Madrid's Gastronomy

Madrid's Gastronomy
Madrid is home to a vast array of culinary options ranging from traditional national dishes to the most sophisticated and avant-garde creations. The whole of Spain is well represented in its restaurants, where specialties from other cities and regions are lovingly prepared, sending your taste buds into overdrive and allowing you to travel across the entire country without getting up from your seat.


When you are in our city enjoy the local cuisine and try typical dishes from other parts of Spain. Here’s a little guide to the eateries serving a myriad dishes from across the country – visit them and you’ll soon understand why Spaniards are so proud of their cuisine! Discover the most typical dishes from Madrid, cocido, besugo and callos, but also traditionnal pastries such as torrijas, barquillos and huesos de santo. Don’t forget to taste on your culinary tour the well-known tapas and the wines from the Madrid Community region.


Historical records show that back in the Middle Ages taverns were already very popular, in particular among the lower classes. People would gather there to have a chat and drink wine which was served in jugs covered by a slice of bread to avoid the liquid spilling everywhere. Many believe that it is because of this custom (tapar means to cover in Spanish) that the term tapas is now used to refer to a little morsel of foof often served with a drink. Traditional areas for eating tapas and raciones (dishes to share) are La Latina, the Literary Quarter, Malasaña and Lavapiés. Try some old favorites like potato emelet, fried squid, patatas bravas (spicy fried potatoes) and marinated anchovies. Also worth visiting are gastrobars, designer venues serving top-notch food in tapas format.

  • Century-old taverns and restaurants


Gastronomy has always played an important part in the life of Madrid, as can be seen from the number of restaurants in the city that have been serving traditional local dishes and the region’s wine for over 100 years. Don’t leave the capital without having dined in one of them. Cocido madrileño (Madrid stew), tripe, soldaditos de Pavía (battered cod with red peppers), potato omelette and other traditional Castilian dishes have proven their popularity over the years.


Bodega de la Ardosa: Guinness, vermouth from Reus and traditional tapas of fried pig’s ear, potato omelette and potted shellfish are firm favourites at this restaurant, opened by Rafael Fernández Bagena in 1892. Colón 13, 915 21 49 79, by metro: Tribunal/Chueca/Gran Vía


Botín: it is recognized as the oldest restaurant in the world. Mentioned in their books by writers such as Galdós and Hemingway, this restaurant has been serving roast lamb and suckling pig, cooked in the same wood-fired oven, since 1725. Cuchilleros 17, 91 366 42 17, by metro: Sol/Tirso de Molina/La Latina


Café Gijón: Before you order a coffee in this café, a hub for intellectual activity since it opened in 1888, it’s worth trying the Mediterranean cuisine. Its atmosphere is highly conducive to conversation but the restaurant also has a select menu whose signature dishes are clams with beans and pil pil-style cod. Paseo de Recoletos 21, 91 527 37 37, by metro: Colón/Banco de España


Casa Alberto: The restaurant walls are full of reminders that the building was once the home of Cervantes, author of Don Quixote. It is famed for its menu features stew, oxtail and tripe. Huertas, 18, 91 429 93 56, by metro: Antón Martín


Casa Ciriaco: In the heart of the Hapsburg district this restaurant, with its home-style cooking and welcoming atmosphere, has been serving chicken in pepitoria sauce (with onions, white wine and almonds) in the same traditional style since 1887. The star of the show is the chicken fricassee, but don’t miss out on the Madridstyle stew, served on Tuesdays, or the homemade egg crème caramel. Mayor, 84, 91 548 06 20, by metro: Ópera


Casa Labra: It is battened cod sticks, fried fish and croquettes are legendary. It opened in 1860, since when it has become one of the capital’s favorite tapas bars. Tetuán 12, 91 531 00 81, by metro: Sol


Casa Pedro: Roasts, stews, game dishes and regional products are all featured on their menu. Founded in 1720 as a staging post on the old road to France, Casa Pedro offers high-quality Castilian food, including dishes such as traditional lamb’s sweetbreads and pig’s trotters. Nuestra Señora de Valverde 119, 91 734 02 01, by metro: Fuencarral


