Traditional cuisine in Madrid

Find the best traditional restaurants in Madrid, where you can dig into local cuisine in authentic surroundings

0

Comments

Add +
Taberna La Bola

Taberna La Bola

If you haven't tried the 'cocido' stew at La Bola Taberna or the egg-and-chips dish 'huevos rotos' at Casa Lucio, what are you waiting for? These traditional restaurants in Madrid are among many serving up typical dishes that never fall out of fashion. Home-made stews and checked tableclothes are part and parcel of Madrid's traditional cuisine. If you want to get an authentic taste of Madrid, get going with our list of the best traditional restaurants in town. Because the classics never die.


Casa Lucio

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 3/4

A restaurant unsurpassed by any other in Madrid for its famous patrons: King Juan Carlos, Bill Clinton and Penélope Cruz among them. This is the place of historical rendezvous, where Aznar's and Bush's wives did lunch back when alliances were in the making. They also know how to cook up one cracking 'solomillo' (beef). The key to Lucio's glory is the use of a coal-fired oven and the best olive oil. Another star dish is the 'huevos rotos', a starter of lightly fried eggs laid on top of a bed of crisp, thinly cut chips. Be sure to ask for a table on the first floor.

  1. Cava Baja, 35, 28005
More info

La Bola Taberna

  • Price band: 2/4

Holding court on a quiet backstreet, this dignified, classic Madrid restaurant is considered by many to be the home of 'cocido', the huge and hearty stew lifelong Madrid residents love and a test for the biggest of appetites. La Bola is still run by the same family that founded it in the 19th century, and the 'cocido' (which is only served at lunchtime) is still cooked traditionally in earthenware pots on a wood fire. Unfortunately, this impressive pedigree has led to a certain complacency, verging on the arrogant, in some of the waiting staff.

  1. Bola, 5, 28013
More info

© Roberto de Baltasar

El Sobrino de Botín

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 3/4

The world's oldest restaurant (with a signed Norris McWhirter certificate to prove it) is still coming up with the goods after nearly 300 years. For all its popularity as a tourist destination, its nooks and crannies add up to an atmospheric – if cramped – dining spot. Botín turns out great roasts, including that old Spanish favourite, 'cochinillo' (suckling pig). The 'cordero' (lamb) is also superb, as are the house-named 'almejas' (clams). And, yes, seeing as you asked, Hemingway did come here.

  1. Cuchilleros, 17, 28015
More info

Lhardy

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 3/4

This landmark restaurant, which opened in 1839, is credited with having introduced French haute cuisine into the culinary wilderness of Madrid. Founder Emile Lhardy is said to have been enticed to the city by none other than 'Carmen' author Prosper Mérimée, who told him there was no decent restaurant in the Spanish capital. These days it's rated as much for its history and belle-époque decor as for the (expensive) food. The menu is as Frenchified as ever, although there's also a very refined 'cocido' stew, good game and 'callos' (tripe), in addition to an excellent, if pricey, wine list.

  1. Carrera de San Jerónimo, 8, 28014
Book online

© Roberto de Baltasar

Casa Ciriaco

  • Price band: 2/4

Pick your way down the side of the open kitchen to a deep dining room hung with pictures of visiting royals and grateful celebrities, along with rather grimmer photos of the 1906 bombing of Alfonso XIII's wedding procession – which happened right outside the door. Undamaged, and still going strong, Casa Ciriaco was a meeting place for the intelligentsia in pre–Civil War days, and although it no longer attracts too many thinkers, the Castilian fare is a taste of days gone by. 'Cochinillo' (suckling pig) is the speciality, along with partridge and butter beans, when in season. Waiters are as old-school as you'd expect, but very friendly.

  1. Mayor, 84, 28013
More info

Viuda de Vacas

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 2/4

This restaurant is recommendable thanks to its home-style traditional cooking. Dishes range from 'gallina en pepitoria' (chicken fricassée) to splendid seafood croquettes and Madrid-style stewed tripe. The Vacas brothers are true masters of their art.  

  1. Águila, 2, 28005
More info

Casa Pello

  • Price band: 2/4

Weekends bring the crowds in to this tapas bar. Maybe it's thanks to the croquettes or the home-made meatballs, but it's the 'cocido' stew that's really made Casa Pello a household name in the north of the city. Here you'll find local traditional food, such as the exquisite grilled meats. The terrace fills up fast when the weather's fine and for post-work drinks.

  1. Alberto Alcocer, 49, 28016
More info

Freiduría de Gallinejas

  • Price band: 1/4

Still going strong after a century, this is the best place in the city for deep-fried lamb intestines and other tasty tidbits. Not for faint stomachs, this offal institution offers superbly prepared testicles, glands and stomach linings, all accompanied by strong red wine. Worth checking out just for the lively scene and for an authentic taste of offal.

  1. Embajadores, 84, 28012
More info

Casa Manolo

  • Price band: 2/4

One of the best sources of 'cocina casera' (home cooking) in Madrid, Casa Manolo has an endearing, right-at-home atmosphere, enhanced by the black-and-white photo of the owner's grandmother and aunt that presides over the restaurant. But even though it's all about tradition, this place prepares creative mouth-watering salads that put the usual iceberg-based 'ensalada mixta' to shame – the aubergine with tomato and goat's cheese, for example, must be one of the best in the city. And then there's lentil soup, 'cocido' and other hearty stews, all supremely well prepared.

  1. Orellana, 17, 28004
More info

La Taberna de Antonio Sánchez

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 2/4

Little changes at this historic spot, from the zinc bar to the bull's head on the wall. Its various owners have all been involved in bullfighting, and roundtable discussions called 'tertulías' of critics, 'toreros' and aficionados are still held here. It's local and friendly, with superior tapas (the best is the scrumptious salad you get free with a drink).    

  1. Mesón de Paredes, 13, 28013
Book online

©Alina Banta

Salvador

  • Price band: 3/4

Every inch of this old classic is crammed with bullfighting memorabilia. You'll find good traditional fare – lentil soup, 'revueltos' (concoctions with scrambled egg, often with seafood or asparagus), 'solomillo' (beef) with fries – but the real treat is the atmosphere. The formal but friendly waiters will patiently answer questions about the decor, and some of the patrons look like they may have been bullfighters themselves… many, many years ago.    

  1. Barbieri, 12, 28004
More info

Alma de Julián Becerro

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 1/4

Set in a family house that's been standing for nearly a century, this is a reliable option if you want to buy high-quality ham or other type of cold cuts, or if you’re in La Latina and want to try some exquisite freshly-cut slices of pork with a beer or glass of wine. It’s a snack that never disappoints.

  1. Cava Baja, 47, 28005
More info

Enrique Tomás

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 1/4

One of the biggest companies and families in the charcuterie business has arrived in Madrid from Barcelona. The name is synonymous with sublime products and they are specialists in hams (and other cold meats). Here you'll enjoy a true gourmet snack or you can take one home with you.

  1. Tetuán, 19, 28013
More info


Users say

0 comments