Our family (two adults, two teens) will arrive in Madrid on December 26. A past lesson I've learned is to have a plan for dinner that first evening when we are all too tired to think or make decisions. I'm looking for a recommendation for somewhere you really like in Madrid ... sit down restaurant. I'm a vegetarian although my son and husband definitely are not! We are staying near Puerta del Sol. Thanks in advance for any recommendations!
Our favorite restaurant was La Sanabresa. It's a 10 minute walk from Puerta Del Sol. It's located in the Huertas neighborhood. They offered a 3 course meal that included wine. It was reasonable, ample servings, and delicious. I recall it was about €30 for the two of us. It's a popular neighborhood restaurant. We arrived at opening time and were able to get a table. We ate there twice.
About a block or so from the Puerta del Sol (2 minute walk), is Taberna Los Cuatro Robles, Plaza Celenque 1, just off of Calle Arenal. We ate there a couple weeks ago and enjoyed it. The downstairs has the bar and some tables for dining, and was very hectic. We went upstairs to the restaurant and had the place to ourselves, literally. I know it has soups and salads, but most dishes were meat or seafood. My wife had a mixed salad, I had steak (deliciias de entrecôte), we had 2 glasses of wine, bread, and flan for dessert, and the bill was €42.
You may not want to go here for your first evening, but it's a suggestion for another day. CEBO at Carrera de S. Jeronimo, 34 is a wonderful one Michelin star restaurant. Lunch is fairly reasonable. It is between Puerta del Sol and the museum area. We went there for lunch after our Prado visit. We went to three Michelin starred restaurants in Madrid. This was our favorite. Obviously, good food and excellent service. The chef visited our table and asked which was our favorite dish. For me, it was the rich and delicious mushroom risotto. Reservations can be made online.
Also on the same street at #30 is Casa Mira, known for their turrones, but the other pastries were fantastic too. Had the best ever
Saint Tropez-like pastry, super light and fluffy with cream filling. This bakery was founded in 1855.
Our family (2 adults + 2 teens) was there this summer and I think one of my favorite restaurants was La Burlona. Looks like it is a 13 minute walk from Puerta del Sol. It's technically a bar, but I would describe it as more of a bistro (cozy, casual, but hip setting, full beverage offerings, and a fantastic food menu...small plates to share, small open kitchen). Everything we ordered was delicious. Not sure of their vegetarian options, but I know they had a "vegetables" section on their menu. We had a lovely window seat table open to the street, but I guess it might be too chilly for that in December! Hope you have a great trip!!
You folks are obviously made of stronger stuff than I am; I never make it to dinner on my first night. However, are you aware of the very late meal hours in Spain? The locals are unlikely to sit down to eat until 10 PM (tapas bridge the gap), and you'll hear happy, sated diners returning home after midnight. Of the meal spots already mentioned, two do not open for dinner until 8:30 PM. If that sounds late for Night 1, Los Cuatros Robles looks workable, because it seems to stay open all the way through the period from lunch to dinner.
Well, acraven, you raise a good point! I was assuming we might get a nap and then go to dinner ... we aren't planning to do any sightseeing that day. We have a strange set of flights and arrive in Madrid at 4:15pm, so I somehow thought dinner at 8:30 might work. We will see :). All of these suggestions sound great and I really appreciate them, I have started checking them out and I'm getting even more excited for our trip. Thank you all!
denisek, another suggestion for an earlier dinner and a beautiful view of Madrid: El Cortes Ingles Department store. The top floor has a "food court" with a number of delicious choices. I had vegetarian Paella. This is a 10-15 walk from Puerta Del Sol.
The Mercado de San Miguel is good for off-hours tapas if you find an 8:30 PM dinner is just not going to work for you. The market is normally open 10AM till midnight (or 1 AM on weekends). Hours may be different on holidays, so check the website carefully. The hours are at the bottom of the page I've linked to.
Thank you, I really appreciate the suggestions for places we can go before local dinner time, if we are too tired!
If you are vegetarian then I would recommend you a place in the city center called El Brote. They are specialized in wild mushrooms and you should take into account that the mushroom picking season is at its highest peak. They also have dishes for non-vegetarians. Not a cheap restaurant, but incredible food and wine.
The Corte Ingles at Puerta del Sol has a roof-deck restaurant, too! The food is good. The view is better.
I'm not sure what your price point is. However, I found really good restaurants in Barrio Salamanca. The restaurants serve authentic Spanish food but with a twist - more elevated. It is an upscale neighborhood so the prices tend to be a little higher.
- Ten con Ten
Those are just a few places I had the opportunity to visit.