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14 Restaurants, Bars, and Markets to Visit for Incredible Food in Madrid

Aperitivos, pintxos, tapas, txokos. If there’s anything we learned from our three weeks in Spain, it’s that Spanish people really know how to celebrate life. And often, they celebrate it with food.

Everywhere we went, we enjoyed delicious Spanish food. We loved the pintxos and sidrerias in San Sebastian and the free tapas in Granada. The cremini mushroom and shrimp pintxos in Logroño were to die for while the fabada asturiana in Oviedo was the best we’ve ever tasted.

Barcelona has calcots and bombas while Santiago de Compostela offers excellent Galician seafood dishes like polbo a feira and perecebes. Madrid has its share of iconic dishes as well like cochinillo and bocadillo de calamares, but more than any one dish, what I enjoyed most about this city was its diversity of food experiences.

Of all the cities we visited in Spain, we had the most well-rounded culinary experience in Madrid, which is something you can expect I guess from the country’s capital and its biggest and most diverse city.

From aperitivos to mercados to Michelin-starred restaurants, I hope our Madrid food guide leads you to some terrific meals in the city.


To help you plan your trip to Madrid, we’ve compiled links to top-rated hotels, tours, and other activities here.


Recommended hotels in Malasaña, one of the best and coolest areas to stay for first-time visitors to Madrid.




If you’re planning a trip to Madrid, then be sure to check out our detailed Madrid travel guide. It’ll have all the information you need – like when to go, what to do, where to stay, etc. – to help you plan your trip.

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Jamoneria and churros


Fourteen isn’t a lot but we were lucky to have a range of culinary experiences. To help organize this list of the best restaurants in Madrid, I’ve divided it into the five categories below. Click on a link to jump to any section.

  1. Bars
  2. Restaurants
  3. Pastries
  4. Jamonerias
  5. Markets
  6. Madrid Food Tours


1. La Venencia

According to Culture Trip, Madrid has more bars per capita than any other city in Europe. But if you were to visit just one, then it should probably be La Venencia. It’s an historic bar and local favorite that hasn’t changed much since the days of the Spanish Civil War.

Known for its time-worn interior of dusty barrels and faded posters, La Venencia offers just one drink on their menu – Sherry wine. Sherry or Vino de Jerez is a type of Spanish fortified wine made from white grapes grown in the Jerez-Xeres-Sherry DOP region of Andalusia.

For a bottle of wine to carry the “Sherry” label, it must be produced within the Sherry Triangle which is an area in Cadiz consisting of Jerez de la Frontera, Sanlucar de Barrameda, and El Puerto de Santa Maria.

Glasses of sherry and olives

La Venencia offers five types of Sherry wine – Manzanilla, Fino, Amontillado, Palo Cortado, and Oloroso – and almost twice as many tapas dishes. Pictured below are plates of salsichon (cured sausage), anchovies, roquefort, and green olives to go with one of their lighter Sherry wines.

See those chalk marks on the bar? The bartender keeps track of your orders by writing them down on the wooden bar. They’ve been doing it that way for over seventy years.

Charcuterie and tapas

With just five types of Sherry available, it was easy for us to try all their wines. As you can see below, they ranged from light and crisp to dark and rich.

I’m not a seasoned wine drinker but I enjoyed the experience immensely, and part of that had to do with the bar itself. Drinking Sherry at La Venencia isn’t just about good wine, it’s about taking part in history. Ernest Hemingway was said to be a frequent customer here.

Glasses of sherry

Located along Calle de Echegaray, La Venencia is a simple bar that’s rich in history and tradition. If you enjoy drinking wine and going to authentic establishments, then a glass or two of Sherry wine at La Venencia is a must.

La Venencia exterior

La Venencia

Address: Calle de Echegaray, 7, 28014 Madrid, Spain
Operating Hours: 12:30-3:30PM, 7:30PM-1AM, Mon-Thurs / 12:30-4PM, 7:30PM-1:30AM, Fri-Sat / 12:30-4PM, 7:30PM-1AM, Sun
What to Order: Sherry, tapas

2. Taberna de Angel Sierra

Over the weekends in Spain, Spanish people enjoy aperitivo time (drinks with tapas) from around 1:30PM onwards. Friends and family meet at bars for drinks and fresh tapas before moving to lunch.

