Welcome to the Time Out EAT List, our handpicked ‘best of’ the Spanish capital’s food scene. These are the best restaurants in Madrid right now: the freshest, most inventive and most memorable, ranked by expert local editors.
Madrid is enjoying a big moment in the spotlight as a gastronomic destination. There are practically endless opportunities to savour an exceptional, succulent and exciting meal here. So we’ve selected the restaurants that you shouldn’t miss for anything in the world if you’re passing through. On this list you’ll find both blinding culinary creativity and first-class local produce, dishes from faraway lands and meals that are truly, deeply from Madrid. Cutting-edge techniques and high-quality ingredients are a given. And whether you’re going all-out or doing the Spanish capital on the cheap, there’s always a good wine list for several toasts.
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Best restaurants in Madrid
DiverXO's Michelin-starred chef, David Muñoz, is still at the top of his game, where he's been for years now. Many will remember 2019 as one of the best and most refined times in Muñoz's career. The waiting list at DiverXO is long, but it's always worth it once you get the chance to have dinner in this colourful space where surprises are the order of the day (you might find yourself eating sea urchin that's been served directly into your hand). The contrasts that explode with every bite are the house trademark. A three-hour dining experience featuring more than 20 dishes is something you won't soon forget.
When your restaurant is chosen to be part of a hotel with the stars and pedigree of the Urban, you know you've made all the right moves. And Chef Aurelio Morales, who has demonstrated his shining talent everywhere he's worked, finally gets the applause he deserves at Cebo. The cuisine borrows from the Mediterranean coast but never forgets it's Madrid roots. You'll find typically Mediterranean 'espardeñas' but also traditionally local 'callos'. Choose between the two tasting menus (either 15 or 20 courses), which are prepared and to be enjoyed with emotion, daring, technique and flavour. You get excellent product with a deep contemporary soul, from a ceaseless and meticulous chef.
At this restaurant that José Antonio Medina heads up, the interior design manages to make a big impact while still creating a relaxing vibe. In addition to the main dining room (ironed tablecloths and lots of wood), there's a bar area that seats about 20 and where everything happens in front of you, with plenty of interaction with the chef and where you'll find the least traditional items and less formal order (the latest menu starts with the main dishes and ends with the starters). Each space has its own menu, but the Michelin star shines just as brightly in both.
Diego Guerrero reaffirms his commitment in Madrid's Las Salesas area with a new space (DSpeakeasy), but DSTAgE is still his flagship restaurant, the canvas where he paints his most daring, personal and successful works of art. You'll find an industrial aesthetic and a casual atmosphere in the dining area; while the kitchen overflows with talent and technique, which comes from round the world (from Mexico to Japan) to turn ideas into singular dishes. You'll choose from two tasting menus to get a complete taste for what they can do.
You might not know it, but this top-rated flamenco tablao in Spain's capital city also boasts a restaurant with four tables and a Michelin star, where Chef David García, an unquestionable master at the hobs, is at the helm. Corral de la Morería also proudly presents a wine cellar that's a temple for any fan of wines from Jerez in Andalusia, with about a thousand vintages to its name. Always held to premium standards are excellence when it comes to raw materials (the way they handle fish 'kokotxas' will wow you), simple but complete dishes, restrained avant-garde and the Basque tradition the cuisine is based on (in fact, the seafood dishes here are superlative).
This prestigious restaurant has passed from parents to their children. But we're not talking about any ordinary family: the surname Sandoval has been synonymous with quality cuisine for generations. Mario is the chef in charge of keeping in line with tradition and at the same time injecting innovation into every Coque dish. The restaurant's cutting-edge oven and the wood it employs for roasting are the distinguishing marks of this kitchen that has earned itself two Michelin stars. An impeccable dining room service, simple decor and two complete tasting menus with an option to pair with wines complete a unique gastronomic experience.
If a great wine cellar is one of the reasons you choose a restaurant, at Clos your excitement to try different varieties will be kept in check only by your anxiety over which of the many to choose. In the kitchen, the strong points are seasonality and 'fondos', a remarkable technique of creating sauces that leads to renewed tradition (don't miss the pil-pil hake), but it's the 300 labels on the wine list that give the meal that extra wow factor. That and the service that's just as elegant as the menu. Marcos Granda had already had a hit in Marbella with his Skina (small dining room, huge satisfaction) before opening Clos in Madrid and earning himself a Michelin star shortly afterwards.
Mexican cuisine that blends tradition and innovation; at Punto MX they reinterpret classic Mexican recipes, giving a modern touch to their dishes without renouncing a shred of flavour. They also prepare their own nixtamal dough. The restrained and elegant decor of this restaurant sets it apart from the run-of-the-mill Mexican establishments.
Oscar Velasco’s Santceloni has grown steadily, marked by the sure touch, drive for excellence and personality of a great chef, bringing creativity to tradition and putting the product before artifice. The cheeseboard alone, presented by maitre d' Abel Valverde, is already envied by establishments of a similar category. The cuisine here has received the seal of approval given by two Michelin stars.
The quality of the basic ingredients is non-negotiable at this restaurant with just eight tables, where Juanjo López deploys all his culinary talents. Traditional recipes are transformed into contemporary, elegant dishes. Haute market-style cuisine, exceptional service and an outstanding wine and champagne list.
The menu that Juan Manuel de Dios has created for this restaurant is a strong bet that's always getting better. His refined technique, his passion for the trade, his knowledge of the product and his excellent pantry always make sitting down for a meal at La Bien Aparecida an extraordinary experience from beginning to end. Each creation is a hit thanks to their outstanding presentation and the care that goes into them. And it doesn't matter if you're served a white gazpacho a wild hare à la royale.
