Food and drink is a critical part of Spanish culture and the capital city of Madrid is the best place to sample all the flavours of Spain – regional and national, old and you, traditional and modern, authentic and fusion, Spanish and international. Whether you are a certified foodie or simply eat to fuel your day, the Madrid food promises to surprise and delight your taste buds in the best way possible.
Food is one of the best ways to get to know any culture, but this is especially true in a country like Spain, where food is central to life, celebration, religion and more. On your trip to Madrid, make sure to plan some meals at the infamous restaurants listed above – but also, feel free to stumble into an eatery that catches your eye and see what they have to offer. To start planning your visit to the Spanish capital, visit your local SOTC branch to know about best Madrid tour packages and Spain tour packages .
There are so many possibilities when it comes to eating in Madrid. The capital city offers up a wide range of dishes from all around the country – and while these may not be as authentic as they would be in their hometown, they are delicious nonetheless. However, what most people don’t know is that Madrid has a few dishes of its own - Cocido Madrileño, a rich and smoky pork stew that is a favourite amongst locals during the winter; Huevos Rotos, which is essentially fried potatoes seasoned with salt and topped with egg; Bocadillo de Calamares, the city’s famous squid sandwich which is a must-try for anyone who loves seafood; and Oreja a la Plancha, which are chunks of cooked pig ear – definitely not for the faint of heart! These dishes are definitely the best Spanish food in Madrid. Feel free to try other popular ones like paella, patatas bravas and the classic Spanish omelette as well.
Another popular food in Madrid – and across the rest of Spain as well – are churros with chocolate. But in the capital city, this dish is a must-have for locals after a night out on the town. Whether you choose to indulge in the wee hours of the morning or at a more reasonable time of day or night, do not leave Madrid without trying churros – we promise, you will be back for more!
When it comes to food, Madrid has options for every type of budget and taste. Affordable fare is widely available on the streets and in food markets like San Miguel. There are also a host of mid-priced restaurants which serve up great food – and the food tends to get better as you move further out of tourist hotspots. If you have the budget to splurge, Madrid is also home to many restaurants from the Michelin list. But without a doubt, these are some of the best places to eat in Madrid.
This food market is a big tourist attraction in its own right and it should be a high on your list when it comes to eating in Madrid. Here, you can feast on some of the most authentic tapas and dishes in the capital, accompanied with a glass of local wine. We recommend trying the tostas, jamon and seafood from one of the many stalls in the market.
Another city favourite that has been around for years, Taberna La Bola has been owned and run by the same family for four generations, since the late 1800’s. One of the most famous dishes here is the cocido, which is also one of the best foods in Madrid. It is a chickpea stew that is cooked in clay pots over charcoal, giving the dish a smoky flavour that is difficult to replicate elsewhere. For dessert, be sure to try the apple fritters with ice cream – they are unlike any other dessert you would have ever tried!
A Madrid restaurant classic, Botín is a restaurant that specialises in cooking and roasting meats – so if you’re vegetarian, you may want to give this one a skip. In its heydays, the restaurant was visited by many famous literary geniuses like Ernest Hemmingway, who even set a scene from one of his novel’s in this very restaurant. It’s popular with both, locals and tourists, so you may have to wait a short while to get a table – but trust us, it’s well worth your time. The suckling pig is one of the most famous dishes at this restaurant, but as with most places, ask your server for recommendations.
If you have a roomy travel budget, make the most of Michel-starred Madrid restaurants. DriverXO is the only restaurant in the city with three stars. So if there is only one luxurious meal you’d indulge in, let it be this. At DiverXO, one of the best restaurants in Madrid, the dishes are constantly changing with the seasons and the produce that is available, so no two meals are alike. If you’re keen, make sure to reserve your table in advance – it sells out very, very quickly!