A range of alcoholic drinks are consumed like beer, Sherry, white wine, and gin and tonic, but at historic Taberna de Angel Sierra, the drink of choice is vermut (vermouth).

Vermut refers to an aromatized, fortified white wine flavored with caramel and a range of botanicals like roots, herbs, flowers, and spices. It’s a sweet and slightly bitter drink that’s typically enjoyed as an aperitif. In Spanish food culture, it’s the most socially acceptable drink to have before noon on a Sunday.

The most famous vermut comes from the small Catalonian town of Reus. It’s best served de grifo or on tap which is exactly the type of vermut you can expect at Taberna de Angel Sierra.

We were here on a Sunday and the standing-room-only space was packed with locals enjoying vermut and green olives. It was one of our favorite food/drinking experiences in Spain.

Glass of vermouth and olives

Located in Plaza de Chueca, Taberna de Angel Sierra has been open since 1917. It’s a great place to get a drink on any day of the week, but especially on weekends when it gets so busy that crowds often spill out onto the street.

Taberna de Angel Sierra exterior

Taberna de Angel Sierra

Address: Calle San Gregorio, 2, 28004 Madrid, Spain
Operating Hours: 12NN-2:30AM, Mon-Sat / 12NN-1:30AM, Sun
What to Order: Vermouth

3. Viva Madrid

On our list of things to try in Madrid was gin and tonic. Based on what I’ve read, the Dutch invented gin while the British added the tonic but it was the Spanish who perfected the garnish and elevated it to an art form.

According to more than one source, you can’t find a better gin and tonic in the world than in Spain. Madrid has been experiencing a gin and tonic craze in recent years so bars offering their own spin on G&Ts are easy to locate.

Viva Madrid interior

I’m not a seasoned G&T drinker so I did some research to learn what made Spanish gin and tonics so special. Aside from using premium gin and tonic water, a lot of it has to do with the garnish.

Based on what I’ve read, there’s no classic recipe for a Spanish G&T but they do get pretty imaginative with their garnishes. The Spanish have been experimenting with their garnishes for years so many bars will offer a variety ranging from citrus fruits, roots, berries, and herbs and spices.

This wasn’t the case at Viva Madrid but many bars in Spain will serve G&Ts in a large balloon glass. I don’t remember if they did it here but bartenders often pour tonic water down a spoon and into the drink. Whether this has actual benefits or is done purely for show is unclear.

Glass of gin

Unlike most of the places on this list, we found Viva Madrid by chance. Located just off Calle de Echegaray, we had G&Ts here before proceeding to La Venencia.

Known for serving good cocktails and tapas in a lovely space adorned with glazed ceramic tiles, Viva Madrid is a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence with a near-perfect 4.5-star rating.

Viva Madrid exterior

Viva Madrid

Address: Calle de Manuel Fernández y González, nº 7, 28014 Madrid, Spain
Operating Hours: 12NN-2AM, Tue-Thurs, Sun / 12NN-2:30AM, Fri-Sat (closed Mondays)
What to Order: Cocktails, beer, tapas

4. Bodega de la Ardosa

I went to Bodega de la Ardosa twice. The first time I went was over the weekend and the place was practically bursting at the seams with customers. Open since 1892, it’s been one of the most popular places to eat in Madrid for over 125 years!

It was too crowded to stay the first time so we went back on a Monday afternoon and had the entire bar to ourselves. Known for its wall of dusty liquor bottles and excellent tapas, an institution like this was too good to miss. It’s exactly the type of place I seek out on trips.

Plate of alcachofas (artichokes)

Some of the recommended dishes at Bodega de la Ardosa include salmorejo and tortilla de patata. If you like vegetable dishes, then you need to try this fantastic plate of alcachofas or grilled artichokes sprinkled with sea salt.

Callos Madrileños

Callos a la madrileña is a classic Spanish dish that you need to try in Madrid. A dish of humble origins, recipes vary from region to region but the Madrid-style of callos is made with tripe, chorizo, serrano ham, and morcilla. It’s rich and tomato-ey with a good punch of paprika.