The temple where executive chef Ricardo Sanz creates his art (worthy of a Michelin star) has become a reason for pilgrimage all fans of Japanese cuisine must make sooner or later, though it's often a destination for top executives as well, located as it is inside a luxury hotel. Phenomenal classic dishes are interwoven on the menu with Sanz's original and dazzling creations.
Located in Hotel Único Madrid, this elegant restaurant is headed by a Michelin-starred Catalan chef. Its many virtues ensure satisfaction for all diners. Flavour is the king here, placed just above creativity in the list of priorities, making for dishes that are surprising and exciting in equal measure. All you have to do is choose one of the three set menus on offer.
The very staid environs of this gentlemen's club dining room (wear a tie) provide the unlikely setting for a restaurant inspired and originally overseen by iconic chef Ferran Adrià and now run by one of his most illustrious disciples, Paco Roncero. It can boast of three Repsol suns and two Michelin stars. What more can we say?
Manuel Domínguez and Pedro Espinosa work together on a cuisine that places the focus on creativity and updating tradition. Substance and form come together at this restaurant with two floors. The tasting menu (with or without wine pairing) is a good way to get an introduction to their work.
In early 2018, chef José Carlos Fuentes took over at this stately space with two Michelin stars to its name, bringing in a cuisine that stands out for its delicacy and innovation, as well as for the chef's knowledge and command of traditional national and international cuisine, especially Japanese once it passes through Tokyo, which is an interesting addition to the menu.
Luke Jang moved shop to the coveted Las Sales neighbourhood to take his brilliant creative cuisine a step further. What he serves up is somewhere between the most contemporary Korean cooking and traditional Spanish dishes, with a well-thought-out palette of colours, plenty of signature touches, and some truly cutting-edge techniques. He works with balance and surprise, and puts a premium on flavour. We predict a long and successful career for this young chef who cut his teeth in temples like El Bulli and Mugaritz.
With the arrival of Rafa Zafra and Anna Gotanegra in Madrid (they already have a prized eatery with loyal clientele in Barcelona), the best of the Mediterranean comes to the Spanish capital. Estimar's ideology is based on being as pure as possible (no more than three or four ingredients per recipe) so that the product speaks for itself. On the menu you'll find all types of preparations – salt cured, marinated, grilled, steamed – resulting in very fine cooking where Rosas prawns share the spotlight with splendid Andalusian fried dishes or anchovies they clean themselves every day.
Umiko is know for its careful and vibrant array of nigiris. Juan Alcaide prepares usuzukuri with the fish of the day (Galician, sustainable and killed with the ike jime technique), while Pablo Álvaro selects the rice (they make two different kinds) for the scallops. The two chefs also share extra-curricular interests as well, both are tattoo artists and have a passion for champagne (their wine list will knock you out), but since they started out together they've been sharing tasks, garnering them well-deserved success and praise.
La Tasquería just might be a great place for a first date. This restaurant that lives by and for offal triggers as many passions as misgivings. But you've just got to try what chef Javi Estévez does with the product: he dignifies it, updates it and presents it with a contemporary flavour that manages to lighten up all the preconceived ideas of those who aren't accustomed to dining on this sort of cuisine – brains, trotters, tails, tongue, gizzards and, of course, tripe. The main part of the menu is divided into different sections by animal: pork, veal and lamb. These dishes can be accompanied with sides in jars, such as the partridge, apple and sherry. And leave room for something from the offering of desserts, which get the same careful treatment as the mains.
Every night Sacha Ormaechea works miracles from his second home at his eponymous restaurant in Madrid. Some who cross the threshold see a mishmash of styles, while others admire a unique personality. Neither view is wrong, and all who sit down will enjoy an inimitable atmosphere that goes beyond furniture. It's also about the service, the menu, the clientele, the times, the light (at night) and that extraordinary kitchen, with a gifted hand at the helm. The short menu features timeless classics and the most interesting new seasonal creations. If you're there in warmer months, get a table on the garden terrace.
There's nothing else like Le Bistroman in these parts. This dream come true for Miguel Ángel García Marinelli and Stephane del Río is built on elegance, high standards and rigour. French cuisine provides the score, including seasonal Provençal flavours, and Le Bistroman's interpretations of onglet or bouillabaisse are a symphony. When there's poulty in their pantry, you'll leave the restaurant singing The Marseillaise whether you've had a bottle of champagne or not. The dessert menu is essential.
After a decade working with different types of cuisine and in various kitchens, Iván Sáez takes the leap and opens his own restaurant, without leaving behind his chef's hat. The man with two jobs is backing a project with two destinations. As the diner, you choose: a trip to the Moon or a journey to the centre of the Earth. These are the names of his two options. There's no menu, but instead you get a box holding Sáez's traditional-style creations marked by personal touches that show off his passion for the craft, his training and his culinary priorities (flavour over fireworks).
Everything’s very nice as soon as you cross the threshold. Before you’ve had time to scoot your chair up to the table, a staff member approaches with a tempting trolley. Generous pours of wine, a selection of vermouths and more to prepare the palate. It’s hard to say no to a Barbiana sherry or a Galician vermouth. You look over the menu while waiting for your drink to arrive. Everything looks good. You spot the house speciality – potatoes mashed with gizzard and jowls – along with seasonal recommendations and some 20 other dishes (starters and mains) that, thanks to their half portions, let you choose your own adventure.
Their selection of cheeses, cold cuts, cured and pickled options are pillars on a menu that sticks to seasonality wholeheartedly. Not only do they switch out a dozen dishes per season but your wait staff will also often read off a tempting and splendid selection of off-menu dishes. Not down this address for when you're out looking for a great place to eat; they know how to honour and harmonize country flavours. Another plus: you're welcome to order half portions.