As the seat of government, the official residence of the royal family and home to the country’s finest art galleries, plazas and museums, it’s fair to assume that Madrid, Spain’s capital city, has some pretty historic restaurants, too. And you’d be right of course: the city dates back to the era of Roman control and first gained capital status in 1561, providing a steady flow of money and people to the city’s restaurants for centuries. Here are Madrid’s best historic restaurants.
Straddling the divide between fancy sit-down restaurant and traditional tapas bar is Casa Alberto, which opened in 1827. Passing through the classic wooden frontage – painted in Spain’s characteristic red, yellow and black – you’ll notice the tapas tropes of hams hanging from ceilings and folks at the bar sipping a vermouth or caña and nibbling small plates of tapas. The boquerones en vinagre (sardines in vinegar) are good here. At the back is the restaurant, surrounded by the obligatory old bullfighting posters.
Close to the Royal Palace and Almudena Cathedral, you’ll find one of the classiest historic restaurants in Madrid. The tables in the brick cellar are surrounded by shelves of vintage wines, and there’s a special table for larger groups in the main wine cellar. A tapas menu is served at the bar, with the pisto manchego con huevo (ratatouille with cheese and egg) an unconventional option. In the restaurant, the rabo de toro (oxtail) is a favourite.
If your hunger for restaurants isn’t quite satisfied , check out some of Madrid’s most affordable places to eat after a long day experiencing all the things to see and do in the city, not least its fabulous museums. But of course you’ll need somewhere to stay, from boutique hotels to bed and breakfasts, Culture Trip has you covered.