Credit

Courtesy of pvicens/Getty Images

What to Eat in Madrid

Traditionally Madrid's cuisine is fairly rustic. Meat, bread and cheese heavy, Madrid's food is best tasted in tapas – which are small plates or samples of Spanish dishes that come free when ordered with a drink at a bar. Note that Madrileños eat a late, large lunch, nosh on some tapas around 8 p.m., and then enjoy a later, lighter dinner meal. The incredibly popular Mercado de San Miguel offers ready-to-go tapas, as well as coffee, cocktails, dessert and produce stalls. The market even has a sushi counter. However, if your heart is set on having traditional complimentary tapas with a drink, head to El Tigre. Located near Chueca, El Tigre serves large drinks with equally large plates filled with tapas piled high on top of each other. El Tigre is messy, small and incredibly loud, but quintessentially Madrid, serving as a stop for many Madrileños on the way to the club. For an overview of some of the city's best tapas, consider tagging along on a tapas tour. The Madrid Tapas Night Walking Tour is especially popular with past travelers. 

Spanish specialties include tortilla española (potato omelette), paella (rice with fish), croquetas (fried breadcrumb rolls typically filled with mashed potatoes, cheese and meat), gazpacho (cold soup) and patatas bravas (sautéed potatoes typically served with a spicy aioli). But the country's most beloved dish is a simple plate of jamón Iberico, or Iberian ham. Visitors should not leave Spain without sampling the jamón Iberico, as it is considered by food experts to be some of the best ham in the world. It also isn't widely available in the U.S. Jamón is everywhere in Madrid. You will not only see it on many restaurant menus and tapas plates, but hanging in its original form in shop windows as you stroll the streets. It is just as much of a staple in Spanish culture as flamenco and bullfighting, only much more delicious.

If you grow tired of the heavy Madrid fare, the city also offers a number of international establishments serving up Indian, Asian and Latin American cuisine. For a sampling of global cuisine, especially Indian food, head to Lavapies, one of the city's most diverse neighborhoods. For cheap, and truly delectable Chinese food, venture underground Plaza de España to the Cafeteria and sample the tallarines fritos (or fried noodles). As for drinks, order a jarra (pitcher) of sangria, a glass of tinto de verano (summer wine), wine from the Rioja region and Mahou beer.

