A cultural hub with world-class museums and gorgeous historic buildings and churches, Madrid is home to some of the most exciting and varied food in the country. “Spain’s capital is a destination that no gourmand should miss,” says lifestyle editor for Condé Nast Traveler (Spain) Paula Móvil. “It simply has it all.”
It’s easy to find excellent homestyle staples like fried cod, snails, oxtail, and the city’s namesake stew, cocido Madrileño, all of which Móvil recommends washing down with a caña (a small glass of draught beer). But it’s not all about traditional fare: From three-Michelin-star avant-garde tasting menus to hip Asian fusion to Mexican cuisine, Madrid is a place to “discover a whirlwind of culinary offerings,” says Móvil. When it comes to drinking, there is plenty of vermouth and sherry in town, and if a caña isn’t doing the trick, go ahead and make it a doble. If there’s anything Madrid lacks, it’s the thing tourists mistakenly come looking for: “Avoid looking for paella,” Móvil says. “Madrid is definitely not the place to eat this traditional dish from Valencia.”
Want just the newcomers? Head to the Heatmap. But for restaurants, bars, and dishes that define Madrid, read on.
Prices per person, excluding alcohol:
$ = Less than €25 (less than USD $ 26.50)
$ $ = €25 – €50 (USD $ 26.50 to USD $ 53)
$ $ $ = €50 – €100 (USD $ 53 to USD $ 105)
$ $ $ $ = More than €100 (more than USD $ 105)
Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.