The following restaurants in Madrid are divided into three categories:
Expensive (over € 90)
Moderate ( € 40 to € 90)
Inexpensive (up to € 40)
It is the average price for a three-course meal for one person and half a bottle of the cheapest wine or a comparable drink, without VAT (IVA) and tip.
Tipping is not common, but is appreciated with good service. In restaurants of the higher price category, a tip of 5% of the invoice amount is appropriate. Occasionally, a fee will be added to the bill per place setting, but this should be noted on the menu.
The jockey, which is particularly popular with rich and famous guests, has established itself as one of the best restaurants in Madrid since it opened in 1945. The jockey is relatively small and cozy and decorated with dark wood paneling and framed pictures of well-known jockeys and their horses. Depending on the season and availability, fish, poultry and game appear on the creative and unusual menu. The wine cellar is also excellent.
Address: Calle de Amador de los Ríos 6, Madrid
Telephone: 91 310 04 11
As one of the best restaurants in Europe, the Zalacaín has received almost every gastronomic award, including three coveted Michelin stars. The finest classic French cuisine with Basque influences is served. Some guests may find the formality of this restaurant, with its different dining areas – some exclusively for romantic tête-à-têtes -, the subdued lighting and the dark red decor, to be somewhat exaggerated. Blazers and ties are required.
Address: Calle de Álvarez de Baena 4, Madrid
Telephone: (91) 561 48 40
This sublime establishment, less than a minute from Puerta del Sol, was founded in 1839 by Frenchman Emile Lhardy, who came to town because it was said that there wasn’t a single good restaurant in Madrid.
Here they specialize in traditional Castilian cuisine with typical dishes such as solomillo (rib steak), roast beef, cocido (stew) or madrid-style tripe in tomato and wine sauce. In the tapas bar and the delicatessen on the lower floor you can admire original gilded mirrors, marble counters and brass fittings.
The bar is a cheaper alternative to the fine restaurant on the first floor. Here you can get soups, paella, tortilla, fish and crustaceans as well as sausage and ham plates.
Address: Carrera de San Jerónimo 8, Madrid
Phone: (91) 521 33 85
Ethnic restaurants are not the strongest side of Madrid, but the Al-Mounia near the Paseo de Recoletas can be considered an exception. The North African (Maghreb) specialties of this restaurant include excellent couscous dishes and typical tagines. The appetizers are extremely tempting, but overpriced – you’d better spend your money on the stunning sweets. The decor imitates a Moorish palace with ceramic tile walls.
Address: Calle de Recoletos 5, Madrid
Telephone: (91) 435 08 28
Botín, supposedly the oldest restaurant in the city, first opened its doors on Plaza Mayor in 1725. The splendid old dining room still has the original tiles, oak beams and a wood-burning stove. The specialty of the Botín are traditional Castilian dishes – the roasted suckling pig and the tender Arandal lamb are particularly delicious. Reservations are strongly recommended as this place is extremely popular.
Address: Calle de los Cuchilleros 17, Madrid
Telephone: (91) 366 42 17
Divina La Cocina
The great location on the edge of the trendy Chueca district is just one of the reasons why this restaurant is so popular. A very special kind of Spanish fusion cuisine has been created here – examples include salted cod in soy and ginger sauce, seaweed salad with shrimp and sea urchin eggs or beef steak with foie gras in port wine. The designer Carlos Mayoral provided a little sophistication and elegance with pastel blue and terracotta tones.
Address: Calle de Colmenares, 13, Madrid
Telephone: (91) 531 37 65
Meat eaters are not neglected in this popular vegetarian restaurant. Among the varied and imaginative vegetable, rice and pasta dishes you can find delicacies such as tartar de chicle (cauliflower with cheese and fresh herbs) followed by apple croquettes. Guests sit elbow to elbow in the two small rooms that are decorated in a pretty country style.
Address: Calle del Conde de Aranda 11, Madrid
Telephone: (91) 576 06 41
This branch of the well-known newsagents and restaurants chain is very conveniently located near the Prado and the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum. It is open daily until early in the morning and is always well attended, which is mainly due to the low prices and the varied menu – here you can get everything from ham with scrambled eggs to pizza and tacos. The atmosphere is lively and busy, the decor modern and functional. Breakfast (American, English and continental) is served until noon.
Address: Plaza de las Cortes 7, Madrid
Telephone: (91) 429 42 34