Madrid's romantic restaurants for Valentine's Day

Whether you're surprising your Valentine or trying to seal the deal with someone new, these 15 romantic restaurants can help you out with their special offers for sweethearts


Valentine's Day is here again, love it or hate it. And every February 14 also brings that panic: What should I get for him? How will I surprise her? If you're stuck for romantic ideas, one of the best and the most classic plans is to celebrate your love with great food in a beautiful restaurant. But these days, the price of the bill could keep you out of the finer establishments.

Keep calm – we're here to help with this selection of restaurants with special menus and discounts for Valentine's Day (some up to 50 percent off) so you can have your romantic night without worrying your wallet. Just follow some simple steps to get a table: click the 'Book online' button and choose the menu you want. Get a move on, though, as they're sure to book up fast.

El Mercado de la Reina

  • Price band: 2/4

Very centrally located and open year-round from morning until the second drink of the night, this huge space (with a terrace in the square out the back where you can get a great G&T) has a bar (very busy at night) packed with 'pintxos' and an area that's quieter than upstairs. It's been much-talked-about since some time around its grand opening.

  1. Gran Vía, 12, 28013
Book online

Atelier Belge

  • Price band: 2/4

This restaurant, led by Etienne Bastaits, is perhaps the main, and most interesting, ambassador of Belgian cuisine in the city. The food is seductive and pleasant and proves that there is more to Belgium than mussels, Tintin and chocolate. Their first establishment, a brasserie, is still open at Calle Martín de los Heros, 36.

  1. Bretón de los Herreros, 39., 28003
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©Marcu Ovidiu

Desencaja

  • Price band: 2/4

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, of course. 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 (€28 and €38, respectively). There's no menu. Instead you get a box (hence the name – 'desencaja' literally means 'unbox') 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). Simple cuisine in pleasant surroundings that seat about 40 people.

  1. Paseo de la Habana, 8, 28036
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©Pablo Zamora

Celso y Manolo

  • Price band: 2/4

This second establishment opened by the Grupo DeLuz & Cía in Madrid (La Carmencita was the first), is sure to hit the mark if you're going out in search of tapas and small plates to share. A designer tavern that's been in culinary magazines as well fashion and interior design/decorating publications, and where reservations are a must for the weekend. Javi and Sega are the yin and yang of restaurant servers who keep everything aligned, including that delicate balance between taking their work seriously and being friendly with the customers. The staff is young yet experienced, keeping the time between the kitchen and the dining room well-coordinated, and the ambience lively and diverse. (read more)

  1. Libertad, 1, 28004
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El Barril de las Letras

  • Price band: 3/4

Grupo Oter, specialists in Galician products, have this bright and contemporary space in the heart of the Barrio de las Letras, and it’s a must for fresh seafood tapas, octopus, fried fish (squid, anchovies ...). If you prefer something more formal there are dishes of rice and hake and even some meat dishes.

  1. Cervantes, 28, 28014
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Lhardy

  • 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
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Poncelet Cheese Bar

  • Price band: 2/4

If you’re a cheese fan you should come to this restaurant with Scandinavian airs, a small vertical garden and a bodega with more than one hundred varieties of wine. Many dishes here are based on cheese or have cheese based sauces.

  1. José Abascal, 61, 28003
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El Mentidero de la Villa

  • Price band: 4/4

An exclusive atmosphere reigns at this restaurant, which prides itself on the high quality of its ingredients. The menu has everything needed to ensure you have an evening you'll want to repeat. Effort and dedication are evident in every dish. There's a snack bar on the lower floor where you can indulge in an after-dinner cocktail. Valet parking and private dining rooms are available.

  1. Almagro, 20, 28010
Book online

Dassa Bassa

  • Price band: 3/4

Open since 2004 and with experienced TV chef Darío Barrio at the helm, this restaurant offers three set menus extracted from an a la carte menu that’s short but without a trace of error, with some evident signature cuisine touches. The chef himself gives cooking classes and show cooking exhibitions, bringing together entertainment and gastronomy. If you want to test the waters before taking the plunge, try some pinchos at his Dassa Barr.        

  1. Villalar, 7, 28001
More info

Viridiana

  • Price band: 3/4

Viridiana is synonymous with Abraham García and 30 years of excellence and good food. This renowned chef turns his traditional raw materials into a cross-cultural journey that changes the perspective of all who dine here. Using excellent execution and outstanding products, this cinema-loving chef deserves an Oscar for his lifelong contribution to the culinary arts.

  1. Juan de Mena, 14, 28014
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Krachai

  • Price band: 2/4

Managed by Hispano-Thai Natalia Jumnaklap, this restaurant offers a reliable introduction to the cuisine of those climes. If you’re a newcomer to Thai food, try the tasting menu and choose the level of spice you prefer. Try to get a table in the dining room near the street (close to the window).

  1. Fernando VI, 11, 28004
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Le Cocó

  • Price band: 2/4

Le Cocó is a restaurant with a new concept, based on an idea by Esteban Arnaiz, whose vast experience makes dining here a sure thing. You'll find an informal and friendly environment, and the kitchen doesn't close between meals. The menu is flexible, fun, simple and very Mediterranean. The décor has got touches of vintage, wood and everyday items. Take friends along so you can try their dishes too.

  1. Barbieri, 15, 28004
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Asador Guetaria

  • Price band: 3/4

With more than 25 years of history, this grill house is a classic for Basque food in Madrid. Its menu features dishes like salt-cod omelette, grilled sea bream, stewed red beans, lettuce hearts from Tudela and a juicy steak. There are a number of set menus that vary from lunchtime to dinnertime. The selection of wines here is also noteworthy, and you can even bring your own bottle if you prefer. There is also a valet parking service.

  1. Comandante Zorita, 8, 28020
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Café Oliver

  • Price band: 2/4

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. Highlights include the 'bomba de chocolate', definitely a candidate for top all-time dessert. 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: pancakes, eggs Benedict, waffles, coffee and newspapers. The downstairs cocktail bar is cool and loungy, with DJs playing soul, R&B and house.

  1. Almirante, 12, 28004
More info

Marieta

Marieta offers its customers international cuisine in a modern environment, where you can enjoy a variety of dishes as well as good music. Marieta has a contemporary and varied menu with specialities including hummus with eggplant, squid sushi and oxtail croquettes. Among the home-made desserts are creamy cheesecake with a biscuit crust, and chocolate or Oreo cookie coulant with stracciatella ice cream. The décor highlights the striking lamps, windows and furniture. It's a great place to go with friends, for business dinners and for after-dinner cocktails with live music.

  1. Paseo de la Castellana, 44, 28046
Book online


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