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Recommended Restaurants and Tapas Bars in Madrid

Below we give an overview of some of the best restaurants and tapas bars in Madrid - selected either for their food or their fun factor. It is estimated there are some 3,200 eateries in the capital so there's plenty of choice! Within that number there are 9 restaurants with one Michelin star and two with 2 stars - La Broche and Santceloni - (as of writing - Summer 2009).

The restaurants, cafes, bars and tapas joints listed below represent those places that I've enjoyed whilst living in the city or that have been recommended to me.

If the place is underlined then it's either a link to the eatery's web page or I've written a few words about it. Click on the name to read a mini review!The Grill Club on Jorge Juan

However, my number one recommendation is to just try any place you like the look of. If you have a bad meal you will have been extremely unlucky because the vast majority of eating spots in Madrid, from the scruffy cafe to the ultra-modern fusion food boutique, offer exemplary fair at often reasonable prices. If you love meat you're in for an extra special time, if you're a vegetarian you're going to be eating a lot of tortillas - unless you head to Calle Mayor just off Sol, where the ever popular Maoz healthy fast food chain have an outlet.

I also include in the list some of our favourite "bars de copas" for early evening drinks and aperitivos. In many, but not all, you will be served snacks with your drinks, be it olives, savouries or dips etc. It's considered important to balance the drink with food and is a most delightful custom.

Comer,Tapas y Ocio Madrid

Arepas con Todo Restaurant2 Bars and Nightclub       Cheap and cheerful Colombian cafe - over 50 dishes on menu. Calle Hartzenbusch, 19      
Bo Finn's Irish Pub       Irish pub popular with under 30's. Shows all important sports matches. Calle Velazquez      
El Buey Restaurant       Meat. Lovely, lovely meat. And hand-made desserts. Calle Huertas      
Casa De Abuela Tapas y raciones       Old-school tapas restaurant on C/. Goya. Always popular. Metro Sevilla      
Cazorla Tapas y raciones       Authentic Andalucian tapas bar. Try the fritura de pescado. C/. Castelló - Metro Nunez de Balboa      
El Torreon Restaurant       An elegant yet homely restaurant in the countryside. High quality dining. El Pardo      
Esfahan Restaurant       Top class Persian restaurant on C/. San Bernadino street. San Bernadino      
The Grill Club Restaurant       Minimilast New York style decor, international cuisine. San Bernadino      
Larios Cafe Restaurant2 Bars and Nightclub       Glamorous spot for the funky designer crowd. Calle Silva just off Gran Via      
La Corolla Tapas y raciones       The best 'Tostas' in La Latina. C/. Almendro, 10      
La Terraza del Casino Restaurant       Creative avant-garde gastronomy from Ferran Adria (El Bulli). Alcala, 15      
La Trini Cafe / Bar       Galician dishes, welcoming bar staff and friendly clientele. Rias Rosas      
Laydown RestaurantLive music club       They serve your food and drinks while you lie in bed! + live music Plaza Mostenses, 9      
Memento Restaurant       Exclusive. Cosmopolitan crowd. Californian food. C/. Caracas, 1      
Negro de Anglona Restaurant       Grand setting - Minimilast decor - Italian-Spanish fusion food. C/. de Segovia      
Polenta Restaurant       Home of world famous chef Jesús Núñez. Plaza Marina Espaņola      
Sabor Restaurant       Modern restaurant offering traditional food. Salamanca barrio      
Sabrino de Botín Restaurant       The oldest restaurant in the world, or, at least in Madrid. Calle de Cuchilleros, 17      
Tepic Restaurant       Authentic Mexican food with English-speaking waiters. Chueca      
Vinitis Tapas y raciones       The tapas bar offshoot of 'La Creazione' restaurant. Metro Sevilla      

Madrid Uno's eating and socialising guide.

Tapas y Raciones - Tapas City Centre - City
Restaurant - Restaurant Suburbs or Countryside - Country
Bar de Copas / Cafe - Bar de Copas - Cafe  

Reviews / Comments:
Reviews and details described below represent the authors view only and places may change or close down over-time. We only write about what we have experienced and the places we have liked but if you have any comments or suggestions we would be happy to include them.

Bo' Finn's - C/. Velazquez
NOT a restaurant but yet another Irish themed pub (the Irish have the pub scene all wrapped up in Madrid) with the standard olde antiquey pub signs etc. The place is usually quite full and always a good ratio of boys to girls, most aged in their 20s to 30s. Quite posh. Three TV screens and they carry most important football and rugby matches including English Premier League and Six Nations, when you can often meet some expats. Pub grub available.

Restaurante El Torreon
El Torreon - Carretera Cristo de El Pardo / El Pardo
A short drive from the city centre and located in the forest that surrounds the pueblo of El Pardo you can find this elegant and well-ordered classic Spanish restaurant. Definitely somewhere for a special occasion. If you want to get really stuffed on a selection of the best quality dishes we can recommend the "Gran Surtido de Tapas". The suckling pig is good also and they get their fish from up La Coruna way. A treat.

Larios Cafe - C/. Silva, 4
Glamorous, trendy, funky and just a little bit posh, Larios is both a top restaurant (Cuban cuisine) and a popular nightclub. Upstairs there are two bars and the eating area - contemporary elegant - downstairs is the club (open 'til 6.00am at weekends) which tips towards salsa and latin rhythms but some nice electronic latino-fusion crossover stuff too. It's pricey and you'll need to be dressed right to get through the door.
Click here for its website.

La Terraza del Casino - C/. Alcala, 15
This restaurant is run by Ferran Adria, proprietor of the celebrated El Bulli restaurant and current overlord of creative gastronomy. The famous foam concoctions are on the menu (try a caipirinha nitro - a cocktail turned sorbet by liquid nitrogen) and sauces and accompaniments are squeezed on to your plates with syringes. The restaurant occupies the top floor of the Casino de Madrid and you can find out more by
visiting its website here.

La Trini - C/. Santisima Trinidad, 28
A cafe / bar managed by pair of Galician brothers. The result is a friendly, intimate local that serves regional specialities of Galicia. If you're lucky you may get a shot of their home-brewed aguadente.

Sabor Restaurant - C/. General Pardiñas, 30
From the outside this looks like a some sort of post modern fusion eating clinic - it's all neon pink lights, bright white spaces and jet black fittings and borders - but the cuisine is traditional Spanish and its popularity makes it feel snug and warm. Ground level is a bar and dining area while upstairs is dining only (+ occasional private parties). Breakfasts, brunches and dinners are served and it's a good spot for aperitivos as well. We like the Tartas Caseras and the crepes are good mid-morning.

Sabrino de Botín - C/. de Cuchilleros, 17
Self-styled oldest restaurant in the world (they have a plaque that says so, so it must be true) which was founded in 1725. It's not cheap and is considered a bit kitschy by the locals who prefer the tapas bars a bit further along in La Latina district, but the 'plata estrella' is some of the best suckling pig you will eat on the peninsula. The antique oven which has been roasting these little porkers for decades is the focal point in a dining area kitted out in dark wood fittings and painted ceramics on the walls.

Tepic - C/. Pelayo, 4
Located in trendy Chueca it calls its self an 'Urban Mex' restaurant, whatever that means, but the food is the real deal, authentic Mexican dishes with tacos featuring heavily (therefore making it a Taquería). Check out the
funky website for more details.

Vinitis - C/. Ventura de la Vega, 15
If you're looking for a good wine selection to go with your tapas and raciones this is a good spot. Only open at night it is the offshoot of 'La Creazione' restaurant. Nearest Metro station is Sevilla.