The Best Restaurants in Madrid
We’re spoiled for choice here in Madrid when it comes to culinary goodness. Craving simple tapas at a no-frills, hole-in-the-wall bar? You’ll find one on practically every block. Would you rather expand your horizons with unique international food? We’ve got plenty of that, too.
When it comes to food, Madrid has just about everything you could possibly want. Whether you're craving a good, hearty, home-cooked meal or the latest and greatest avant-garde cuisine, you'll find it in the Spanish capital. Here are the best restaurants in Madrid, in no particular order, for whatever suits your fancy.
Let’s start things off with a classic. At the ripe old age of 293 at the time of this writing, El Sobrino de Botín (commonly referred to simply as Botín) boasts the claim to fame of the world’s oldest restaurant. With nearly 300 years under their belt of perfecting each and every dish, it’s no wonder why they’re one of the best restaurants in Madrid! The rustic interior will transport you back in time and provides the perfect setting for enjoying home-cooked traditional food at its finest.
This is the type of restaurant that makes everyone wish they were a regular, coming in for dinner every week and leaving in the wee hours. It offers the epitome of elevated comfort food: so-called “faux” ravioli stuffed with txangurro (king crab), marinated oysters, bone marrow with a side of sirloin, and wine — lots of wine. And if the owner Sacha Hormaechea is spotted greeting clients, make sure to shake his hand. He’s quite the character.
David Muñoz’s restaurant needs no introduction. In only five years, this chef has gone from being a complete unknown to winning the Spanish National Prize for Gastronomy and being awarded three Michelin stars for his restaurant DiverXO, where he has gone for an elaborate type of cuisine, mixing the flavours, textures and techniques of haute cuisine. Surprises in the dishes are guaranteed. It can be difficult to book a table here, but it’s worth the effort.
If these walls could talk, they might recite a few verses from "Fields of Castile" by Antonio Machado, the Generation of '98 genius who—like many in Madrid's turn-of-the-century intelligentsia—was a regular at Café Comercial, an 1887 literary café that hosted readings, salons, political debates, and more. Paella in Madrid is usually (gasp) a sad, soggy affair—a poor imitation of the saffron-scented, crunchy-bottomed original from the Valencian coast.
Bosco de Lobos
Oh how I love this place. Let me count the ways… It’s a favorite in the same way as a beloved leather jacket is. Bosco de Lobos is the perfect place for a casual yet chic dining experience. The menu covers every foodie fad but is complete with classics such as arroz and steak tartare. The desserts are to die for, as are the interior vibes – all dim lighting and shelves groaning with books. A must visit.
Chocolateria San Ginés
Just north of the Plaza Mayor, this locally-beloved cafe has been serving churros con chocolate to Madrileños for over a hundred years. On Saturday and Sunday mornings, lines curl around the block, so get here early, or late. Since the place is open almost around the clock, it also becomes crowded in the wee hours of the morning, when clubbers stop here on the way to or from the party. Good for munchies anytime.
El Club Allard
El Club Allard opened in 1998 as a private club, but since that time it has become best known for its exemplary cuisine, having earned two Michelin stars. With chef María Marte at the helm, the kitchen creates innovative dishes comprising seasonal produce. The two tasting menus, Rendez-Vous and Seduction, each feature a series of beautifully plated dishes that all place the focus on their star ingredients.