Find the Best Restaurants in Madrid

  • #1
    Los Montes de Galicia
    #1 of 12,358 Places to Eat in Madrid
    Tripadvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 8650 reviewsTripadvisor (8650)
    $ - $$ | Spanish, International, Mediterranean, Healthy
    Calle Azcona 46, 28028 Madrid Spain
    Read More »
  • #2
    Kathmandu Tandoori House Nepali & Indian Cuisine
    #2 of 12,358 Places to Eat in Madrid
    Tripadvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 1964 reviewsTripadvisor (1964)
    $ - $$ | Indian, Asian, Healthy, Nepali
    Calle Acuario 11 B . Plaza de hermanos, 28042 Madrid Spain
    Read More »
  • #3
    Astor
    #3 of 12,358 Places to Eat in Madrid
    Tripadvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 1351 reviewsTripadvisor (1351)
    $ - $$ | International, Mediterranean, European, Fusion, Healthy
    Calle del Almendro 9, 28005 Madrid Spain
    Read More »
  • #4
    Beytna Restaurante
    #4 of 12,358 Places to Eat in Madrid
    Tripadvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 133 reviewsTripadvisor (133)
    $ - $$ | Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Arabic
    Calle Moscatelar 18, 28043 Madrid Spain
    Read More »
  • #5
    Cerveceria El Cano
    #5 of 12,358 Places to Eat in Madrid
    Tripadvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 90 reviewsTripadvisor (90)
    $ | Spanish, Venezuelan
    Calle Cobos de Segovia 30, 28005 Madrid Spain
    Read More »
  • #6
    El Cocodrilo
    #6 of 12,358 Places to Eat in Madrid
    Tripadvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 154 reviewsTripadvisor (154)
    $ - $$ | French, Bar, Spanish
    Calle de Pilar de Zaragoza 60, 28028 Madrid Spain
    Read More »
  • #7
    Antonio of Italia a Tavola
    #7 of 12,358 Places to Eat in Madrid
    Tripadvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 146 reviewsTripadvisor (146)
    $ - $$ | Italian, Mediterranean
    Madrid Spain
    Read More »
  • #8
    Entre Santos Madrid
    #8 of 12,358 Places to Eat in Madrid
    Tripadvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 656 reviewsTripadvisor (656)
    $ - $$ | Mediterranean, Spanish, Fusion, European, Healthy, Contemporary
    Calle de San Bartolome 4, 28004 Madrid Spain
    Read More »
  • #9
    El Social
    #9 of 12,358 Places to Eat in Madrid
    Tripadvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 414 reviewsTripadvisor (414)
    $ - $$ | Mediterranean, International, Fusion
    Calle Hernan Cortes 19, 28004 Madrid Spain
    Read More »
  • #10
    Empanadas Malvon Retiro
    #10 of 12,358 Places to Eat in Madrid
    Tripadvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 143 reviewsTripadvisor (143)
    $ - $$ | Fast Food, Argentinean
    Calle Narvaez 60, 28009 Madrid Spain
    Read More »
  • #11
    Azotea Forus Barcelo
    #11 of 12,358 Places to Eat in Madrid
    Tripadvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 1397 reviewsTripadvisor (1397)
    $ - $$ | International, European, Spanish, Healthy, Street Food
    Calle Barcelo 6, 28004 Madrid Spain
    Read More »
  • #12
    Trattoria Pulcinella
    #12 of 12,358 Places to Eat in Madrid
    Tripadvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 1143 reviewsTripadvisor (1143)
    $ - $$ | Italian, Pizza, Healthy, Neapolitan, Campania, Romana, Lazio, Sicilian, Central-Italian, Southern-Italian
    Calle Regueros 7, 28004 Madrid Spain
    Read More »
  • #13
    Grama Lounge
    #13 of 12,358 Places to Eat in Madrid
    Tripadvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 2113 reviewsTripadvisor (2113)
    $ - $$ | Latin, Bar, Venezuelan
    Calle de la Cruz 19, 28012 Madrid Spain
    Read More »
  • #14
    Restaurante DCorazon
    #14 of 12,358 Places to Eat in Madrid
    Tripadvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 2172 reviewsTripadvisor (2172)
    $ - $$ | Mediterranean, European, Spanish, International, Fusion
    Plaza Mayor 30 Entrada al restaurante por Calle de la Sal 2, 28012 Madrid Spain
    Read More »
  • #15
    Gramabar
    #15 of 12,358 Places to Eat in Madrid
    Tripadvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 1601 reviewsTripadvisor (1601)
    $ - $$ | American, International, Venezuelan, Caribbean, Latin, Bar, Central American
    Calle Preciados 40, 28013 Madrid Spain
    Read More »
  • #16
    Pizza 3Cruces
    #16 of 12,358 Places to Eat in Madrid
    Tripadvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 574 reviewsTripadvisor (574)
    $ | Italian, Pizza, Fast Food, European, Street Food
    Calle de la Salud 13 Gran Via, near Hostal Triana, 28013 Madrid Spain
    Read More »
  • #17
    Empanadas Malvon. Bernabeu
    #17 of 12,358 Places to Eat in Madrid
    Tripadvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 220 reviewsTripadvisor (220)
    $ - $$ | Fast Food, Argentinean
    Paseo de La Habana 52. Local 2, 28036 Madrid Spain
    Read More »
  • #18
    Steakburger Arenal
    #18 of 12,358 Places to Eat in Madrid
    Tripadvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 832 reviewsTripadvisor (832)
    $ - $$ | American, Steakhouse, Barbecue
    Calle del Arenal 26, 28013 Madrid Spain
    Read More »
  • #19
    Pastamore
    #19 of 12,358 Places to Eat in Madrid
    Tripadvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 97 reviewsTripadvisor (97)
    $ - $$ | Italian, Pizza, Mediterranean
    Calle de Alcala 191, 28009 Madrid Spain
    Read More »
  • #20
    Sakale
    #20 of 12,358 Places to Eat in Madrid
    Tripadvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 1728 reviewsTripadvisor (1728)
    $ - $$ | Mexican, Japanese, Caribbean, Latin, Sushi, Asian, Healthy, Venezuelan, Fusion
    Calle del Molino de Viento 4, 28004 Madrid Spain
    Read More »

Explore More of Madrid

If you make a purchase from our site, we may earn a commission. This does not affect the quality or independence of our editorial content.

Recommended