Callos is one of my absolute favorite Spanish dishes and something I could have almost everyday. The version at Bodega de la Ardosa was delicious, especially when paired with crusty bread.

Wall of liquor bottles

Bodega de la Ardosa is located on the outskirts of the Chamberi district. Surrounded by trendy hipster bars, it’s a Madrid institution and local favorite that’s survived decades of urban gentrification.

Bodega de la Ardosa exterior

Bodega de la Ardosa

Address: Calle de Colón, 14, 28004 Madrid, Spain
Operating Hours: 8AM-2AM, Mon-Thurs / 8AM-2:30AM, Fri / 10AM-2:30AM, Sat / 10AM-2AM, Sun
What to Order: Salmorejo, alcachofas, tortilla de patata, callos a la madrileña


5. El Cisne Azul

When it comes to toadstools, El Cisne Azul has to be one of the best restaurants in Madrid. Located in Chueca, they specialize in mushrooms and are a favorite destination for Madrileños craving morels and chanterelles.

El Cisne Azul offers an interesting array of dishes made with wild mushrooms like grilled boletus with foie gras and Caesar’s mushroom carpaccio.

We had these chanterelles with scrambled eggs and black truffles, and another dish of tricholomas with lamb sweetbreads. Both were every bit as delicious as they sound.

Eggs with mushrooms

El Cisne Azul is known for their mushrooms but they offer grilled meats and other dishes too, like this tasty grilled octopus with aioli. They offer an extensive wine list as well.

Octopus tentacle

El Cisne Azul

Address: Calle de Gravina, 19, 28004 Madrid, Spain
Operating Hours: 1-4:30PM, 8-11:30PM, Mon-Sat / 12NN-5PM, Sun
What to Order: Anything with mushrooms

6. El Meson del Boqueron

El Meson del Boqueron gave me my first taste of callos in Madrid. My search for good callos a la madrileña led me to this tasty bowl overflowing with tripe, morcilla, and chorizo.

I had callos three times and none of the restaurants in Madrid made it with garbanzo beans. I’m used to having chickpeas in callos but I guess it isn’t a traditional ingredient in the Madrid version of the dish.

Callos Madrileños

You can probably tell from these first few entries what type of restaurants I gravitate to on trips. I like hyper local establishments that have withstood the test of time.

I don’t know when El Meson del Boqueron first opened but based on its interior, I’m guessing they’ve been around for a while.

El Meson del Boqueron interior

El Meson del Boqueron is conveniently located just off Plaza Mayor. It’s a great place to enjoy a meal after visiting the city’s main square.

El Meson del Boqueron exterior

El Meson del Boqueron

Address: Cava de San Miguel, 14, 28005 Madrid, Spain
Operating Hours: 1-5PM, 8PM-12:30AM, Wed-Mon (closed Tuesdays)
What to Order: Callos a la madrileña, tapas

7. La Tasqueria de Javi Estevez

I love street food and hole-in-the-walls, but I also enjoy haute cuisine and the occasional fine dining experience. We try to go to at least one nice restaurant on every trip, and La Tasqueria de Javi Estevez was that restaurant in Madrid.

A recipient of one Michelin Star, what makes La Tasqueria interesting is its menu of offal-inspired dishes. They offer tapas with different types of offal like lamb sweetbreads, pork cheek, and beef tongue as the main ingredients. It’s cool enough to find a restaurant that features offal so prominently but even more so when it’s received a Michelin Star!

Pictured below is a beautiful and delicious dish of pork cheek and red prawn tacos. They serve them with the scarlet prawn heads so you can suck out all that delicious umami.

Pork cheek and red prawn tacos

Can you guess what these are? (Clue: We had the same offal at El Cisne Azul.) What you’re looking at are lamb sweetbreads with prawn and garlic on melba toast.

These are just two of the many delicious dishes we had at La Tasqueria. Check out my article on La Tasqueria de Javi Estevez for more pictures and information.

