I have traveled to Madrid many times, and gradually, it has become one of my favorite cities. I’m always enthralled by its vibrancy and refined flair. Its puzzling narrow streets, vintage architecture, lush parks, and impressive art are easy to love. Still, I’ve also fallen in love with the heart and soul of the city through its impeccable food scene.
The city has many fantastic restaurants, and I’ve had the good fortune of visiting many of them. While admittedly, there are still many establishments on my wish list, I’ve picked 6 of the best restaurants in Madrid that I’ve tried thus far to help anyone who may need some restaurant ideas while visiting.
The Madrid restaurants I’ve chosen (obviously) have fantastic food, but I also consider aesthetics when giving recommendations. While the flavor of the food is the most important aspect of dining out, having a unique, cozy, and/or fun atmosphere can help tell a story and enhance the experience. Finding restaurants that combine these two aspects can be tricky, so I hope you enjoy the list and consider saving it for your next trip or dining experience in Madrid.
Owned by Big Mama, a restaurant group with locations in some of Europe’s most fashionable cities like Monaco, London, and Paris, Bel Mondo is the swankiest spot for Italian food in Madrid. What drove me to choose this spot was their presentation of the carbonara. They mix the warm pasta into a parmesan wheel next to your table before plating it, and the result is as fresh, rich, and delicious as it sounds.
Bonus pick: If you can’t get a reservation here, consider Villa Capri, owned by the same restaurant group and just as fabulous with similar menu items.
Located in the trendy neighborhood of Salamanca, this restaurant promises a fun and lively night out with a fusion of Asian and Brazilian cuisines reimagined into unique and colorful palettes. My sister and I went here for a night out and still talk about how tender and flavorful the Wagyu was and how unique the sushi rolls were. I also think the Pornstar Martini here is one of the best I’ve ever had.
Bodegas de los Secretos
There’s no better way to escape the heat of a Madrid summer than to dine in the cool underground of a 400-year-old wine cellar. As you descend the stairs into the restaurant, you are transported from the sounds of a populated city to a lustrous safe haven where historic, exposed stone walls offer their crisp comfort. I have dined here twice, and each time was seated in a cozy nook where I chose white wine from a solid and extensive list and tasted fresh dishes like ceviche, scallops, and seared tuna.
This restaurant excels in every aspect of the dining experience. It has creative cocktails, fresh ingredients, and a delightful staff in a sleek and intimate setting. My friend and I went here for a night out, and we were so impressed with the cheese selection, the meatballs, and the juicy cuts of steak. The staff was also notably friendly and sweet, making us feel at home.
Located in the lively and hip neighborhood of La Latina, La Perejila is a tapas restaurant that serves food just as inviting and cozy as the eclectic atmosphere it’s served in. The décor here always has something for the eye to explore, with trinkets on every flat surface and pictures covering every inch of wall space. My husband and I tried the octopus, oxtail, and goat cheese which were all delicious and came in generous portions.
El Rincón De Esteban
With a traditional, cozy atmosphere and authentic Spanish dishes to warm the stomach, this restaurant is a must for those who want to try the flavors of Spain. I enjoyed the Galician-style scallops that come au gratin and the oxtail ravioli. In fact, this restaurant was where I tried oxtail for the first time, and now I order it regularly!
Madrid is a bustling city filled with a dizzyingly vibrant food scene. There are so many fantastic places to try that it would take years of eating out to experience it all. However, I hope this list gives you some ideas for dining out in Madrid.
Looking for more food options? Consider a food tour! Food tours are fantastic for experiencing a city’s food with a local guide to give you the ins and out of dining like a local.
Need help getting to Madrid? Take the train! Riding on one of Spain’s high-speed trains is the easiest and fastest way to get to Madrid if you are already in the country.
By Amanda Hernandez is sponsored by its readers.