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Restaurants in Madrid


Madrid's restaurant scene is not especially revered on an international scope, but there are tons of sumptuous corners to grub if you know where to look.

Regional Madrid cuisine is generally hearty - stews, meats, beans, eggs - and rife with fried options. The capital's strong point, however, is its wide selection of restaurants from other Spanish regions (Basque, Galician, Catalan, Andalusian) and rich tapas culture.

International restaurants are also helping to energize the city's gastronomical status with their ever-increasing variety and quality.

Madrid Restaurant Prices

It's still very possible to get an excellent meal in Madrid with spending an arm and a leg. See our list of cheap restaurants in Madrid for the best deals a budget. On the other hand, there are plenty of opportunities to fork out more than 35€ per person if high cuisine suits your fancy.

Lunch ("la comida") is the meal most valued by Spaniards and you'll do well to follow their lead if you want to spend light. Most restaurants offer a "menú del día" at lunchtime. This is different from the "carta" -- the normal menu. Menú del día is a prix fixe meal with appetizer ("primero"), a main dish ("segundo"), dessert ("postre") and a beverage all included. The price range is generally between 7.50€ and 15€.

The "Menu of the Day"

Within the extensive variety of restaurants and styles of food you will be able to find in Madrid, you can find a large amount of unsophisticated average quality restaurants within an affordable/low price range (8-15 Euro per person). These are known as Restaurantes de menú. Some of them only have these prices on weekdays at lunch time as long as you eat the daily specials. Therefore some of these restaurants sometimes belong in more than one category, depending on when you eat there.

A Menú del día (Daily menu) usually consists of:
- First course (salads, soups,...)
- Second or main course, (fish, meat, ...)
- Dessert, bread and drink (wine, beer or water)

Usually coffee is charged separately or can be sometimes had in exchange for dessert.

In Madrid's center zone there are numerous restaurants that offer menú. Chueca and other neighbouring areas usually have an interesting offer in this respect and are not so focused in targeting tourists.

Just to name a couple we recommend a restaurant called Bazaar (in Chueca) a nice affordable or La Austriaca de Gran Vía at San Onofre street, with excellent lentils on Mondays. If you are near Atocha or calle Huertas, you might wish to try La Sanabresa, in Calle Amor de Dios.

Madrid Restaurant Hours

Most "cafeterías" open for breakfast at 8am or so. A typical "desayuno" in Madrid consists of coffee/ juice and pastry/ toast or, for those with a bigger appetite, a slice of Spanish omelet ("pincho de tortilla").

Don't expect to eat lunch before 1:00pm at the very earliest. Most Madrid restaurants will start serving lunch around 1:30pm and end around 4pm, but the most typical time to get started is sometime between 2pm-3:30pm.

Craving an afternoon snack? Your best bet will be any old cafetería because most restaurants close between 4pm and 8:30pm.

The early birds - in other words, tourists - may start dinner at 8:30pm. But Spaniards don't start their "cena" until 9pm at the earliest. Dinner is much lighter than lunch and on the weekends it's typical to meet to dine between 10 and 11pm.

Classic Madrid Restaurants

Casa Lucio

c/ Cava Baja 35
Metro La Latina (line 5)
Neighborhood: Plaza Mayor
Tel +34 91 365 82 17
Price range per person: 50€ and up
Specialty: huevos estrellados, cocido madrileño & callos a la madrileña
Of note: Casa Lucío is a favorite of the King of Spain, foreign diplomats and celebrities. If you can't get a reservation try its sibling across the street, "Taberna los huevos de Lucio."

El Sobrino de Botín

c/ Cuchilleros 17
Metro Sol (lines 1, 2, 3)
Neighborhood: Plaza Mayor
Tel +34 91 366 42 17/ 91 366 30 26
Price range per person: 35€-50€
Specialty: cochinillo & cordero asado
Of note: El Botín holds the title of world's oldest restaurant (1725) and was an historic favorite of Hemmingway and Dos Passos.


Carrera de San Jerónimo 8
Metro Sol (lines 1, 2, 3)
Neighborhood: Puerta del Sol
Tel +34 91 522 22 07
Price range per person: 50€ and up
Speciality: cocido madrileño
Of note: Frenchman Emile Lhardy, a friend of "Carmen" author Prosper Mérimée, founded this restaurant in 1839.

Las Bravas

Pasaje Matheu 5 (off c/ Victoria)
Metro Sol (lines 1, 2, 3)
Neighborhood: Puerta del Sol
Tel +34 91 521 51 41
Price range per person: under 10€
Speciality: patatas bravas
Of note: Las Bravas claims to have invented this delicious spicy potato dish.

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