Where to Eat in Madrid

Here's to skipping the churros altogether and just drinking the chocolate!

Here’s to skipping the churros altogether and just drinking the chocolate!

The fastest way for me to get to know a city is through my stomach. Yea, I know. Weird sentence. Basically what I mean is that I love to learn about a city through the food I can find there. Learning about Madrid has been…well…interesting. I have mixed feelings about Spanish food. I consider myself as a southern girl, which means that I like my food spicy, and spicy food is hard to find in Spanish cuisine. I also have noticed that a lot of Spanish food is sooooo carb heavy! When I first got here I was like “potatoes, bread, rice, oh my!” Now I’d seriously consider the Atkins diet.  Additionally, I loooove seafood and paella but I feel iffy about eating seafood in a place that is landlocked like Madrid (I should get over that, I know), and the best paella is to be found along the coastline, especially in the southern areas of Spain. Valencia! I’m coming for you, girl!

Fish tacos at Maria Bonita taco bar...amen.

Fish tacos at Maria Bonita taco bar…amen.

That said, there are some chefs in Madrid that are doing some really creative spins on traditional Spanish tapas, and there are some great bars that serve up tapas that are made in styles that are from different regions of Spain. I’ve also tapped into the ethnic food community in Madrid and it’s quite impressive! I’ve had everything from Mexican to Senegalese food, and I still have a long list of culturally diverse restaurants that I plan to check out. Here’s a short list of my favorites (in no particular order) categorized by cuisine and neighborhood:

  • Juana La Loca – Innovative Spanish tapas, La Latina
  • Lateral – Refined Spanish tapas, Plaza Santa Ana
  • Maria Bonita Taco Bar – Mexican, Lavapies/Embajadores
  • Taj Mahal (so original, ha!) – Indian, Lavapies
  • BaoBab – Senegalese, Lavapies
  • Carmencitas/La Gringa (I personally like the La Gringa location better) – American brunch, Malasaña
  • Steakburger – American style burgers and bar food, Malasaña
  • Krachai – Thai, Centro/Alonzo Martinez
  • Taberna Txakolina – Basque-style pintxos, La Latina
  • La Mucca – pretty much everything from salads to pizzas to burgers, Malasaña and Huertas

Ok that’s all I can remember right now…I’m not the best when it comes to taking pictures of food or restaurants…I’m usually too focused on the task at hand lol. Here are a few places on my hit list!

  • Restaurante Botín – classic Spanish
  • La Gorda – Peruvian, La Latina
  • Estado Puro – Spanish, Plaza Santa Ana
  • Jia Xiang Xiao Chi – Chinese dumplings, Plaza de España
  • St. Gines – famous churros place, Sol/Centro
  • I’m actively on the hunt for a good Vietnamese and/or Korean restaurant! Suggestions please!

For a detailed description of more places to eat in Madrid, check out one of my recent stories for Fodors: Where to Eat in Madrid.

So, have  you been to any of the restaurants on these lists? Do you have any suggestions for me? Are you planning to hit any of these spots for Valentine’s Day? Let me know in the comments below!

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2 Responses

  1. Courtney says:

    These are some of my favorite restaurants in Madrid! La Gringa and Lateral are definitely staples. Have you been to Ojalá in Malasaña? They have amazing patatas bravas con alioli!


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