After a big night out, or to fuel up for a busy Sunday, there's nothing better than the feast that is weekend brunch. You may have been brunching it up for years, but Madrid's only caught on to the trend relatively recently, which means the city's cafés, bars and restaurants are doing their best to outshine each other, and we're the ones reaping all the benefits. Some places do brunch during the week, but the weekend is when it really fluorishes, with varied menus including pastries and coffee, eggs Benedict, fruit, and even hamburgers and cocktails. Try out as many of our selection of the best places to brunch as you can, and revel in the gastronomic pleasure of a leisurely weekend feast.
Still an in spot for the international crowd, Café Oliver runs the gamut of French, Spanish, Italian and Moroccan without falling into the dreaded (con)fusion trap. The plush red velvet banquettes and large windows looking out on the street make Café Oliver an ideal location for Chueca people-watching. Great on a Sunday for an American-style brunch that includes fresh juice, coffee or tea, home-made pastries, bread with butter and jam, and an Actimel. But that's not all. You also get to choose a starter (we recommend the eggs Benedict) and a main dish (pancakes, salads or burgers).
The bill: €25
If you're a big brunch fan, you might think you've seen it all. But if you've never tried the brunch at this Madrid hotel, you could be happy to be wrong. Especially if you're feeling flush (we're talking about a hotel brunch, after all), head to the InterContinental on a Sunday between 1.30pm and 4pm to give yourself a tasty treat. Under the twinkly chandelier you can graze on all the offerings of the enormous and varied buffet that boasts more than 200 different options. And you won't be disappointed whether you prefer the traditional brunch dishes such as eggs Benedict or something lighter like salads or sushi (prepared fresh before you). You can fill up on shellfish, cold cuts, rice dishes, roast beef... and the list goes on.
The bill: €54
Haute French pastry has found its perfect spot next to the Parque del Retiro. This cosmopolitan bakery offers up a full brunch that every hungry customer can adapt to their own taste. The menu includes a main dish that you choose from among eggs Benedict with bacon or salmon, salmon crepe with crème fraiche, chicken crepe with bechamel and mushrooms; an artisan pastry; coffee or tea; and fresh orange juice.
The bill: €12. With a semifreddo €14, and if you add a cocktail (Bloody Mary, Bellini, Kir Royale o Pisco Sour) it's €22. The room does fill up, so you should call and book a spot in advance.
Legend has it that someone once finished the whole brunch they serve here. And then later ate dinner. The parade of gastronomic delights begins with a fresh juice, coffee, a French croissant and a basket of bread with butter and jam or tomato and olive oil. Then come the skewers, some are a fruit mix and others are cherry tomatoes with mozzarella, along with a bowl of Greek yoghurt and muesli. The stars of the show are the baked eggs with bacon, Iberian ham or red pepper on a bed of spinach, tomato, mushrooms and goat's cheese with chives. A delish cake with ice cream and a refreshing cocktail bring the feast to a close.
The bill: €18. They serve just 30 a day, so book in advance!
Like the elegant English city that shares its name, this place always seems to be in fashion, bringing together select people to enjoy its multiple treats. You've got to get there on a Saturday if you want to try the brunch with coffee or tea, fresh juice, pastries or cereal, toast, yoghurt or fruit, eggs Benedict or scrambled eggs with cheddar and curry. There's another menu with even more delights for your palate with sausages, eggs, mushrooms, tomatoes and baked beans for just €5 more. On Sundays only they give it their all with the Sunday Brunch & Roast Lunch, the biggest selection they've got, and including a Bloody Mary to boot.
The bill: Saturday brunch €19.50-€24.50. Sunday Brunch & Roast Lunch €30.
Step into The Toast Cafe and you won't want to leave for hours. The warm decor of this cosy bar-restaurant right in the middle of the Chamberí neighbourhood will win you over in a second. Their brunch is one of the most famous talked-about in Madrid. It might be thanks to the perfect balance between quality and price, or because you leave satiated but not stuffed. You can choose a starter ('tortita' bread with salmon and cream cheese, croissant with butter and jam, or toast with tomato) and a main dish (eggs Benedict, bagel with salmon or burrito), and it all comes with coffee or juice.
The bill: €14. With Bloody Mary or Buck's fizz (mimosa): €18
The wooden tables, large windows and muted walls make Dray Martina in a spot with lots of charm. That, along with their three brunch menus, explains why every weekend the place is packed. The Lambwich is our new favourite of the menus, with orange juice, coffee or tea and Buck's fizz (aka mimosa), toasted brioche with low-temperature-grilled lamb and mild young-garlic 'alioli' and carmelized bacon, a cone of chips and artisan yoghurt with fruit. Phew. The Egg & Veg menu is lighter, with veggies and organic eggs; and the Maple Apple Toast, with its French toast, is perfect for those with a sweet tooth.
The bill: €20-€22
Occupying a 19th-century mansion house in the heart of Madrid, La Central is a bookshop with 70,000 specialist volumes, including a good selection of books in English, and, who knew, a café-restaurant with a tantalizing menu. Sundays from 5pm to 10pm they serve what they call brunch, despite the late start. There's something for everyone with three styles of eggs, hamburgers, antipasti and 'arroz a la cubana', as well as a skewer of vegetables au gratin. If you have room, try a home-made cake or fruit minestrone. Everything comes with fresh juice and a basket of bread and mini pastries.
The bill: €22 without a cocktail, or €25 with a Bloody Mary, a San Francisco or an Espresso Martini.
Time flies in this charming English-style café. Their weekend brunch lacks almost nothing. Start with coffee or tea, fresh orange juice and a basket of breads and pastries that including a buttery croissant and a scone with Mür cream. Lighten up the menu with a natural yoghurt with jam or seasonal fruits. And then you're ready for the big guns: eggs Benedict, a full English breakfast (sausages, bacon, pork loin, eggs, baked beans and black pudding) or salmon with scrambled eggs.
The bill: €22. For €15 you can get the savoury brunch or the sweet brunch. Cocktail: €5.
A little slice of New York inhabits this charming Madrid café. So naturally, they do brunch. Saturdays and holidays from 10am to 5pm, the space fills up with families and groups of friends who want to get their breakfast and lunch in one meal. The different menus all include a hot drink (coffee, tea, herbal infusions or hot chocolate), home-made lemonade or fresh juice, a starter that might be a selection of breads and pastries, waffles, creamy yoghurt... and a main dish like eggs Benedict (available in three versions), a tasty bagel with scrambled eggs, pankcakes... You'll definitely be back.The bill: €19