I don’t recall seeing it on their menu but it would be great if La Tasqueria offers tasting menus as well. An all-offal tasting menu would be amazing!

Lamb sweetbreads with prawn and garlic on melba toast

La Tasqueira de Javi Estevez is located along Calle Duque de Sesto in the trendy Chamberi district. When it comes to offal, this has to be the best restaurant in Madrid, perhaps in all of Spain!

Michelin sign outside La Tasqueria de Javi Estevez

La Tasqueria de Javi Estevez

Address: Calle Duque de Sesto, 48, 28009 Madrid, Spain
Operating Hours: 1:30-4PM, 8:30-11PM, Mon-Sat / 1:30-4PM, Sun
What to Order: Callos, lamb sweetbreads, pork cheek and red prawn tacos


8. Chocolateria San Gines

Chocolateria San Gines is one of the most iconic places to eat in Madrid. Open since 1894, it’s the oldest and most famous chocolateria in the city.

San Gines has been serving churros con chocolate – one of Spain’s most beloved breakfast and snack combinations – for over 125 years. Like Lisbon’s Pasteis de Belem, it’s a chocolateria that’s become more than just a restaurant in Madrid. It’s a landmark.

Plate of churros

Dipping these Spanish-style doughnuts into a supremely dark and thick cup of chocolate is one of Spain’s great pleasures. When it comes to churros con chocolate, Chocolateria San Gines has to be one of the best restaurants in Madrid.

Churros dipped in chocolate

Chocolateria San Gines is located just outside San Gines Church. Being one of the top restaurants in Madrid, I was expecting to fight for a table when I got there but luckily, I was seated right away.

Chocolateria San Gines exterior

Chocolateria San Gines

Address: Pasadizo de San Ginés, 5, 28013 Madrid, Spain
Operating Hours: 8AM-10PM, daily
What to Order: Churros con chocolate

9. La Mallorquina

La Mallorquina is another example of my proclivity for restaurants that have been around for decades. Open since 1894, they’ve been one of the best restaurants in Madrid for napolitanas and ensaimadas for over 125 years.

Pictured below is their famous napolitana de crema and some type of cream cake. I prefer cream over chocolate but I’ve read that La Mallorquina’s napolitana chocolate is the best in Madrid.

Cream cake and pastry

La Mallorquina is located in Madrid’s famed Puerta del Sol. You’ll find yourself at this busy public square at some point so why not stop by for a quick Spanish pastry and a cafe con leche?

La Mallorquina exterior

La Mallorquina

Address: Puerta del Sol, 8, 28013 Madrid, Spain
Operating Hours: 8:30AM-9:15PM, daily
What to Order: Napolitanas, ensaimadas, bandejas, croissants


A jamoneria is a shop/deli that sells Spanish ham, sausages, cheese, and other cured meats. You’ll find them everywhere in Spain. In some parts of Madrid, there seems to be a jamoneria on every block.

10. Museo del Jamon

Museo del Jamon is a chain of jamonerias with about a dozen or more shops in Madrid. Walk by a Museo del Jamon on the street and it’s hard not to be enticed by its dozens of dangling ham legs and displays of ready-to-eat bocadillos.


I rarely lingered inside a jamoneria because I always knew what to get – a bocadillo de jamon. Pictured below is a bocadillo de jamon iberico de bellota, a specimen of a sandwich made with the finest grade of Spanish dry-cured ham.

Give me a bocadillo de jamon and a cerveza everyday and I’m a happy man.

Bocadillo de jamon

Open since 1978, there are several Museo del Jamon shops in central Madrid. You can check Google Maps to find a shop near you. Chances are, you’ll walk by one on the street.

Museo del Jamon exterior

Museo del Jamon

Branches: Google Maps
Operating Hours: Varies per branch
What to Order: Bocadillo de jamon, charcuterie

11. Mercado Jamon Iberico

We found Mercado Jamon Iberico by chance. Located less than 500 meters from Plaza Mayor, it’s a family-run shop that’s described as one of the best places to buy jamon iberico in Madrid.

