While the most famous dish which has made its way out of Spain and into restaurants all over the world is paella, you’ll soon find that the variety of food on offer in Madrid involves a lot more than the aforementioned rice specialty. This is not to say that you shouldn’t at least sample paella while you’re there but there is a whole lot more on offer in this city which seems to specialise in delicious cuisine.
A veritable melting pot for cuisines from throughout the country, the city also has a host of its very own dishes. Cocido Madrileno is the most widely known traditional Madrid dish and is a type of stew which consists of chickpeas, cabbage, celery, carrots, turnips, and chicken, beef or pork. Callos is another typical Madrid dish and is made using tripe. Finally, Sopa de Ajo (garlic soup), Tortilla de patatas (potato omelette) and Busego al horno (baked bream) are among the other favourites enjoyed by the locals.
Despite its distance inland, the seafood on offer in restaurants throughout the city is also well worth sampling. Delivered fresh every day from ports all over the country, Madrid has the second biggest fish market in the world, second only to Tokyo. You are guaranteed that any seafood or fish dish which you order is going to be one of the best you will ever eat.
For the less adventurous among you it’s easy to find cuisine from right around the globe being served in the multitude of restaurants on offer. From Argentinean to South African and Chinese to Mexican, you will find that each continent is well represented in eateries throughout the city.
Calle Sagunto 18, Madrid, Spain
Specialising in seafood and paella, this is one of the few restaurants in the city which features as many as fourteen different versions of this national specialty. From its typical fish and shellfish variety to its special vegetarian creation, this is undoubtedly one of the best places to introduce your taste buds to this dish which is now cooked all over the planet.
Calle del Prado 3, Madrid, Spain
One of only half a dozen restaurants serving authentic Cuban cuisine in Madrid, the food on offer here is every bit as good as that served in its native home. Pictures painted by Cuban artists portraying scenes from Havana adorn the wall and the music in the background adds further to the whole effect. Check out the cocktails too, we can personally vouch for these.
Calle de Cuchilleros 17, Madrid, Spain
Founded back in 1725, this place oozes old world charm. With an open kitchen where you can see a charcoal fire and an eighteenth century oven as well as many other historic cooking facilities the food is of a similar nature where roast-suckling pick is the main specialty.
Libertad 6, Madrid, Spain
You’re going to have to try tapas at least once during your stay in the Spanish capital, and Bocaito is where you have to go to do so. Serving an amazing variety of this wonderful appetiser, Bocaito doubles as a bar so why not make a night of it?
10 Plaza de Alamillo, Madrid, Spain
One of the few authentic Mexican eateries in the city and one of the even fewer where you can eat outdoors during summer on the wonderful little terrace. You should note, however, that it’s closed on Mondays.
Velarde 8, Madrid, Spain
Located in one of the city’s best drinking spots, Ali Baba brings Middle Eastern cuisine to the heart of the city. Cheap and cheerful with some rather risque Middle Eastern pop music being played in the background, this place is certainly worth a visit.
Gravina 23, Madrid, Spain
Another one of the many international offerings in the city, El Inca transports its clientele to the heart of South America and Peru in particular. Fascinating Inca décor, delicious food and reasonable prices combine to make this one of the most popular restaurant of its type in Madrid so reservations are well advised, particularly on the weekend.
Velazquez 80, Madrid, Spain
The first American restaurant opened in Madrid, this eatery is one of a chain of fifteen in the city. Serving up a delicious selection of US specialties, Foster’s is eternally popular with locals and visitors alike and with huge portions for not such huge prices a meal here will keep you going for the day.
Centro Colo, Plaza de Colo 1, Madrid, Spain
A drinking, eating and clubbing venue in one, what more could you possibly ask for? Ok, so there’s some of you who might not enjoy such convenience but we know that there are many more of you who will. Also has an excellent glassed in terrace which is open all year round.
Conde de Aranda, Madrid, Spain
Finally, one for the vegetarians among you. One of the first veggie restaurants opened in the city, La Galette serves up a delicious and unique mix of creative dishes to the hordes of hungry punters who come through its doors every day. It is quite small so it is worth making a reservation.
c/Fuencarral 85, Madrid, Spain
If you're sick of picking at tapas and relish the thoughts of something more conventional, Madrid Madriz is where to go. Right outside Tribunal metro stop, here you have a vast selection of hot/cold sandwiches from €3, pizzas and burgers from €4, and full meals from €5 to choose from.
Open 8.30am-1am Mon-Thurs/Sun & 9am-1.30am Fri & Sat.