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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 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
    Sto Globo Sushi Room
    #1 of 13,721 Places to Eat in Madrid
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 87 reviewsTripAdvisor (87)
    $ - $$ | Japanese, Sushi, Asian, Fusion
    Calle de Santa Teresa 8, 28004 Madrid Spain
    Read More »
  • #2
    Empanadas Malvon. Bernabeu
    #2 of 13,721 Places to Eat in Madrid
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 103 reviewsTripAdvisor (103)
    $ - $$ | Argentinean, South American
    Paseo de La Habana 52. Local 2, 28036 Madrid Spain
    Read More »
  • #3
    Steakburger Arenal
    #3 of 13,721 Places to Eat in Madrid
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 259 reviewsTripAdvisor (259)
    $ - $$ | American, Steakhouse
    Calle del Arenal 26, 28013 Madrid Spain
    Read More »
  • #4
    Astor
    #4 of 13,721 Places to Eat in Madrid
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 1059 reviewsTripAdvisor (1059)
    $ - $$ | International, Mediterranean, European, Fusion
    Calle del Almendro 9 local B, 28005 Madrid Spain
    Read More »
  • #5
    Kathmandu Tandoori House Nepali & Indian Cuisine
    #5 of 13,721 Places to Eat in Madrid
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 1201 reviewsTripAdvisor (1201)
    $ - $$ | Indian, Asian, Nepali
    Calle Acuario 11 B . Plaza de hermanos, 28042 Madrid Spain
    Read More »
  • #6
    Los Montes de Galicia
    #6 of 13,721 Places to Eat in Madrid
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 7184 reviewsTripAdvisor (7184)
    $ - $$ | Seafood, Spanish, International, Mediterranean
    Calle Azcona 46, 28028 Madrid Spain
    Read More »
  • #7
    Antonio of Italia a Tavola
    #7 of 13,721 Places to Eat in Madrid
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 103 reviewsTripAdvisor (103)
    $ - $$ | Italian, Mediterranean
    Madrid Spain
    Read More »
  • #8
    Zenith Brunch & Cocktails
    #8 of 13,721 Places to Eat in Madrid
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 275 reviewsTripAdvisor (275)
    $ - $$ | Cafe, International, European, Healthy
    Calle Valverde 28, 28004 Madrid Spain
    Read More »
  • #9
    Pizza 3Cruces
    #9 of 13,721 Places to Eat in Madrid
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 381 reviewsTripAdvisor (381)
    $ | Italian, Pizza, Fast Food, European, Street Food
    Calle de la Salud 13 Gran Via, near Hostal Triana, 28013 Madrid Spain
    Read More »
  • #10
    Entre Santos Madrid
    #10 of 13,721 Places to Eat in Madrid
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 309 reviewsTripAdvisor (309)
    $ - $$ | Mediterranean, Spanish, Fusion, European, Contemporary
    Calle de San Bartolome 4, 28004 Madrid Spain
    Read More »
  • #11
    Grama Lounge
    #11 of 13,721 Places to Eat in Madrid
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 1209 reviewsTripAdvisor (1209)
    $ - $$ | Latin, Bar, Venezuelan
    Calle de la Cruz 19, 28012 Madrid Spain
    Read More »
  • #12
    Healthy Hunters
    #12 of 13,721 Places to Eat in Madrid
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 108 reviewsTripAdvisor (108)
    $ - $$ | Healthy, Hawaiian
    Calle Velazquez 136, 28006 Madrid Spain
    Read More »
  • #13
    La Gaditana Castellana
    #13 of 13,721 Places to Eat in Madrid
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 663 reviewsTripAdvisor (663)
    $ - $$ | Mediterranean, Spanish, Seafood, International, Diner, Wine Bar
    Paseo Castellana 56, 28046 Madrid Spain
    Read More »
  • #14
    Motteau
    #14 of 13,721 Places to Eat in Madrid
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 191 reviewsTripAdvisor (191)
    $ - $$ | French, Cafe, European
    Calle San Pedro 9, 28014 Madrid Spain
    Read More »
  • #15
    Gustazio Gastrobar
    #15 of 13,721 Places to Eat in Madrid
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 99 reviewsTripAdvisor (99)
    $ - $$ | Italian
    Calle Embajadores 197, 28045 Madrid Spain
    Read More »
  • #16
    Level Veggie Bistro
    #16 of 13,721 Places to Eat in Madrid
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 551 reviewsTripAdvisor (551)
    $ - $$ | Mediterranean, European, Healthy
    Avenida Menendez Pelayo 61, 28009 Madrid Spain
    Read More »
  • #17
    Gramabar
    #17 of 13,721 Places to Eat in Madrid
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 1331 reviewsTripAdvisor (1331)
    $ - $$ | American, International, Venezuelan, Latin, Bar
    Calle Preciados 40, 28013 Madrid Spain
    Read More »
  • #18
    Mawey Taco Bar - Gran Via
    #18 of 13,721 Places to Eat in Madrid
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 145 reviewsTripAdvisor (145)
    $ - $$ | Mexican, Fusion
    Calle de San Bernardo 5 Local 2, 28013 Madrid Spain
    Read More »
  • #19
    Cebo
    #19 of 13,721 Places to Eat in Madrid
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 957 reviewsTripAdvisor (957)
    $$ | Mediterranean, Spanish, Contemporary
    Carrera San Jeronimo 34, 28014 Madrid Spain
    Read More »
  • #20
    Plenti
    #20 of 13,721 Places to Eat in Madrid
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 453 reviewsTripAdvisor (453)
    $ | Cafe, Mediterranean, European, Healthy
    Costanilla Desamparados 13 esquina calle Moratín, 28014 Madrid Spain
    Read More »

Explore More of Madrid

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