Best Places to Eat in Madrid
If you’re like me, you don’t like to waste a meal on vacation. That means, I don’t want to wind up at a McDonalds because I’m hangry or sitting down for dinner at 3.5 star mediocre restaurant just because I didn’t plan ahead. Madrid is filled with wonderful spots for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and even all the snacks in between. Here are my top places to eat while in Madrid.
If you eat nothing else in Madrid, you should stop for churros con chocolate. Locals say a good place has chocolate so thick that the churro can stand up in the cup. While this chocolate is not quittttee so thick, it is delicious. In Spain, churros are salty, not sweet. The addition of the dark chocolate is what changes the flavor. Located off Plaza Mayor, they are open 24/7 so be sure to stop for a tasty bite.
Since 1725 this restaurant has stayed open continuously, including fanning the flames of their cast iron oven during COVID. Considered the oldest restaurant in the world, it retains it’s original 18th century charm. Be sure to try their specialty – suckling pig, along with a pitcher of sangria. Reservations are encouraged, but you can usually stop by the day before and select a time.
3. El Madroño
My favorite stop by the Royal Palace is now a souvenir shop, but fear not, you can still try the local strawberry liquor elsewhere named after the city’s mascot – El Oso y Los Madroños (the bear & the strawberry tree). Head to El Madroño for a small afternoon sip and enjoy the people watching. You can only find this liquor in Madrid!
This bakery has been open since 1894 and is another staple in the city. The main location by Puerta del Sol is great for a breakfast pastries or afternoon treat. You will find locals standing at the counter for their hourly caffeine fix, but you can grab something to-go and continue your stroll through the street.
Doesn’t Grandpa’s House have a ring to it? This little café just steps from Plaza Mayor serves one of the best calamari sandwiches and garlic prawns. Come for lunch or dinner, but you may have to wait for a table on the street.
I know, I know this is quite a touristy stop. And while you can certainly find a better meal in the city, this food market is a fun stop. Originally opened in 1916, it was revamped in 2009 and now offers everything from meats and cheeses to fresh fruits, nuts and wine. It’s a great spot to try several different small dishes – a pintxo or tapa – from various stalls.
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