the world!)  Cuchilleros 17, off Plaza Mayor, Madrid +34 91 366 42 17 (Too many tourist groups and they try and move the guests out to let new ones in.) Metro La Latina, Sol or Opera.

Jockey and Balzac sadly have shut.... 

These are the new ones considered members of “Spanish fusion”. Only time will tell if they will withstand the test of time.  Most of these restaurants offer a “menu degustación. This is a menu with four or five different small courses.  These go from 30-100€ without wine or coffee. They´ve come a long way from the typical “menu del día”.  Having tried out all these restaurants, Madridisuserfriendly has implemented a very personal star system for these new attempts at internationalisation:
***   GOOD ENOUGH, visit if you have time and cash
**     OK, mostly for curiosity reasons
*   Poor. Luckily none for the moment but these points can change and they are subjective to the last visit…

Santceloni**** Inside the Hesperia Hotel on the Paseo de la Castellana. The chef, Santi Santamaría - recently deceased in Singapore- was a genius. Worth every minute and every cent of the 85€ for the menu de degustación. Reserve, its always full although often quieter on big match days. If you can't get in, the Manzana restaurant in the hotel is excellent and almost half the price.  Closed Sat lunch, Sun, and August.  Best wine list, but a young  Rioja or Ribera del Duero made with Tempranillo grapes is always a good shot. Hotel Hesperia, Paseo de la Castellana 57, + 34 91 210 88 40. Metro Gregorio Marañón.

Bauza *** Med-oriental cuisine. It’s on Calle Goya in the Bauza hotel and not a bad choice if you find yourself out shopping and hungry. The price is right, €30 per person and is a pleasant experience. Calle de Goya 79, +34 91 435 7545. Metro Goya.

Il Gusto**  Italian and Spanish menu.Trendy, high society and journalists. Not cheap, around €90 for two with wine. Open 1.30pm-4pm, 8.30pm-midnight. Closed second fortnight in August. Very nice service! Calle de Espronceda 27, +34 91 535 39 02. Metro Ríos Rosas.

Paradis**** Near the Thyssen Museum, it's part of a chain but good food and  atmosphere. They also run the restaurant open in the summer months at the Thyssen Museum, which we haven't yet visited. Closed on Sunday evening. Calle Marqués de Cubas 14, Madrid, +34 914 29 73 03. Metro Sevilla

Pedro Larrumbe *** Now known as "38 de Larrumbe" nearby Barrio Salamanca shopping area off Serrano ...  Paseo de la Castellana, 38... 45€ closed on Sunday and holidays.  +34 91 575 11 12. Metro Serrano. Great venue for events. They have just opened El Bistró, for informal eating and "non stop" kitchen. Pedro Larrumbe never lets you down!


These are all recommended, and although they vary price wise, you are safe.  No stars, but you get an address just in case you are nearby, looking at your map and decide to give them a try.
Belalua   San Nicolás 8.  (Metro Opera)
Casa Labra Calle Tetuán 12. (Metro Callao)
Casa Paco Pl. Puerta Cerrada, 11. (Metro La Latina)
Casa Vallejo San Lorenzo 9. (Metro Alonso Martínez)
Castellana 8   Paseo de la Castellana 8. (Metro Colón)
Cañas y Barro  Amaniel 23. (Metro Noviciado)
De la Riva  Cochabamba 13. (Metro Colombia)
El Chaflán Avenida Pío XII, 34. (Metro Duque de Pastrana)
Gula Gula   Gran Vía, 1. (Metro Banco de España)
Gure-Etxea   Plaza de la Paja 12. (Metro Latina)
Jose Luis Rafael Salgado 11. (Metro Santiago Bernabéu)
La Terraza   Alcala 15. (Metro Sevilla)
Las Cuevas de Luis Candelas   Cuchilleros 1. (Metro Sol)
Mesón Cinco Jotas  Calle Padre Damian, 42. (Metro Santiago Bernabéu)
Pandelujo C/ Jorge Juan 20. (Metro Velázquez)
Solchaga  Plaza Alonso Martinez, 2.  (Metro Alonso Martínez)

Vegetarian Restaurants
Vegetarianism is not as common in Spain as it is in other countries, but there are still a number of vegetarian and vegan restaurants across the city. There are a few suggestions:

C/ Amor de Dios Nº 3
Phone number: 914290780
Metro: Antón Martín. Light blue line 1.

