Founder and chief food tour guide Lauren Aloise from Devour Madrid Food Tours shares her personal favourite foodie spots in Madrid. From backstreet tapas bars to glitzy terrace restaurants, here’s what and where to eat in Spain’s regal capital city.
Madrid is chock full of some of Spain’s best eateries. Whether you start your day early with a delicious pastry or churros con chocolate, or prefer to indulge later in the day with a pincho de tortilla and some cañas, Madrid has perfected the art of eating at any time of day (or night!).
The difficult thing in this city is deciding what to eat and where. With so many great options, a Madrid food tour can be the perfect solution! But if you’re going at it on your own, here are 10 of the best Madrid eateries to have a truly authentic experience.
Where to Eat Breakfast in Madrid, Spain
San Gines ~ Coffee, chocolate and churros
There is no guidebook to Madrid that doesn’t sign the praises of San Gines. A quaint café that’s been selling churros and hot chocolate since 1894, it’s an absolute must for a sweet breakfast to start the day.
Address: Pasadizo San Ginés, 5, Madrid, España
La Mallorquina ~ Pastry Paradise
Madrileños are known for their sweet tooth, and that’s certainly obvious when you walk inside La Mallorquina, one of Madrid’s best pastry shops. They are most famous for their napolitanas, flakey puff pastry filled with chocolate or cream.
Address: (Puerta del Sol) Calle Mayor, 2, 28013 Madrid
Best Tapas Bars and Restaurants to Eat Lunch in Madrid
La Sanabresa ~ Serious Spanish Cuisine
To experience a true menú del día (fixed price daily lunch menu) you can’t miss La Sanabresa. There may be a line out the door, but waiting is worth it to experience the hearty Spanish cuisine put out daily.
Address: Calle Amor de Dios, 12, 28014 Madrid
Mercado Antón Martin ~ Merket Stall Seduction
Picky eater? Can’t decide? Check out the newly renovated Antón Martín Market where you’ll find small, owner-operated food booths serving everything from sushi to tripe stew. Don’t miss the authentic Italian food on the second floor!
Address: Calle de Santa Isabel, 5, 28012 Madrid
Best Cafes and Cheap Eat for Afternoon Coffee and Snacks in Madrid
El Riojano ~ Sweet Sensations Since 1855
Another of Madrid’s most beautiful and historic establishments, El Riojano has been serving pastries since 1855. Their cookies are still sent to the royal palace!
Address: Calle Mayor, 10, 28013 Madrid
Casa Labra ~ Aperitivos and Homemade Vermouth
After work Madrileños love to go out for the aperitivo, an aperitif hour where they drink beer or vermouth and snack on simple tapas. One of the best places for a quick but satisfying snack is Casa Labra. Stand in line for their fried cod and cod croquettes, and wash it down with the house vermouth.
Address: Calle de Tetuán, 12, 28013 Madrid
Best Restaurants and Tapas Bars for Dinner in Madrid
El Cogollo ~ Seafood Splendour
For a classic Northern Spanish experience head straight to El Cogollo– reservations recommended. Their grilled octopus is incredibly delicious and it’s the perfect place to try a hearty bean stew in the winter months.
Address: Subida Coracha, 1
Celso y Manolo ~ Gourmet Tapas
For upscale sharing plates, try Celso y Manolo, a small tapas bar in the Chueca neighborhood that offers a locally sourced menu of mostly organic ingredients. Favorite dishes include their famous “tomato steak” and rice with garbanzo beans and blood sausage.
Address: Plaza de Toros Vieja, 29
After Dark – Where to Go out for Drinks at Night in Madrid
Cuevas de Sesamo ~ Live Music and Sangria
A classic Madrid experience, wander into the Cuevas de Sesamo for a glass of sangria. It might sound like strange advice (most Spaniards don’t actually drink much sangria) but it’s an exception to the rule. Between the bizarre ambiance and random pianists, it’s a night you could only have in Madrid!
Address: Calle Victoria, 13
The Principal Hotel ~ Rooftop Ritz
One of the newer hotels in Madrid, The Principal hotel boasts one of the best (and still relatively hidden) terrace bars. Drinks can be pricey, but it’s worth it for the comfort and views.
Address: Calle Alcazabilla, 12
Where to Stay in Madrid, Spain
Book Rental Apartments in Madrid
Do you know any other fantastic places to eat in Madrid? Let us know in the comment section below and we’ll check them out!
BIO: Lauren Aloise fell in love with Spanish cuisine while living in southern Spain. Fascinated by the incredible diversity found in Spanish cooking, she started a food and travel blog called Spanish Sabores, and later founded the award winning Spanish food tour company, Devour Spain. Lauren is based in Madrid, but travels the country as much as possible in search of the stories behind the recipes.