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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
    Kathmandu Tandoori House Nepali & Indian Cuisine
    #1 of 12,314 Places to Eat in Madrid
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 1902 reviewsTripAdvisor (1902)
    $ - $$ | Indian, Asian, Nepali
    Calle Acuario 11 B . Plaza de hermanos, 28042 Madrid Spain
    Read More »
  • #2
    Los Montes de Galicia
    #2 of 12,314 Places to Eat in Madrid
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 8500 reviewsTripAdvisor (8500)
    $ - $$ | Spanish, International, Mediterranean
    Calle Azcona 46, 28028 Madrid Spain
    Read More »
  • #3
    Cerveceria El Cano
    #3 of 12,314 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 »
  • #4
    Astor
    #4 of 12,314 Places to Eat in Madrid
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 1335 reviewsTripAdvisor (1335)
    $ - $$ | International, Mediterranean, European, Fusion
    Calle del Almendro 9, 28005 Madrid Spain
    Read More »
  • #5
    Antonio of Italia a Tavola
    #5 of 12,314 Places to Eat in Madrid
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 145 reviewsTripAdvisor (145)
    $ - $$ | Italian, Mediterranean
    Madrid Spain
    Read More »
  • #6
    Empanadas Malvon. Bernabeu
    #6 of 12,314 Places to Eat in Madrid
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 218 reviewsTripAdvisor (218)
    $ - $$ | Fast Food, Argentinean
    Paseo de La Habana 52. Local 2, 28036 Madrid Spain
    Read More »
  • #7
    Entre Santos Madrid
    #7 of 12,314 Places to Eat in Madrid
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 634 reviewsTripAdvisor (634)
    $ - $$ | Mediterranean, Spanish, Fusion, Bar, European, Contemporary
    Calle de San Bartolome 4, 28004 Madrid Spain
    Read More »
  • #8
    Azotea Forus Barcelo
    #8 of 12,314 Places to Eat in Madrid
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 1374 reviewsTripAdvisor (1374)
    $ - $$ | International, European, Spanish, Healthy, Street Food
    Calle Barcelo 6, 28004 Madrid Spain
    Read More »
  • #9
    Restaurante DCorazon
    #9 of 12,314 Places to Eat in Madrid
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 2135 reviewsTripAdvisor (2135)
    $ - $$ | Mediterranean, European, Spanish, International, Fusion
    Plaza Mayor 30 Entrada al restaurante por Calle de la Sal 2, 28012 Madrid Spain
    Read More »
  • #10
    El Social
    #10 of 12,314 Places to Eat in Madrid
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 386 reviewsTripAdvisor (386)
    $ - $$ | Mediterranean, Spanish, International, Fusion
    Calle Hernan Cortes 19, 28004 Madrid Spain
    Read More »
  • #11
    Pizza 3Cruces
    #11 of 12,314 Places to Eat in Madrid
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 571 reviewsTripAdvisor (571)
    $ | Italian, Pizza, Fast Food, European, Street Food
    Calle de la Salud 13 Gran Via, near Hostal Triana, 28013 Madrid Spain
    Read More »
  • #12
    Gramabar
    #12 of 12,314 Places to Eat in Madrid
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 1599 reviewsTripAdvisor (1599)
    $ - $$ | American, International, Venezuelan, Latin, Bar, Central American
    Calle Preciados 40, 28013 Madrid Spain
    Read More »
  • #13
    Sto Globo Sushi Room
    #13 of 12,314 Places to Eat in Madrid
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 216 reviewsTripAdvisor (216)
    $ - $$ | Japanese, Sushi, Asian, Fusion
    Calle de Santa Teresa, 28004 Madrid Spain
    Read More »
  • #14
    Empanadas Malvon Retiro
    #14 of 12,314 Places to Eat in Madrid
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 135 reviewsTripAdvisor (135)
    $ - $$ | Argentinean, Fast Food
    Calle Narvaez 60, 28009 Madrid Spain
    Read More »
  • #15
    Grama Lounge
    #15 of 12,314 Places to Eat in Madrid
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 2028 reviewsTripAdvisor (2028)
    $ - $$ | Latin, Bar, Venezuelan
    Calle de la Cruz 19, 28012 Madrid Spain
    Read More »
  • #16
    Steakburger Arenal
    #16 of 12,314 Places to Eat in Madrid
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 802 reviewsTripAdvisor (802)
    $ - $$ | American, Steakhouse, Barbecue
    Calle del Arenal 26, 28013 Madrid Spain
    Read More »
  • #17
    Zenith Brunch & Cocktails
    #17 of 12,314 Places to Eat in Madrid
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 744 reviewsTripAdvisor (744)
    $ - $$ | Cafe, European, International, Healthy
    Calle Valverde 28, 28004 Madrid Spain
    Read More »
  • #18
    Moratin Vinoteca Bistrot
    #18 of 12,314 Places to Eat in Madrid
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 1133 reviewsTripAdvisor (1133)
    $ - $$ | Mediterranean, European, Spanish, Wine Bar, International
    Calle Moratin 36, 28014 Madrid Spain
    Read More »
  • #19
    Curry y Canela
    #19 of 12,314 Places to Eat in Madrid
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 232 reviewsTripAdvisor (232)
    $ - $$ | Indian, Asian, Nepali
    Calle Espartinas 7, 28001 Madrid Spain
    Read More »
  • #20
    Pastamore
    #20 of 12,314 Places to Eat in Madrid
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 89 reviewsTripAdvisor (89)
    $ - $$ | Italian, Mediterranean
    Calle de Alcala 191, 28009 Madrid Spain
    Read More »

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