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What's a good restaurant for our first night in Madrid?

We arrive in Madrid around 2:30 and are staying at Hostal Madrid Sol (on the map, it's in the Cortes and Centro area).

We have a train that leaves the next morning for Seville, as we are spending the majority of our time in Andalusia. We would love to get something close to our hotel, but also something that would give us a first taste of Spain (without being too stressful for our first day there).

We are also contemplating doing a Tapas tour with Devour Madrid, but unsure if it'll be too tiring on our first night there since we'll be jet lagged.

Posted by
1259 posts

People have different routines to deal with jetlag. For me, doing a food tour on my first jetlagged day works better than a sit down restaurant. I am also in the pro-nap camp.

Posted by
1524 posts

abneymi2 - Astor gastro - place is good option to dine in Madrid. The food is delicioso and the atmosphere is very lively there.

La Mi Vienta is another cozy place. I gave you two cozy places with excellent cuisines.

Serafina restaurant is near your hotel : - Be sure to reserve a table online.

Tapas tour:

By the way, when you are in Seville, don't forget to visit the new city structure of Las Setas De Sevilla

Posted by
745 posts

I like Restaurante La Catedral (Carrera de S. Jerónimo, 16, 28014) right around the corner from your Hostal.
The atmosphere is better than the food, and the food is really good.

Posted by
3235 posts

Highly recommend La Sanabresa It is 5 minutes from your accommodation. It’s a charming local Neighborhood restaurant. Good food, reasonably priced that included a bottle of wine and dessert. We ate there twice. Lunch until 4:30. Dinner starts at 8:30. We arrived by 8:15 to secure a table. It’s a popular restaurant. You may want to consider a close restaurant vs a Tapas tour your first night.

Posted by
20779 posts

I have much more trouble than average sleeping on overnight flights. I'm barely alive when I land in Europe, and it's downhill from there. I would never pre-pay for any activity on that day, and food tours are very expensive. I can see the value of keeping the body moving, though. I'd be more inclined to check into the availability of a late-afternoon or early-evening walking tour for which I could just show up without a reservation. If I did not nap I would be asleep long before the Spanish dinner hour.

Posted by
3656 posts

One challenge, if you are coming off a trans-Atlantic flight, is the late dining hour in Spain. Restaurants may not open until 9 p.m. while you are eager for some recuperative shut-eye. Your hotel will know of places with earlier serving and may have its own kitchen which is open early for tourists.

Posted by
14770 posts

According to google maps, Mercado de San Miguel is a 12 minute was from your hotel. It's open til midnight every day. You choose tapas, drinks, and more from each stand - whatever strikes your fancy. It's fun to graze through any time of day. It allows you to eat whenever you want. Or you can get take-away and eat in your room. No time pressure, no reservations.

If I'm zonked, the last things I'd want is are expensive meal, a lengthy meal, or a long walking tour, especially since I'd be much more tired than hungry. Most tapas tours are not just eating tapas, they are tours that tell you a lot about the places you pass along the way and probably about each of the places where you stop, as well as the food and drinks you get. Much better to take one in Sevilla when you are rested and alert.

Posted by
7 posts

Wow, these are all great replies! Thank you so much for your help, everyone!

Posted by
65 posts

I agree with the others that posted here re: jet lag on arrival. We have a process that works pretty well for us. I would encourage you to try it. Once we get settled into the hotel, we freshen up and immediately go out and walk around for about an hour or two, exploring the neighborhood and looking for a local spot to have a beer/drink and lite refreshment. Then, we go back and take a two-hour nap. We force ourselves to get up (it's really hard) but then we shower and go out for dinner. By the time we get back from a leisurely dinner (2 hrs+) we are ready for bed, able to sleep through the night. The next day isn't perfect, as it takes a couple of days to get acclimated but it's worked the best for us over the years.

Enjoy your trip!

Posted by
5448 posts

They eat very late in Spain - 10pm or later is common. If you are going to be suffering jet lag, I would grab something from a supermarket, rather than try to stay up so late, particularly if you have an early start the following day.

Posted by
21644 posts

Bad idea. I am going to comment in the same manner as Jennifer. 9, 10 pm is the standard dinner time in Spain. You might find some fast food, take away sandwich shops but any upscale restaurant will not be open and then the meal will very leisurely and not finishing until 11pm or so.

During one of earlier trips in the 70s we had a great meal in Paris on our arrival day. At least we think we did. We could not stay awake long enough to enjoy the meal or the restaurants. Kept falling asleep between courses. It was awful. Never again.