You will most definitely enjoy visiting Madrid, as you will always find something that will amaze you, inspire you to take memorable photos and retell your adventures to your friends once you are back home, regardless of how old you are and what your interests are. You can attend guided tours of the museums, the historic sites or the monuments. You can also visit the parks and spend a day outside. Perhaps strolling down the city streets is a perfect way for you to spend the day visiting a city.
However, no visit of Madrid should pass without gastronomic tour. Spanish cuisine is famous internationally, and it is served in many countries around the globe, but nothing can compare to the exquisite dishes you can find in the Spanish capital. This is why we recommend a gastronomic tour to complete the sightseeing of Madrid.
Gastronomic tour can intertwine with the day you have planned to spend sightseeing. All you have to do is to find nearby restaurants where you can stop by, and have a rest from sightseeing. Besides traditional Spanish meals, you will find a lot of restaurants serving international dishes, influenced by Italian, American, Thai and other international cuisines.
Gastronomic tour – Breakfast in Madrid
We shall start with breakfast. Even though some people tend to skip breakfast, or eat only fruit, while you are on vacation, breakfast should be inseparable part of your day. It will help you get ready and full your body with energy for an exciting day out in the city. It will also allow you to try out local pastries and sandwiches.
This cozy café is located in Calle de la Puebla, 8, which is near Gran Via station. Although the café is opened during the entire day, it is perfect for breakfast or brunch. You can enjoy nice looking sandwiches and toasts filled with all of different ingredients, such as cream cheese, jam, sweet cream, etc. You could also go for pastries or cakes if you prefer eating sweets for breakfast. When accompanied with tea, coffee, freshly squeezed juice or hot chocolate, this could turn out to be an amazing breakfast.
Located in Travesía de San Mateo, 16, near Chueca station, this café is famous for serving delicious sandwiches with coffee or tea. They also offer special breakfast menu, a large selection of coffee and tea flavors, salads, pastries and juices. The sandwiches are available in the separate menu, offering a wide range of combinations of cheese, meat, vegetables, fish, cream, etc. They can be prepared with bagels, whole-wheat bread, cereal bread or tramezzini.
Celicioso specializes in serving gluten free pastries, so if you are on a gluten free diet, this place would be perfect for you. And even if you are not, you will certainly enjoy beautiful cupcakes, cakes, cookies, sandwiches and pastries. The bakery is opened during the entire day, so if having breakfast at Celicioso is not enough, you can always go back for a snack or dinner. Celicioso is situated in the Calle Hortaleza, 3, near Gran Via.
This restaurant is famous for offering different breakfast menu with typical breakfast served in different countries, so you can have French, American, Spanish or British traditional breakfast while you are in Madrid. In addition, Café Mür also provides brunch menus, cakes, sweets and sweet pastries, as well as snacks. When it comes to drinks, the menu includes a large selection of coffees, teas, juices and cocktails. The café is located at the Plaza Cristino Martos, 2.
Gastronomic tour – Lunch in Madrid
Having lunch in Madrid is a perfect way to have a break from the morning spent sightseeing and to relax in the friendly environment of the local restaurants. Depending on what you like, you can find a lot of different types of restaurants in Madrid, which will add up to gastronomic experience and complete the tour of Madrid.
Mercado de San Miguel is considered to be one of the must-see places in Madrid, as it is a perfect place to see and taste the best of Spanish cuisine. It is located near the Plaza Mayor, so this is one of the most frequent stops for tourists who go sightseeing around the city. Mercado de San Miguel is a food market where you can buy prepared dishes and eat them on the spot or you can buy fresh ingredients if you want to cook on your own.
The best thing about this food market is that it offers such a variety of local dishes in a pleasant surrounding presented on stalls scattered around the indoors of the market. From Spanish wines and cheese to tapas and paellas, from seafood to traditional Spanish ham, you can find everything you want in this food market. Even though we suggest having lunch at Mercado de San Miguel, it is opened every day from 10 am until midnight, as well as until 2 am on weekends, so you can also have dinner in the Madrid’s food market. Mercado de San Miguel is located at the Plaza de San Miguel, and the nearest metro station is Ópera.
La Tragantúa is a modern restaurant located in the Calle Verónica, 4, near Antón Martín and Atocha metro stations. Unlike other restaurants, La Tragantúa is opened during the lunch time and then again for dinner time, except on Sunday and Monday evenings when the restaurant is closed. Besides traditional Spanish dishes, the meals on the menu are influenced by Italian and Thai cuisine as well. The recommended menus for one person usually include several courses meal with wine. Varieties of meals in the offer include meat (beef, pork, chicken), seafood and fish, delicious sauces, side dishes and salads, as well as different kinds of desserts.
