With far more than 4 000 bars and restaurants in Madrid, the Spaniards take dining out very seriously in this city! Here in Spain’s capital, the tapas bars are the city dwellers’ living rooms and restaurants are their celebration halls. Going out for dinner and lunch with friends and family is the cornerstone of life in Madrid!
If you’re like the Spaniards in Madrid, you count your time in the city in meals as opposed to days. To experience this extraordinary city fully, you need to spend time eating and drinking as the Madrileños (people from Madrid) do.
And this means not only knowing where to go, but also when to go there and what to order. Most restaurants in Madrid specialise in a certain type of meal, time of day, or handful of dishes.
We have everything that you need to know about how and where to eat in Madrid! Here are our carefully curated, constantly updated picks for the best restaurants in Madrid right now.
Sacha, a twinkly candlelit bistro that is blissfully removed from the busy centre, is the absolute best date-night spot with dim lighting and white tablecloths. When you first look at it, the menu seems simple. Early spring options may include cardoons with salt cod, lamb chops with garlic shoots, or, just, lentils.
However don’t be fooled.
The execution is always flawless. Don’t miss out on house specialties such as the decadent faux lasagne that is layered with uni. Strike up a conversation with Sacha, who is the larger-than-life owner, and you may never leave. Chef and his staff will make you feel like you’re at an intimate dinner party among friends.
Bodega La Ardosa
With its vintage photographs and old flamenco prints, Bodega la Ardosa looks like a place where you would have probably found bullfighters in the 1900s dining on tapas and drinking a doble. By 9pm, this popular restaurant can become crowded, leaving you standing next to the bar while you eat. Stick around. Their tortilla is one of the very best in the city, their croquetas definitely follow not far behind, and both can be eloquently paired with vermouth which is available on tap. When you’re done head to neighbouring 1862 Dry Bar or Del Diego Cocktail Bar for more drinks.
Mesón Del Champiñón
Tucked into a cave under the Plaza Mayor, Mesón de Champiñon may not look like much when you walk at first in however this place offers the best mushrooms in Madrid.
The recipe is uncomplicated: button mushrooms with a tiny chunk of paprika-spiced chorizo, parsley and garlic which are seared on a hot griddle with a large dousing of sunflower oil. After this, they are poked with two toothpicks, sprinkled with lemon juice and served to the masses of customers that squeeze into the bar every night of the week to try one of Madrid’s best tapas while chatting or taking the time to play bingo for real money.
Saddle is a restaurant so unabashedly classic that it feels surprisingly fresh. This restaurant has a laser-focused kitchen that understands nostalgia, service and culinary technique.