5 best restaurants in Madrid
Our favourite places to eat. Enjoy awesome food and stunning decor.
Seafood capital of Spain
Taking its name from the ‘train’, a mesh net used to catch sardines and anchovies, La Trainera has served up the city’s best seafood for decades. Even though Madrid lies inland, the best catch is flown here first, and the restaurant even boasts its own staff and fish farms at the ports. Go for the baby eels, if they’re in season, or jumbo red shrimp, named after carabineros, the customs officers who share a uniform of the same colour!
Calle Lagasca 60
Tel: +34 91 576 8035 www.latrainera.es
The oldest restaurant in the world
The Guinness Book of Records recognises Botin, opened in 1725, as the world’s oldest restaurant. That’s just one reason to visit. Smack in the heart of the old centre, this classic eatery has set the gold standard of Castilian gastronomy for centuries. Renowned for its suckling pig, roast lamb and garlic soup, you can see why it’s been popular with everyone from European royalty to Hemingway. Why, even Goya once washed dishes here!
Calle Cuchilleros, 17
Tel: +34 913 664 217 www.botin.es/?q=en
Tel: +34 91 521 8700 www.casinodemadrid.es
La Terraza Del Casino
Luxury gets experimental
When a restaurant’s signature dish is Kellogg’s paella (Rice Krispies, shrimp heads and vanilla-flavoured mashed potatoes), you know you’re on the edge of the culinary universe. Also at odds is the décor: so 19th century (chandeliers, stucco and silver candlesticks). Yet the desire to do things differently (and do them well) has earned this restaurant two Michelin stars. Go for the taster menu. It’s sublime. And dress code: wear a jacket and tie.
Fiery favourite of the working class
This mini-chain of restaurants, all within 10 blocks of each other, is the home of the world-famous salsa brava, its patented and spicy specialty sauce. Thronged by Madrileños and tourists alike, it’s the place to come for tapas. Must-try’s include patatas bravas (potatoes with brava sauce) and pig’s ear, naturally also served with their famous sauce. Of course, no meal here would be complete without a few beers to cool off the heat.
Álvarez Gato, 5
Tel: + 34 915 228 581 http://lasbravas.com/?lang=en
Famous Spanish chef lives on
Named after the hometown of the late Spanish chef, Santi Santamaría, Santceloni is every bit as exquisite as its more famous Barcelona cousin. Bring an appetite and plenty of time (at least three hours) because you’ll want to linger. This place offers everything from two Michelin stars to ravioli of sliced raw shrimp. There’s a table groaning with the finest cheeses, a wine list overflowing with Catalan favourites and even a cigar lounge!
Hotel Hesperia Madrid Paseo de la Castellana, 57
Tel: +34 91 210 88 40 www.restaurantesantceloni.com