Botín is a nice restaurant located in the Calle de Cuchilleros, 17, with La Latina being the nearest metro station. Like La Tragantúa, this restaurant is also opened for lunch time (between 1 pm and 4 pm) and for dinner time (between 8 pm and 12 am), so you can choose whether to have lunch or dinner there. The specialties of this restaurant include Iberian ham, roasted and grilled meat, as well as dishes with fish and vegetables. Of course, local wine and sangria are also served with the meals. The dessert menu offers a great selection of homemade sweets and pastries, such as chocolate cake, custard, chocolate mousse, rice pudding, flan, etc.
La Barraca is a restaurant famous for paellas, traditional Spanish dish. Since it is located near Gran Via metro station, in the Calle de la Reina, 29, this restaurant can be a great choice if you are visiting this neighborhood during the lunch time. Besides lunch time (between 1:30 pm and 5:30 pm) the restaurant is also opened for dinner (between 8 and 11 pm). Advertised as the best rice and paella restaurant in Madrid, this restaurant certainly proves this reputation with amazing reviews and a great selection of dishes available on the menu. A large number of rice dishes, seafood dishes and desserts provide enough varieties to satisfy most of the travelers. Therefore, if you want to enjoy your lunch in Madrid and have an authentic Spanish dish, such as paella, this restaurant could be a perfect choice for you, especially if you also love seafood and dishes prepared with fish. Even though paella is common dish in Spanish restaurants, a place that specializes in serving this dish certainly has some unique recipes and techniques of preparing it.
If you are up for a snack, you should visit San Ginés. It is located in the Pasadizo de San Ginés, 5, near Plaza Mayor and it is opened 24 hours, which makes it a perfect stop when you suddenly feel hungry or thirsty. The place is specialized for serving chocolates and churros, Spanish traditional sweets, which could be a great snack any time of the day. In addition, you can also have coffee or hot chocolate with churros. Outdoor seating is perfect if you are visiting during the summer, as you will be able to enjoy having a snack outdoors.
Gastronomic tour – Dinner in Madrid
When it comes to dinner time, the most common way to end the day in Madrid is to visit one of the local tapas bars and enjoy the small appetizers with wine. Tapas are small appetizers, typically served in bars and restaurants in Spain. Different combinations of ingredients allow chefs to create a lot of unique tapas and offer customized menus. However, this is only one option, as you will have different options to eat out in the evening in a city as large and diverse as Madrid.
Malaspina, a famous tapas bar, is located in the Calle de Cádiz, 9. A great selection of tapas, traditional Spanish appetizers, provides a lot of opportunities to have a delicious dinner. Accompanied with Spanish wine, dinner in Malaspina is a perfect option if you want to spend a relaxing evening with friends or family in enjoyable atmosphere. Outdoor seating is also available, which is great for hot summer nights in Madrid. Besides food, this place also provides a great selection wines. Since the restaurant is opened from 11 am, you can even have lunch there.
Another one of the tapas bars, Bodega de la Ardosa is the place for you if you seek refreshment after a day of sightseeing in Madrid. Besides the delicious tapas and wines, Bodega de la Ardosa is famous for friendly and casual atmosphere, which makes it great for having dinner as you sum up the impressions of an exciting day spent in Madrid, regardless if you were sightseeing, shopping or walking around the park. This restaurant is known as a tourist place in Madrid, and besides tapas, you can also try tortillas, omelettes, etc. The restaurant is located in the Calle de Colón, 13, and the nearest metro station is Tribunal.
Located in the Calle San Vicente Ferrer, 51, near Noviciado metro station, Carmencita is a modern restaurant specialized in serving tapas and burgers. The menu of the restaurant also includes salads, sandwiches, large meals perfect for sharing, brunch dishes, as well as cocktails. Heavily influenced by American cuisine, the burgers served in the Carmencita restaurant are very popular among tourists and locals. You should have in mind that brunch menu is available on Friday, Saturday and Sunday only, between 12 pm and 4:30 pm, while the restaurant is opened from 7 pm during the rest of the week.
In case tapas, churros or paellas are not your thing, and you just want to eat a good slice of pizza, this restaurant is a perfect choice. Apart from having dinner during the dinner time (between 7 pm and 12 am) you can also stop by during the lunch time (between 1 pm and 4:30 pm). La Pizzateca is located in the Calle de León, 26, near Antón Martín metro station. The restaurant is specialized in serving pizzas, so there is a great selection of pizzas to choose from, including vegetarian and vegan pizza. Besides pizzas, the restaurant also offers menus which include a meal (pizza, lasagna or calzones) served with a drink. There are only a limited number of seats, so you will most likely be standing and eating. This is why this restaurant is good if you want to take the food with you as you walk down the streets of Madrid in the evening.
As you get back from your holiday, gastronomic tour will help you complete your impressions of the city of Madrid. Not only will visiting local restaurants help you learn about Spanish cuisine, but you will also meet the local people and thus learn more about Spanish people and their traditions.