Inside Mercado Jamon Iberico

As described, I would usually just pick up a bocadillo to go but we actually sat and enjoyed charcuterie and a bottle of wine at this jamoneria. It’s run by a lovely family who were eager to help with any questions we had.

One of the owners had me sample different types of iberico and I enjoyed this one the best. It’s a jamon iberico de bellota puro which is an acord-fed iberico cured for four years.

Sweet, savory, nutty, and fatty, these have to be some of the most delicious slices of jamon we’ve ever tasted in our lives. I love bocadillos but eating the jamon on its own like this makes you appreciate it even more.

Jamon Bellota

We also had the salchichon de bellota, truffled manchego, and a bottle of white wine. Everything was fantastic and made for a memorable afternoon in Madrid.


Mercado Jamon Iberico is located along Calle Mayor, less than 500 meters from Plaza Mayor. Being so close to one of the city’s most famous landmarks, it’s one of the most conveniently located jamon iberico shops in Madrid.

Mercado Jamon Iberico exterior

Mercado Jamon Iberico

Address: Calle Mayor, 80, 28013 Madrid, Spain
Operating Hours: 10AM-9PM, daily
What to Order: to follow


Visiting Spain and not going to a mercado is like traveling to France and not enjoying a baguette. It’s a gastronomic sin.

Historic Mercado de San Miguel off Plaza Mayor is the obvious choice but it’s also the busiest. Like Barcelona’s La Boqueria, I walked in and walked right out.

If you’d prefer a more local, less touristy mercado, then there are others to choose from in Madrid.

12. Mercado de San Fernando

Mercado de San Fernando is one of five markets in Madrid’s Centro district. It’s located in the Embajadores/Lavapies neighborhood which was one of the most colorful and multicultural areas we visited in Madrid.

Like any modern Spanish mercado, Mercado de San Fernando is a mix of traditional tapas bars and more international stalls offering a range of dishes like sushi, pastries, and burgers. There’s even a second-hand bookshop that sells used books by the pound.

Shops inside Mercado de San Fernando

We wanted traditional Spanish fare so we went with dishes like chorizo and lomo to go with our beers.

Lomo, chorizo, bread, and beer

Slivers of manchego cheese and crusty bread to enjoy with our Spanish Mahou cervezas.

Cheese, bread, and beer

I didn’t include them all in this list but of all the mercados I visited in Madrid, Mercado de San Fernando was my favorite.

It was the least polished and one of the most crowded, but it also felt the most authentic. I felt like I was in a real Spanish mercado with locals and not a bunch of tourists.

Embajadores/Lavapies is a gritty but interesting neighborhood. There seems to be a lot of Afrian and Indian restaurants in the area (and barber shops offering cheap haircuts!). It’s a place I would have loved to really explore with more time in Madrid.

Happy people inside Mercado de San Fernando

Mercado de San Fernando

Address: Calle de Embajadores, 41, 28012 Madrid, Spain
Operating Hours: 9AM-9PM, Tue-Thurs / 9AM-11PM, Fri-Sat / 11AM-5PM, Sun / 9AM-3PM, 5-9PM, Mon

13. Mercado de San Anton

As you can probably tell from the picture below, Mercado de San Anton is more modern and much more polished than Mercado de San Fernando. It’s located in the Chueca neighborhood and offers an even more international range of cuisine.

The market was originally built in 1945 but it went through a complete renovation in 2002 so it looks brand new. The first floor is a mix of fresh produce and takeaway food stalls. The second has a wine bar and about ten stalls offering an international range of cuisine.

If you’d like to dine at a proper restaurant, then you can go up to the third floor which is occupied by La Cocina de San Anton. It’s a restaurant and cocktail bar that offers a full menu of Spanish and international dishes.

Inside Mercado de San Anton

A tempting display of pintxos. San Sebastian would be our next stop after Madrid so I waited to have them there.


You can never go wrong with this classic Spanish dish – tortilla de patata. Like callos and bocadillos de jamon, it’s one of my favorite Spanish dishes and something I could have almost everyday.

Tortilla de patata

I don’t know what you call these but they’re like pintxos served on melba toast. Clockwise from the upper left are bacalao ajoarriero, anchovies with pimientos, pulpo a la gallega, and Icelandic smoked codfish liver.