La Bola: A must-visit for fans of Madrid-style stew, the restaurant cooks this traditional dish in individual terracotta casseroles at a low temperature over oak charcoals. Cocido madrileño is the restaurant’s mainstay. It has been open since 1870 and has always kept the same decor. La Bola 5, 91 547 69 30, by metro: Ópera/Santo Domingo


La Casa del Abuelo: Such renowned artists as Andy Warhol have visited this establishment, where ordering prawns, king prawns and sweet wine is nothing short of compulsory. Victoria 12, 91 521 23 19, by metro: Sol/Sevilla


Lhardy: Opened in 1839, this Madrid restaurant is living history. Its most outstanding dishes are the consommé and its famous cocido. Impeccable service and food which never goes out of style is the secret of this restaurant’s success. Opened over 170 years ago, its customers have included members of the royal family such as Isabella II and Alfonso XII. Carrera de San Jeronimo 8, 91 522 22 07, by metro: Sol/Sevilla


Los Galayos: First-rate Castilian food, featuring traditional and modern dishes served in an unbeatable location, the old Plaza Mayor square. Opened in 1894, this restaurant was frequented by the writers of the ’27generation. During the intervals in their discussions they enjoyed Castilian dishes, still cooked today in the old style. Botoneras 5 on the corner of Plaza Mayor 1, 91 366 30 28, by metro: Sol/Ópera


Taberna Malacatín: Three generations have run this tavern which, since 1895, has remained loyal to its traditional Madrid style, with bullfighting posters lining the walls and serves an exceptionally good cocido madrileño. Ruda 5, 91 365 52 41, by metro: La latina


Taberna Oliveros: The original Cartuja de Sevilla tiling and the bar itself date back to 1857. Neither have changed over the years and the same can be said of their delicious, original flavor of its soldaditos de Pavía  battered cod sticks with red peppers, stew and tripe. San Millán 4, 91 354 62 52, by metro: La latina/Tirso de Molina


Traditional Restaurants

Most of the restaurants serving traditional Madrilenian and Spanish fare are located in the center of the capital and in the Salamanca district. Here are some of the ones that appear on the Madrid Academy of Gastronomy’s list of favorites, but you will find many others dotted all over the city


Casa Lucio: No celebrity worth his salt would admit to not having tried theirhuevos estrellados (fried eggs, served on a bed of fried potatoes). They make them over a coal-fired stove using the finest olive oil. Cava Baja 35, 91 365 32 52, by metro: La Latina


La posada de la Villa: Serving Castilian cuisine, their specialty is young lamb roasted in a wood-burning oven. Cava Baja 9, 91 366 18 60 by metro: Tirso de Molina/la Latina


El Landó: Here you’ll find all kinds of traditional stews in one of the most beautiful places of Madrid: The Viaduct and the Gardens of Las Vistillas. Plaza Gabriel Miró 8, 91 366 76 81, by metro: La Latina


Casa Paco: Specializing in charcoal-grilled meats, you must try the Casa Paco potatoes (huevos rotos with ham). Plaza Puerta Cerrada 11, 91 366 31 66, by metro: Tirso de Molina/La Latina


Castelló 9: Haute cuisine from the Basque country and Navarra. In Salamanca Quarter, close to Retiro Park. Under their influences this restaurant produces high cuisine using top quality ingredients. The dishes based on classic recipes are both sophisticated and imaginative. Castelló 9, 91 435 91 34 by metro: Pricipe de Vergara


El rincón de goya: Deliciously prepared meats, stews and fish dishes. This restaurant offers a complete menu of Tapas and Canapés, with excellent dishes like their Delicious croquettes. It also has the best Chuck At Old Style Beer And An extensive Wine List. Lagasca 46, 91 576 38 89, by metro: Serrano/Velázquez


Taberna de la Daniela: This is a noisy, lively tavern, which specializes in cocido madrileño (a two-course meal in itself, consisting of soup, chickpeas, vegetables and meat). Its other homemade specials are excellent as well, including the Empanada de Bacalao con pasas (cod pasty with raisins), Berberechos (steamed cockles), pork loin, cured cheeses and fresh red bream (Besugo). General Pardiñas 21, 91 575 23 29, by metro: Serrano/Velázquez


More about Madrid´s Gastronomy here


Sources: Ayto. Madrid, Tourism of  Madrid, esMadrid, San Migurel Market, Madrid Fusion


Pictures: Madrid Chow, Bodegas Ardosa