The Spanish capital has long been a huge destination for culture, not just because of its Museo Nacional del Prado, better known as the Prado, or annual events such as ARCO which takes place between February 21 and 25 this year.
At any time of year, there are many good restaurants, sometimes underrated but which offer a combination of spectacular international cuisine and also local delicacies. In the overall scheme of things, Madrid is sometimes overlooked in terms of other culinary destinations throughout Spain, but it has much to offer. It is a good idea to get off the beaten track and look for hidden restaurants with the most authentic cuisine which may be less popular for the tourists but havens for locals.
In this short guide here are a few of the best, both the most obvious and Michelin Star rated as well as a few which are more surprising.
When the results came out for the 2018 Michelin Guide to Spain and Portugal on November 27 last year, the new three-star restaurants were outside Madrid although it still retains its attractions. One such is Coque, which has now moved to a new location and now earns a second star.
Calle del Marqués del Riscal, 11, 28010 Madrid, Spain
Dining at this restaurant is a movable feast, quite literally. Guests might start with a welcoming cocktail at the bar and then be moved into the wine cellar for more appetizers and into the kitchen before arriving at their table for the main courses. Alongside the appetizers and amuse-bouches there are many other sterling features. While this is not a cheap restaurant, it is potentially good value with the amount of excellent quality food on offer. It is possibly not a venue to come back to regularly, having had the tapas tour at that the outset once. It is certainly it is worth a one-off blowout.
2 Casa Maria
Plaza Mayor 23, 28012 Madrid, Spain
We are not exactly off the beaten track here and there is a case for just sitting outside and watching the activity in the busy Plaza Mayor. Again expect to find plenty of tapas, but this is top notch with the salmon salad and grilled vegetables as good as you’ll get anywhere in Spain.
3 Dos Cielos Madrid by Hermanos Torres
Cuesta Santo Domingo 5 y 7 | Gran Meliá Palacio De Los Duques, 28013 Madrid
There is an innovative international menu on offer in this hotel restaurant setting. Hotel restaurants aren’t always a huge success, but this is helped by its friendly staff and converted stable setting.
4 Diver XO
Calle de Padre Damian, 23, 28036 Madrid, Spain
This place has been lauded with three Michelin stars and is known for its culinary surprises such as the strawberry gazpacho soup. That’s the good news. The bad news is that reservations are not easy to get, so don’t expect to simply walk in and get a table. It is worth the wait, so ARCO goers may choose to be making their reservations for this time next year. You are unlikely to be disappointed.
5 Mercado San Anton
Augusto Figueroa, 24, 28004 Madrid, Spain
Local dining at its best. Head for Chueca, one of the coolest areas of the city, and eat like the locals do. This place is known for its tapas from every area of Spain, or if you want to get international, it has won awards for having the best burgers in town.