Mercado de San Anton is located in the heart of the Chueca neighborhood, just a block away from Taberna de Angel Sierra. It’s a great place to have lunch after downing a few glasses of vermut.

Mercado de San Anton exterior

Mercado de San Anton

Address: Calle de Augusto Figueroa, 24, 28004 Madrid, Spain
Operating Hours: 10AM-8PM, Mon-Sat (closed Sundays)

14. Matadero Madrid Farmer’s Market

We were very fortunate to visit this market. Matadero Madrid is a former slaughterhouse in the Arganzuela district that’s been converted into an arts center. It’s an ever-evolving creative space that reminded me of Taiwan’s creative parks.

Matadero Madrid is interesting enough on its own, but on the last weekend of every month, it hosts the Mercado de Productores which is a farmer’s market offering traditional food and produce grown around Madrid.

Courtyard inside Matadero Madrid

The market features over fifty producers selling a wide range of Madrid food products like fresh vegetables, mushrooms, sausages, and canned food. This vendor is selling cecina which refers to salted and dried meat typically made from beef, horse, or rabbit meat.

Cured meats for sale

Blocks of queso de cabra or goat’s cheese. You can get free tastings here which is part of the reason why it’s so much fun visiting these types of markets.

Cheese for sale

Aside from fresh produce and meat stalls, there are plenty of cooked food vendors at the market as well. Pictured below is Madrid’s classic bocadillo de calamares or squid sandwich.

It’s made with deep-fried calamares served in a bun. It’s a Madrid food favorite that can be found in many bars throughout the city, especially around Plaza Mayor.

If it’s important for you to experience the local food in Madrid, then you need to have a bocadillo de calamares.

Calamari sandwich

Not only were we lucky with the timing, but we were lucky with the location as well. Our AirBnB was located directly across the street from the Matadero Madrid complex.

If your stay falls on the last weekend of any month, then the Mercado de Productores is a great place to experience truly local food in Madrid.

Matadero Madrid sign

Matadero Madrid

Address: Plaza de Legazpi, 8, 28045 Madrid, Spain
Operating Hours: 11AM-7PM, Sat / 11AM-5PM, Sun (last weekend of every month)


To help you find these restaurants in Madrid, I’ve pinned them all on this map. Click on the link for a live version of the map. It’ll have a few more that aren’t included in this guide.

Map with pins


Going tapas bar hopping on your own is fun, but one of the best ways to experience Madrid’s cuisine is by going on a food tour. A knowledgeable guide will take you to Madrid’s best restaurants, markets, and bars and explain the dishes and drinks to you in more detail.

We went on a bodega food tour in Barcelona and it turned out to be one of our favorite days in Spain. Our guide took us to many hidden local spots that we never would have found ourselves. Check out Get Your Guide for a list of Madrid food tours.


It usually takes me at least two visits to really fill out a guide but I was happy with how this Madrid food guide started out. It features a range of culinary experiences that give first-time visitors a well-rounded taste of Madrid.

Of course, this is just a first attempt so there’s plenty of room for improvement. We absolutely loved Madrid, even more so than Barcelona, so we’ll definitely be back. And we’ll stay for a month next time.

I love going to decades-old restaurants but conspicuously absent from this list is Sobrino de Botin, one of the most well-known traditional Spanish restaurants in Madrid. Founded in 1725, it’s the oldest operating restaurant in the world at almost 300 years old!

I did consider going but someone told me that it’s touristy and not worth the effort, but that’s just one person’s opinion. Many of its TripAdvisor reviews say otherwise. It’s history alone merits a visit so it’s a restaurant we’ll definitely be visiting on our next trip to Madrid.


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Monday 31st of August 2020

San Gines was also on my list when I visited Madrid. It’s literally the place for churros 🤤🤤🤤🤤 I only had a day in Madrid so couldn’t squeeze too much food in for the day, but I can recommend an Australian cafe called Antipode which had some stall at breakfast options.

Carolin | Style Lingua

JB & Renée

Thursday 3rd of September 2020

Thanks for the recommendation Carolin!