C/ Argumosa Nº10
Phone number: 91 4677611
Metro: Lavapies. Yellow line 3.

Paseo infanta Santa Isabel Nº 22
Phone number: 915017013
Metro: Atocha. Light blue line 1.

C/ Esquilache Nº 4
Phone number: 915535502
Metro: Rios rosas. Light blue line 1.

C/ Topete Nº 32
Phone number: 915537728
Metro: Alvarado. Light blue line 1.

C/ Tres cruces Nº 4
Phone number: 915218721
Metro: Gran via. Light blue and green lines 1 and 5.

C/ Pelayo Nº 35
Phone number: 913080381
Metro: Chueca. Light green line 5.

C/ Marques de Santa Ana Nº 34
Phone number: 915320927
Metro: Tribunal. Light and dark blue lines 1 and 10.

C/ Fernan Gonzalez Nº 77
Phone number: 914097722
Metro: Ibiza. Purple line 9.

C/ Zorrilla nº 11
Phone number: 913694709
Metro: Sevilla. Red line 2.

C/ Ventura de la vega Nº 4
Phone number: 914295092
Metro: sevilla. Red line 2.

Plaza de la paja Nº 10
Phone number: 913658982
Metro: La latina. Light green line 5.

Paseo de la florida Nº 53
Phone number: 915471952
Metro: Principe Pio. Dark blue and grey lines 10 and 6.

Cheap eats and cafés

Low on tourists, as opposed to Starbucks, Café  Gijon Café Gijón is a classic. It’s on Paseo de Recoletos, number 21. This is where the intellectuals and writers meet and often sit to write ever since it opened in 1888. Definitely for people watching and wondering who may have written a best seller at one of their tables! Open everyday from 9am to 1:30 in the morning. Paseo de Recoletos, 21  +34 91 521 5425. Metro Banco de España.

Café Comercial Very old Café with two floors. Built on 1887. Perfect for people who want to read, drink a hot chocolate or have a chat with friends. No close. Glorieta de Bilbao, 7, +34 91 521 56 55. Metro Bilbao.
Embassy Originally a tea room, Embassy is now a restaurant, delicatessen, tea room and bar for the Madrid socialite. Fun for people watching! Nice takeaways, as well. Not cheap, due to the choice of delicatessen products. Near the shopping area of Serrano and on the Castellana. Always open. Ayala 3, +34 915757944 Metro Colón.

Hernani Tea shop, near the Retiro and a good watering hole if you are shopping around Serrano. Traditional and it keeps the original atmosphere of Madrid. You can easily find somethnig for a quick visit, long lunch or a drink. Very useful, the barman speaks English. Claudio Coello, 1. Metro Retiro.

VIPS These are psuedo-international cafeterias about the city. They usually sell newspapers, books and souvenirs as well. Not great, but if you feel homesick, they will  suffice. Normally they have sandwiches, meat dishes, burgers etc...  They usually have a pseudo Italian restaurant (Gino's, Tataglia, Rugantino, Lucca) and a Starbucks alongside, admittedly, enjoyed by the madrileños. They're not too bad; the pasta will be there, but don't look for the real Italian! These are great for going with kids, although not cheap.

A few places we recommend for cheap eats are Maoz (Calle Mayor 4) which has excellent vegetarian pittas and Viva la Vida on Plaza de la Paja in La Latina, which is a vegetarian buffet and cocktail bar. Around Chueca and Malasaña there are plenty of places where you can grab something to go. Try La Vita e Bella (Pelayo 22 and Pl de San Idelfonoso), which is a great little chain of Italian delicatessens. We also recommend Xanacuk and Delina's for sandwiches, fresh juices and salads and are an alternative to Starbucks. There are a number around the city. Rodilla are famous for their original sandwiches. You can take them away or eat them in. All over Madrid.

For ice creams were recommend Heladería Giuseppe Ricci at Huertas 9. It's Italian run and they have mountains of ice creams in flavours you never thought existed. It's all made by hand.